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1:38 AM

My Typical Samhain Activities

Posted by Chérie De Sues


Those who are not Pagan or Wicca may wonder what we do on Samhain ~ Halloween. I though I'd share some common activities that I've participated in over the years and maybe you'll see some of the same things that you enjoy too.
   

  • Go to circle at the beach during the sunset to wish those who will pass through this world good wishes as they find their way to Summerlands. 
  • Join friends to drink apple cider warmed and spiced with cinnamon to honor the dead.
  • Carve scary faces on pumpkins and squash to scare off bad spirits from those who search for Summerlands.
  • Choose a spirit candle and place the light inside the carved out pumpkins and squashes.
  • Bury late harvest fruits like apples, nuts or pomegranate in your garden as food for the spirits who will pass by to be reborn. (Reincarnated)
  • Hold a Dumb Supper where everyone is mute and the spirits you know will visit you.
  • This is the beginning of the New Year from the turning of the wheel. Have a party with friends and bob for apples.
  • Make your New Year resolutions. When you finish writing them on slips of parchment, burn them one by one in the flame of a black candle inside your cauldron on the altar.
  • Get creative and make a mask of your shadow self.
  • Make a witches broom, a besom. You can carve it, paint it or just let it sit in the corner.
  • Create a witches cord that will reflect what you hope to conjure in the coming year.
  • Make, then wear a costumes that signifies/represents your spirit animal, the God or Goddess.    


  • Divinations can be conjured with dark mirrors, a crystal ball, Tarot cards, water or fire scrying. This New Year starts with the masculine God and the Crone energies. Divining your future with the aid of the Crone will garner you wisdom and more.   

Enjoy this time of year, with friends and family.













Gather 'round the bonfire, burning so bright
Watch the shadows dancing, in its flickering light
As the music starts, and we begin to dance
Just maybe, if we're lucky, ahhhhh perchance
We shall see some kindred spirits, as they pass by
On their way to the Summerlands, beneath the Samhain sky.
  ~ Akasha ~










3:36 PM

13 Goals of a Witch

Posted by Chérie De Sues

The Thirteen Goals of a Witch

These thirteen goals were written by Scott Cunningham in skeleton form without added substance to explain their complete meaning. Scott wrote this list in one of my favorite books, "WICCA: A guide for the solitary practitioner." Inside, he includes his private Book of Shadows and other valuable writings for both a coven of witches and the solitary practitioner. I've fleshed out the meaning of his goals from his teachings and those of Buckland.

1. Know yourself
When you truly are in tune with your inner self, that will reflect to others. You'll be trusted, confident and sure of your path.

2. Know your Craft
Only through your understanding how to use the Craft for helping others and yourself, will you build your relationship with the God and Goddess, Lord and Lady. Respect the rights of others, and "ye do no harm, do what ye will."

3. Learn
The more you learn about Wicca, the Craft and becoming a witch, the more you'll understand that you know nothing. There is a vast amount of knowledge available for any who seek it.

4. Apply knowledge with wisdom.
 Though you know how to create and maintain a binding spell, does not mean you have the wisdom to administer the spell. Wisdom takes years of working spells, magick and communing with other witches to fairly and justly administer magick to those in need. Learn all the Craft you can, then learn to practice those skills wisely and with love.

5. Achieve Balance.
You will have other interests that seem to pull you away from the Craft or Wicca. You shouldn't feel obligated to stay within the boundaries of what you believe a witch or Wiccan should be every day. Feel free to express yourself with balance. Join a group to clean up the beaches to keep gaia clean and beautiful. Volunteer at a hospital to assist the elderly. Balance in your life will make you a better person and a better witch.

6. Keep your words in good order
"Speak little, listen much", "Think before you speak" are good goals for a learning witch. The elders have much to say and you should learn to listen as you grow in the Craft.

7. Keep your thoughts in good order.
There is no revenge, or evil intent in the Craft. When you're feeling overwhelmed by others, wish them great success. Remember the power of three will return to you when you send your white magick toward those who verbally abuse or have the desire to harm you. 

8. Celebrate life
Enjoy every moment that life brings to you, whether a brief moment of pain or joy. Take part in events and ritual to celebrate the God and Goddess, make new friends who share your enthusiasm. Surround yourself with those who emit a natural positive energy and bring a smile to your lips.

9. Attune with the cycles of the Earth
When the sun goes down, your body may say it's time to rest. Listen to the natural circadian rhythm of your body. You were born on this planet and when the moon is high and full, changes in gravity works on your bodies chemistry. Denying your animal instincts and inner self that recognizes gaia's cycles will work against you.

10. Breathe and eat correctly
Live where you can breathe in clean air and have access to food from natural sources. Treating your body as the multi-tasking, super-machine at work and play takes a heavy toll. Filling up with sugar, fat and massive amounts of alcohol will dull the senses and quite possibly make you ill.

11. Exercise the body
A strong healthy body at any age; maiden, maid or crone will serve you well.

12. Meditate
This is an important tool for the witch who wishes to divine or commune with the deities. To conjure or make your spells work, you must be able to reach deeply and connect with gaia, the Goddess and God.

13. Honor the Goddess and God
All things are possible when you embrace the feminine and masculine parts of the faith of Wicca. One is as necessary as the other in nature and so mote it be.


8:54 PM

A Binding Spell

Posted by Chérie De Sues

A binding spell is cast when you need to prevent someone from harming themselves or another. This white magic is a last resort when all other methods have failed. Never cast a binding spell when you are angry, hurt or seeking revenge ~ strong emotions will skew the results and NOT in a good way. Remember, "First ye do no harm, do what ye will."

What you will need:

1. A white candle
2. A small rag doll representing the person to be bound.
3. A nail clipping, hair from a brush, toothbrush or something that made contact with their body.
4. Salt
5. A container that will seal, filled with clean spring water.
6. A grey ribbon. (This neutral color is useful when pondering complex issues during meditation; in magic, this color can spark confusion; it can negate or neutralize a negative influence useful in binding spells.)


You must use a good representation of the individual you are binding. A photograph cut to show only the person to be bound is useful, or write the person's name on white fabric. The hair, nail clippings or other article of their person should be attached to the rag doll or whatever you have collected. Keep this all together with tape or glue.


Cast a circle and call the four elements of water, fire, earth and wind. You may also stand at your altar and pray that you wish no one to be harmed, then meditate to clear your mind.

Light the white candle and offer your desire for the person's recovery. "I shine my love and light on and around (person's name) so they may find their true path." Focus on why you found it necessary to do a binding spell.

Wrap a gray ribbon around the doll or bundle you've created to represent the person you're binding, nine times. Chant and focus on raising energy within yourself. You could say, "I bind you (person's name) from harming yourself or others, so mote it be." Repeat until you feel the energy drain into the grey ribbon that binds the person's future actions. Now LOOSELY tie a knot three times.

Visualize in your mind the person with light, peace of mine and clarity, with white light. Drip the hot wax from the white candle onto the knot to seal it. Re-affirm your intentions with, "(person's name), you are now bound by magic and will do no harm to yourself or anyone else."

Sprinkle salt three times into the spring water of the seal-able container and place the bound objects of the person into the container, saying, "Be cleansed of negative thoughts and purpose, be safe from harm and from harming others. So mote it be."

Seal the container and open your circle or end in prayer. Place the container in a freezer right away to finish the binding spell. If and when you release the person from the binding spell, thaw the ice, undo the knots of the ribbon and say, "I release you, (person's name). So mote it be."









  • 2
    Start your spell with whatever ritual you normally perform, such as casting a circle or calling the four elemental energies. If you prefer, pray that the outcome be the best for all and that no one be harmed, or simply meditate for to clear your mind.




  • 3
    Light the white candle and offer some affirmation of peace, such as "may the light of love surround (person's name) and help him find the way." Focus on the reason you are casting the binding spell.




  • 4
    Wrap the gray ribbon around his representation nine times, chanting to maintain focus and raise energy. Use a phrase such as "In the spirit of peace and safety, I bind you, (person's name), for the good of all, from harming yourself or anyone else." When you're done, tie a knot.




  • 5
    Visualize the person surrounded by peace, represented by a color, angels or white light. Drip wax onto the knot to seal it. Say an affirmation, such as "(person's name), you are bound by magic and will do no harm."




  • 6
    Sprinkle salt three times into the water and place the bound representation into the container, saying, "May you be cleansed of negativity and kept safe from all harm."




  • 7
    Seal the container and end your ritual as you normally would, or with a prayer. Place the container in the freezer immediately. Leave it there until you wish to unbind the person, at which time you can thaw it, undo the ribbon and release the person.



  • 12:32 AM

    A Wiccan Altar

    Posted by Chérie De Sues

    Short History of Pagan Altars

       In many of the world's religions, practitioners reserve a place in their homes where deities are honored with prayers and offerings. Petitions are made to the gods of the home altar for things desired or needed: health, wealth, success, love, protection, and other blessings. This practice originated in ancient magickal ritual. Places of spiritual significance can be found in the dwellings of the earliest civilizations

    Exactly what goes on the altar varies by Witchcraft tradition. Some common elements include: candles, a bowl of water, salt, incense (and incense holder or censor), a statue or picture of gods or goddesses (either gods or goddesses related to the specific ritual being performed, or gods or goddesses that are special to you). Flowers, berries, crystals and rocks, leaves, twigs, just about anything natural, wine glass (and ceremonial wine).

    Representations of the elements (earth, air, water, and fire, for most Western traditions, or the five Chinese elements of metal, water, wood, fire, and earth), a ceremonial knife (called an athame), a wand, any ingredients for the rituals or spells to be performed, any special tools of your Witchcraft tradition, and anything that you feel helps connect you to the divine or to Witchcraft.

    Whether permanent or temporary or some combination of both, the altar becomes a personal expression of your spirit, your spirituality, and your magick. Your altar should be both decorative and functional. Your altar should "feel right" to you.

    Churches were frequently built over ancient sacred Pagan sites. The Christian altar was placed on the East side of the church, however, a Pagan altar was sometimes included and was placed by the North door.

    Churches in as late as the 11th century had a Pagan altar. These north doors of most churches were walled over from the 1300's onward as Witches were less tolerated.  ~Taken from Squido~          

          Whether you're a lone practitioner or belong to a coven, you may want to create your own altar.

          Things You'll Need:

    • A sturdy surface to build your altar
    • Represent Air: try incense and censer, feather, wand or tarot cards
    • Represent Fire: try a red candle, red scarves, athame, bolline, matches, or lighter.
    • Represent Water: choose a chalice, cauldron, or seashell
    • Represent Earth: anything from gaia, like salt, soil, stones, crystals, herbs, or pentacle
    • Your personal Book of Shadows
    • One silver or blue candle (Goddess)
    • One gold candle (God)
    • Various seasonal decorations for the altar.
    1.  Choose a place without a lot of traffic. A sacred space will be for you and the Divine; working magick takes concentration. Somewhere with natural light, quiet for meditation and charged for raising energy

    2.  Use a steady permanent surface like a night stands coffee table, and trunk. The God and Goddess won't be swayed by fancy or expensive, your devotion is more important. Some Wiccans choose to bind or roll their altar items in a cloth or rug for portability and storage.

    3.  Using representations of the elements and deities will center your focus as you invoke or cast spells. The four basic elements are air, fire, wind, water and have a symbol and direction of either East, West, South or North.

    4.  Burn incense for air in the East, try a feather, or use another air-related item to the far-right portion of the altar. Some choose to place their wand and divination tools here as well.

    5.  Use a red candle, athame, or boline (white-handled knife for cutting/inscribing) for the South.

    6.  Water (West) is represented by a chalice, a nice cup used in ritual to hold your wine (juice or herbal tea if you choose) for feasting, or a cauldron or water bowl to hold Holy Water. If you can't use water, try using a seashell or water-related gem. (aquamarine, turquoise, sapphire).

    7.  Earth is the North Quadrant, use a dish of earth or salt, a coin, stones and crystals, or a pentacle (a round dish in which a five-pointed star (a pentagram) is inscribed) to consecrate and charge tools. Salt also can be used for purification and cleansing.

         Represent your deities however you want. Many Wiccans use a gold candle to represent the God along with his symbol and a silver or white candle to represent the Goddess with hers. You can choose to decorate your altar for each Sabbat to welcome in the new season. Sprigs of mistletoe can be displayed in a small glass vase for Yule, a tiny jack-o-lantern for Samhain, plastic eggs and silk flowers can adorn the altar for Ostara, and colorful corn husks can be used for Lughnasadh. Altar cloths, either made or purchased in natural linen or cotton are an easy way to dress up your altar.























































  • Step 2
    * A more permanent altar should be set up on some sort of table or surface. Night stands, coffee tables, trunks, and even cardboard boxes are all good candidates for an altar. The God and Goddess don't care about how fancy your choice of materials are. For portability, some Wiccans choose to use a small cheap rug and put their materials on top of that so that they can roll it up and store it safely when they're not using it.































  • Step 3
    Wand Symbol









     










    Wand Symbol
    Most Wiccan altars have a physical representation of the elements and deities that they wish to invoke. The four basic elements (Air, Fire, Wind, Water) are each represented by symbol and direction. You can choose to represent Air in the East by burning incense (bought or made), obtaining a feather, or placing other air-related items in the far-right portion of the altar. Some choose to place their wand and divination tools here as well.































  • Step 4
    Athame Symbol









     










    Athame Symbol
    For Fire (South), the obvious route would be to burn a red candle. However, this is not always the safest option, so you can use an athame (dull black-handled knife used for directing energy), matches or lighter. A boline (white-handled knife for cutting and inscribing) can be placed here as well.































  • Step 5
    Chalice Symbol









     










    Chalice Symbol
    Water (West) is represented by a chalice, a nice cup used in ritual to hold your wine (juice or herbal tea if you choose) for feasting, or a cauldron or water bowl to hold Holy Water. If you can't use water, try using a seashell or water-related gem. (aquamarine, turquoise, sapphire)































  • Step 6
    Pentacle Symbol









     










    Pentacle Symbol
    The North Quadrant, Earth, is easy to represent with a dish of earth or salt, a coin, stones and crystals, or a pentacle (a round dish in which a five-pointed star (a pentagram) is inscribed) to consecrate and charge tools. Salt also can be used for purification and cleansing.































  • Step 7
    Triple Moon 
Symbol Representing Mother, Maiden, and Crone









     










    Triple Moon Symbol Representing Mother, Maiden, and Crone
    Represent your deities however you want. Many Wiccans use a gold candle to represent the God along with his symbol and a silver or white candle to represent the Goddess with hers.































  • Step 8
    You can choose to decorate your altar for each Sabbat to welcome in the new season. Sprigs of mistletoe can be displayed in a festive pencil cup for Yule, a fake jack-o-lantern candleholder for Samhain, fake plastic eggs and flowers

















































































  • Step 2
    * A more permanent altar should be set up on some sort of table or surface. Night stands, coffee tables, trunks, and even cardboard boxes are all good candidates for an altar. The God and Goddess don't care about how fancy your choice of materials are. For portability, some Wiccans choose to use a small cheap rug and put their materials on top of that so that they can roll it up and store it safely when they're not using it.































  • Step 3
    Wand Symbol









     










    Wand Symbol
    Most Wiccan altars have a physical representation of the elements and deities that they wish to invoke. The four basic elements (Air, Fire, Wind, Water) are each represented by symbol and direction. You can choose to represent Air in the East by burning incense (bought or made), obtaining a feather, or placing other air-related items in the far-right portion of the altar. Some choose to place their wand and divination tools here as well.































  • Step 4
    Athame Symbol









     










    Athame Symbol
    For Fire (South), the obvious route would be to burn a red candle. However, this is not always the safest option, so you can use an athame (dull black-handled knife used for directing energy), matches or lighter. A boline (white-handled knife for cutting and inscribing) can be placed here as well.































  • Step 5
    Chalice Symbol









     










    Chalice Symbol
    Water (West) is represented by a chalice, a nice cup used in ritual to hold your wine (juice or herbal tea if you choose) for feasting, or a cauldron or water bowl to hold Holy Water. If you can't use water, try using a seashell or water-related gem. (aquamarine, turquoise, sapphire)































  • Step 6
    Pentacle Symbol









     










    Pentacle Symbol
    The North Quadrant, Earth, is easy to represent with a dish of earth or salt, a coin, stones and crystals, or a pentacle (a round dish in which a five-pointed star (a pentagram) is inscribed) to consecrate and charge tools. Salt also can be used for purification and cleansing.































  • Step 7
    Triple Moon 
Symbol Representing Mother, Maiden, and Crone









     










    Triple Moon Symbol Representing Mother, Maiden, and Crone
    Represent your deities however you want. Many Wiccans use a gold candle to represent the God along with his symbol and a silver or white candle to represent the Goddess with hers.































  • Step 8
    You can choose to decorate your altar for each Sabbat to welcome in the new season. Sprigs of mistletoe can be displayed in a festive pencil cup for Yule, a fake jack-o-lantern candleholder for Samhain, fake plastic eggs and flowers

















































































  • Step 2
    * A more permanent altar should be set up on some sort of table or surface. Night stands, coffee tables, trunks, and even cardboard boxes are all good candidates for an altar. The God and Goddess don't care about how fancy your choice of materials are. For portability, some Wiccans choose to use a small cheap rug and put their materials on top of that so that they can roll it up and store it safely when they're not using it.































  • Step 3
    Wand Symbol









     










    Wand Symbol
    Most Wiccan altars have a physical representation of the elements and deities that they wish to invoke. The four basic elements (Air, Fire, Wind, Water) are each represented by symbol and direction. You can choose to represent Air in the East by burning incense (bought or made), obtaining a feather, or placing other air-related items in the far-right portion of the altar. Some choose to place their wand and divination tools here as well.































  • Step 4
    Athame Symbol









     










    Athame Symbol
    For Fire (South), the obvious route would be to burn a red candle. However, this is not always the safest option, so you can use an athame (dull black-handled knife used for directing energy), matches or lighter. A boline (white-handled knife for cutting and inscribing) can be placed here as well.































  • Step 5
    Chalice Symbol









     










    Chalice Symbol
    Water (West) is represented by a chalice, a nice cup used in ritual to hold your wine (juice or herbal tea if you choose) for feasting, or a cauldron or water bowl to hold Holy Water. If you can't use water, try using a seashell or water-related gem. (aquamarine, turquoise, sapphire)































  • Step 6
    Pentacle Symbol









     










    Pentacle Symbol
    The North Quadrant, Earth, is easy to represent with a dish of earth or salt, a coin, stones and crystals, or a pentacle (a round dish in which a five-pointed star (a pentagram) is inscribed) to consecrate and charge tools. Salt also can be used for purification and cleansing.































  • Step 7
    Triple Moon 
Symbol Representing Mother, Maiden, and Crone









     










    Triple Moon Symbol Representing Mother, Maiden, and Crone
    Represent your deities however you want. Many Wiccans use a gold candle to represent the God along with his symbol and a silver or white candle to represent the Goddess with hers.































  • Step 8
    You can choose to decorate your altar for each Sabbat to welcome in the new season. Sprigs of mistletoe can be displayed in a festive pencil cup for Yule, a fake jack-o-lantern candleholder for Samhain, fake plastic eggs and flowers





























  • 5:58 PM

    Lughnasadh Harvest Celebration

    Posted by Chérie De Sues

    Lughnasadh or as the more modern Celtic call the beginning of harvest season, Lá Lúnasa, is on August 1st. We welcome the harvest of grain, vegetables and berry fruit with traditional gatherings, festivals, farmer's markets and activities. This is a time for reunions of family and friends who may arrive in time for handfasting ceremonies.

    In Celtic mythology, the Lughnasadh festival began as a funeral feast for the god Lugh. Physically punishing games commemorated his foster-mother, Tailtiu, who died of exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture. The Áenach Tailteann was a time for contests of strength and skill, and a favored time for contracting marriages and winter lodgings. Peace was mandated at the festival, and the freedom to practice religious celebrations were enjoyed by all.

    Traditional Gaelic tend to celebrate Lughnasadh at the time of first fruits, or on the full moon that falls closest to this time. In the Northeastern United States, this is often the time of the blueberry harvest, while in the Pacific Northwest the blackberries are often the festival fruit. Lá Lúnasa thanks the spirits and deities for the beginning of the harvest season, and to propitiate them with offerings and prayers to not harm the still-ripening crops. The god Lugh is honored by many at this time, as he is a deity of storms and lightning, especially the storms of late summer. Gentle rain on the day of the festival is seen as his presence and his bestowing of blessings. Many honor the goddess Tailtiu on this day, and may seek to keep the Cailleachan ("Storm Hags") from ruining the crops.

    Lughnasadh or Lammas is one of the eight sabbats in the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. It is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals, besides the Autumn equinox (also called Mabon by Wiccans) and Samhain. Both Beltane and Lughnasadh are best for handfasting. Some Wiccans may bake the figure of the "corn god" in bread, symbolically sacrificing the bread before eating it.

    Traditional Foods Apples, Grains, Breads and Berries.

    Herbs and Flowers All Grains, Grapes, Heather, Blackberries, Sloe, Crab Apples, Pears.

    Incense Aloes, Rose, Sandalwood.

    A Sacred Gemstone Carnelian.

    Harvest Activities
    Many Pagans celebrate the harvest bounty with a shared feast and Celtic games. If you've saved the seeds from the fruits consumed during previous feasts or ritual, now is the time to plant them. When they sprout, plant the tree or shrub with care to symbolize your love for the Lord and Lady. Spend time strolling through forests, fields and orchards, dip your feet into the springs, creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes that nourish the Earth.


    Here's a Blessing for Earth, Wind, Fire and Water
    Blessed be the Earth for giving birth to this food
    Blessed be the Sun for nourishing it
    Blessed be the Wind for carrying its seed
    Blessed be the Rain for quenching its thirst.
    Blessed be the hands that helped to grow this food

    ......Pagan Music


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