Samhain and Sabbat Box

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T’was the night before Samhain
and all through the house
The spirits were rising
ready to pounce…

      Samhain. All Souls Day. Dia de los muertos. Halloween. No matter which country you go to, this time of year has always been for the dead. A time to reap and thank the last of the crops and those you’ve stored, and a time to honor the ancestors as the veil drops and their voices are easier to be heard.

        It’s one of my favorite holidays–right up there with Beltane and Yule! There’s something to be said about honoring and remembering the past. About remembering where your blood, talents, and  even habits come from. For a brief time, if you’re lucky enough, you can have a chance to speak or see (in any capacity) a relative you never met but wanted to–or never even knew existed!

This Halloween (2017) falls the day after a New Moon. Some books may tell you not to do anything magical on a new moon as there’s no energy. Some will say you should sacrifice fresh blood. And others say you should just kick back with a martini and do whatever the hell you want because energy is energy and doesn’t need to follow no moon cycle thank-you-very-much!

Personally I find New Moons to be a perfect time for banishing. Banishing old energy, emptying the trash, organizing things and using your besom to sweep up annoying energies trying to collect in the corners of your house. Throw it all out to the void of the moon. This worked perfectly for me since I tend to lean to the Celtic side of tradition and Samhain is the New Year in Celtic days. So starting fresh is perfect! Plus, and I won’t lie, it means one less ritual like thing to do ON Samhain (I’m lazy, what can I say!?). And it’s perfect timing as well because it means I have a fresh slate to use my Sabbat Box order!

Now, if you haven’t heard of it, there’s a wonderful site called Sabbat Box. It’s a box that you can sign up for and they have different plans and prices (I would also like to note, they aren’t paying me for this, I’m writing about it of my own free will!). They’re a small company and so popular that I had to be a waiting list for 2 months before I got in! And I’ve loved EVERY BOX I’VE GOTTEN. I actually ended up using the incense in the box a day early to send up a protection ward on my house. The rest I’ll be using tomorrow when I do my Solitary Samhain Ritual.

I actually really look forward to opening the box because they include a phamplet with lots of info and ideas for the Sabbat of the month AND it smells nice!

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And when you open it, it looks like this!

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       Now they give you a lot of things, and in it they give you a lot of ideas on how to use the products they give you. If you’re a seasoned witch like me, you kind of have your own ideas. But they included something I never thought I’d see–let alone knew how to use–graveyard dust! Turns out you can use it to either a) call on the ancestors to be present or b)use it for protection. Lord knows this new house I moved into needs protection, I have an active portal in it! (Why am I constantly cursed with flipping portals?! WHY!?)

This package included not only graveyard dust, but Four Thieves Vinegar to put incredibly strong protective boundaries around the house (which I’m going to do, believe you me!), oil to call on your higher self to better hear those spirits and gods, incense, a protection poppet, and two skull candles which I’m going to light at my ancestor alter tomorrow! I’m SO excited!

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     If you’re like me (and maybe you are) you might find yourself ‘alone’ for Samhain. No fun circle to go to, no coven that you’re a part of….and if you’re also like me and super extroverted–it sucks! But rather than roll over in my grave (get it? Get it!? ’cause it’s Halloween? Haha?) I’m determined to use it as a time of self reflection and to take time to really really focus on my intentions and the voices of the ancestors, spirits, gods, or whoever decides to pay me a visit!

I’ll be writing up a follow up of the ritual (and recipes!) and posting it up Wednesday. In the mean time I’ll leave you with a few ideas of what you can do Halloween night if you find yourself alone like me.

For Solitary witches who can freely practice:

-turn a tabletop into an altar for your ancestors by covering it with a black cloth and place their pictures (or pictures of beloved pets that crossed the veil) there. Light a tea light candle in front of each one to welcome them in.

-Do a ritual acknowledge the passing and death of the year

-Give yourself a tarot reading for the year to come

-Cleanse your house and put up new protective boundaries

For Solitary witches who have to hide their practice (If it has a * symbol, it means you can also do this as a witch who doesn’t have to hide):

-Clear a space on a table and put pictures up of your relatives you wish to join you (your family wont think you’re weird I promise!). If you CAN, light a tealight to welcome them.

-Carve a pumpkin*!

-When parents are asleep and if you have tarot cards (or runes, or ogahm), give yourself a reading for the coming year!

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Just Breath: Following Intuition

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Hello my witchlings and wizardlings (those are totally titles, right? Totally.)! It’s been a while but that’s because my mundane life has been…well…kinda crazy! So crazy in fact that magic and meditation had to take a backseat! And you know what? That’s okay.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s to not beat myself up if I slack off in the magic department. Not because I’m disrespectful to it or don’t cherish it, but because the gods understand. We’re human. Life happens. Sometimes if your house is on fire you gotta leave the shrine to Ganesh behind, you know? They’re not gonna get mad at you for not saving a statue!

Just like they won’t get mad at you for not celebrating every holiday or observe every Full Moon. Breath. It’s okay. Zeus won’t strike you with a lightening bolt.

……….

Okay HE might, but others won’t, I promise!

But the thing I always listen to (or try to) 24/7 is my intuition, and by doing that I live a magical life even if I don’t get to do some of the bigger stuff. Tonight for some reason (but there’s always a reason, right?), my intuition pulled my attention to chakras. Probably because I need cleansing and to balance myself out! Hey I’m a cusp sign, what can I say?

 

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While the path I chose doesn’t often cross over into Hinduism or Buddhism for that matter, I do believe in chakras (not that I don’t believe Hinduism or Buddhism isn’t real! It’s just not a path I pursue in my craft.). But apparently somewhere in me something is out of alignment or blocked. And the moment I realized I need to make a space to meditate and clear my chakras I suddenly felt calm. Centered. Magically grounded and aware in a way I haven’t felt in months!

So while you may feel bad if you missed a major holiday, or aren’t meditating everyday, or not pulling tarot cards every day because life is just gogogooo, that’s okay. Life happens. There are a million little ways you can keep magic in your life during the times that you can’t be that magical. Here are a few ideas for you!

1) Keep your altar (if you can) In a place you can see it so you can at least give it a nod before rushing off.

2) Sage (or use a cleansing mister) your house every once in a while

3) Keep some quartz in a bowl in your living room to keep the energy up

4) Ring a bell to clear the air

5) if you’re making food pause for a moment and put some loving energy into it (even if you’re just warming up frozen pizza for dinner!) so that others can have some love!

6) Follow any gut instincts you have

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Wednesday Meditation: Communication

Doing these daily intents semi-meditations has been amazing. I’ve noticed a huge leaps and bonds difference in my ability to see/hear messages from spirit guides and higher beings.

After yesterday’s incredible meditation, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be getting a repeat–especially since I only had five minutes to do the light meditation! One of the themes that is good for practicing today is Communication. So I lit my purple candle, some lavender incense, and got down to business!

My focus was specifically communication when it came to writing and being able to clearly write what I needed, so that when I wrote my book it came out well and I could communicate my imagination clearly and well onto paper. About three seconds after I’d completed the thought the smoke from the incense suddenly shuddered and wavered (in an airless room. No fans, no open window) and the trailing end of it took on a very very decidedly ‘word’ shape. It looked like it was writing in cursive, with loops and everything to denote ‘y’s and ‘p’s and ‘g’s.

I couldn’t read the words, but I read the message: They were going to help me! Talk about clear communication huh!?

I hope today you’re able to find the words you’re looking for–that you’re able to clearly communicate your feelings and thoughts, whether on paper or in conversation! Blessed Be!

Tuesday Intent: Courage

Tonight I meditated, and the theme I wanted to focus on was courage. Courage is something that is hard to have, especially in face of adversity or challenging times. You want to give up. You want to hide in your bed and pretend the problem didn’t exist.

So as I lit my white candle (since I had no orange to speak of, and white is a good all purpose one) and my dragons blood incense I listed out loud the things I was afraid to face. I was brutally honest with myself–and that takes courage, because more than anything, we hide from ourselves; especially our faults. I said out loud the things I was afraid to face about myself. Because hearing them outloud gives them less power.

After that I turned on some relaxing music I closed my eyes and focused on my Intent.

And an interesting and amazing thing happened.

My fingers that I had pressed together started to thump. Or rather, my heart did. It was pulsing so hard I could feel it through my fingers stronger than I had previously. And it was methodical, like horses hooves striking the ground in rhythm. An image appeared in my mind then.

I was looking through the ears of a horse, sitting atop it as it cantered through a field. My heart beat in tandem with the horses hooves. I was 12 again, running a horse through a field, not sure if I was me, or the horse.

I felt alive. I smiled as I the muscles of the horse bunched under me so it could go faster. I leaned forward, always staring between the horses ears at the horizon in front of me. I felt the wind in my hair. I felt the joy and pure abandon that I always feel when a horse runs. And then a voice spoke. It said:

“Remember this. Remember the rush of going towards your target with confidence and joy. Always look straight at your goal, but be aware of all around you. You trust the horse to carry you forward, and it trusts you to keep it steady. You must trust that you will arrive to your target, because you are confident in your skill. Remember the courage it takes to trust.”

I stayed on that horse, riding it and remembering how confident I was when I ride. In horse riding you need to look between the horse’s ears, because even the slightest movement from your body turning left or right will cause the horse to turn that direction. And your body follows your eyes. So you look between.

Icelandic Horse. My teachers and my best friends.

Trusting takes courage. Trusting in yourself, and trusting on your reliance of others, and trusting you’ll make your goals in the future. But you have to trust that future, and yourself. And you have to have the courage to accept that trust, and to give it.

When  I was done meditating and riding I found my pulse was back down to hardly noticeable between my fingertips. It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. Whenever I worry if I can reach my future goals, I’ll remind myself:

Always keep your goal in between the horse’s ears.

Litha Ritual (solitary) 2015

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I’m a child of the night. Even as a tiny tot I liked staying up late and hated being woken up early. Hated it. HATED IT. My mom used to stand in the doorway of my room and throw rolled up socks at my head to wake me up for school because if she got too close I punched and kicked and then rolled up tighter in my blanket.

But I also love summer. Not as much as fall or spring, but I love it. I love the smell of sunscreen and coconut and the salty ocean air. I love the sun as long as I’m wearing 100000+ proof sunscreen (because I’m Irish. I just sunburn, peel, and I’m still white. Ooops.). It’s a time to spend with friends and family, to laze about on the porch or couch, or go off adventuring. It’s a time to just enjoy life.

since I’m celebrating this Solstice alone this year, I thought well, if I have to do it alone, I may as well share it with my pagan community! Because the internet means you’re never really alone! Right? So for all you wonderful pagans and open minded people, here’s my ritual that I did today/tonight! Enjoy guys!

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Some practices say to take a ritual bath–and I decided to add a twist on it! It’s a bit hot out to be taking a hot bath, and I’m pretty sure the local pool wouldn’t be too happy if I went around sprinkling it with oil and herbs, so instead I drew a cold bath, added a few drops of lavender oil, and some quartz stones. After cooling off and soaking in that wonderful energy, off I went to work!

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my alter, mid-working!

In Wicca (and other practices) people create circles and call the four corners. A friend of mine once said, “I don’t cast circles most of the time, I feel like I’m locking out energy.” And you know what? It made sense to me! I now only draw circles and call quarters for very intense workings–otherwise I assume having a big bad God and Goddess  summoned is enough to repel most things! So no circle was cast. I called upon Lugh of the Long Hand (Celtic pantheon, though I’ll get into that pet peeve in a later entry), since he’s considered a sun god, and it was his day to shine (literally!).

After cleansing my space and calling on Lugh, I then made an incense with the herbs that corisponed with this day! Here is the recipe, feel free to use it! I used it by literal pinches, as I ground it up in my mortar and pestal, but if you wanted to make it in bulk, just replace pinches for tablespoons or cups! 🙂 Also, if I had it on hand, I’d have added 2 drops myrrh!

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Litha Incense 

part pine needles 

part rose petals

part lavender 

*2 drops myrrh (optional)

directions: Grind together with mortar and pestel. Imagining the suns’ energy infusing it with each crush. Or infuse it with love! 

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After that, I blessed it over the yellow candle I had lit (it had three wicks, which I thought fitting!) and then got ready for my next fun activity of the day: A Litha Tarot reading! And what a day for it! There was a light breeze, but it was still hot and humid. Ah summer. How I both love and dislike thee.

The tarot reading is great for seeing where you are at the height of summer! Now, traditionally I know that this is seen as the last day of summer. But I always feel like this is the start of summer, and my life always seems to really get put into action around this time. Something major always shifts, so I suppose that’s why I always see the whole season of June-August as a free for all, and Litha as the start!

This is any easy spread to do, especially if you’re just learning! First, light the incense you just made by putting it in on charcoal!

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Then, do your tarot reading!

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 After that, I had to wait a bit for evening to come for doing one of my favorite things: Making candles! The sun may have set, but that doesn’t mean the magic has to stop! Yesterday I had posted I went to the beach with friends. After asking permission and giving some energy in return, I took sand with which to make sand candles! When melting and stirring the wax I imagined the sun’s strength in it, for when the nights grow cold and the wind nips bitterly, I’ll light the candle and once again the sun’s warmth will be in my room!

I’ll post the tutorial for Litha Sand Candles tomorrow, as this post is getting way too long!

I hope you all had a wonderful Litha/Summer Solstice!