Since I've missed 13 days of the 31 Days of Samhain fun posted by Salem Witch Child...I'll do an overview of some of the posts in the next few blog posts. I don't have kids, so I wont be doing the posts regarding them and I don't put my cat in costumes so I'm skipping Day 15 as well...
Day 11: What's your favorite recipe for Samhain Dinner?
Pumpkin pie of course but there are a few other pumpkin recipes I would like to try and share, most are from
www.PumpkinRecipes.org including Pumpkin Curry Pumpkin Stuffed with sausage - I would use a sweet and spicy sausage for this, preferably one that was apple smoked...mmm
I normally go to a party or a club night thats local (there's usually one in Knoxville, TN that has a good goth crowd for Halloween). This year I'm hosting a birthday party for a friend of mine in Halloween style - a Witch's Tea Party ^_^ I'll also be making the cake
For the Samhain part of that, I celebrate alone. I normally set up a small altar, thank my ancestors, specifically my Aunt Venus and my great-grandmother Bertha and my grandfather Walter.
I ask for guidance form the Crone, my patron, and do some divination for the coming year.
Day 13: Favorite Halloween Movie
Oooo...thats tough as I am a major horror movie fan...
I suppose i would choose Nightmare on Elm Street (original), Pet Cemetery 2, Salem's Lot, Dracula...yea i can't pick one...sorry
Day 14: Favorite Costumes for Adults:
I will say I love group costumes
Day 17: What's your favorite scary monster?
Day 18: What God/dess do you invoke on Samhain?
The Crone. She is my patron deity and has been with me since birth. I dedicated my divination to her since i was 14, when she showed herself to me.
So I have found, since coming back from my hiatus from reading, that my readings are not only becoming more accurate but that I'm starting to get time frames of when things are going to happen.
My last reading about my job was if I was going to take the leap of faith and get a new job I would have to do it immediately. I didn't and literally days later the new job was no longer available to me.
In a reading before that, I was focusing on whether or not to buy a new house and the cards told me that in a month's time the decision was going to be made for me. I forgot about this as the house we were looking at turned out to have black mold in the foundation. Today, I learned that we will be moving before the new year to a new state...more on that soon.
These are only a few examples...more are happening only they are with the readings I have done for friends and more personal and not appropriate for blogging...
Has anyone else felt a surge of accuracy or timeliness in their readings?
I wonder if its just me or the coming of 2012.
I am doing another reading regarding a very personal matter tonight that I may put up here after some further verification on Tuesday...that will make more sense when I'm able to explain, promise.
I am still technically on hiatus from blogging but I think I will be done with that on Wednesday. -crosses fingers-
I just finished Reading Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
While I really enjoyed the book, I will say I feel like it is nothing like the movie. I recommended it to a few friends, some of which were sad to hear this last statement but others were happy because they felt they didn't really believe Sally's character in the movie and the book, I feel, explains her better.
I still really love the movie, and wouldn't have changed it at all.
I really love the theme of true love vs obsession in the book as well as the Maiden Mother Crone theme evident of 2 maidens, the 2 aspects of the mother/huntress and the 2 crones. It would be a good book to do papers on in high school or college.
I'm just posting a brief apology and notice that I'm going through some schedule changes at work and until things are worked out there (if they ever are), I'm going to be a little absent from the blog or my posts are going to be very short and to the point.
For those of you who are wondering what is going on:
I went into work yesterday and was deviated for breaking my scheduled time. When I looked at my schedule (which is normally 9-6 m-f) I found it had been changed over the long weekend to 11-8 without warning. My boss and the woman who makes the schedules informed me the only way to get my schedule changed back is to trade with someone else (the only people requesting trades that I've found work 1-10). The same woman who makes the schedules knew about the change Wednesday of last week...but I got deviated with several others for not knowing about it and coming in at the wrong time.
To top it all off, the woman who makes the schedules knows very well that my husband and I share a car and need to work the same schedule as we live an hour away from town and there's no logical way for him to drive to work and then back to get me.
At this point, I can either go in at 9 and get my full hours and be deviated until they fire me or not go in to work at all because I have no way of getting there...I'm not sure how its going to work out.
Saying a little prayer to the calendar and work gods and hoping that my applications at the hospital and at a few bars for bartending will be accepted and I'll be able to make the choice to leave my current position.
Thanks for listening to my little rant and again, sorry if I'm a lil MIA here in the next week or so. I promise to catch up on my 31 days of Samhain and on the other magickal craziness going on this month.
So my day has been terrible...and now I go to bed with a headache wondering if I will be able to even make it to work at a scheduled time tomorrow.
However, I did receive in the mail my copy of Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic. While I love the movie, I have never actually read the book and am very excited about receiving this. I had actually given up looking for the book due to the cheap price (99 cents plus $2 shipping) and thought it was indeed too good to be true. I was wrong to think so and was also given the pleasant surprise that the book was hardback, not paperback like I had expected.
Ironically, it was just after ordering it through Ebay that I received my Kindle...oh well.
I'll let you know what I think when I finish it ^_^
So remember the reading I did that was related to finding a new job?
I didn't jump on the offered job when it was available and now, first day back after a long weekend, I learn that my current job has dropped from kinda sucky to worst hell hole ever!
I could write page after page of rants but suffice to say that the management is disorganized to a point that its making working there unbearable.
Of course, now, the aforementioned job is no longer available to me.
However, a friend of mine might be able to get me a job bartending,which I am certified for.
So, I'll be doing some divination and maybe a 'find a job' spell in the week to follow. Stay tuned for more info later.
Day 8: What sorts of things do you put on your Samhain altar?
Sadly, my altars are usually pretty sparse and simple, so this post won't be all that elaborate.
For Samhain, I am usually alone in my celebration and will decorate either a blanket on the floor or a small table with black candles in candle holders, a small pumpkin, maybe some maple leaves, a pentacle, my athame, and a black bowl with water for scrying. Also available will be the ritual written out on parchment nearby for me to work off of.
Sorry for the simple and short post. In order to make this post a little more pleasing to read, I'll include some photos of beautiful Samhain altars I've found through a search engine.
I have a new (well new to me) Kindle!
I've been wanting one since they came out and now I have one!
So far I have just under 50 books (most of them classic novels) and all free. I'll be taking a few boxes of old fiction novels to the used book store and selling what I can and using that money to buy e-books of the same titles.
We tend to move pretty frequently for one reason or another and Damon isn't too keen on lugging around boxes of heavy books. I wont, however, be selling my rare or antique books or my metaphysical books for reasons I feel are obvious.
I have been looking at the free books available on amazon and have found quite a few on witchcraft including anthropological looks on witchcraft, texts on the witch burnings in Europe and America, and even the Pagan Book of ABCs. ^_^
Any of you have e-readers? Recommend any good e-books (preferably free or cheap)?
Its hunting season here in TN and my husband, as I type, is outside practicing shooting his bow. I was picking up a broken bow of the kitchen table earlier and thought, "This would make a decent wand." This led to many other ideas about how magick and hunting could easily be integrated.
A witch that hunts, or has loved ones that hunt, could do spells that vary from ensuring a kill to protecting the hunter to preventing bad weather.
While I haven't put that much thought into it, I did come up with what I feel are good ideas to integrate into hunting spells.
Use an arrow for a wand or athame.
Consider making camo print robes...could be cute if you go for that sort of thing, plus, they certainly call to the earthier side of magick.
Bless all the hunting clothes they will wear with both protection and health spells
Bless weapons with victory and protection (that they don't hit anyone else other than their intended target)
Blessing the kill after the hunt and giving thanks not only to the gods but also to the animal.
Gods and Goddesses of the Hunt that you can call upon in your spells include:
Artemis or Diana (especially for bow hunting)
Cernunnos (especially for deer hunting)
Skadi (especially for winter hunts)
Neith (Neit) (especially for bow hunting and Egyptian fans)
Herne (especially for protection on the hunt or night hunts)
Sarbanda (an assimilation of Ishtar)
Horus is also said to be an Egyption God of the hunt
What are your ideas? Do you hunt? Do you use magick while hunting or preparing to hunt?
My Aunt Venus aka Jodi was one of my favorite aunts. She was my grandfather's only sister and 1 of 8 children.
She never married and there have been many comments just in my lifetime about how she was called Jodi, rather than Venus, because she was not nearly as pretty as her namesake implied.
Though my aunt was not a beauty, she had a beautiful heart.
Aunt Jodi took care of my of her family from her grandparents to her brothers' grandbabies.
It was stated after she died that though she had no children of her own it seemed like she was the mother of many.
I am told I am very much like my aunt. We are both crafty women, making everything from our own jewelry to up-cycling clothes. We also shared a love of herbalism.
When I was sharing the recipe for the Essiac cure and speaking about Sheep's Sorrel, my mother commented on how Aunt Jodi would make the children go harvest sheep's sorrel for a cleansing tea.
I celebrated the life and blessed the after-life of my dearest aunt last Samhain, asking that she in turn bless me and my works as I follow in her footsteps of creation and healing. I will do so again this year.
I couldn't choose...BUT I did find an old post by witchy woman, Celtic Lady that list several Samhain-y pics that feature the Crone along with a good article about her HERE. The crone is a patron deity of my own and I love to celebrate her this time of the year.
I hope that satisfies (^_^) <- my attempt at a jack-o-lantern smiley.
Day 3: What do I want to Teach people about Samhain?
That its not a commercialized party but a true religious holiday...
Remember in the movie, Hocus Pocus, where the boy was talking about how Halloween was created by the candy companies? Well, it seems that this is the accepted belief by many and is encouraged, sadly, by the chuches around me as they discourage people from going to parties and taking their children Trick or Treating. I hear most churches are doing "Harvest" celebrations at the church, which involve candy and food and a little bit of preaching for your immortal soul. It just makes me a lil sad.
And then theres this little anecdote:
I'm sitting at work earlier this week and learn that I get Monday off for Columbus Day...a day celebrating a person who did not do anything. He did not found the Americas, they were already found by Europeans, he did not even set food on American soil!.
I playfully asked, what were we supposed to do on this day, apologize to Native Americans?
Another pagan I work with asked if we got Halloween off.
Answer: No...we work overtime that Monday...
So we get off for a holiday celebrating someone who didn't really do anything to warrant celebration...but we don't get off for a holiday that is thousands of years old...has a religious background...and is actually celebrated?
I would like to teach people that Halloween isn't just some excuse to get candy, dress up and party. Its an actual religious celebration, the most important holiday for many.
The lovely witch at Salem's Creations is doing a 31 Days of Samhain blog topic reel and I decided to join in...a little belatedly. These next few days I'll be making multiple posts in hopes to play catch-up.
Day 1: What is a Memorable Experience During Samhain? combined with Day 2: What do I remember as most exciting about Samhain/Halloween as a child?
While it isn't particularly pagany, my most memorable Halloween experience was when I was about 9 or 10 and my mother took me to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom for Halloween. I went as a vampire and enjoyed the entire day riding rides, seeing so many people in costume, and just being an excited kid during my favorite holiday.
We were late getting home and I almost missed trick-or-treating but my mom grabbed a pillow case off a pillow and walked me through the neighborhood and the surrounding streets to fill my pillowcase (turns out that you'll get loads if you go late as people unload what they didn't previously get rid of).
I remember be exhausted by the time I got home but I was so happy. I wished then that every day could be like Halloween...and grew up a goth witch...heh.
Maybe this little anecdote isn't what Salem's Creations was expecting but this is one of my favorite Halloween memories as vague as it is...
So I've been offered a change of job today and I do have time to make the decision so I'm trying not to freak out. Thing is, the job I currently have, I don't really like BUT its stable and has insurance. The job I'm being offered I think I'll love BUT its not all that stable in that I depend on commission style work and doesn't offer health benefits. SO I did a tarot reading to guide me:
Card 1 Strength
Despite the challenges I have faced, I have the strength and courage to succeed. I have recovered from an ill relationship (with the person who offered me the job) and am ready and willing to move on.
Card 2 The Chariot
What I want most is to succeed and not give up the fight. I am assertive in most things and if I haven't yet gotten what I want I will soon.
Card 3 The Hierophant (could not find a picture)
I doubt my own counsel and seek the advice of others - even though they will tell me the same thing.
Card 4 The Fool (could not find an adequate picture)
A time of excitement and potential. In consideration of a change for a new job, take the leap and do not worry about the safety net.
Card 5 Temperance
Life will seem hectic and full of challenges, you will need to find the right perspective on things.
Card 6 Death (could not find picture)
Change and transformation - No matter how turbulent this time may be, endings always make way for new (and sometimes better) beginnings. It is time to make a fresh start!
So What do you all think? Should I throw caution to the wind like the Fool and go for the job I'll love or should I hold on to the stability of a job I'm unhappy with?
So I am reading again and its been a such a relief, which I found most unexpected. By reading tarot, I open up my throat chakra - the one I have the hardest time with - and can speak my truth freely. I learn to slowly not let others prevent me from speaking or filter my words. I tell them what it is they need to hear from the cards and, from my belief, the higher self or the divine.
Starting to read the cards for more people lately and I'e seen my creativity blossom as well. Once I find the wood burning kit in storage I plan on making me a tarot reading sign for when I do festival type readings.
I thought I would share with you what decks I use and the spreads I am most comfortable with.
My primary deck, which is still AWOL at the moment is the Fantastical Tarot - out of print.
Fantastical Tarot High Priestess
This deck I bought used in Lexington, KY and fell in love with immediately. While many feel that the images are dark I feel they remind me of a perspective not so different from my own with a little dash of the movie Labyrinth thrown in.
The Jane Austen Tarot I've spoken about here a long time ago when I first bought the deck.
I have such a connection to this deck due to its literary nature - however, I feel that if someone has not read all of Jane's books they may feel a little lost in the imagery.
My last two decks are witch's tarot decks.
Not my favorite of decks but one that I get a lot of accuracy with and, for some reason, one of the more popular people's choice decks.
The Tarot Nova deck
This deck was my very first and it was given to me by my good friend Aconita and I will always treasure it because of that.
This deck is difficult for me to shuffle due to the thickness and squareness of the cards and thats one of the main reasons I don't use it much. The imagery is very simple - almost like an oracle deck in that it would be difficult to decipher the kabbalistic and kemetic meanings of the cards from the pictures. Mostly I just go on instinct with this one.
Forgot to add the spreads:
1 card question and answer usually yes or no question that I've thought about for a long time to ensure that the answer is specific
3 card past, present and future spread
Celtic cross using 10 cards for full explanation of the situation at hand
So I grabbed up a friend of mine yesterday and went to Michael's, the Dollar Tree and WalMart to get supplies to make Witch's Bottles - Damon came along and between the three of us the adult ADD moments were rampant.
One item necessary for the bottles is the bottle itself and I looked and looked in the jewelry, glass and art department for small glass bottles with a cork - nothing. I figures I was just overlooking them so I went to ask a store associate and learned that they were in the Scrapbook department...O.o
I asked why, and its due to the brand of the bottles all being in the same area, which I assume makes sense.
Since I was in the scrapbook department, I looked around a little at scrapbook supplies for my Scrap BOS. In the Halloween collection I saw the perfect paper for BOS pages (all witchy and black and fun) but the book of it was a little out of my price range so I vowed to return the first of November for the lovely paper and went on.
This strange little vow made me think of frugality in witchcraft. We are a group of people who use what we can, what we need, what we can get our hands on for the purpose of changing and bending. I like this concept. The idea of the witch being a creature of necessity and creativity.
That, I think, is also where the Witch's Bottle comes from - a bottle filled with random objects such as bits of broken mirror, bent or broken needles, scraps of cloth, whatever else was lying around the house that could be used in protective magick.
I seriously doubt any person back in ye olden days purposely broke a needle when they weren't sure if they could afford the next one, nor did they waste such a valuable commodity as a mirror or a bit of glass unless it was broke beyond use.
I collected all the things we needed for the bottles and headed back to my friend's house where her hubs made warming rice and turkey soup (with dried habanero that we gave them a few weeks back, Yay for the barter system!) and taught her a little about witch's bottles. We also discussed crafting our own candle holders and had fun sorting out some craft supplies.
Damon, on the other hand, has his own craft project coming along - he bought some fabric at Wally world and is making me some comfy hippie pants. The fabric is black filigree with some purple cotton for the etching and the pockets (so I'll be a gothy-hippie, my favorite) ^_^ and he and the other hubs spent the evening having a beer and discussing sewing and knitting and I noted the irony of this more than a few times.
Its 52 degrees outside, fall leaves are whirling on the autumnal breeze, there's news of snow upon the mountains surrounding our little 'holler' of a neighborhood - we have a fire on the hearth crackling away and filling the house with the sedative aroma of wood smoke.
I spent the day canning a fall harvest of spiced pears and just tasted the literal fruit of my labors - delicious.
My astrology reading for the month says that I shall reach a spiritual awakening in the coming days and I look forward to it. Turns out I am not the only one...
Last night, Damon and I hooked up with some friends of ours (also a married couple, which is rare in our circle) and went to Perkins (a restaurant and bakery that is open 24 hours) where we had a waitress who shared similar faith paths (we recognized each other by kind and jewelry). It was a moon-blessed meeting as I learned that she also has her own business - we exchanged business networking and I obtained her personal contact information.
After dinner (the only downfall of which was that they did not have the Pumpkin muffins I was looking forward to), we went back to our friends' home where I processed to give them a tarot reading - as I am a little rusty on giving them to friends and family (which I find harder as I have to separate myself form them and any biases I may have).
In the reading of the husband, I learned that he too is on the brink of a spiritual awakening and growth - how blessed!
October is such an amazing month and I look forward to it all year for the harvest of the years many blessings (both physical and spiritual).
Divination is an aspect of the Craft that I am very drawn to and I love all the different ways witches have to scry and divine past, present, future, answers to questions, inner conflict, etc.
My favorite means of divination are via cards (Tarot and oracle), a bowl of water, or my black Rainbow Obsidian sphere. I also scry using fire either by candle light or at the hearth.
I would like to learn to read tea leaves at some point - a combination of two of my favorite things Tea drinking and Divination!
Playing around on Etsy I decided to make a treasury list of some very nice divination tools I've come across.