29 December 2013

New Year Superstitions and A Spell For You

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!




First of all, I hope that each and every one of you found happiness in your holidays in however you chose to celebrate this season.

Today I'm going to list a few superstitions and beliefs concerning New Year's and that led me to thinking of a spell. So, I came up with a New Year's spell for you.

A few of the beliefs I have heard my whole life, not really knowing the reason behind them until I was able to find out for myself and some are just plain silly. But, I thought it would be fun to explore them and their reasons.

My Mamaw liked to follow superstitions and rituals for the New Year.  She always made sure that she made black-eyed peas, collard greens, and corn bread.  She never really said why she made this meal other than good luck for the coming year. The wonderful interwebs offers a wealth of information concerning this meal. The black-eyed peas and collard greens represent money. The peas are the coins and the greens are the paper money. So ingesting it guaranteeing yourself money for the coming year.

She would also sweep out the Old Year so that her home could welcome the New Year.  This is a custom that many follow. I have made my spell to put this belief to good use.

On January 6th, no laundry was done because it was Old Christmas. Again, no explanation was ever given by my grandmother other than it was bad luck! My grandmother did everything she could to avoid bad luck.

Apparently,  some people believe that January 6th is supposed to mark the day of the Wise Men's visit to the child, Jesus. But, really it is caused by the switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. January 6th was the equivalent day of celebration for England's Christmas.

Also, on this day do not lend anything to anyone........I'm not sure why. Maybe you'll never get it back? Maybe it comes back cursed?  Just. don't. take. the. chance.

These are the main New Year's rituals that my Mamaw followed......there are others:

Many people believe that the First Day of the calendar new year is a very important day. That what happens on this day will set the tone for the rest of the year. So, a good way to insure a good year would be to bring a small gift to anyone that you visit for the day and try to spend it with loved ones. And for goodness sake, don't go around the ones that you argue with. Spend it with the ones that enjoy your company.

If there is something unpleasant that you don't like doing, make sure you aren't doing it on New Year's day, because you will be doing it all year.

Always make sure that if you start something on this day that it is finished before midnight!

If you have money on New Year's, you'll have money all year.

This one is important:
The first person to enter your home on New Year's should be a dark haired man. A woman is said to be a bad omen, as are a red-haired men or  men with flat feet. Can you just imagine what happened to someone that had a red-haired flat-footed man that visited to make this one?

Those New Year's resolutions that people announce? Well, guess what? You better follow them through because it is bad luck if you don't!

Never hang a new calendar in your home before New Year's Day. It's bad luck.

On New Year's Eve, make certain that you have the whole house clean, then at Midnight open your doors to make sure that you welcome the New Year. Welcome it with a toast.

Here's a fun one: Whoever takes the last drink from a bottle of bubbly on New Year's Eve will be lucky all the year.


Okay, now for my spell. I started thinking about the New Year custom of sweeping out the old year and letting in the new years with hopes of a better year. .......that got me to thinking about Cinderella. She swept the ashes and always longed for a better life. And BAM, she suddenly had one. With the help of a Fairy Godmother and wishing for the new life, she was living what she dreamed.

I love fairy tales. I see them as tales from magickal grimoires written by the spellmakers to keep a record. They teach lessons, they have triumph and heartache, shiny things, and fairies. The Cinderella story is one of my most favorites. This one is based on the French version of the story. Don't you just love the Drew Barrymore Ever After movie?


So I call this:

Cinderella's Ashes To Sparkles New Year Extravaganza Spell

Could you hear the reverb on that while you read it to yourself?

This spell will take a little work, but all good things always take a little work. You may want to make your star a day ahead and then activate it on New Years.

Okay you will need:

Blue felt
Hot glue gun
Glitter and glue or decorative glitter glue
Herbs for the purposes
Nail clipping from each house member
Paper
Pen

To start, we will make the star. You probably want to make it a day ahead so that the glitter runes on it will be dry when you are activating the star.

You need to figure out what you want in your new year. Happiness? Prosperity? Fertility? Peace? Protection? Good health? Wisdom? Luck?  And please, this is VERY important, please be specific. Runes like it when you are specific. Write these out on little strips of paper and roll them up.



I'm going to keep the herb list to simple herbs. Mostly things you probably have on hand. You will only need pinches of them. You don't have to use all of these, I'm just listing a few for you.

Health:                      Prosperity:            Fertility:                    Luck:           Peace:         Protection:
Lemon Balm              Allspice                Dried banana slice    Allspice      Basil            High John
Carnation                   Basil                     Basil                                Aloe            Rosemary     Cedar
Cinnamon                   High John             Acorns                      High John    Bayberry       Sage
Corriander                 Pine                      Dried apple slice                                Pennyroyal
Cypress                     Sage                    


Wisdom:
Sage
Sunflower

And you will want to add something for wishes, along with the other herbs:

Job's tears
Dandelion
Mustard seed
Rosemary


If I didn't list an herb for something that you wish for, it isn't too hard to research and find out which herbs will work for your intentions.

Alright now, you will make your star. I used blue felt, what you are making is the star from the end of your Fairy Godmother's wand.

Using the star template, cut out two: one for a front and one for a back. The finished stars are around 4 1/2 inches point to point.






You are going to hot glue the edges only of the star. Leave one point not glued. You will fill the star with this open point. Like this:


Now, inside this star you will put your little rolled up wishes. Then the fingernail clippings from each family member (because you want the whole household to be included in the fruitfulness), and the pinches of the herbs that you will be using. Don't forget to add one of the wish herbs to them.

After your star is stuffed, then you will glue the open point shut. After you have glued the point shut, decorate the front and make it pretty.


This one is mine



This one is my friend's. 

You can either let this dry for a couple of hours or use a blow dryer to dry it. When the front is dry, you will be making a bindrune symbol on the back. It will be a wish bindrune. It looks like this:
(c) Loren Morris


Wunjo: The wish rune and also promotes peace and fruitfulness
Ingwaz: This rune will bring focus and a successful conclusion, this one also binds together the work of the others
Fehu: This rune will circulate abundance
Thurisaz: This one will bring a breakthrough and stimulate your fruitfulness
Othala: This rune will enhance peace, security, prosperity in your home and will also draw fortune to your dwelling.




Now, let this dry. It will be ready to be activated on New Year's Eve, as a midnight spell. You are also going to have a super NEW moon on January 1st to help push your wishes to fruition!

On New Year's Eve, you will make another list. This list will be all of the bad things that happened to you in the past year. Make sure you list EVERYTHING, because you are going to sweep that stuff out of your life like Cinderella's fireplace ashes.

Get a small green candle and hold it while you fill it with all of your wishes and hopes for the new year. Concentrate for a few minutes and then light it. Use this candle to light your list of the past year's bad things. This is the new year overtaking the bad things to bring your good things. Leave the candle burning.

While the candle is burning, open the door and either fling your ashes out the front door or sweep them out. (make sure they are out good). After you are finished throwing out your ashes with the old year, go to your star that is filled with your New Year's Wishes and hold it while you think of all you want to accomplish and hope to have in your life this new year. Pass the star through the flame of the candle and say: "With the flame of this candle the power and the magic within these herbs and runes are activated and will work together to bring my desires and wishes to our home for the New Year. This will be done immediately with no harm to my family, property, possessions, or pets." 





When you are finished, attach a small ribbon to the back of the star with hot glue. hang it above your front door for the year. Visualize a blue light of the star gently spreading your wish fulfillment out into your home. Let the candle burn down.


Now, go eat your black eyed peas and collard greens and have a Happy New Year! and if you decide to share my spell, please link back to me.


If you would like to read more about the superstitions and customs that I listed above, Sarah Anne Lawless has a great blog about them. Black Arts Foundry

Here's information about the Supermoons during January. 



“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

― Neil Gaiman






27 December 2013

A Child's Magical Library- Ruth Chew

Suzy's suitcase from Moonrise Kingdom


One of my most favorite things in the world are fantasy books. I have an extensive collection of children's fantasy books. It's a thing.

One reason is that some of them are leftover from my childhood and another reason is that I home schooled my 3rd child and read a LOT of books. I love to read aloud. 

I thought that I would create blogs every so often showcasing some of my favorites. People love to buy their children books and they often look for fantasy. Children need to learn to curl up with a book on a rainy day, or read with mom or dad and visit a new world, or take a book outside into the warm sunshine and just enjoy it. 

Today's books are some of my favorites from childhood. I would classify these as easy-to-read chapter books for 2nd through Middle School. I found these when I was in school through the Scholastic order forms.  

Anyway, these books are all written by Ruth Chew. She wrote and illustrated quite a few books. Mrs. Chew passed away in 2010 at the age of 90, but her books live on. I was delighted to see that a number of them are being published again! 

 Ruth Chew (portrait by Irving Schild)


These are pictures of my own copies. They are all filled with magical strangers, gadgets, and adventures. Most importantly, they have children that are quick thinkers and independent doers.









The following books I retrieved from ruthchew.com and I am linking back to them. These are the ones they have selected to be re-published and it looks like they are calling them "Matter-of-Fact Magic Books". 












This one has 3 tales in it: The Witch's Buttons, The Witch's Cat, The Witch's Garden



I don't own any of the new versions, but I plan on getting them to add to my collection. I love the new covers.



If you have never heard of Ruth Chew's books, then please do your child (and yourself) a favor and check them out.  To find out more about this wonderful author, please go here:




















22 December 2013

A Merry Yule Craft!

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!


We are back!! Did you miss us?

I thought for this entry I would give you a craft to make. I like to save my old lightbulbs all year for this one. It is a recycle craft.

Items you will need:

Empty egg carton
Burned out lightbulbs
Styrofoam cups
White paint
Glitter (optional)
Various other paint colors (black, orange, green, pink, red, blue, yellow)
Bits of ribbons and other decorative items

Mainly everything that you will use on this project are all recycle items. Even the scrap bits that you can't really use for anything else.

First, you are going to rinse off the bulbs, dry them and get an old egg carton to hold the lightbulbs while they dry.

Like this:


Now, when you paint them, they can dry easily. I didn't have spray paint, so I just slapped a couple of coats of white acrylic paint on them.



This year I thought that I would add glitter to them. I put a coat of modge podge on them and then sprinkled the glitter on.


While the glitter was drying, I prepared the snowman hats. Turn your oven on 300 degrees and let preheat. Now, when you are using styrofoam cups, you want to find the smallest cup possible, preferably 6 oz. This year, I ended up with 10 oz. No worries, they will shrink down in the oven and look cute, no matter the size. 

Put your cups on a sheet like so:


Pop them in the oven and watch them shrink. It only takes a few minutes. When they are no longer shrinking remove them and they will immediately harden. I kind of shaped mine, which was a mistake because I squished the cup too much and the lightbulb wouldn't fit in it and I had to re-shrink more cups. Smaller cups do better.



After you remove your cups, you can paint them. Now, paint your faces on your snowmen. I also decided to make a tree.

Hot glue your hats to your snowmen. For the tree ornament, I cut out some stars from felt. and glued one to the front and one to the back. Be careful with the glue for the hat. If your glue is high temp, let it cool for just a second before putting your hat on, the glue will melt through. 

And you can get all creative with whatever decorative bits that you have. 


For the hanger, just glue a bit of raffia to the back of the hat.





I've also put a pic of one of the snowmen that I made a couple of years ago. This one has a smaller hat. The cups automatically turn up around the edge while they are melting.


And here they are. You can get fancy or just plain. 

Just have fun!









25 November 2013

My latest artworks and PLUGS

I've been busy creating new things. Mainly spirit boards, but I've done some other things here and there. I've begun woodburning some runes and painting a rune casting board, a clay goddess, I picked up some wood ornaments to paint yesterday. I have visions of bright red cardinals sitting on a snow covered pine tree. I have also had an idea for a new type of spirit board and I began that today.

My latest board is my most favorite board. I love how the colors turned out and just how everything came together.

I'm going to be plugging myself and a couple of my friends. It is Yule time after all and maybe you will find a couple of gifts *wink wink*

It is now available to purchase at Lapulia Studios. If you have never visited Lapulia, you really should. Besides my awesome spirit board selection, they have the most gorgeous magickal books! They are so nicely made. And yes, I own one. I have the Celtic Moon Book of Shadows Here is a picture of me holding it to show you the sizes of their books. If you decide to purchase one know that Rita and her people will make a magickally delicious book of beauty just for you.


Anyway, my latest boards are now available on Lapulia. Each of these are lovingly handpainted by me and only me.  My boards are works of art that can be put on display when not in use.

I just finished the Edgar Allan Poe Board. Edgar is in the middle with the Masque of the Red Death on the right, The Raven  with the Cask of Amontillado, The Telltale Heart are on the left. Nevermore for No and Doubtless for Yes. The Pit and the Pendulum is represented by the pendulum planchette. 


My next board is the Aleister Crowley board. I am proud as punch with this one. I think it turned out quite nicely. He has the Book of the Law on his left and the Unicursal Hexagram on his right. He also has an Eye of Horus planchette.





I have 3 other designs but these are my two latest designs. 


I have made a new, wonderful friend. She is an author of the book "The Spirits of Ouija" Karen A. Dahlman is just an excellent author on this subject. I had thought about writing my own pamphlet how-to to send with each of my board sales, but this book was recently released and I purchased a copy. OH MY! If I was going to write a book about my own experiences, it would be like this book. So, I spoke with Karen and she granted permission for me to include this book with my board sales. 

I mean, I can't send tools such as this out into the world all willy nilly with no instruction. You have to know what you are doing and this book includes an opening prayer, 13 steps for use, history of ouija boards, Karen's personal experiences and lots more!


From the back of Karen's book:

In this "Ouija Tell All" a 40-year odyssey spent communicating with spirit friends from the Great Beyond! They speak of personally-relevant insights, beneficial healing, closure on grief, opening to greatness, developing your empowerment, spiritual growth and soul evolution, to name a few. Karen shares with you the unfair misconceptions Ouija has received over the years, from its fall from grace of the parlor rooms of yesteryear to the forgotten corners of today's closets. Karen provides the how to's, the don'ts, the warnings, the recommendations and identifies various consciousness with whom she has communicated. Come read stories of animal communication, specifically pets we love, dead and alive! Yes, I said "alive" Plus, you'll learn how to use Ouija to tap into your own divine guidance, your Higher Self, and learn to listen to this guiding principle that resides within. Karen shares actual accounts from her sessions, including the various entities you can meet, what happens when we are dead, and what happens in between lives. Get ready for a phenomenal exploration into consciousness. Come with Karen as she takes you behind the veil to meet her spirit friends, up close and personal. A whole new world is awaiting you!

13 November 2013

Spirit Boards

This was originally a post that I wrote for the 2013 Samhain's Sirens blog/giveaway project. I thought that I would add it here as a separate article for anyone that missed it there.


One of my own designed handpainted Spirit Boards


Spirit Communication: The Spirit Board
by Loren Morris

My favorite form of spirit communication is the spirit board. The spirit board has several names. It is also known as talking board, witchboard, and the Ouija board. The Ouija board is a brand, but many people will use the word Ouija to describe every spirit board.

The talking board itself has been has been popular since the latter half of the 1800's. The predecessor to the talking board was the planchette. The planchette was just that. A planchette with a place for a writing tool and it enabled the user to employ automatic writing as a form of spirit communication.

The Ouija board itself can be found in most board game aisles at your local store. I, myself, have let my children use the board. My oldest and my youngest have expressed interest and used them when I had company over and we already had the board out. I've found that if you just let them try it and guide them, they usually lose interest pretty quickly. Many people fear the board, or even think that children are too young and shouldn't use it. However, I don't feel this way, but each household should do as they see fit. The evil stigma that seems to surround the board only began with the Exorcist movie. Spirit boards were once popular and there was no fear surrounding them. There is an episode of Lassie where the Sunday School is setting up for a carnival. Timmy sets up a fortune telling tent and uses a Ouija board. Obviously, if the board were seen as an evil tool, then it would have definitely NOT been used by a 9-year-old boy during a SUNDAY SCHOOL carnival for family TV programming.


Some early books that are about spirit communications are:

1868 Planchette's Diary; Kate Fields

1919 Voices from the Void: Six Years Experience in Automatic Communications; Hester Travers Smith

1920 Our Unseen Guest; Darby and Joan

Beginning in 1913 Patience Worth, a 17th century entity,  communicated through the Ouija (and Pearl Curran) and wrote several novels and a book of poetry. Some of the novels are: The Sorry Tale: A Story of the Time of ChristHope TruebloodTelka, An Idyl of Medieval England and The Pot Upon the Wheel. The title of the book of poetry is: Light from Beyond

You can read more about Patience here.


Another spiritualist that began on a Ouija was Jane Roberts. Jane began experimenting with a Ouija for a study on extra sensory perception and during this time a spirit known as Seth began speaking to her through the board. Not long after, Jane said that she could hear the messages in her head and she was able to stop using the board. She would thereafter go into a trance, channel Seth, and dictate to her husband in Seth's "voice". Several books were written, including: Seth SpeaksThe Seth MaterialThe Unknown Reality Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and The Coming of Seth.


Roberts passed on in 1984 but she still has a great following. You can read more here.

In 1972, Flight 401 crashed in the Everglades. The ghosts of the flight attendants, pilot, and the co-pilot were all being seen by other airline employees. The author, John G. Fuller took a Ouija and contacted the spirits. The result is The Ghost of Flight 401.

William Butler Yeats' wife practiced automatic writing. He used her ability to write his book A Vision, which is a metaphysical masterpiece.

Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, used the Ouija to help create the famous program's 12 steps. The spirit that aided in the writing? A monk named Boniface.

You can read more http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/node/518


Some good sites to visit for more information:

The Mysterious Planchette

The Mysterious Planchette Blog

My own blog

Museum of Talking Boards


Also, since the article was written, I have purchased an absolutely fabulous books written by Karen Dahlman, and I highly, highly recommend it. You can purchase it here (and get an autographed copy):

http://www.creativevisionspublications.com/


Brightest Blessings and I hope you enjoyed the tidbits of information about spirit boards,

Loren (Saga)




Familiar Familiars

This was originally a post that I wrote for the 2013 Samhain's Sirens blog/giveaway project. I thought that I would add it here as a separate article for anyone that missed it there.

My own familiars, Hecate (front) and Hocus aka Kissy (back)

The witch's familiar is most often seen as the hunched and hissing black cat on the end of the broom during a witch's flight on many Halloween decorations. Just where do those visions of the cat come from?

I've seen various comments over the past couple of months on facebook pages regarding familiars. Comments about the witch's cat, or comments saying that an animal isn't really your familiar, that its really a spirit so everyone needs to stop calling their cat a familiar.

So, which is it? Can your faithful cat that loves to join you in ritual really be your familiar, or the bird that sits on your shoulder during meditation?  Or are only imps or spirits that you have called, are they the only real familiar that you can have?  Well, all of these examples are. I have a spirit familiar. It is stationed as guard for my home. I also have 5 cats, but only 3 of them join me in ritual. So, even though I have 5 pets, I only consider those 3 as my physical familiars.

This article is going to be about our physical friend familiars. Our cats, our dogs, our birds, our toads, etc.

The History of the Familiar 

It was believed that the familiar was given to the witch by the devil. Witches were supposed to care for the familiars, so any marks on the witches' bodies could be where the familiar fed on the witch's blood. Familiars were thought to be sent out to wreak havoc and bring sickness and death.  Cats were believed to be the favored familiar form for witches.

Witchcraft accusation was very politically motivated. It helped to get rid of enemies, and gain land and other possessions. Of course, since the cat, especially the black cat, was considered to be a witch's familiar, it would have been killed along with it's owner.

Cat-burning did appear to be a favorite pastime in medieval France. After the cats were burned the people would take the ashes home for good luck. I guess they didn't realize that in itself was a form of witchcraft.  However, in regards to sweeping cat massacres that were caused by a papal bull, Summis desiderantes affectibus, ordered by Pope Innocent VIII, I cannot find truth to it. I have read the bull and it makes no mention of cats. What it does do is officially recognize witchcraft.

Queen Elizabeth 1 reportedly had dozens of cats (or just one cat in a basket, according to which one you read) burned to symbolize the releasing of demons.

You can read more about cat burning in France.

In the Chelmsford witch trials during the 16th and 17th centuries, the only connection between the accused was a white spotted cat named Sathan that could reportedly talk. This white spotted cat was the devil in cat-form which was fed bread and milk and kept in a basket. A toad and a black dog are also mentioned in these trials as familiars.  You can read more here:

Chelmsford Witch Trials

There were two Essex women that had mice as familiars. They all had names, as did all the other familiars of accused witches.

Elizabeth Clark, a poor one-legged woman, confessed to having five familiars. They included a kitten, a spaniel, a black rabbit, a polecat, and another creature that was described as being greyhound-like with an ox's head and broad eyes. It could also turn itself into a headless 4-year-old child. Since Elizabeth was the first victim of the Witchfinder General, I'm sure he tortured her endlessly to extract such information.

You can read more here: Matthew Hopkins

Pyewacket was also a name given by Elizabeth as belonging to an imp. The Witchfinder General said that no human could come up with that name.

The Witchcraft Act of 1604 made it illegal to commune with familiar spirits.

The only mention in the Malleus Maleficarum of familiars is that they aid their witches in everything. It did not tell how to deal with the familiar.

During the Salem tragedy, 20 people were executed, and 2 dogs were also hung.

You can read more here: Salem 

Familiars in Literary and Film:

Just a short, incomplete list of familiars in literary and film works. 

Shakespeare's Macbeth:  A brinded cat, Graymalken is the familiar of the first witch. A toad, named Paddock is the second witch's familiar. An owl, Harpier, is the the third witch's familiar.

T.H. White gave Merlin an owl familiar in The Sword and the Stone. The owl always came when needed.

Pyewacket is the sleek, modern Siamese cat that belonged to the witch, Gillian, in Bell, Book and Candle. 

The winged monkeys that belonged to Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz.

From the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: Dumbledore had Fawkes, the Phoenix; Harry had Hedwig, the owl; Hermione had Crookshanks, the cat; Ron had Scabbers, the rat; Voldemort had Nagini, the snake.

Salem, the talking black cat, from the Sabrina The Teenage Witch series.

The familiar for Miss Price in Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a black cat.

Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service  had a black cat familiar named Jiji



Familiars in Modern Times:

As I said before, the modern witches don't just limit themselves to the cat. Some have snakes, spiders, dogs, birds, and even toads.

Many don't believe that the familiar can be a physical pet, but is instead a spirit, such as an imp.

I don't feel you need to empower your familiar with some kind of special energy or powers. I believe they bring their own magic with them.

Since three of my cats are always drawn to my magical workings, I only regard those three as being familiars. I've never "pressured" any of my cats to be such, and I've never brought them into my circle. Rather, they've always made their way there themselves and they usually just end up sitting and watching. Bob, my oldest cat, could care less. He has never made his way over, or even looked. Its not his thing. Hecate, my long haired Siamese, loves it. As soon as she see me getting my circle ready she runs and sits down for the entire duration and doesn't move from her chosen spot until it is over. The other two are in and out. Kissy loves to hang out and he will often sit through the whole thing. Gaia, Hecate's sister, has recently begun to show the same interest as Hecate and she will perch beside Hecate. Retrograde Moon Demon is on the same wavelength as Bob. Its not her thing, either.

Whether or not my cats have some kind of "attunement" to my work, I can't say, but I do enjoy having them there. They also seem to enjoy it, so I'm sure they add their "energy" to my work.  It works out all the way around.

Gillian Kemp has written an awesome spell book entitled The Good Cat Spell BookShe has a brief history of cats as objects of worship and different sections filled with spells. She also has a section on feline divination. The book comes with cat oracle.

A great book to read regarding your magical cat is by Ellen Dugan, The Enchanted Cat. She includes many spells and information in it, like the Kitten Blessing Spell and ideas for connecting with your cat.

Another great book to read is by Raven Grimassi, entitled The Witch's Familiar: Spiritual Partnership For Successful Magic I touched on it briefly in a previous blog that can be found here. He covers more the spirit familiar than of the physical familiar, however he does include an appendix of classic familiars which has a great list and information on physical familiars.

Also, check out Christian Day's The Witch's Book of the Dead.

Brightest Blessings,

Loren (Saga)


27 October 2013

Samhain Memories


This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!







When I was a child Halloween was the best! It was my most favorite holiday. I loved getting dressed up and being someone or something else. I loved the season with it's smells and colors.

My grandparents pretty much raised me for much of my life and we lived next door to them.  As far as I was concerned, they had the best yard in the neighborhood. They had birch trees with paper barks and a dirt area underneath, where I could be in my own world and connect with nature.  There was a large tulip maple that in the summer had flowers, but in the fall was a brilliant, fiery orange. Their neighborhood was lined with large trees and just outside their gate, next to the mailbox, was a gigantic dogwood.

Me with my Mamaw and Papaw 


Their neighborhood was perfect for trick-or-treating. When I was a child, parents brought their children to that neighborhood, if they didn't live in it already.

One year I woke with horrible, horrible kidney infection on Halloween day. I kept those pretty regularly, and I knew what it was when I felt the pain in my back. I think I was around the age of 8 or 9. I woke up that morning with pain, but I didn't say a word because I still wanted to go trick-or-treating. That evening when it was time for the candy collection, I made it halfway around the block before I yelled out in pain. I couldn't move my legs from the pain of it. I stood and cried, with tears and sweat filling my plastic mask. I don't remember how I got back home, but my mother stayed out with my friend that was with me. My friend took my bag with her and told them what happened and my bag was also filled with hers.

I took my own children to that neighborhood years ago to see if it was the same, and sadly it wasn't. There were no children knocking on doors, no laughter, no running through the leaves.

Nowadays, kids are lucky if they get to go neighborhood hunting for candy. It seems that most church people would rather take them to the church trunk-or-treat or to a "harvest party". They seem to have forgotten that Halloween was created by the church and instead tell their members that they should not participate in an evil holiday created by the devil.  The hilarity of it all? They are still dressing up. I've seen pictures of children in costumes dressed as some bloody killer with their fake blood and fake machetes, while at the church harvest party.

I'm not sure how you see Samhain, but I sure as heck do not equate it with ruthless killing and gore. I used to be friends with someone that would have gory Halloween parties, but thought that I was wrong in being a witch, because I was evil in some way. I can't stand scary, gory movies.  I don't like the bloody decorations put out in the stores. The killer clowns, the cutoff legs or hands, the hanging, bloody bodies from trees. That is not how I feel about this time of year.

Oh, I decorate. I love the glittery witch decor. I do have a graveyard in my yard, but there are no zombies or bloody body parts. I have pumpkins, witch brooms, cauldrons, potion bottles, ravens, and owls.

For me, it is remembering my connection with who I am. It is looking back at my growth from the previous year, honoring my grandparents and sister that have moved on from this world. It is feeling and connecting to the energy of this planet that we live on. It is moving forward into a new year and growing from my mistakes and triumphs of the past year.

Today also would have been my Mamaw's birthday :)




24 October 2013

Samhain's Sirens: Samhain's Sirens , Day 21, October 24

If you've been wanting one of my Spirit Boards, then your chance to win one is up! Don't miss out on today's giveaway!


Samhain's Sirens: Samhain's Sirens , Day 21, October 24: Thursday is here already, can you believe it? We have a lot of fun in store for you today! First, let's check out this day in histo...

13 October 2013

Take My Hand, Let's Dance ~~A Short Story




Wait a minute. How did I get here? Wait. I was.....what was I doing? I was driving! Yes! I was driving and I was waiting to cross the road.......but, why am I here? Am I having a memory lapse?

I was sucked? Sucked into darkness..........and.....now....

"Onion" The deep, rich voice reverberated somewhere behind me.


"NO"...."NO!"......there was only one entity that called me Onion. I refused to look behind me. I will not acknowledge.

"Onion, you have to look at me."

"I don't! And I won't!" I will throw a fit. I will not look at Orion.

My vehicle was coming into view out of the darkness. The suckiness was wearing off of me and I could see somewhat........like through a veil. Huh. Whadya know about that.

My beautiful car was smashed. Trashed. And suddenly the memory of the whole incident rushed back to me like a silent movie that someone had hit fast forward on. The semi veered crazily and hit me going super fast. I was just sitting there, but it didn't matter. There was nothing that could have been done.

NOOOOO! What about my husband and children! I need to buy my groceries and cook dinner! What's going to happen?! I need to fix this! I need.....

"Onion"

"Would you just shut the fuck up!"

Why won't he leave?! Orion, in my life, is my Spirit Guide. We met on my Psychic Circle Board. He taught me all I know about the great beyond, and I never really took it seriously.....he told me that he had a job as Death. He reaped the spirits that crossed, by saying to them "Take my hand, let's dance."

That bastard will NOT say this to me.

Once when I was in that space between sleep and wake, at the cusp of dreamland, he pulled me from my body. I could see him though my eyelids. He crouched down and checked to see if I was sleeping. His eyes are bottle green in color. A vibrant, almost shocking emerald. That was the only time I had ever seen those eyes. He had flowing, brown hair. I remember thinking how much like a romance novel model he looked. He had taken my hand and lifted it and I remember how it felt. Like my hand wasn't in my body anymore. It was a strange sensation. It woke me from the cusp, and I opened my eyes. My hand dropped out of the air. I remember wanting to see him again.

I think he would be the ugliest thing ever now. I will not look behind me!

I want to be in my car, driving and listening to Manson, like I was. I want that mangled mess fixed NOW!!!! I want it fixed! I want it fixed! I want to feel my husband kiss my neck. I want to make dinner and watch The Big Bang Theory and laugh. I am not here! I am not! I am not!

"Onion, you know the drill. I've told you. You have three days to say your goodbyes and get over this. I suggest you do it. You don't want to stay here."

"Damn you, you bastard!" I never turned around.

He was gone. He left me. He left me! What do I do? Do I stand here and watch them clean up my mess? I want my husband! I want him now! I squeezed my eyes shut and screamed.

I was in my home. Time seems to be different. It is dark and silent. Shakespeare, my black cat sees me and hisses. Scaredy cat. My youngest daughter runs across the room. I can hear sobbing.

I don't want to be here. I should have gone with O. I don't think that I can deal with this. This pressing sadness. I look towards my bedroom, and suddenly I'm there. I see my husband lying on the bed. My oldest daughter is sitting next to him. I can hear the sobbing, but it sounds far off, like in a dream. DAMN IT!!!

I don't want to be here!

Time has changed again. My oldest daughter is releasing butterflies. So is my son. They remembered that I had mentioned wanting this done at my wake. I go towards them and my son lifts his head and sniffs the air. He looks at me and stares. Shit. I forgot he can see. I smile at him and fade.

I look over and see the bastard in his ridiculous, cliched cloak. Has it been three days? It can't have already been three days? What have I been doing?

He reaches his hand out.

"Don't you dare say it, O. Don't you dare."

His hand stays out, but he says nothing. I finally allow myself to look at his green eyes.

I see us sitting in a circle, laughing at the board. The 4 of our group when I met O. He was spelling out a limerick. One of his roses are red, violets are blue limericks. Now I can see where he was standing in the room. He was next to me, looking over my shoulder.

I sigh a ghostly sigh and walk over to him. "You bastard."

"Take my hand, Onion. Let's dance"

I reached for his outstretched hand and laughed. We danced toward the light.










Samhain/Halloween Reading for the Family

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!


This week I thought I would just do a fun little blog about some good books to read with your kids during this time of year.  I used to homeschool my son and we enjoyed several books, and I would like to share them with you.

I am also a collector of children's books. I also like fantasy books. I have quite an extensive collection of children's books, so for those of you with young children or grandchildren, I hope that you find this list appealing for this time of year. While most aren't pagan, they are wonderful and most of them do have some wonderful lessons.

The first one is one of my most favorite.

Add caption

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Oh, how I love this short story. Pipkin and his friends have a wonderful night of trick-or-treating planned but Pipkin becomes sick. What follows is a great adventure that takes the children through Egypt, Druid Rites, Mexico, and Notre Dame! You are really missing out if you haven't read this one. They've even made a cartoon of it (and Leonard Nimoy is a voice), which is also a really good watch.




The next one is probably more suited to older children.





The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irviing.
Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, Katrina, and a headless horseman ever looking for his head. What more do you need in a short story?

For the younger set, you can go with the Disney's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow




This next book has been a favorite in our family since my daughter was in Kindergarten (she's now 24).



The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
With beautiful illustrations and a story with a lesson in tolerance, you can't go wrong with this book.
Just what happens to a broom when it starts to lose it's magic? A widow finds a witch crashed in her garden. She tends the witch to better health and the next morning finds that the witch has taken her broom and left the magic one in its place. The widow finds the broom to be useful and a great companion but her neighbors are scared of it. It is a super story.





This one is a bit more pagan-centric.
Child of Faerie, Child of Earth by Jane Yolen
A human girl and a faerie boy meet on Halloween night and spend time exploring each other's worlds, which leads to a lifetime friendship.


Now, the next one.....I know, it has a green witch. But, please don't let that stop you from buying this book to read.




Miss Fiona's Stupendous Pumpkin Pies by Mark Kimball Moulton
It is a wonderful story (poem) about a witch and her fabulous pies. They ALL love her pies, including the pink rabbits! Wonderful for the younger set.

and finally, this is one that you see in every store's book section at this time of year. This is a delightful story of helping one another .

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson




This has also been recently made into a cartoon! I haven't gotten the dvd yet, but I plan to get it this week. My grandson just loves to read the book with me (he yells every time the witch drops something), so I know we will love the cartoon.




That concludes my list of wonderful books for this time of year. I hope you will want to check out a couple of them and enjoy them with your children or grandchildren.

You can see a further selection of Samhain/Halloween books on the 2015 post here


Bright Blessings, 
Loren (Saga)