Well this blog post is dealing   with how everyone seems to get butt hurt over people wearing costumes for there costume parties ! Seems to me that everyone is forgetting this is the land of the free, I as a ex-service person whom has served did so in the belief that we do so to ensure freedom in this Country and freedom for it’s citizens, not oppression of the freedoms because of liberal fascism, if someone wants to wear a Indian Costume, let them, goodness  for one best form of flattery is imitation , thats is generally meant as a compliment! and also how many know the historical background of halloween?

In today’s encore excerpt – the origins of Halloween:

“Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

Celts: The Celts were people in Iron Age and Medieval Europe who spoke Celtic languages and had cultural similarities, although the relationship between ethnic, linguistic and cultural factors in the Celtic world remains uncertain and controversial.

Druids:A druid (Welsh: derwydd; Old Irish: druí) was a member of the educated, professional class among the Celtic peoples of Gaul, the British isles, and possibly elsewhere during the Iron Age.

In ancient times a Druid was a philosopher, teacher, counsellor and magician, the word probably meaning ‘A Forest Sage’ or ‘Strong Seer’. In modern times, a Druid is someone who follows Druidry as their chosen spiritual path, or who has entered the Druid level of training in a Druid Order.

The reason we tend to visualise the Druid as an old man in our imagination is partly due, perhaps, to a realisation that by the time one has undertaken the training of Bard and Ovate one is bound to be ancient! We cannot be sure of the exact time it took, but Caesar mentions that some spent as long as twenty years in their education at Druid colleges. But this is really little different to the time young people now take to complete their education, and Caesar’s account is reminiscent of the situation of monastic schools in Europe and as far afield as Tibet, where young people would go or be sent for a complete education: free from the burden of taxation or military service and “instigated by such advantages, many resort to their school even of their own accord, whilst others are sent by their parents and relations.” Commentators point out that ‘twenty years’ could have been a figure of speech to denote a long duration of time, or that it might have actually been 19 years, since the Druids almost certainly used the Metonic Cycle, a method of reckoning based on the nineteen-year eclipse cycle.

If the Bard was the poet and musician, the preserver of lore, the inspirer and entertainer, and the Ovate was the doctor, detective, diviner and seer, what was the Druid? Their functions, simply stated, were to act as advisor to rulers, as judge, as teacher, and as an authority in matters of worship and ceremony. The picture this paints is of mature wisdom, of official position and privilege, and of roles which involved decision-making, direction and the imparting of knowledge and wise counsel.

We tend to think of the Druid as a sort of priest – but this is not borne out by the evidence. The classical texts refer to them more as philosophers than priests. At first this appears confusing since we know they presided at ceremonies, but if we understand that Druidry was a natural, earth religion as opposed to a revealed religion, such as Christianity or Islam, we can see that the Druids probably acted not as mediators of Divinity, but as directors of ritual, guiding and containing the rites.

In addition to this, we know that they fulfilled a number of other functions, which we shall now examine. Separating these out is for the sake of convenience only, for in reality the roles often merged and combined, as we realise when Caesar tells us “They have many discussions as touching the stars and their movement, the size of the universe and of the earth, the order of nature, the strength and the powers of the immortal gods, and hand down their lore to the young men.” Here we see the Druids as scientists – as astronomers and mathematicians, as philosophers discussing the powers of the gods, and as teachers passing on their wisdom.

Druids as Judges

The Druids are considered the most just of men, and on this account they are entrusted with the decision, not only of the private disputes, but of the public disputes as well; so that, in former times, they even arbitrated cases of war and made the opponents stop when they were about to line up for battle, and the murder cases in particular were turned over to them for decision.
Strabo Geographica

It is they who decide in almost all disputes, public and private; and if any crime has been committed, or murder done, or there is any dispute about succession or boundaries, they also decide it, determining rewards and penalties: if any person or people does not abide by their decision, they ban such from sacrifice, which is their heaviest penalty.
what is a Pagan?

Sadly, when people first hear the words Pagan or Paganism they tend to think, “devil worshiper”, or they picture some wild, orgiastic, way-out individual with no regard for what is sacred or for “God”; a cult member who sacrifices babies.

This kind of thinking couldn’t be farther away from the truth of who Pagans are and what Paganism really is!

So what exactly is Paganism, you ask?
It’s simply an umbrella term covering many different religions and belief systems.
Paganism is a spiritual way of life and its origins are rooted in the ancient nature religions of the world.
Paganism has absolutely nothing to do with Satan, demons, or devils.
Paganism, sometimes referred to as The Old Religion, pre-dates Christianity.
Pagans do not believe in the entity Satan, a Christian concept.

Many standard dictionaries define the word “pagan” as being a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim. This is far too broad a definition and many peoples who fall outside of these mainstream religions may not consider themselves to be Pagan, moreover, this definition conveys practically nothing about Paganism itself.
The word “Pagan” comes from the Latin words paganus and pagana meaning “country dweller or villager”.
After the Romans adopted Christianity as their official religion, the older religions continued to be practiced only outside of the city, in the countryside.
The word “pagan” signified people who were thought to be uncivilised bumpkins who practiced an earth-based religion native to their land.
Modern day Pagans are people who have retained the wisdom and values of their ancestors and modified these ancient practices to suit their contemporary lifestyles.

Pagans may practice different religions based upon their geographical location or cultural background. Or they may practice based upon a spiritual affinity for a specific tradition. For example, in Africa pagan practice includes tribal religions; in Europe, some traditions include Norse, Celtic, Greek and various traditions of Witchcraft and Wicca; in the Americas, Native tribal religions and offshoots may include or combine beliefs such as Brujeria, the Medicine Societies, etc.
Likewise, for example, a Chinese-American may feel an affinity for and practice a Celtic religion or may combine the Celtic practice with a Native American tradition.
For every pagan it is different and highly personalised.

Some common beliefs and practices between the differing pagan religions include:

  • 1) Polytheism- the belief in more than one god.
  • 2) Pantheism- any religious belief or philosophical doctrine that identifies God with the Universe. Pagans may or may not worship within a pantheon, that is a realm or group of gods and goddesses of all different creeds. These gods may be seen as aspects of a single Divine Principle.
  • 3) Animism- the belief that natural objects and phenomena possess souls. Animists believe that all things are alive and animated with spirit.
  • 4) Belief in the immortality of the spirit and in the unending cycles of the Seasons and life itself: birth, death, and rebirth.Although some Pagan religions are inherited and may not be practiced by outsiders except by invitation, most traditions welcome new members
    but do not proselytise or seek to convert anyone.
    Eclectic Pagans may follow several traditions, in addition to one of the other major religions as well.

How Do Pagan`s Define “God”?

Pagans celebrate the sanctity of Nature, honouring the divinity present in all things. From a pagan perspective Earth is the mother of us all.
We are all relations.
All life is One. Pagans believe that within the Universe there is a holy continuum of consciousness, which exists in everything from inanimate objects to the pantheons of gods. Pagans revere the sacred whole in all its guises and often depict the Divine Energy as both male and female, the God and Goddess. Mother and Father.

To a Pagan every person is a wondrous, sacred, creation. Every plant, rock, tree, everything seen and unseen, is unique and beautiful.
The purpose of life as seen through a Pagan’s eyes might be best described as:
a) to live in harmony with nature,
b) to develop our personal and spiritual potential,
c) to be aware of and to manifest the inherent divinity within us all,
d) to help all people to do the same.

What Do Pagan`s Do?

Pagans are dedicated to spiritual growth and personal development. One way we achieve these things is by communing with nature, attuning ourselves to its cycles, it’s continual ebb and flow.
A Pagan can encounter Divinity within him or herself simply by taking a walk on the beach or through the woods or by visiting a favourite spot outdoors. Observing the natural forces at work in the world around us is a way for pagans to explore the innerself.
It helps us to remember the beautiful and delicate harmony that exists between humanity, nature and the Divine.

Most Pagan religions revere the God and Goddess (or some aspect of the Divine in whatever form it is perceived as) through ritual or ceremonies of various kinds.
During these rites we seek to experience the harmony spoken of earlier, between the natural cycles of ourselves and the world.

Pagan Holidays are known as Esbats and Sabbats.
Esbats are observances based on the phases of the moon. Sabbats are seasonal festivals based on the astronomical and agricultural year:
the solstices, the equinoxes, and the cross-quarter days.

Something all Pagans take very seriously is planet Earth. We are all aware of the dire environmental issues facing the human race today.
Many Pagans’ deep respect for the Environment has led to our participation in eco-aware causes, as we strive to responsibly develop a safe and fruitful existence for all of Earth’s creatures.

In short, Pagans are peaceful people who hold nature in high esteem. They seek to enhance the quality of life by bettering themselves and the world around them through dedication to their chosen spiritual path.

and because Im a firm believer in educating folks so that most will hopefully make a more civilized opinion, instead of the ignorance that is bread by certain religions

Samhain Ritual
Ancestor Night, Celtic New Year, October 31st

Tools:
In addition to your magickal tools, you will need:

  • An Orange Alter Cloth
  • Cauldron
  • 1 Black Taper Goddess Candle
  • 1 Black Taper God Candle
  • 2 Carved Turnip Candle Holders
  • 1 Black Votive Candle
  • 1 White Pillar Candle
  • 1 Apple
  • A Bolline
  • A Plate of Fruit
  • Vegetables and Breads
  • Pictures or Mementos of Departed Loved Ones
  • Samhain Incense (Mint, Nutmeg, Apple)

Preparation:
Sweep area, moving in a deosil manner. Outline your circle with a black cord, fresh turned earth, or salt. Place the black taper Goddess Candle to the top left on altar. Place the black taper God candle to the top right on altar. Place the black votive candle in the cauldron, positioned on floor in front of the altar. Plate of Fruit, Vegetables, and Breads should be put in-between Goddess and God candles at top center of altar. Apple and Bolline should be placed in center of altar, on a Pentacle if possible. Arrange the rest of your tools and props according to personal preference. Bathe or shower for purification. If you have magickal jewelry or jewelry passed on to you by departed loved ones, this is the ritual to wear it all. Sit and meditate to ground and center. When ready to begin, play some appropriate soothing music for ambiance.

Cast the circle and call Quarters…… invoke the Crone aspect of the Goddess by lighting the black taper Goddess candle and saying:

“Dark Mother, ruler of the night, Goddess of death and rebirth, Hear and behold Your child this night as I honor Thee and Thy realm. I stand humbly before Thee, asking for Thy blessing and favor. Lift, now, the Veil between the worlds, as this time-out-of-time begins, That I may commune with my ancestors as they journey to the Summerlands.”

Step back from the altar and concentrate on the Goddess candle’s flame. Should it rise and flicker, proceed. If not, silently project your wish to commune with your loved ones that have passed on. When you feel that your wish has been acknowledged, invoke the God by lighting the black taper God candle and saying:

“Dark Father, aged Consort of the Crone, Lord of the Underworld, Hear and behold Your child this night as I honor Thee and Thy realm. I stand between Thee and Thy Lady, asking for blessing and favor. As this time-out-of-time approaches, stand ever guard as the Veil lifts, Keep safe my ancestors, and all of my loved ones As they journey to the Summerlands”

Step back from the altar and concentrate on the God candle’s flame. If it rises and flickers, proceed. If not, silently project your wishes that your loved ones be kept safe on their journey. When you feel that your request has been acknowledged, step back up to the alter and pick up the apple, saying:

“Tonight as the barrier between the two realms grows thin,
Spirits walk amongst us, once again.
They be family, friends and foes,
Pets and wildlife, fishes and crows.
But be we still mindful of the Wee Folke at play,
Elves, fey, brownies, and sidhe.”

Cut the apple crosswise with the Bolline to reveal the symbolic pentagram at the core. Take a bite of one half of the apple and set it back on the Pentacle. (This apple and others will be buried outside later, after the ritual is done) Continue:

“Some to trick, some to treat,
Some to purposely misguide our feet.
Stay we on the paths we know
As planting sacred apples we go.”

Now take your wand in your projective hand to bless the “Feast of the Dead”. Wave it over the plate of fruits, vegetables, and breads, saying:

“This Feast I shall leave on my doorstep all night.
In my window one candle shall burn bright,
To help my loved ones find their way
As they travel this eve, and this night, until day.
Bless my offering, both Lady and Lord
Of breads and fruits, greens and gourd.”

Replace the wand on the altar, step back and bow your head. Stay silent for a minute or two as the blessing is given. Proceed by lighting the black votive candle in the cauldron and saying:

“Dark Mother Your cauldron is a well of death and rebirth,
Dark Father Your sword both protects and annihilates.
Hear me now as the past year slowly dies, only to be reborn again.
Today, the last of the Harvests is complete.
This symbolic harvest is of my thought-seeds,
Planted and nurtured throughout this past year.
May the good come to pass and the bad be cast aside.
With Your divine guidance and protection,
I step into the New Year,
May I have good health, prosperity, and happiness.”

With the flame of the black votive candle light the white pillar candle, saying:

“As the New Year is born, we are all reborn
With new hopes and dreams.
Guide me in the future as in the past.
Give me strength and courage,
Knowledge and fulfillment,
Assist me as I attempt to achieve my goals.”

Snuff the black votive candle and replace it. Remove the white pillar candle from the cauldron and place it in the center of your altar. Stare in to the flame and think about the goals that you are setting for the upcoming year. When done, say:

“Every beginning has an ending,
And every ending is a new beginning.
In Life is Death, and in Death is Life.
Watch over me, my loved ones, and all of my
Brothers and Sisters, here and departed,
Who, tonight are joined together again for
Fellowship and celebration.
Bless us all as we light our bonfires, our hearth fires,
And the eternal fires in our hearts.
Guide us and protect us,
Tonight and throughout the coming year.
Blessed Be! Blessed Be!”

As you say “Blessed Be!” stretch out your arms over your alter as if to embrace all of your ancestors, your departed loved ones, and everyone on Earth. As you say “Blessed Be” again, embrace yourself with a reborn love and pride.

It is now time for meditation and spellworking. Associated spellworkings would include those for protection, self-confidence, and dissuading harm. If there is no spellworking, celebrate with Cakes and Ale, then release the Circle. Clean up. You are done. Leave the white pillar candle burning somewhere it won’t be disturbed. Some use it as the single candle in their window, but I leave it on my altar and use an electric candle in the window to dissuade a fire!

***This Samhain Ritual and Planner are dedicated to MyztkM’jyk as she begins her Year and a Day study. We wish her wisdom and fulfillment…

to people of my  Belief this is a very important festival celebration, I’m wicca “Pagan”

Samhain Lore (October 31st)

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.

It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort.

Originally the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”. Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.

This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person’s fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Also known as All Hallow’s Eve, (that day actually falls on November 7th), and Martinmas (that is celebrated November 11th), Samhain is now generally considered the Witch’s New Year.

Symbolism of Samhain:
Third Harvest, the Dark Mysteries, Rebirth through Death.

Symbols of Samhain:
Gourds, Apples, Black Cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, Besoms.

Herbs of Samhain:
Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, Oak leaves, Sage and Straw.

Foods of Samhain:
Turnips, Apples, Gourds, Nuts, Mulled Wines, Beef, Pork, Poultry.

Incense of Samhain:
Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg.

Colors of Samhain:
Black, Orange, White, Silver, Gold.

Stones of Samhain:
All Black Stones, preferably jet or obsidian.

Wicca-

What Is Wicca


Contrary to what those who choose to persecute or lie about us wish to believe, Wicca is a very peaceful, harmonious and balanced way of life which promotes oneness with the divine and all which exists.

Wicca is a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day.   It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face.   Wicca is the fall of colorful autumn leaves, and the softness of winter snow.   It is light, and shadow and all that lies in between.  It is the song of the birds and other creatures of the wild.   It is being in the presence of Mother Earths nature and being humbled in reverence.   When we are in the temple of the Lord and Lady, we are not prone to the arrogance of human technology as they touch our souls.   To be a Witch is to be a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things.   If this path is yours, may you walk it with honor, light and integrity.

Wicca is a belief system and way of life based upon the reconstruction of pre-Christian traditions originating in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.   While much of the information of how our ancestors lived, worshiped and believed has been lost due to the efforts of the medieval church to wipe our existence from history, we try to reconstruct those beliefs to the best of our ability with the information that is available.

Thanks to archaeological discoveries, we now have basis to believe that the origins of our belief system can be traced even further back to the Paleolithic peoples who worshipped a Hunter God and a Fertility Goddess.   With the discovery of these cave paintings, estimated to be around 30,000 years old, depicting a man with the head of a stag, and a pregnant woman standing in a circle with eleven other people, it can reasonably be assumed that Witchcraft is one of the oldest belief systems known in the world toady.   These archetypes are clearly recognized by Wiccan as our view of the Goddess and God aspect of the supreme creative force and predate Christianity by roughly 28,000 years making it a mere toddler in the spectrum of time as we know it.

Witchcraft in ancient history was known as “The Craft of the Wise” because most who followed the path were in tune with the forces of nature, had a knowledge of Herbs and medicines, gave council and were valuable parts of the village and community as Shamanic healers and leaders.   They understood that mankind is not superior to nature, the earth and its creatures but instead we are simply one of the many parts, both seen and unseen that combine to make the whole.   As Chief Seattle said; “We do not own the earth, we are part of it.”   These wise people understood that what we take or use, we must return in kind to maintain balance and equilibrium. Clearly, modern man with all his applied learning and technology has forgotten this.   Subsequently, we currently face ecological disaster and eventual extinction because of our hunger for power and a few pieces of gold.

For the past several hundred years, the image of the Witch has been mistakenly associated with evil, heathenism, and unrighteousness.   In my humble opinion, these misconceptions have their origin in a couple of different places.

To begin, the medieval church of the 15th through 18th centuries created these myths to convert the followers of the old nature based religions to the churches way of thinking.   By making the Witch into a diabolical character and turning the old religious deities into devils and demons, the missionaries were able to attach fear to these beliefs which aided in the conversion process.    Secondly, as medical science began to surface, the men who were engaged in these initial studies had a very poor understanding of female physiology, especially in the area of a women’s monthly cycles.   The unknowns in this area played very well with the early churches agenda lending credence to the Witch Hunters claims and authority.   The fledgling medical professions also stood to benefit greatly from this because it took the power of the women healers away giving it to the male physicians transferring the respect and power to them.

Unfortunately these misinformed fears and superstitions have carried forward through the centuries and remain to this day.   This is why many who follow these nature oriented beliefs have adopted the name of Wicca over its true name of Witchcraft to escape the persecution, harassment and misinformation associated with the name of Witchcraft and Witch not to mention the bad publicity the press and Hollywood has given us simply to generate a profit.

What Witchcraft is:
Witchcraft is a spiritual system that fosters the free thought and will of the individual, encourages learning and an understanding of the earth and nature thereby affirming the divinity in all living things.   Most importantly however, it teaches responsibility.   We accept responsibility for our actions and deeds as clearly a result of the choices we make.   We do not blame an exterior entity or being for our shortcomings, weaknesses or mistakes.   If we mess up or do something that brings harm to another, we have no one but ourselves to blame and we must face the consequences resulting from those actions.   No ifs, ands or buts and no whining…

We acknowledge the cycles of nature, the lunar phases and the seasons to celebrate our spirituality and to worship the divine.   It is a belief system that allows the Witch to work with, not in supplication to deities with the intent of living in harmony and achieving balance with all things.

The spells that we do involve healing, love, harmony, wisdom and creativity.   The potions that we stir might be a headache remedy, a cold tonic, or an herbal flea bath for our pets.   We strive to gain knowledge of and use the natural remedies placed on this earth by the divine for our benefit instead of using synthetic drugs unless absolutely necessary.

Wiccan believe that the spirit of the One, Goddess and God exist in all things.   In the trees, rain, flowers, the sea, in each other and all of natures creatures.   This means that we must treat “all things” of the Earth as aspects of the divine.   We attempt to honor and respect life in all its many manifestations both seen and unseen.

Wiccan learn from and revere the gift of nature from divine creation by celebrating the cycles of the sun, moon and seasons.   We search within ourselves for the cycles that correspond to those of the natural world and try to live in harmony with the movement of this universal energy.   Our teachers are the trees, rivers, lakes, meadows, mountains and animals as well as others who have walked this path before us.   This belief creates a reverence and respect for the environment, and all life upon the Earth.

We also revere the spirits of the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water which combine to manifest all creation.   From these four elements we obtain insight to the rhythms of nature and understand they are also the rhythms of our own lives.

Because Witches have been persecuted for so many centuries, we believe in religious freedom first!   We do not look at our path as the only way to achieve spirituality, but as one path among many to the same end.   We are not a missionary religion out to convert new members to think the same as we do.   We are willing to share our experience and knowledge with those who seek our wisdom and perspective however.   We believe that anyone who is meant for this path will find it through their own search as the Goddess speaks to each of us in her time and way.   Wiccan practice tolerance and acceptance toward all other religions as long as those faiths do not persecute others or violate the tenant of “Harm None.”

What Witchcraft is not:
More information about Witchcraft is available in the Frequently Asked Questions section, but in the interim, here are the main points.

  • Witchcraft or Wicca is not a cult.   We do not proclaim ourselves to be spokespersons for the divine or try to get others to follow us as their leaders.

  • We do not worship Satan or consort with Demons.   Satan is a Christian creation and they can keep him.   We do not need a paranoid creation of supreme evil and eternal damnation to scare us into doing the right thing and helping others.   We choose to do the right thing and love our brothers and sisters because it IS the right thing and it feels good to do it.   I suppose it is a maturity thing.

  • We do not sacrifice animals or humans because that would violate our basic tenant of “Harm None.”   Anyone who does and claims to be a Wiccan or a Witch is lying.

  • We have no need to steal or control the life force of another to achieve mystical or supernatural powers.   We draw our energy from within, our personal relationship with the divine and nature.

  • We do not use the forces of nature or the universe to hex or cast spells on others.   Again, “Harm None” is the whole of the law.

Witches have a very strict belief in the Law of Three which states that whatever we send out into our world shall return to us three fold either good or bane.   With this in mind, a “True Witch” would hesitate in doing magick to harm or manipulate another because that boomerang we throw will eventually come back to us much larger and harder then when we threw it.

This is not to say that Witches are perfect, we are human too just like everyone else and make mistakes and errors in judgment.   Just as there are parents who love and nurture their children, there are parents who abuse their children.   As there are many who devote their lives to giving and helping mankind, likewise there are those who devote their lives to taking advantage of and using people for their own gain.   Unfortunately the same flaws in human nature applies to witches too.

Most of us continually strive to consider all potential outcomes of our thoughts and actions pausing to seriously consider the consequences before undertaking a ritual, spell or rite that could go astray.   It is when we follow the path with the love of the Goddess in our hearts and adhere to the basic tenant of the Reed that our works are beneficial and we achieve harmony and balance with all things.

The heart of Wicca is not something summed up into a few short words and can often take on different meaning to each since the Lord and Lady touch us in different ways.   To gain a fuller understanding of the Craft, I urge you visit the other pages on this site as well as following the links to a select group of exceptional Wiccan and Witchcraft sites.   Through the wisdom and words set down through the ages, you will find that you are able to understand the basis of our beliefs and how they may apply to you.   Your inner voice will also quickly let you know if the intent of what you are reading is for superficial purposes to benefit self instead of working to benefit the whole.   Remember to read with your heart, for it is when you see life and the world with your heart and spirit that you truly gain an understanding of what Wicca is.

Blessed Be!

Samhain Lore (October 31st)

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.

It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort.

Originally the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”. Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.

This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person’s fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Also known as All Hallow’s Eve, (that day actually falls on November 7th), and Martinmas (that is celebrated November 11th), Samhain is now generally considered the Witch’s New Year.

Symbolism of Samhain:
Third Harvest, the Dark Mysteries, Rebirth through Death.

Symbols of Samhain:
Gourds, Apples, Black Cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, Besoms.

Herbs of Samhain:
Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, Oak leaves, Sage and Straw.

Foods of Samhain:
Turnips, Apples, Gourds, Nuts, Mulled Wines, Beef, Pork, Poultry.

Incense of Samhain:
Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg.

Colors of Samhain:
Black, Orange, White, Silver, Gold.

Stones of Samhain:
All Black Stones, preferably jet or obsidian.

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