october

Bringing Up the Next Generation of Witches

November, 2018

October is quickly coming to an end, and I have never been more thankful. October brought sickness and trials. It was a difficult month to say the least.

But with October coming to a close, Samhain is fast approaching.

Samhain (or Halloween as Little Bear calls it) has always been one of my favorite holidays. Even when it was banned from my childhood home life.

The veil is thinning, the days grow darker, and the nights become almost black.

Living in the Midwest means the weather is unpredictable at the end of October. It could be sunny and hot, or rainy and wet. As a child, “Halloween” meant snow. I can remember more snowy Halloweens than not.

Little Bear and I will make the best of it regardless of the weather. He has his costume picked out. He is going as a zombie SWAT guy. He’s talked me into being a zombie also. He’s a bit obsessed with The Walking Dead right now.

This year, I let Little Bear go wild and decorate the whole house. We put up window clings, black garland, laid out fake spiders, decorated foam pumpkins, and hung up door covers.

Yesterday, we visited the local pumpkin field/corn maze. They have so many activities and it’s a must every year. They have goats, chickens, rabbits, long horn cattle, corn boxes, corn mazes, pumpkin guns, tug a war ropes, inflatables, wooden trains, etc. It is a full day.

Tonight, is pumpkin carving time. I’m sure that my excitement is at a way higher level than Little Bear’s because of the pumpkin seeds. I have dug out some recipes from Pinterest and plan on trying at least three. I have to do normal salt pumpkin seeds. But I’m going to try a sweet version with cinnamon and brown sugar. The other one I haven’t decided on because there is so many variations that can be done. However, I’m leaning towards a savory that uses sea salt and white vinegar. Not sure how it’ll turn out, but we shall see!

One of my favorite traditions for Samhain is the dinner. Eating dinner at the table is something that rarely happens in our home because of scheduling. But when Samhain rolls around, I take the day off. I plan a meal as if it were Thanksgiving and I set the table. I always set a spot for my sister who we lost back in 2015. It helps to bring her close. Little Bear gets excited and will start talking to her spot as if she never left.

Little Bear started asking questions again about “God” last week. This is a conversation that we have quite frequently as he has a hard time understanding something that he cannot see. So, I go into the explanation again. We have talked about the many different religions of the world. Although I am raising him in a Pagan home, I understand that the Pagan path may not be for him.

I found a wonderful series that touches on the spiritual side without focusing on one certain religion. It’s the The Giggles and Joy series. A three-part series that focuses on positive poems. It’s a neat series that I recommend. You can check out my review on them in this same issue!

3 Pagans and a Cat Monthly Feature

November, 2018

3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast

Three Paths, One Journey, No Cat

In this highly informative & entertaining podcast, three family members embroiled in wildly divergent traditions gather in one room to discuss, debate, and flat-out argue about their magical, mythical, and mundane lives, all for our education and pleasure.

***

Each Month… we will share the previous month’s episodes with you from their site to help keep you up-to-date with their impressive podcast. While there, don’t forget to listen to this month’s as well, we wouldn’t want you to miss a thing!

 

October’s 2018 Podcasts

Episode 21: First Steps – Sacred Spaces: Car, Gwyn, and Ode discuss sacred and liminal spaces: where they can be found, what they can look like, how to establish them, and why they might be useful.

Episode 22: Wheel of the Year – Samhain: In the seventh of a series of Pagan Holiday Specials, Car, Gwyn, and Ode discuss Third Harvest, communion with the dead, and Jack of the Lantern.

Episode 23: A Wood of Many Ways: Car, Gwyn, and Ode discuss their respective journeys from Christianity into their various paths and traditions. Also, Car introduces a new segment.

 

 

 

This Month’s Podcast Share from their Backlog

Episode 4: Monikers and Metaphorical Spaces: Car, Gwyn and Ode discuss the pros and cons of hiding one’s faith or practice, the steps one can take to leave the Broom Closet, and the use (and selection) of names.

 

Where Else to Find 3 Pagans and a Cat…

Their Website: http://www.3pagansandacat.com

Their Twitter: https://twitter.com/3_Pagans

Their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/3PaaC

Their YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ0GJacu9SUzuumXJNNUZwQ

Their G+: https://plus.google.com/u/2/collection/oCWVXE

 

Remember …

You can always support your favorite podcasts with a donation. Every bit helps to keep them going.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

Getting Acquainted With the Dark

October, 2017

(art by Sarah Mcmenomy*)

 

It is October and Samhain is drawing near. Who among us who observes the Wheel of the Year doesn’t get excited about this most sacred of witchy days?  At Mabon we entered the dark half of the year, a time for reflection and looking within.  Not only is the world around us darkening, it is time for us to face our own inner darkness.

 

Darkness.  It’s a word we throw around a lot, but what does it mean for us as we move deeper into fall and toward winter?  We hear that “dark” doesn’t necessarily mean “bad,” but then, why is darkness sometimes associated with negativity?  Anger, death, sadness: these are just a few examples of things that cause us pain.  But are they truly “negative”?  If we use the principle “As above, so below” and look to nature, we see that some things grow and flourish and other things die.  Forest fires spring up spontaneously, killing some plants, but activating others that can only reproduce under conditions of extreme heat and allowing them to carry on.  Is any of this positive?  Negative?  Right?  Wrong?  It’s different when it’s us, we think.  We feel pain, sorrow, purposelessness.  And I’m not dismissing pain.  I’m just suggesting that perhaps these things aren’t negative in and of themselves.  Anger can motivate us to work to improve something that provokes us.  It’s natural and okay to experience sadness, to cry, to feel afraid.  Maybe these “dark” things hurt us when we have an excess of them in our lives. Too much sadness, and one can easily feel overwhelmed.  Constant fear without reasonable cause, and one can miss out on much of life.  You can even have too much of a good thing, as we so frequently say. Laughter, for example, is great, but would you really want to keep up a good belly laugh for thirty minutes straight?

 

Samhain and the dark of the year are times when we focus on both that which is hidden and the necessary role destruction plays in our lives.  We encounter the realm of the dead and perform  divination, self-reflection, and purging.  It is difficult to see what hides in the dark, just as we cannot see what lies beyond this life.  We reflect because we may not have considered all that is important, leaving it hidden beneath the busyness and activity of our daily lives.  When we take part in the tradition of considering what we need to “let go of” at Samhain, we recognize that destruction and loss play an important and necessary role in our lives.  We are surrounded by this destruction every day. All life feeds on other life.  We eat animals or plants, and the plants feed on organic material in the soil. When we die, we will be swallowed into that soil and become the material that feeds other life. Is this scary?  Naturally.  But Samhain is a time for facing our fears of the dark.

 

When we honor our beloved dead, commune with them, think about our beliefs about where they are now and where we’ll be when it’s our time to pass over, we integrate this vital and opposite aspect of  life into our consciousness.  Instead of fearing death, as much of our society does, we engage with it. Witches are often referred to as walkers between the worlds of the living and the dead and Samhain is the perfect time to find out just how comfortable you are doing that walking.  Is facing death frightening?  Invigorating?  Calming?  When death is encountered regularly while we’re alive, every year at Samhain and perhaps much more often than that, we become, while not entirely fearless, more comfortable with its inevitable presence.

 

We accept that this physical aspect of life we experience is not all there is, and so the world on the other side of the thinning veil is real to us.  Holding rituals to honor your loved ones who have passed and inviting them to a “dumb supper” are both excellent ways to get an introduction to the other side. Creating an altar of photos, favorite things, and other mementos is a great way to make them feel at home.  But as you look to the world of the dead, don’t forget to also look within.  You might like to do divination for the coming year or to find a focus for the long winter ahead.  Journaling, meditation, and bouncing ideas off of other people to reflect on later are other great ways of doing this.

 

This time of year is about all things scary, and we have fun with that just like everyone else.  But let us remember, as the dark begins closing around us, that we only fear it because it is hidden.  It has its place, like everything else, and we must simply strive to understand it and to keep it in balance.  I hope you have a blessed Samhain, and may your encounters with the darkness change you.

 

*art by Sarah McMenomy

I attempt to capture mystical and visionary experiences from the auric to the occult in my digital art. I use scrying, meditation, dream work, and photography as the basis for my intensely detailed line drawings. If you’d like to see more, please visit my site sarahmcmenomy.myportfolio.com.

Gort

October, 2017

 

 

In October, witches and other pagans receive visits from their ancestors and other dear dead. Traditionally, these visits begin on the new moon after Mabon. At Mabon itself, witches of many traditions journey in spirit to the Summerland and invite their dead to visit them in Middle-Earth. In some cultures, miniature spirit houses were erected or kept for the dead to stay in through this month while visiting. Thus, October is a time to focus on the encounter between life and death.
Gort, the Ivy month, runs from September 30th through October 27th. Just as the holly or evergreen oak succeeds the deciduous oak in the Ogham tree calendar, so the evergreen ivy succeeds the deciduous vine. As with every ‘tree’ month, Gort is the flowering season of its assigned ‘tree,’ the ivy. It was also, as Graves notes, “the season of the Bacchanal revels of Thrace and Thessaly in which the intoxicated Bassarids rushed wildly about on the mountains,” tearing to pieces whatever they met. A bit further on he states that ivy ale, a highly intoxicating drink, is still brewed at Trinity College, Oxford, and speculates that the Bassarids may have chewed ivy leaves for their toxic effect. 1
The tag for Gort in the Rune of Amergin is “I am a ruthless boar.” The Celts believed that pigs and their kin came from Annwvyn into Middle-Earth. As an Underworld animal, the boar is both a bringer of death and a harbinger of the Wild Hunt, which will begin at Samhain. Roasted boar meat, so the Celts believed, conferred immortality on the eater, and the traditional roast suckling pig (with an Underworld apple in its mouth) served at Samhain and later at Yule was a magical sacrament for sustaining one’s life force through the cold winter months to the promise of a new spring. In the same way, as the spirits of the dead in the Summerland are in process of renewal, friendly contact with them revitalizes the living.
October was the boar hunting season, and when our remote ancestors hunted these creatures at this time of year, they magically assumed the nature of their prey; in order to kill a ruthless boar, one must become a ruthless boar oneself. Fionn mac Cumhaill, disguised as a boar, killed Diarmuid, the lover of the Irish Sun Goddess Grainne. Adonis, Tammuz and Osiris were each killed by adversary gods disguised as boars. 2
Though few of us go boar hunting these days, it is useful to meditate on Death the Hunter, who lies in wait for each of us and will strike at some unknown hour, like the boar emerging suddenly from a forest thicket. This is not an exercise in morbidity, for the pagan is assured of rebirth through the Mother; it is, rather, a way of surmounting the fear of death which lurks in each of us despite all assurances. This fear must be confronted and felt in its full strength, as in those dreams where you confront a spectre or other monster of nightmare and instead of running away, you seize and hold it in your grip and are instantly filled with what can only be described as empowered terror. It roars in your embrace, and you roar right back at it. That is Dionysiac fury, and when you have felt it coursing through your veins you will be free of the fear of death and ready for the veil to be rent between the worlds at Samhain, and for the riding forth of the Wild Hunt.

 

Footnotes:

1  Graves, p. 183.

2  Ibid, p. 210.

Interweavings

October, 2013

October Book of Seasons

 

Samhain is here and at my house it is highly anticipated!  I love walking into a grocery store and seeing all of the new Halloween decorations out for sale!  Look at how so many people celebrate, albeit without knowing, our sacred turn of the year.  Pumpkins, skeletons, black cats and scarecrows peek from houses and businesses.  The fall harvest is in and the aromas of cinnamon brooms and pumpkin soup fill the house.  Can you tell I love this time of the year?  Let’s fill our hearths and hearts with the grounding abundance surrounding us.

 

 

Our affirmation is

 

My heart and hands bring sacred peace to me and mine.

 

 

I want to share my pumpkin soup recipe.  Simple, delicious and perfect for this lovely month, this soup will nourish body and soul.  It is a great recipe for keeping on hand in the pantry.  I try to use fresh pumpkin but a 15-oz can of solid-pack pumpkin is just as delicious.  If you use fresh, 1 ¾ cups of cooked pumpkin equals a 15-oz can.

 

Pumpkin Soup

 

½ cup chopped onion,

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 cans (14 ½ ounce each) chicken broth

1 can (15 ounce) solid-pack pumpkin

1 teaspoon brown sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

dash of pepper

dash of nutmeg, optional

1 cup whipping cream

 

In a large saucepan sauté onion in butter until tender.

Remove from heat; stir in flour until smooth.

Gradually stir in broth, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, butter and nutmeg.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 min.

Add cream and cook for 2 more min. until heated through.

 

Makes 6 servings.

 

This is perfect with pumpernickel bread and baked apples.

 

 

With all of the decorations available for sale I still prefer to fill my house with gifts from nature.  I love leaves hot glued around pillar candles and wee baskets of acorns and crystals and pretty rocks.  Pie pumpkins stacked on top of each other in baskets and bundles of herbs tied and hanging to dry in windows.  Of course, we have a collection of black cats collected by each of my 3 kids over the years piled up on the hearth and adorable witchy-poos scattered throughout.  This is our favorite holiday!  Oh, and there is a tree branch decorated with orange lights and ornaments.

 

The turn of the wheel has brought us to the end our sacred year.  Within the delicious sights and smells of October, I send you blessings of peace and comfort as the veil thins and we remember the connection of all; here and beyond this life.

 

Brightest Blessings!

Samhain Correspondences

October, 2013

Other Names:
celtic ~ Summer’s End, pronounced “sow” (rhymes with now) “en” (Ireland), sow-een (Wales) – “mh” in the middle is a “w” sound – Greater Sabbat(High Holiday) – Fire Festival Oct 31-Nov 1(North Hemisphere) – Apr 30-May 1 – The Great Sabbat, Samhiunn, Samana, Samhuin, Sam-fuin, Samonios, Halloween, Hallomas, All Hallows Eve, All Saints/All Souls Day(Catholic), Day of the Dead (Mexican), Witches New Year, Trinoux Samonia, Celtic/ Druid New Year, Shadowfest (Strega), Martinmas or Old Hallowmas (Scotttish/Celtic) Lá Samhna (Modern Irish), Festival of the Dead, Feile Moingfinne (Snow Goddess), Hallowtide (Scottish Gaelis Dictionary), Feast of All Souls, Nos Galen-gae-of Night of the Winter Calends (Welsh), La Houney or Hollantide Day, Sauin or Souney ( Manx), oidhche na h-aimiléise-the night of mischief or confusion(Ireland), Oidhche Shamna (Scotland)

Rituals:
End of summer, honoring of the dead,scrying, divination, last harvest, meat harvest

Incense:
Copal, sandalwood, mastic resin, benzoin, sweetgrass, wormwood, mugwort, sage, myrrh or patchouli

Tools:
Besom, cauldron, tarot, obsidian ball, pendulum, runes, oghams, Ouija boards, black cauldron or bowl filled with black ink or water, or magick mirror

Stones/Gems:
Black obsidian, jasper, carnelian, onyx, smoky quartz, jet, bloodstone

Colors:
Black, orange, red

Symbols & Decorations:
Apples, autumn flowers, acorns, bat, black cat, bones, corn stalks, colored leaves, crows, death/dying, divination and the tools associated with it, ghosts, gourds, Indian corn, jack-o-lantern, nuts , oak leaves, pomegranates, pumpkins, scarecrows, scythes, waning moon

Foods:
Apples, apple dishes, cider, meat (traditionally this is the meat harvest) especially pork, mulled cider with spices, nuts-representing resurrection and rebirth, nuts, pomegranates, potatoes, pumpkins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds, squash.

Goddesses:
The Crone, Hecate(Greek), Cerridwen(Welsh-Scottish), Arianrhod(Welsh), Caillech (Irish-Scottish), Baba Yaga (Russian), Al-Ilat(persian), Bast (Egyptian), Persephone (Greek), Hel(Norse), Kali(Hindu), all Death & Otherworld Goddesses

Gods:
Horned Hunter(European), Cernnunos(Greco-Celtic), Osiris(Egyptian), Hades (Greek), Gwynn ap Nudd (British), Anubis(Egyptian), Coyote Brother (Native American), Loki (Norse), Dis (Roman), Arawn (Welsh), acrificial/Dying/Aging
Gods, Death and Otherworld Gods

Herbs and Flowers:
Almond, apple leaf , autumn joy sedum, bay leaf, calendula, Cinnamon, Cloves cosmos, garlic, ginger , hazelnut, hemlock cones, mandrake root, marigold, mums, mugwort (to aid in divination), mullein seeds, nettle, passionflower, pine needles, pumpkin seeds, rosemary (for remembrance of our ancestors), rue, sage, sunflower petals and seeds, tarragon, wild ginseng, wormwood

Animals:
Stag, cat, bat, owl, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion, heron, crow, robin

Mythical Beings:
Pooka, goblin,medusa, beansidhe, harpies

Essence:
Magick, plenty; knowledge, the night, death & rebirth, success, protection; rest, new beginning; ancestors; lifting of the veil, mundane laws in abeyance, return, change

Dynamics/Meaning:
Death & transformation, Wiccan new year,wisdom of the Crone, end of summer, honoring, thinning of the veil between worlds, death of the year, time outside of time, night of the Wild Hunt, begin new projects, end old projects

Work:
Sex magick, release of bad habits, banishing, fairy magick, divination of any kind, candle magick, astral projection, past life work, dark moon mysteries, mirror spells (reflection), casting protection , inner work, propitiation, clearing obstacles, uncrossing, inspiration, workings of transition or culmination, manifesting transformation,creative visualization, contacting those who have departed this plane

Purpose:
Honoring the dead, especially departed ancestors, knowing we will not be forgotten; clear knowledge of our path; guidance, protection, celebrating reincarnation

Rituals/Magicks:
Foreseeing future, honoring/consulting ancestors, releasing the old, power, understanding death and rebirth, entering the underworld, divination, dance of the dead, fire calling, past life recall

Customs:
Ancestor altar, costumes, divination, carving jack-o-lanterns, spirit plate, the Feast of the Dead, feasting, paying debts, fairs, drying winter herbs, masks, bonfires, apple games, tricks, washing clothes

Element:
Water

Gender:
Male

Threshold:
Midnight

The Days of October

October, 2010

October 1
On this date (approximately), hundreds of thousands of Muslims make a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca to kiss and touch the Black Stone (one of the original building blocks of a veiled shrine) and to worship their god Allah. They then drink some water from the nearby sacred Well of Ishmael, and journey up into the hills of Safa and Marwa to recite prayers.

October 2
Guiding Spirits Day. On this day, light a white candle on you altar and give thanks to your spirit guide (or guides) for guarding over you and guiding you through your spiritual development. If you wish to communicated with or meet your spirit guide, use a Ouija board or, through prayer, invite the spirit guide to come to you in a dream or in a trance.

October 3
On this date (approximately), a Cementation and Propitiation Festival was once celebrated by the Native American tribe of the Cherokee. The purpose of the festival was to remove the barriers between the Cherokee people and the deities they worshiped.

October 4
On this date in ancient Rome, a day of feasting known as the Jejunium Cereris was observed in honor of Ceres (Mother Earth), the corn-goddess and protectress of agriculture and all fruits of the Earth.

October 5
The Festival of the Old Woman (Nubaigai) is celebrated annually on this date by farm workers in Lithuania. The last sheaf of grain is dressed up as a woman and a festival of feasting, merriment, and games is held to honor the goddess of the corn.
In the country of Rumania, the Dionysiad wine festival was held annually on this date in honor of Dionysus, Ariadne, and the Maenads.

October 6
On this date, an annual nine-day religious festival begins in Nepal to honor the great Hindu god Vishnu and to celebrate his awakening on a bed of serpents. As part of an ancient tradition, secret offerings are made to the god and placed in unripe pumpkins.

October 7
In the fifteenth century, peasants in Germany celebrated a week-long festival called the Kermesse. A Pagan icon (or some other sacred object) would be unearthed from its yearlong burial spot and then paraded through the village on top of gaily decorated pole. After a week of feasting, dancing, and games, the villagers would dress up in their mourning attire and rebury the icon in its grave, where it would remain until the next year’s Kermesse.
On this date in the year 1909, famous author and Gardnerian Witch Arnold Crowther was born in Kent, England. He was initiated into the Craft in 1960 by Patricia Dawson, whom he later married. He passed away on Beltane-Sabbat in the year 1974.

October 8
On this day, an annual good luck festival called Chung Yeung Day (the Festival of High Places) is celebrated in China. Traditionally good omen kites are flown to carry away evil spirits. The festival also commemorates an ancient Chinese scholar named Huan Ching who, upon heeding the warning of a soothsayer, escaped with his family and friends high into the hills and thereby avoided a mysterious plague of death which swept through the village below, killing every living thing in sight.

October 9
Day of Felicitas. A festival celebrating the ancient Roman goddess of luck and good fortune was held annually on this date in many parts of Italy. For many Wiccans and modern Witches, it is a time for casting spells and making amulets to attract good luck or to end a streak of bad luck.

October 10
Throughout the country of Brazil, the annual Festival of Light begins on this date. The centuries-old festival, which is celebrated for two consecutive weeks, includes a parade of penance and the lighting of candles, torches, and hearth-fires to symbolically drive away the spirits of darkness who bring evil and misfortune.

October 11
Every year on this date, Witches in the countries of Denmark and Germany honor the Old Lady of the Elder Trees, an ancient Pagan spirit who dwells within and watches over each and every tree of the elder family. Before cutting any branches to use as magick wands, a libation of elderberry wine is poured onto the tree’s roots and a special prayer is recited.

October 12
On this date in the year 1875, famous occultists and ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley was born in Warwickshire, England. He authored many popular and controversial books on the subject of magick, and was notorious for his rites of sex magick, ceremonial sorcery, and blood sacrifices. Crowley often referred to himself as the Beast of the Apocalypse and was nicknamed The Wickedest Man in the world by the news media and by many who knew him personally. He died on December 1, 1947, and after his cremation, his ashes were shipped to his followers in the United States of America.
Also on this date in the year 1888, famous ceremonial magician and occult author Eliphas Levi died.

October 13
On this date in the year 1917, the Goddess in the guise of the Virgin Mary made her final visit (as promised earlier that year) to three children in the Portuguese town of Fatima. She revealed many predictions to the children, and a crowd of over 70,000 pilgrims who gathered for the miraculous event witnessed a strange object–resembling a huge silver disk blazing with colored flames–fly through the sky.

October 14
Each year on this date, the planets of the Milky Way galaxy are honored and celebrated by an event known as Interplanetary Confederation Day.
In Bangladesh, an annual festival called Durga Puja is celebrated on this day to commemorate the great Mother-Goddess Durga and her triumph over the forces of evil.

October 15
On this date in ancient Rome, a sacred harvest festival dedicated to the god Mars was celebrated with a chariot race, followed by the sacrifice of the slowest horse. (Before becoming a god of battle, Mars was originally a deity associated with fertility and agriculture).

October 16
Each year on this date, the Festival of the Goddess of Fortune (Lakshmi Puji) is celebrated in Nepal. The goddess Lakshmi is honored with prayers, sacred chants, and offerings of flower petals and fragrant incense.

October 17
Once a year on this date, the Japanese Shinto ceremony of Kan-name-Sai (God Tasting Event) takes place. The ancient goddess of the Sun and other imperial ancestors are honored with an offering of rice from the season’s first crop.

October 18
In England, the Great Horned Fair takes place annually on this day to celebrate the wondrous powers of nature and fertility. Many Pagans and Wiccans (especially of the Gardnerian tradition) perform a special ceremony on this day in honor of Cernunnos, the Horned God of hunting, fertility, and wild animals. He is also the consort of the Goddess, and a symbol of the male principle. At this time, many priests of Wiccan covens perform a sacred ritual called Drawing Down the Sun.

October 19
On this day, an annual fair called Bettara-Ichi (”Sticky-Sticky Fair”) is held in Tokyo, Japan near the sacred shrine of the god Ebisu. Children carry sticky pickled radishes tied to straw ropes through the streets in order to chase away evil spirits and to receive blessings from the seven Shinto gods of good luck.

October 20
On this date in the year 1949, Wiccan priestess and spiritual healer Selena Fox was born in Arlington, Virginia. In 1974, with the help of Jim Alan and a small group of Neo-Pagan friends, she formed Circle Sanctuary in Wisconsin. She is known as one of the leading religious-freedom activists in the Wiccan and Neo-Pagan movements.

October 21
In the former Czechoslovakia, an annual festival known as the Day of Ursala is held on this date in honor Ursala, the ancient lunar goddess of Slavic mythology who later became Saint Ursala.

October 22
In Japan, the purifying Festival of Fire (Hi Matsuri) is celebrated annually on this night. A traditional torchlight procession parades through the streets of Kurama and ends at a sacred shrine, where the ancient gods are believed to return to Earth at the stroke of midnight.

October 23
On this date (approximately), the Sun enters the astrological sign of Scorpio. Persons born under the sign of the Scorpion are said to be magnetic, psychic, imaginative, mysterious, and often prone to jealous obsessions. Scorpio is a water sign and is ruled by the planets Mars and Pluto.

October 24
On this day, many Wiccans from around the world celebrate the annual Feast of the Spirits of Air. Incense is offered up to the Sylphs (who often take the form of butterflies), and rituals involving dreams and/or the powers of the mind are performed.
This day is sacred to Arianrhod, Cardea, Dione, Diti, Gula, Lilith, Maat,
Minerva, and Sophia.

October 25
Shoemaker’s Day is celebrated annually on this date in honor of Saint Crispin, the patron of shoemakers who was beheaded in the third century A.D. According to legend, a new pair of shoes bought on this day will bring good luck and prosperity to their owner.

October 26
Birthday of the Earth. According to the calculations of a seventeenth century Anglican archbishop, the Earth was created on this date in the year 4004 BC.
On this date in the year 1440, Giles de Rais (one of the most notorious necromancers in history) was hanged in France as punishment for practicing black magick and making human sacrifices to the Devil, among other crimes.

October 27
Allan Apple Day. In Cornwall, England, an old Pagan method of love divination is traditionally performed each year on this day. A single gentleman or lady who wishes to see his or her future spouse must sleep with an Allan apple under his or her pillow, then get out of bed before the crack of dawn the next day. The person then waits under a tree for the first person of the opposite sex to walk by. According to the legend, the passerby will be the future marriage mate.

October 28
In ancient times, the Phoenician sun-god Baal of the Heavens was honored annually on or around this date. He presided over nature and fertility, and was associated with Winter rain. Sacred sun-symbolizing bonfires were lit in his honor by his worshipers in Syria. Depicted as a warrior with a horned helmet and spear, he was once worshipped as the principal god on Earth for thousands of years.
In ancient Egypt, a series of Autumn ceremonies for the goddess Isis began each year on this date. They lasted for six consecutive days.

October 29
On this date in the year 1939, ceremonial magician and occult author Frater Zarathustra was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Frater founded the Temple of Truth in 1972 and was publisher and editor of the White Light (a magazine of ceremonial magick) from 1973 until it ceased publication in 1990.
On this day, the Native American tribe of the Iroquois celebrate their annual Feast of the Dead to honor the souls of departed loved ones.

October 30
Each year on this date, the Angelitos festival is held in Mexico to bless the souls of deceased children and to honor Xipe-Totec (the ancient god of death) and Tonantzin (the Guadualupe goddess of mercy).
On this day, write a secret wish on a piece of dried mandrake root. Burn it at the stroke of midnight in a fireproof container and then go outside and cast the ashes to the wind as you say thrice: “Spirits of fire, spirits of air; grant this secret wishing-prayer. Let the ashes of this spell, fix this midnight magick well.”

October 31
Halloween (also known as Samhain Eve, Hallowmas, All Hallow’s Eve, All Saint’s Eve, Festival of the Dead, and the Third Festival of Harvest).
Every year on this day, the most important of the eight Witches’ Sabbats is celebrated by Wiccans throughout the world with traditional Pagan feasts, bonfires, and rituals to honor the spirits of deceased loved ones. The divinatory arts of scrying and rune-casting are traditionally practiced by Wiccans on this magickal night, as in standing before a mirror and making a secret wish.
The last night of October was the ancient Celt’s New Year’s Eve. It marked the end of the Summer and the beginning of Winter (also known as the dark half of the year).
In many parts of the world, special cakes and food are prepared for the dead on this night.
In Ireland, a Halloween festival is celebrated annually for the ancient Pagan goddess Tara.
This day is sacred to the goddesses Cerridwen, Eurydice, Hecate, Hel, Inanna, Kali, the Morrigan, Nephthys, Oya, Samia, Sedna, Tara, and Vanadis. On this day in the year 1970, the Parks Department of New York granted the Witches International Craft Associates (W.I.C.A.) a permit to hold a “Witch-in”. The event was held in Sheep Meadow and more than one thousand persons attended.

Samhain Correspondences

October, 2009

Other Names:
celtic ~ Summer’s End, pronounced “sow” (rhymes with now) “en” (Ireland), sow-een (Wales) – “mh” in the middle is a “w” sound – Greater Sabbat(High Holiday) – Fire Festival Oct 31-Nov 1(North Hemisphere) – Apr 30-May 1 – The Great Sabbat, Samhiunn, Samana, Samhuin, Sam-fuin, Samonios, Halloween, Hallomas, All Hallows Eve, All Saints/All Souls Day(Catholic), Day of the Dead (Mexican), Witches New Year, Trinoux Samonia, Celtic/ Druid New Year, Shadowfest (Strega), Martinmas or Old Hallowmas (Scotttish/Celtic) Lá Samhna (Modern Irish), Festival of the Dead, Feile Moingfinne (Snow Goddess), Hallowtide (Scottish Gaelis Dictionary), Feast of All Souls, Nos Galen-gae-of Night of the Winter Calends (Welsh), La Houney or Hollantide Day, Sauin or Souney ( Manx), oidhche na h-aimiléise-the night of mischief or confusion(Ireland), Oidhche Shamna (Scotland)

Rituals:
End of summer, honoring of the dead,scrying, divination, last harvest, meat harvest

Incense:
Copal, sandalwood, mastic resin, benzoin, sweetgrass, wormwood, mugwort, sage, myrrh or patchouli

Tools:
Besom, cauldron, tarot, obsidian ball, pendulum, runes, oghams, Ouija boards, black cauldron or bowl filled with black ink or water, or magick mirror

Stones/Gems:
Black obsidian, jasper, carnelian, onyx, smoky quartz, jet, bloodstone

Colors:
Black, orange, red

Symbols & Decorations:
Apples, autumn flowers, acorns, bat, black cat, bones, corn stalks, colored leaves, crows, death/dying, divination and the tools associated with it, ghosts, gourds, Indian corn, jack-o-lantern, nuts , oak leaves, pomegranates, pumpkins, scarecrows, scythes, waning moon

Foods:
Apples, apple dishes, cider, meat (traditionally this is the meat harvest) especially pork, mulled cider with spices, nuts-representing resurrection and rebirth, nuts, pomegranates, potatoes, pumpkins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds, squash.

Goddesses:
The Crone, Hecate(Greek), Cerridwen(Welsh-Scottish), Arianrhod(Welsh), Caillech (Irish-Scottish), Baba Yaga (Russian), Al-Ilat(persian), Bast (Egyptian), Persephone (Greek), Hel(Norse), Kali(Hindu), all Death & Otherworld Goddesses

Gods:
Horned Hunter(European), Cernnunos(Greco-Celtic), Osiris(Egyptian), Hades (Greek), Gwynn ap Nudd (British), Anubis(Egyptian), Coyote Brother (Native American), Loki (Norse), Dis (Roman), Arawn (Welsh), acrificial/Dying/Aging
Gods, Death and Otherworld Gods

Herbs and Flowers:
Almond, apple leaf , autumn joy sedum, bay leaf, calendula, Cinnamon, Cloves cosmos, garlic, ginger , hazelnut, hemlock cones, mandrake root, marigold, mums, mugwort (to aid in divination), mullein seeds, nettle, passionflower, pine needles, pumpkin seeds, rosemary (for remembrance of our ancestors), rue, sage, sunflower petals and seeds, tarragon, wild ginseng, wormwood

Animals:
Stag, cat, bat, owl, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion, heron, crow, robin

Mythical Beings:
Pooka, goblin,medusa, beansidhe, harpies

Essence:
Magick, plenty; knowledge, the night, death & rebirth, success, protection; rest, new beginning; ancestors; lifting of the veil, mundane laws in abeyance, return, change

Dynamics/Meaning:
Death & transformation, Wiccan new year,wisdom of the Crone, end of summer, honoring, thinning of the veil between worlds, death of the year, time outside of time, night of the Wild Hunt, begin new projects, end old projects

Work:
Sex magick, release of bad habits, banishing, fairy magick, divination of any kind, candle magick, astral projection, past life work, dark moon mysteries, mirror spells (reflection), casting protection , inner work, propitiation, clearing obstacles, uncrossing, inspiration, workings of transition or culmination, manifesting transformation,creative visualization, contacting those who have departed this plane

Purpose:
Honoring the dead, especially departed ancestors, knowing we will not be forgotten; clear knowledge of our path; guidance, protection, celebrating reincarnation

Rituals/Magicks:
Foreseeing future, honoring/consulting ancestors, releasing the old, power, understanding death and rebirth, entering the underworld, divination, dance of the dead, fire calling, past life recall

Customs:
Ancestor altar, costumes, divination, carving jack-o-lanterns, spirit plate, the Feast of the Dead, feasting, paying debts, fairs, drying winter herbs, masks, bonfires, apple games, tricks, washing clothes

Element:
Water

Gender:
Male

Threshold:
Midnight

Fazes: The Moon and Her Wonders

October, 2009

)0( October Moon Report )0(

moon

“The Moon wedded the Sun

In the first spring.

The Sun rose early at dawn,

The Moon wandered alone

Courting the morning star.

Perkunas was wroth,

He clect the Moon with a sword.”

(From U Katzenelenbogen: The Daina: An Anthology of Lithuanian and Latvian Folk Songs)

The moon is usually seen as a female symbol, and was worshipped in ancient times as a powerful force through most cultures. It is believed to be linked to the unconscious, our psychic and feminine side. The sacredness of the moon has been connected with the basic cyclic rhythms of life. The changing phases of the moon were linked to the death and rebirth seen in crops and the seasons, and the monthly cycles humans go through as well.

The moon calendar is still as important today as it was in ancient times, and the prudent Pagan/Witch/Heathen works her/his magic according to the moon and her cycles.

Full Moon: OCT  3 11:10 pm*

Full moons occur from fourteen to seventeen-and-a-half days after the new moon. Full moons are prime time for rituals for prophecy, protection, divination. Any workings that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healing for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, full moons aide work for love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money, divination, and dreams. It is said that full moon magic is like a white candle — all purpose.
Full moon magic can be conjured during the 3 days prior to the rise of the full moon, the night of the full moon and during the 3 days after.

)0( Superstition tells that if you stand in a fairy ring under a full moon and make a wish, it will come true. )0(

Last Quarter: OCT 11  1:56 am*

Between the full moon and the dark moon is the period of waning moon. The waning moon is best used for banishing and rejecting those things that influence us in a negative way. Negative emotions, diseases, ailments, and bad habits can all be let go and special spells for clearing can be performed at this time. Saging your home is a great idea during this time.

From three-and-a-half to ten-and-a-half days after the full moon.The waning moon is used for banishing magic, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity.

New Moon: OCT 17 10:33 pm*

The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also a good time for love and romance, health or job hunting, anything that is for personal growth, healing and blessing of new projects or ventures. The new moon is also a good time to cleanse and consecrate new tools and objects you wish to use during rituals, ceremonies or an up coming festival or something you just obtained. Some people call the new moon the dark moon and the terms are often interchangeably used.

New moon workings can be done from the day of the new moon to three-and-a-half days after.

)0(  “New Moon, Dark Moon, We Attune!”-Selena Fox )0(

First Quarter: OCT 25  5:42 pm*

The first quarter, called the waxing moon is best used for attraction and constructive magic, love spells, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck, and healing energy.

Between the new and full moon from seven to fourteen days is a period of the waxing moon.

)0( The best time to marry to achieve happiness and prosperity ,according to folklore tradition, is during a waxing moon. )0(
October’s Full Moon

The full moon nearest to the Autumn Equinox is called the ‘Harvest Moon’.  In two years out of three, the harvest moon comes in september, but in some years it occurs in october. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this moon. This is because for several nights it appears large and bright in the early evening, bringing farmers valuable extra time to gather in their harvest.

Usually the full moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.

However, The full moon in october is called many different names throughout the world. Other october full moon names include: Shedding Moon, Winterfelleth (Winter Coming), Windermanoth (Vintage Month), Falling Leaf Moon, Ten Colds Moon, Moon of the Changing Season, and most famously, Blood Moon.
The October Full Moon also features two festivals:

The Festival of Ciuateotl, the snake woman goddess, celebrated among the Toltecs and Aztecs.  During the full harvest moon,  the Aztecs and Toltecs appeased the Goddess of strife, misfortune, and labor whose name means ‘the great bath of sweat’.

The Disirblot of Freyja, Norse Goddess,  marked the begining of the Winter season. On this night, great family feasts were held which featured foods sacred to the Autumn deities.

Moon’s Full Oil

7 drops of sandalwood essential oil
5 drops of violet essential oil
3 drops of jasmine essential oil
1 drop of rose essential oil

Whatever container or vial you plan on using make sure it is clean and has been sitting in the full moon to gain it’s energy. This oil can be used on candles, in an oil burner, or in a sacred bath prior to your full moon celebration.

*Note: I have worn this as a perfume, but before you do this make sure you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients.

October

October, 2009

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Derives it’s name from the eighth month of the oldest Roman calendar, Octem.

Moon: The Blood Moon – The name Blood Moon comes from the custom of killing and salting down live
stock for the upcoming winter months, not from sacrifice as some think.

Astrological Signs: Libra, Scorpio.

Nature Spirits: Frost faeries, plant faeries.

Herbs: Pennyroyal, thyme, catnip, uva ursi, angelica, burdock.

Colors: Dark blue-green.

Flowers: Calendula, marigold, cosmos.

Scents: Strawberry, apple blossom, cherry.

Stones: Opal, rose sapphire, tourmaline, beryl, turquoise.

Trees: Yew, cypress, acacia.

Animals: Stag, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion.

Birds: Heron, crow, robin.

Deities: Astarte, Belili, Cernunnos, Demeter, Hathor, Horned God, Ishtar, Kore, Lakshmi, the Morrigan, Osiris, The Horned God, and the Wiccan Goddess in Her dark aspect as the Crone.

Powers: A time to work on inner cleansing, letting go karma, reincarnation, justice and balance.

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