“Reclaiming Samhain”

 

“A year of beauty. A year of plenty.
A year of planting. A year of harvest.
A year of forests. A year of healing.
A year of vision. A year of passion.
A year of rebirth.

This year may we renew the earth.
This year may we renew the earth.

Let it begin with each step we take.
And let it begin with each change we make.
And let it begin with each chain we break.
And let it begin every time we awake.”

– Starhawk, Reclaiming Samhain

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How To Celebrate the Cycle of Life and Death

How To Celebrate the Cycle of Life and Death

By , About.com Guide

Samhain is a time like no other, in that we can watch as the earth literally dies for the season. Leaves fall from the trees, the crops have gone brown, and the land once more becomes a desolate place. However, at Samhain, when we take the time to remember the dead, we can take time to contemplate this endless cycle of life, death, and eventual rebirth.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Varied

Here’s How:

  1. For this ritual, you’ll want to decorate your altar with symbols of life and death. You’ll want to have on hand a white candle and a black one, as well as black, red, and white ribbon in equal lengths (one set for each participant). Finally, you’ll need a few sprigs of rosemary.

    Perform this rite outside if at all possible. If you normally cast a circle, do so now.

  2. Say:

    Samhain is here, and it is a time of transitions. The winter approaches, and the summer dies. This is the time of the Dark Mother, a time of death and of dying. This is the night of our ancestors and of the Ancient Ones.

    Place the rosemary on the altar. If you are doing this as a group ceremony, pass it around the circle before placing on the altar. Say:

    Rosemary is for remembrance, and tonight we remember those who have lived and died before us, those who have crossed through the veil, those who are no longer with us. We will remember.

  3. Turn to the north, and say:

    The north is a place of cold, and the earth is silent and dark. Spirits of the earth, we welcome you, knowing you will envelope us in death.

    Turn to face the east, and say:

    The east is a land of new beginnings, the place where breath begins. Spirits of air, we call upon you, knowing you will be with us as we depart life.

  4. Face south, saying:

    The south is a land of sunlight and fire, and your flames guide us through the cycles of life. Spirits of fire, we welcome you, knowing you will transform us in death.

    Finally, turn to face the west, and say:

    The west is a place of underground rivers, and the sea is a never-ending, rolling tide. Spirits of water, we welcome you, knowing you will carry us through the ebbs and flows of our life. 

  5. Light the black candle, saying:

    The Wheel of the Year turns once more, and we cycle into darkness.

    Next, light the white candle, and say:

    At the end of that darkness comes light. And when it arrives, we will celebrate once more.

  6. Each person takes a set of ribbons — one white, one black, and one red. Say:

    White for life, black for death, red for rebirth. We bind these strands together remembering those we have lost.

    Each person should then braid or knot their three ribbons together. As you do so, focus on the memories of those you have lost in your life.

  7. While everyone is braiding or knotting, say:

    Please join me in chanting as you work your energy and love into your cords:

        As the corn will come from grain,     All that dies will rise again.     As the seeds grow from the earth,     We celebrate life, death and rebirth. 

    When everyone has finished braiding and chanting, take a moment to meditate on the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Is there someone you know who reminds you of a person you’ve lost? Have you ever looked into a baby’s eyes and seen your late grandfather looking back?

  8. Finally, ask everyone to take their knotted ribbons home with them and place them on their personal altar if they have one. That way, they can be reminded of their loved ones each time they pass by.

Tips:

  1. Rosemary is used in this rite because although it seems to go dormant over the winter, if you keep it in a pot you’ll get new growth in the spring. If there’s another plant you’d rather use, feel free.

What You Need

  • Ribbon in black, red and white
  • A white candle and a black one
  • Rosemary

Samhain Spirit Incense

Samhain Spirit Incense

By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide

 

This recipe is for loose incense, but you can adapt it for stick or cone recipes. As you mix and blend your incense, focus on the goal of your work. Do you wish to contact the spirit of a long-dead ancestor? Are you hoping to bring some visions your way in a dream?  Focus your intent as you blend your ingredients.

You’ll need:

 

  • 2 parts Cinnamon
  • 1 part ground cloves
  • 1 part Dragon’s Blood resin
  • 1 part Hyssop
  • 1 part Patchouli
  • 2 parts Rosemary
  • 1 part Sage
  • A dash of sea salt

 

Add your ingredients to your mixing bowl one at a time. Measure carefully, and if the leaves or blossoms need to be crushed, use your mortar and pestle to do so. As you blend the herbs together, state your intent. You may find it helpful to charge your incense with an incantation. For example, if you were going to use your incense during a seance, you could use this:

The veil has thinned, the moon is bright and I blend this magic on Samhain night. Celebrating life and death and rebirth with these herbs I’ve harvested from the earth. I send my intent by smoke in the air and call on those whose blood I share. I ask my ancestors to guide and watch over me, As I will, so it shall be.

 

Store your incense in a tightly sealed jar. Make sure you label it with its intent and name, as well as the date you created it. Use within three months, so that it remains charged and fresh.

The Simple Facts About Samhain

The Simple Facts About Samhain

Shadowfest (Strega), Martinmas (Celtic/Scottish) Samhain, popularly known as Halloween, is the Witches’ New Year. This is the last of the three harvest Sabbats marking the end of the growing seasons. Celtic custom decreed that all crops must be gathered by sundown on October 31st. It is a time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Deceased ancestors and other friendly spirits are invited to join in Sabbat festivities and be reunited with loved ones. In Ireland it is still custom to leave candles in the windows and plates of food for the visiting spirits. Keep a fire lit or a candle burning all night to honour and welcome the dead. If clothes are left outside overnight, they will take on bewitching powers for all who wear them. Darkness increases and the Goddess reigns as the Crone, part of the three-in-one that also includes the Maiden and Mother. The God, the Dark Lord, passes into the underworld to become the seed of his own rebirth (which will occur again at Yule). Many Pagans prepare a Feast for the Dead on Samhain night, where they leave offerings of food and drink for the spirits. Divination is heightened this night. Jack-o-lanterns, gourds, cider, fall foliage can be used as altar decorations.

Buzzing In To Say Have A Super Tuesday!

Hi there, Bye there, lol! Sorry I am running late. I am worse than Lady A on being prompt anywhere. But today I have a good excuse. We were debating over what we were going to do for Samhain. We still didn’t come up with anything and we were at it for about two hours. Maybe by the time Samhain gets here, we will know what we are doing. I hope!

That would be a good topic for discussion, what are your plans for Samhain?

 

More Tuesday Comments

SAMHAIN RITUAL FOR REMEMBERANCE AND RELEASE

SAMHAIN RITUAL FOR REMEMBERANCE AND RELEASE

 

At Samhain, the Witches’ New Year, we remember our past, including departed loved ones and friends. We also plan for the future with new hopes, dreams and ambitions. Part of creating a good future is releasing the negative energies of the past.

Find a safe place to light a bonfire, cauldron fire or several orange and black candles. Carve one orange candle with the Rune symbol for Signals and one black candle with Gateway. Set up your Altar and close the Circle as usual.

Perform the following meditation:

Gaze deeply into the flames and relax, calling up memories of your past. Greet long gone friends and ancestors, asking them what knowledge or wisdom they can offer you for the future. Listen carefully to their advice and suggestions, give thanks and move on.

Recall the highs and lows of the past year. Compliment yourself on your successes and forgive your failures. Bring positive images closer and brighter and make negative thought recede into the background. Release any negative energy you feel towards yourself or others for mistakes. Move on.

Picture the coming year as you would like it to be – prosperous, filled with health, love and satisfaction. Envision friends and loved ones happy and successful in their own way. Give this year a colour or colours of your choice, or even your personal colour. Picture this colour casting a glow over the upcoming year. Raise your chalice and give thanks saying:

“Out with the old, in with the new, the coming year will make dreams come true. Great thanks and blessed be.”

Drink from your chalice and return to the present. Write the above affirmation or any messages you received in black ink on your parchment paper. Wrap the Samhain herbs in the paper, add the stones, place it on the fabric square and tie it with the ribbon. Cleanse and charge the talisman as describe. Give thanks and Open the Circle.

Later on, after you have finished the ritual, find a stone and paint it the colour you chose to symbolize the coming year. Write the date on the stone e. g. 2012. Put the stone in a noticeable place and when you see it, recall the dreams and hopes you envisioned for the New Year. Blessed Be and Happy New Year!

“Simple Wiccan Magick Spells & Ritual Ceremony”
Holly Zurich

A Taste of WitchLore for October 27th – The Pentacle By Doreen Valiente

PENTACLE FROM THE LIBER UMBRARUM BY DOREEN VALIENTE

The five-pointed star or pentagram is one of the oldest signs in the world. It represents, among other meaning, magic itself, the dominion of the spirit over the four elements of the material creation.


The Circle which encloses it, being without beginning or ending, represents infinity and eternity. Another meaning of the pentagram is that it bears a rough resemblance to a human figure, as if standing upright with the arms and legs outstretched. Hence the pentagram in a circle is a symbol of the human being in relationship to the Infinite.


The eight armed figure in the center of the pentagram represents the Eight Ritual Occasions of the Witch’s year, four Greater Sabbats and four Lesser Sabbats. The Greater Sabbats are Candlemas, May Eve, Lammas, and Hallowe’en. The Lesser Sabbats are the equinoxes and solstices. The eight of this symbol plus the five of the pentagram makes 13, the traditional number of the Witches coven.


The three X-shaped crosses around the pentagram represent the three annointing of the initiation ceremony, ‘two above and one below’; that is, two above the waist and one below it. The two spirals or S-shapes represent the ancient symbol of the twin serpents, the dual forces of positive and negative, yang and yin, masculine and feminine, that underlie all manifestation.


The symbols on the three upper points of the pentagram are the two crescents of the waxing and waning moons, and the circle of the full moon. Together they represent the primordial Goddess of Nature, often depicted in triple form as Nymph, Mother and Crone, the three phases of the moon.


The symbols on the two lower points of the pentagram represent the two aspects of the ancient God of witches. They are conventionalized drawings of a horned head and a skull and crossed bones. The former sign represents the Horned God of Life and Fertility, and the latter is the God of Death and what lies beyond.

The WOTC Wishes You & Yours A Very Happy & Blessed Litha!

Litha Comments & Graphics Good morning to all my dear friends! I must start out by apologizing to you for yesterday. I did not do a “good morning, how ya’ll doing?” or any kind of post at all to start things off. I had posting on the brain, I realized that I was running late. And that was it, got to post, got to post! Worse than a damn robot, lol! But I didn’t realize it till I was all the way into the Moon Phase and I felt so bad. Then I decided I would do a “Good afternoon” post. Well, I don’t remember what came up but that didn’t happen either. Again, I am so sorry.

 

Well the wheel has turned to one of our Sabbats and I am at a dilemma. My dilemma is when to celebrate it.  I know I have read some articles that proclaim today as Litha/MidSummer. Well you see, the Tradition I grew up in was one that practice the Ways of the Old. They celebrated Litha/MidSummer on June 21. So what’s a witch to do? I am going to be very diplomatic about this. I am going to wish you a very happy & blessed Litha/MidSummer on both days! How does that sound? I should make everyone happy, shouldn’t I? Then I remember also reading there are some that celebrate Litha/MidSummer from June 20 to June 23. Oh, my! It’s enough to make a poor witch’s head spin, lol!

 

For those of you celebrating Litha/MidSummer today,from the bottom of my heart,I wish you and yours a
Very Happy & Blessed Litha!

Lady A

Magickal Graphics