The Witches Correspondence for Samhain

Magical Halloween Pictures

The Witches Correspondence for Samhain

 

Date: October 31st

Colours: Black, orange

Stones: Bloodstone, jet, obsidian, ruby, beryl, carnelian

Herbs: Bay leaf, mugwort, nutmeg, sage, wormwood

Foods: Apples, nuts, beef, turnips, pears, pomegranates, pumpkin, corn

Drinks: Mead, mulled wine, apple juice, absinthe

Flowers/Decorations: Chrysanthemum, hazel, thistle, pumpkin, autumn leaves

Type Of Magick/Activity: Banishing, breaking bad habits, divination, drying herbs, past life recall, clearing out everything you don’t want in the new year (habits and personal items).

Some Appropriate Goddesses: All crone and underworld Goddesses, Cerridwen (Welsh), Freya (Norse), Hecate (Greek), Morrigan (Celtic), Persephone (Greek), Rhiannon (Welsh)

Some Appropriate Gods: All old and underworld Gods, Cernunnos (Celtic), Anubis (Egyptian), Hades (Greek), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian)

Seasons of the Witch – Legends and Lore, Ancient Holidays And Some Not So Ancient!

Seasons of the Witch – Legends and Lore, Ancient Holidays And Some Not So Ancient!

 

Today Is …

 

Native American: Changing Woman Ceremony – The Apache tribe in Arizona hold this rite-of-passage festival at sunrise. The ritual lasts four days, and marks the coming of age of a pubescent girl.who ritually transforms into the spirit-goddess known as Changing Woman and blesses all who are in attendance.

Ladon, Hopi Woman’s Healing Day. Light candles for your own health today in colors connected to your own healing needs.

Catholic Saint Days: St. Hermione, a prophetess. One of the daughters of Philip the Deacon who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. Martyred c.117 at Ephesus. St. Ida of Herzfeld, who grew up in Charlemagne’s court, and was married to a Lord by arrangement of the Emperor. Her only child became a monk

Ghana: Path Clearing Festival – held by the Akan people of Ghana to honor and receive blessings from the ancient God of the sacred well.

  1. American: Lakon – Hopi tribe women’s festival in honor of The Maidens of the Four Directions. Christian mapmakers once depicted angels as representing the four directions.

Slavic Pagan: The Day of Remembrance for the Pagan People of Novgorod – Ruen (September) 3. The events which happened on this day demonstrate all the “love” and essence of Christianity.

Egyptian; Ceremony of Transformation through Anubis Mummification of Osiris

Greek: The fourth day of every month is sacred to the Goddess Aphrodite and the God Hermes.

Aug 29 -Sep 11 – Return of Isis – Egyptian festival marking the return to Egypt of Goddess Isis (as the star of Sept/Sirius) and God Osiris (as the rising Nile River).

Aug 30 -Sep 10 -Ganesha Chaturthi – Hindu festival honoring God Ganesha (son of Goddess Parvati and God Shiva) as the challenger, creator and remover of obstacles.

GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives Remember the ancient ways and keep them sacred! )0( Live each Season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. ~Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

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Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

 

Seasons of the Witch – Legends and Lore, Ancient Holidays And Some Not So Ancient!

Celtic Woman-3

Seasons of the Witch – Legends and Lore, Ancient Holidays And Some Not So Ancient!

 

Today Is …

 

Consus, the God of the Grain-store, was celebrated annually on this date by the ancient Romans. Sacrifices were made in his honor, and all beasts of burden were embellished with wreaths of flowers and given a day of rest.

The Festival of Krishna is celebrated annually on this day in the country of India. It is also a sacred day dedicated to Devaki, the Mother-Goddess.

Procession of the Witches in Belgium. Sounds like fun! Gather your witchy friends and have a parade, even it it’s only in your backyard.

Egyptian; Procession of Bast; Birthday of Nut

Egypt/Kemet: Feast of the Nativity of Isis, the Goddess of 10,000 Names. She is an ancient Goddess who assisted her husband, Osiris, in civilizing the people of the Nile. She taught them how to grind corn, to spin flax, and to weave cloth. She is the guide of all wives, mothers, healers, advocates, and teachers; the patron of magic, learning, love, and motherhood; the power of the Pharaohs. She is usually portrayed wearing a throne on her head. She is Goddess of day while her sister Nephthys is Goddess of night. There are many stories of Isis, but the most well known is how she conceived a child with Osiris after he had been killed by Set. He had cut the body of Osiris into 14 pieces and cast them into the Nile. Isis, with the help of Nephthys, recovered all but one part. This was the phallus, which had been swallowed by a fish. Using her magic, she brought all of Osiris’s parts together and reformed him whole. He became the first mummy when she embalmed his body, with the help of Anubis, thus restoring him to eternal life. The child of their post-resurrection tryst was Horus.

India: Festival of Krishna – a celebration of the rebirth of Lord Vishnu to his incarnation as the God Krishna. It was Krishna who revealed the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna.

Rome: Volturnalia, the festival dedicated to Volturnus, ‘God of the Waters,’ God of fountains; a tribal river god who later was identified as God of the Tiber river. The Volturnus River, in southern Italy, is named for him. Volturnus was the father of the Goddess Juturna, who was first identified with a spring in Latium near the Numicus River and later with a pool near the temple of Vesta in the Forum of Rome. They were both honored on this day with feasting, wine-drinking and games by Romans.

GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives Remember the ancient ways and keep them sacred! )0( Live each Season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. ~Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

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Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

 

 

Seasons of the Witch – Legends and Lore, Ancient Holidays And Some Not So Ancient!

Seasons of the Witch – Legends and Lore, Ancient Holidays And Some Not So Ancient!

 

Today Is …

 

“Egyptian: First of the Epagomenal Days : Yesterday was the last day of the Egyptian year. Now there are five days outside of the year before the start of the next year.

Birthday of Osiris: Today is the birthday of Osiris, the Egyptian God of life and death. Osiris ruled the world of men in the beginning, after Ra had abandoned the world to rule the skies, but he was murdered by his brother Set. Through the magic of Isis, he was made to live again. Being the first living thing to die, he subsequently became lord of the dead. He was also the first mummy and supposedly the first Pharoah.

Horus: On this day, the birth of the wiccan falcon-headed god Horus is celebrated by many pagans. Light a royal-blue altar candle and burn some frankincense and myrrh as a fragrant offering to him.

Crop Circles: On this day in the year 1988, a series of mysterious crop circles began to appear in a wheat field near Silbury Hill in southwestern England.

O-Bon, Japanese Festival of the Ancestors. Set up an ancestor altar. Begin or review the genealogy of your family. Call your Grandparents if they are among the ancestors!

Synoikia -On the 16th day of Hecatombion, and two days after the full moon, the Athenians honored Eirene or peace.

Norwegian Midsummer Day -According to an ancient calendar stick, this was the midpoint of the summer season in Norway

BASTILLE DAY: Tremendous festivity throughout France. Paris dances all night along the Seine & in the streets

DADA DAY. First Dada soirée: “… in the presence of a compact crowd Tzara demonstrates, we demand we demand we demand the right to piss in different colours”.

PANDEMONIUM DAY. Sounds like most every other day of the week.

HUNGRY GHOST FESTIVAL: On this day, Buddhists feed the spirits of those who lived lives of hard-hearted greed & envy. They burn fake money & clothes for the use of the spirits.

)0(

Remember The Ancient Ways and Keep Them Holy!

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Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

 

Your Charm for February 17th is The Buckle of Isis

Your Charm for Today

The Buckle of Isis

Today’s Meaning:

Someone who will, or has told a lie about you regarding this aspect will be discovered and the truth will come out. They will suffer for their injustice and you shall prevail.

General Description:

The blood of Isis, the virtue of Isis, the magic power of Isis, the magic power of the Eye, are protecting this the Great one; they prevent any wrong being done to him. Thus reads a portion of the 156th chapter of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which was engraved, often with other invocations, on the Buckle of Isis amulets. Great faith was placed in the magic power of this buckle, or tie. It was believed that the wearer would be protected and guarded from every kind of evil for ever and ever.

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Your Charm For Today

The Tet

Today’s Meaning:  

This aspect is influenced by someone who finds you irresistible, yet they will say nothing of it.

General Description:   

The Tet, or Tat, amulet was most popular with the ancient Egyptians, among whom the power of charms was believed to be irresistible. They were worn to protect the human body, living and dead alike from evil influences, and from attacks of invisible and visible enemies. The Setting up of the Tet (the reconstruction of the body of Osiris the god of vegetation and everlasting life) was a religious ceremoney, celebrated annually at Abydos, in Upper Egypt, and in the Delta at Busiris. Worn as a talisman for protection from evil also for strength and stabiltiy

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Herb of the Day – Heather

Herb of the Day – Heather

Heather (Calluna Vulgaris) aka heath

Feminine.

Planet: Venus.

Element: Water.

Deity: Isis, Osiris, Venus

Protection, Rain Making, Luck. Robert Graves said heather is “a suitable tree for the inititation of Scottish witches.” Brings one in touch with divinity and increases physical beauty. Wearing an amulet of the wood will bring a long physical life and put one in touch with the truly immortal soul. A valuable herb for those who pursue initiatory paths. Unfolds the inner self. Carried, it will guard against rape or other violent crimes or just to bring good luck. (White heather is best here.) When burned with fern will attract rain.

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A Call from the Ancestors

A Call from the Ancestors

Author:   Rev.Roman Delgado   

As I sit before my altar, I’ve had a memory, a vague knowing of something past calling me to return to myself. As if the echoes of those gone before call me into a path walked by many in Aeons past. A feeling as if what I have lost to the sands of time and waves of progress and technology as only been forgotten and craves to return.

So many have felt this call before me. I have seen it on the news, then Internet, books. Everywhere people today seem to want to return to the ways that have been lost to time. Revival and reconstructionist religious movements are being seen from the black fertile lands of Egyptian religion and the fields of Greece to the Ancient Aztec world.

The path of the ancient ones calls, yet so much of it is forgotten. Through the Aeons past in which change and progress have changed the landscape of Gaia, those gone before us seem to have been swallowed by sands of time. No longer do we seem to want to cross the river Styx; few are those that delve into the path of transformation and cross the bridge to the land of the dead and return like the true initiates of the mysteries of the ancients transformed and renewed.

Today’s society has rejected death. On a pragmatic level it makes sense. Life is meant to be lived not mourned. Life is lived for its own merit not for the sake of its end. However, in the process of forgetting the importance of death, we have forgotten the reality of transformation. Death and life is not only a never-ending spiral in the great wheel of rebirth.

Death is all around in times when only life can be seen. Death is the forbearer of rebirth and, as each thing grows anew, it is a sign of transformation. It is a sign that something else has come to an end in order to bring forth the light of a new era. In paganism this becomes obvious through myth and celebration of the changes in the cycles of life and nature. We celebrate change, yet only delve into what brings change when we actually face it.

As I sit before my altar every day, I hear a call so many ignore unless they wheel of the year tells them it’s time to hear it. A call to change and transform, to die and be reborn. In my path as a pagan, I come from an indigenous background, I have traveled in body, mind and spirit cross cultures to better understand my own past, to understand the Alchemies of the soul.

Along that path I have understood that ritual is transformational. Every time I am in the presence of the divine I am changed and healed. Yet when I traveled outside of my roots into the modern world so many ignore the call of death in their ritual. The call to let go and surrender to the divine, to commune with the God and Goddess, is a pivotal role: the Alchemy of the soul.

In Mexico, I learned about this alchemy as the rites of Coatlicue an ancestral deity ruling over life and death. Her rites were those of shamanic initiation, the dismemberment of the initiate and his reconstruction as a being that holds the wisdom of the ancestors.

Once that pivotal moment is passed I learned the Alchemy of Tezcatlipoca. His rites are of initiation into the darkest parts of one’s own soul. His mysteries are for the ones destined to tame their own fire and harness it into the power to weave destiny. It is the magic of the Ancestors.

Now in a later stage of my development I learn the Alchemy of duality. My Ancestors called this the teachings of Quetzalcoatl and Xochiquetzal. The ancient Egyptians called it the Alchemies of Isis and Osiris and the Alchemies of Horus. Their teaching is the teaching of embracing change, the inner change that fortifies the soul and life-force in order to withstand the change that is the ultimate test of the Alchemist: the culmination of the alchemical process, the attainment of eternal life. A mystery that can only be lived, a choice moment to be in this world or in spirit. That too is the magic of the Ancestors.

Throughout the world, religion is centered on eternal life. Some along the never-ending cycle of re-incarnation. Some in the rebirth after death into an eternal moment of bliss and rest. Yet there are some that only embrace this moment and this life; it is in this moment and life that some religions find death and rebirth.

In the rebirth of Paganism in the western world, so many have ceased to hear the call of the Ancestors. The teachings of the departed are more or less confined to grieving the dead and honoring their memory when the natural world turns to darkness. I must tell you, there is far more to it than that.

The Alchemies of which I speak are the teachings of those who have lived them and mastered them. Blood bonds or not, we are all descendants of our spiritual lines. The Alchemies of the soul are the legacy of the ancient priests and priestesses of the Gods.

The role of the Alchemies is to prepare the Initiate for eternal joy and mastery, be it in the afterlife among the dearly departed or in the ever-present moment that is this world.

The call to the Alchemical mysteries of the ancients lies through the land of the ancestors. It is a call to acknowledge the need for death in life. Not giving up the joys of the world, but to give up what keeps us apart from divinity. It said among initiates of mysteries schools that the true magician must jump the great chasm to achieve the great work. One of the dual secret meanings of this phrase is that the chasm is both internal (states of mind) and spiritual: the chasm between one’s self and divinity itself. As voodoo practitioners say to westerners under a different context: “ You people go to church and pray to God; we go to church and become God”. You see the inner mysteries path of the ancients is simple. It is found in words of Doreen Valiente’s poem, “The Charge of the Goddess”:

“…If what thou seek that does not find within, thou shall never find without. For I am that which has been with thee from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire…”

The path to desire lies through the path of death and rebirth. Through letting go and being transformed, it is a path of internal sacrifice, letting go of what separates us from the Gods, our Ancestors and all creation, sacred from the times of the ancients to this day. As it is said in the Charge of the God:

“Let my name be within the body that sings, for all acts of willing sacrifice are my rituals…”

Let us not forget the call the Gods made to the Ancestors long ago. A call passed on to us. A call to death and rebirth, life and afterlife. A call that shall echo in the minds and souls of the initiates through all eternity…

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Gardnerian Traditional Witchcraft -A.4. The Initiation (1949)[Third Degree]

Gardnerian Traditional Witchcraft -A.4. The Initiation (1949)[Third Degree]

[Third Degree]
Magus: “Ere we proceed with this sublime degree, I must beg purification at thy hands.”
High Priestess binds Magus and ties him down to the altar.  She circumambulates three times, and scourges Magus with three, seven, nine, and 21 strokes.  She then unbinds him and helps him to his feet.
Magus now binds the High Priestess and ties her down to the altar. He circumambulates, proclaiming to the four quarters, “Hear, ye mighty Ones, the twice consecrate and Holy (name), High Priestess and Witch Queen, is properly prepared and will now proceed to erect the Sacred Altar.”
Magus scourges High Priestess with three, seven, nine, and 21 strokes.
Cakes and wine may now be taken [see section A.5].
Magus: “Now I must reveal to you a great Mystery.” [kiss].
Note: if High Priestess has performed this rite before, omit these words.
High Priestess assumes Osiris position.
Magus: “Assist me to erect the Ancient Altar, at which in days past all worshipped, the Great Altar of all things.  For in the old times a woman was the Altar.  Thus was the altar made and so placed [Priestess lies down in such a way that her vagina is approximately at the center of the circle], and the sacred place was the point within the center of the circle, as we of old times have been taught, that the point within the center is the origin of all things.  Therefore should we adore it.” [kiss]
“Therefore, whom we adore, we also invoke, by the power of the lifted lance.”  Invokes.
“O circle of stars [kiss], whereof our Father is but the younger brother [kiss],
“Marvel beyond imagination, soul of infinite space, before whom time is ashamed, the mind bewildered and understanding dark, not unto thee may we attain unless thine image be of love [kiss].
“Therefore, by seed and root, and stem and bud and leaf and flower and fruit do we invoke thee, O, Queen of space, O dew of light, O continuous one of the Heavens [kiss].
“Let it be ever thus, that men speak not of Thee as one, but as none, and let them not speak of thee at all, since thou art continuous, for thou art the point within the circle [kiss], which we adore [kiss], the fount of life without which we would not be [kiss].
“And in this way truly are erected the Holy Twin Pillars Boaz and Jachin [kisses breasts].  In beauty and strength were they erected, to the wonder and glory of all men.”
(Eightfold Kiss: 3 points, Lips, 2 Breasts and back to lips; 5 points)
“O Secrets of secrets that art hidden in the being of all lives.  Not thee do we adore, for that which adoreth is also thou.  Thou art that and That am I [kiss].
“I am the flame that burns in every man, and in the core of every star [kiss].
“I am Life and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the Knowledge of Death [kiss].
“I am alone, the Lord within ourselves whose name is Mystery of Mysteries [kiss].
“Make open the path of intelligence between us.  For these truly are the 5 points of fellowship [on the right appears an illuminated diagram of the point-up triangle above the pentacle, the symbol for the third degree], feet to feet, knee to knee, groin to groin, breast to breast, arms around back, lips to lips, by the Great and Holy Names Abracadabra, Aradia, and Cernunnos.
Magus and High Priestess: “Encourage our hearts, Let thy Light crystallize itself in our blood, fulfilling us of Resurrection, for there is no part of us that is not of the Gods.”
(Exchange Names.)

Closing the Circle
High Priestess Circumambulates, proclaiming, “The twice consecrate High Priestess greets ye Mighty Ones, and dismisseth ye to your pleasant abodes. Hail and Farewell.” She draws the banishing pentacle at each quarter.

Calendar of the Sun for October 30th

Calendar of the Sun

30 Winterfyllith

Day III of the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris

Colors: Green and black
Elements: Earth and Air
Altar: Upon cloth of green and black set a figure of Isis, a figure of Osiris, a box carved like a sarcophagus, and two large ivory candles.
Offerings: Continue with the long-term difficult project.
Daily Meal: Beer. Barley. Figs. Dates. Nuts. Flatbread.

Osiris Invocation II

Hail O Osiris
Wake O Osiris
Arise O Osiris
Thy Mother Nuit gives thee birth
The great company of gods would converse with thee
Take thy seat, Osiris,
For none shall offend thee,
Thine enemies are beneath thee,
All honor is given
To Osiris, Lord of the Dead.
For Osiris was feasting at his table
And walking in the peace of his garden
When Set, his brother adversary,
Armed with many henchmen,
Lay upon him with weapons
And they slew the good Osiris,
Lord of the Earth beneath us.
So that his Queen might not revive him
With all her goodly magics,
Set cut his brother’s body
Into seventeen different pieces
And flung them into the swamps of the Nile.
So died the good Osiris
For the second time,
And the sun was dimmed,
And the West ran red as with blood.
And Isis searched for him for three days,
And in three days we will find her.
Weep for him, once King of the Gods!

(All weep and wail. The lights are put out, and the wailing continues as all exit.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for October 29th

Calendar of the Sun

29 Winterfyllith

Day II of the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris

Colors: Green and black
Elements: Earth and Air
Altar: Upon cloth of green and black set a figure of Isis, a figure of Osiris, a box carved like a sarcophagus, and two large ivory candles.
Offerings: Continue with the long-term difficult project.
Daily Meal: Beer. Barley. Figs. Dates. Nuts. Flatbread.

Isis Invocation

Mistress of the Gods
Thou bearer of wings
Thou lady of the red apparel
Queen of the crowns of the South and North,
Thou mighty one of enchantments,
Mistress and lady of the tomb,
Mother in the horizon of heaven.
For when Isis the Queen found that her husband
Had fallen from grace through foul play,
She searched high and low in every country,
Until she came to a palace in a far place
Where a great sweet-scented pillar
Had been cut from a tamarisk tree
The like of which had never been seen before.
The mighty Isis clad herself in the robes
Of a common woman,
And presented herself to the Queen
To be her babe’s nurse. And so it was,
Yet the Queen one day found this nurse
Setting her child in the fire,
So as to make him immortal.
And Isis revealed herself,
And the pillar was cut down and opened,
And she did restore Osiris her husband
With many wonderful magics,
And so she triumphed over their enemies
And brought her beloved home.
Cry joyfully for them, Rulers of the Gods of Egypt!

(All cheer, and grain is thrown into the air in celebration.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for October 28th

Calendar of the Sun

28 Winterfyllith

Day I of the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris

Colors: Green and black
Elements: Earth and Air
Altar: Upon cloth of green and black set a figure of Isis, a figure of Osiris, a box carved like a sarcophagus, and two large ivory candles.
Offerings: Undertake a long-term difficult project.
Daily Meal: Beer. Barley. Figs. Dates. Nuts. Flatbread.

Osiris Invocation

Hail O Osiris
Wake O Osiris
Arise O Osiris
Thy Mother Nuit gives thee birth
The great company of gods would converse with thee
Take thy seat, Osiris,
For none shall offend thee,
Thine enemies are beneath thee,
All honor is given
To Osiris, Lord of the Dead.
For Osiris, the eldest son of Nut,
Was feasting at his table
When forth came Set, his Adversary
With a coffin inlaid much with gold and gems,
Saying that whosoever the coffin fit,
Might have it for his own.
Osiris lay down in the coffin,
Only to find that it had been made for his measure,
And that Set’s henchmen had been laying in wait
To spring the lid closed,
Nail down the box,
And cast it into the Nile.
So it was done, and it floated into the great Sea,
Where it was borne up by the waves
To the foot of a tamarisk tree
Which enclosed it in a cradle of bark.
And there lay Osiris,
Great King of the Gods of Egypt,
Locked in stillness and one with the trees.
Weep for him, Lord of the Earth!

[Pagan Book of Hours]

The Sacredness of Halloween

The Sacredness of Halloween

Author:   Tut 

One of my Pagan friends has the same admonition for us each October. “Don’t try to contact me on Samhain, ” he informs, “I’ll be busy.” Of course, by “busy” he means that he’ll be deep in the midst of a self-imposed seclusion, fasting, meditating and performing solitary rites from sunup on October 31st to more or less sunup on November 1st. As a fellow Solitary Pagan, albeit of a different path, I can respect that. I also know members of an area coven that observe Samhain communally, going to the cemeteries to clean graves and make offerings or holding a silent supper before observing their Sabbat. I have to applaud them for their efforts as well. Even as an Egyptian Pagan, I consider October 31st a holy day, and I typically observe the Osiris Mysteries as close to that date as possible.

But I find one element of the sacred that still seems overlooked by both Solitaries and covens each October 31st. In our efforts as Pagans to mark the solemnity and sanctity of Samhain, we miss what probably made the day so hallowed and special for so many of us in the first place: dressing up, trick-or-treating, and celebrating all things spooky. In other words, we miss the importance of celebrating Halloween.

As a kid, I loved Halloween. Sure, Christmas was when I got presents and time off from school, but Halloween was a time when my creativity and imagination were allowed to soar. What am I going to be for Halloween? was a question I typically started asking myself around late August or early September, and by the time I was ten I was building my own costumes. Ironically, the Irish in my heritage was perhaps better celebrated through Halloween than it was through Saint Patrick’s Day. As a very young child, my mother told me the story of Jack and his Jack o’ Lantern while we carved pumpkins or colored paper decorations, and on occasion she would share ghost stories that her father had told her. The decorations we put up, combined with my own vivid imaginings of her stories, painted dark yet intriguing mental images of primeval forests stalked by fantastical creatures and lonely moonlit moors traversed by wandering souls.

Whether these images came from some collective inherited subconscious reaching back to our distant forbears in Ireland or from my own super-active brain, I will never know, but I still see them in my mind every October as I watch the sun go down and the full moon rise. Another source of inspiration are the handful of decorations and other items I inherited directly from family members: my uncle’s black light, my mother’s pack of Gypsy Witch Tarot Cards (which by this point must be at least forty years old) , my paternal grandmother’s tabletop decoration of a black cat on a tombstone (I’ve had offers from friends to buy it, but it’s not for sale) , and most especially the cassette dub my late grandfather made for me from his old record of Halloween sound effects, complete with a playlist in his own handwriting. While he was alive, my maternal grandfather instilled in me a love of technical toys, especially recording and sound equipment, which carried over into my Halloween decorations–especially the screaming doormats I became notorious for in college!

From the general Pagan perspective Samhain, of course, is a time of transition when the Corn King dies and enters the Underworld (with variations depending on tradition) . It is a time to honor the dead, and an opportunity for divination because the veil between worlds is at its thinnest. The focus is on death, aging, and mortality, much the antithesis of childhood revelry. But when I think back to those Irish forbears–and probably our Welsh ancestors as well–observing the onset of winter, huddled around a bonfire as darkness closed around them and cries of wild animals echoed through the distant hills, I think of grandparents telling their grandchildren those same stories I heard about Jack with his lantern, the Will o’ the Wisp, the Banshee, and probably more I would never hear.

I think of children wrapping themselves tighter in Grandpa’s cloak, staring with wide eyes of wonder at the curtains of shadows beyond the fire, experiencing for the first time that thrill of a good ghost story, and the eternal question, Oh, that’s not real–is it?. Imagination is a sacred gift from the Gods Themselves, the more so when it is handed down from one generation to the next. The Irish and Anglo-Saxons that travelled from their native lands to North America passed down those stories, those characters, and that love of a good fright, regardless of whether they called it Samhain or Halloween, and that lively spirit lives on in our modern holiday.

Indeed, today Halloween is considered a major “kid” holiday, driving a multi-million-dollar industry fed every year by the young and young at heart. And as we all know, Halloween has no shortage of detractors among the evangelical Christian community who denounce it as a “devil’s holiday”–forgetting, of course, that it has long been celebrated as a Catholic holiday, whence it earned the name All Hallow’s Eve. The Mexican communities who observe Dia De Los Muertes two days later are no less devout in their Catholicism. But as we Pagans strive to reclaim the Samhain heritage of October 31st, establishing its legitimacy as a sacred occasion and not a night of “devil worship”, lost in the debate and dogma is the holiday’s golden opportunity to enhance the bond between generations, something just as spiritual and important as its ritual aspect.

A coven member once told me that children are not allowed at their Samhain rituals, owing to the dark and serious tone required to participate. How, then, are the next generation of Wiccans and Pagans going to identify with Samhain, especially if their Pagan parents are spending all their time observing the Sabbat for themselves? How are kids today to understand trick-or-treating, costumes and other traditions surrounding Halloween–and its Celtic prototype? Are we going to fill their heads with ideas of October 31st as Samhain, the misunderstood holy day they’re expected to defend against ignorant schoolmates but wait until they’re older to participate in; or as Halloween and Samhain, a time of year that has something for everyone to enjoy?

For my own part, I’m already planning how I will decorate for this year’s trick-or-treaters; I had better, considering I’ve gained a neighborhood reputation for having the best candy! I take joy in observing Halloween with the neighborhood kids, regardless of their religious affiliation–besides, if their parents opposed Halloween, chances are they wouldn’t be coming to my door (unless they snuck out to do so, in which case who am I to discourage defiance…?) . By doing so, I contribute a tiny part of my own heritage, passed down through the ages, to the next generation so that it won’t one day die with me.

I will have plenty of time to observe the Osiris Mysteries in private after the trick-or-treaters have all gone to bed. But whenever the time comes that I have others observing the Osiris feast with me, I will make sure that they know ahead of time to pitch in for the trick-or-treating first. A child’s imagination is just as sacred as any service, and it should be celebrated accordingly.

THE GOD

THE GOD

The God of the Wicca is the Horned God, the ancient God of Fertility: the God of forest, flock, and field and also of the hunt. He is Lord of Life, and the Giver of Life, yet He is also Lord of Death and Resurrection. For, like the Goddess, the nature of Her Horned Consort is also dual. For the Horned God is not only the Hunter, He is also the Hunted; He is the Sun by day, but He is also the Sun at Midnight; He is the Lord of Light, but He is also the Lord of Darkness: the darkness of night, the darkness of the Shadows, the darkness of the depths of the forest, the darkness of the depths of the Underworld.

The Horned God is the group soul of the hunted animal, invoked by the primitive shaman and the tribe: and as such, He is the Sacrificial Victim, the beast who is slain that the tribe might live, a gift from that group soul, who was often revered as the tribal totem or ancestral spirit. The Celts believed they were the descendents of the God of the Underworld, who was also the God of Fertility: the Latinized form of His name was Cernunnos, which means simply, the Horned One.

The Horned God is also the spirit of vegetation, of the green and growing things, whether of the vine or of the forest or of the field. Dionysus, Adonis, and many other vegetation and harvest Gods were all often depicted as horned, wearing the horns of the bull, the goat, the ram, or the stag: of whichever of the horned beasts was held sacred in that place and time. This aspect is the Dying and Resurrecting God who dies with the harvest and is rent asunder, as the grain is gathered in the fields; who is buried, as is the seed; who then springs forth anew, fresh and green and young, in the spring, reborn from the Womb of the Great Mother.

The Horned God is Osiris, who was often depicted with the horns of a bull. Osiris was believed to be incarnate in a succession of sacred bulls, and worshipped in that form as the god Apis.  This was yet another form and manifestation of Osiris as the God of Fertility and also of Death and Resurrection. And Osiris bears the marks of a lunar, rather than a solar god, for Set tears the body of Osiris into fourteen pieces, the number of days of the waning moon; and then Isis, the Great Mother, gathers those pieces together and restores Osiris to life again.

The Horned God is the Great God Pan, the Goat-foot God with a human torso and a human but goat-horned head, the God whose ecstatic worship was so hated by the Church that they used His description for their “Devil” and called Him the lord of all evil. Yet, to the ancients who worshipped Him, and to the modern Pagans and Witches that worship Him still, “Pan is greatest, Pan is least. Pan is all, and all is Pan.”

The Horned God is not “the Devil”, except to those who fear and reject Nature, and the Powers of Life and human sexuality, and the ecstasy of the human spirit. The Horned God is the God of the Wicca.

Excerpt from:

Wiccan’s One Universe

The Celtic Calendar for Thursday, December 27th

Witchy Comments & Graphics


The Celtic Calendar for December 27th

Honoring Horus

Wiccans honor the divine infant Horus, and his mother, Isis, at this time of year, for Horus represents the newborn Sun (Interestingly depictions of Isis nursing Horus inspired the Madonna-and-child iconography of Christianity.) According to ancient Egyptian myth after Osiris was murdered and dismembered by his evil brother Set, Isis search out and magickally reassembled her dead husband’s body parts, she then revived him long enough to conceive their son, Horus. Thereafter, Osiris become Lord of the Underworld, and Horus grew up to avenge Osiris’s death and rule the skies.