Oct 2: The Extravaganza Continues!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Welcome back! We're thrilled to have you join us today for our second day of the Samhain's Sirens extravaganza! Don't forget: you have until 8pm EDT to finish your entries for yesterday's giveaway (please keep your comments on yesterday's giveaway there. We have a giveaway today and we don't want to confuse our Giveaway Sirens as to which one you're entering for)

Now, on to today's FUN!



 Alan Heartsong's Samhain Ritual


Samhain is that time of year when the veil between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead is at its thinnest, and historically has been a time to honor ancestors, try to see visions of the future, and remember those closest to us who have passed in the last year.  While visiting with departed friends and family may be solemn or sad, remember too that love should bring joy, and that being happy to visit with them again is a huge gift worth treasuring.  Some years, I’m sad at Samhain, and other years I can’t wait for that night to see everyone again. 

There is a wealth of historical information about Samhain in books and on the Internet, so I won’t go into the Celtic aspects of it or the Egyptian customs that have survived to this day.  Instead, this is how *I* celebrate Samhain within the context of my Wiccan path, and if you find it of any use in your personal practice please feel free to use this for your celebration as well.

Supplies you’ll need:

Food for afterward

All participants should know who they will be reaching out to, because you will be calling them by name.  Make a list well beforehand if you don't trust your memory.

Depending on your preference, you may want a small dish of food that was the favorite of whomever you plan to call and commune with.  For example, one of my relatives liked corn flakes with honey, and there’s always a bowl for her at Samhain.

A candle for each of the 4 elements, appropriately colored for this time of year.  So brown for Earth, deep blue for Water, red (or orange!) for Fire, and pale yellow for Air.  You will place Air in the East, Fire in the South, Water in the West, and Earth in the North areas of your circle.  A central place for the black and white candles would be good, or you can set them in the north as well.

A black candle to represent Death, and a white candle to summon the spirits with.  A spare black candle to cast the circle with unless you’re using jack-o-lanterns.

Incense, either a stick of Frankincense & Myrrh if you can get it, or pure Frankincense will do.  If you’re really interested in blending up an incense to call the spirits to you there are many recipes out there, but if you use a tablespoon each of sage and mugwort and a teaspoon of wormwood with a pinch of frankincense resin that will work after you powder it (roughly) in a mortar and pestle.  I don’t recommend putting resin in a coffee or spice grinder, because it’s so sticky.  Wormwood is toxic, so make sure you don’t ingest it.  Adding a dried rose petal or two may be nice to represent the love you have for the people who have passed on.   There’s a lot of flexibility here, but the herbs as described will help put your mind in the right space to open up to spiritual communication.  Of course, if you use powdered herbs for incense, you’ll need charcoal to burn them on and something heavily insulated enough to not burn whatever it’s on.  I am assuming you have common sense and practice basic fire safety.

The Outline:
1.       Cast a circle to create sacred space, essentially an area free from psychic interference by anyone outside of your ritual.
2.       Ask the elements to guard your space and lend their power to your work.
3.       Honor aspects of Death you’re most comfortable with, whether it be Goddess/God or Death itself.  We’re witches, and Death is just part of Life.  It’s not something we fear, though we have every right to grieve the loss of a loved one.
4.       Call on your blessed departed, spend time communing with them.  This is going to be *very* personal for you, and if you’re sharing this time with others it may be emotional.  Have tissues on hand.
5.       Thank all spirits for showing up, open the circle.

And here we go:

Circle casting note – if you’re doing this with other people, you may want to have small pumpkins or gourds hollowed and carved with faces and lit from within so that each participant can walk the periphery of the circle and help create the sacred space.  It’s an option, and can help lighten the mood a bit if this is going to be emotionally difficult.  In all places where I’ve used the singular “I”, substitute with “We” if you’re doing this with a group.
Light the charcoal for the incense and let it catch, then drop a pinch of the herbs on it to start burning right before you cast the circle.  Alternately, light the stick of incense and begin, depending on what you were able to use.

Walk the circle clockwise, with either the jack-o-lantern or a lit black candle and say:

I conjure a circle between the worlds and call upon the spirits of Air, Fire, Water and Earth to make it a place of safety for us and the Spirits.
Picture the energy rising like a curtain behind you, shimmering with smoke and starlight until it forms a closed circle after you’ve walked the periphery.

Light the candle for Air and say:  I call the powers of Air, the songs of joy and sorrow and the winds of change to guard and guide my loved ones to me from the realm of the dead to this place between places.

Light the candle for Fire and say:  I call the powers of Fire, the passions and funeral pyres, the transformation from matter to spirit to guard and guide my loved ones to me from the realm of the dead to this place between places.

Light the candle for Water and say:  I call the powers of Water, the depths of both love and grief and the healing waters of the Earth Mother to guard and guide my loved ones to me from the realm of the dead to this place between places.

Light the candle for Earth and say:  I call the powers of Earth, the bones of the Mother, the graveyard dirt, the strength that supports all of our lives to guard and guide my loved ones to me from the realm of the dead to this place between places.

Light the candle for Death and say:  I honor Death, you who end suffering and grant peace, you who release all of us from this mortal coil, and name you Friend.

Light the white candle, and see in your mind’s eye that it shines forth between the worlds, acting as a beacon to the spirits of your departed and say:

I call to you [insert names of departed here],
I light a candle in the dark this Samhain night
Let its light be a beacon to guide you
Let the incense build a bridge for you to travel to me
I open wide the gateway
I miss you, come to me
I need your guidance, speak to me
I love you, be here with me
Come walk with me again, departed family
Come laugh with me again, departed friends

If you’re alone, feel free to talk to your departed friends/family out loud and make sure to listen to them.  If you have provided food for them, make sure to tell them what you made for them.  I usually tell my sister what’s been going on in my life, my father what I’m doing with work and my finances, and my grandmother gets to hear all of my secrets.  If you’re doing this as a group, you may want to keep it private and in your mind instead of out loud. 

When you’re ready to end the ritual say the following:

The time has come to end this rite, and return all of us to our proper place. To my dear departed, know that you continue to live in my heart, and I love you.  Spirits of Death, take them home with my thanks.  Spirits of Earth, Water, Fire and Air, thank you for guarding them and helping us spend this time together.

You will un-cast the circle at the point where you finished it, so as you walk it counter clockwise, envision the shimmering curtain of power sinking into the Earth and repeat until the circle is gone:

Earth the power, send it down to the Mother’s sacred ground.

When the energy has been released back into the Earth, the rite is ended and you can blow out the candles (or snuff them if you prefer, it’s just up to your personal preference).  Remember to eat something to help ground you and reconnect you firmly with your physical body again.



Today's Give Away 

Courtesy of Tess at East Coast Craft & Curio

Tess is giving away a Gift Certificate worth $35.00 and in order to win this give away you'll need to do the following:

Remember:
Your first entry is to follow us here. (make sure you comment and tell us that you're following!)

Bonus entries:
  • Go to East Coast Craft & Curios on Facebook and peruse her wares. Come back and tell us what you like best there.
  • Like us on Facebook- come back and tell us (separate entry)
  • Follow us on Twitter (come and tell us!- separate entry)
  • Blog about this giveaway (comment separately and send us a link to your blog post)
  • Tweet about this giveaway (comment separately and send us a link to your blog post)
Deadline for entries: October 2, 8pm EDT.
Winner will be announced on Wednesday, October 3. We’ll ask the winner to contact us with shipping information so Tess can get this out to you ASAP. Thank you and good luck!


Our recipe for the day:



How about some yummy goodies to add to the mix: Today's recipe comes from Vickie over at Aoibheal's Lair. She's giving us Pumpkin Spice Latte
Pumpkin Spice Latte
(picture credit eating Rules)
Vickie tells us she adapted this recipe from one found at Averie Cooks 

Pumpkin Spice Latte

1. Make coffee (a pot, a cup, in whatever fashion and however you prefer making your coffee.   The stronger the better)

2. Make Pumpkin Milk

1 c milk (I used almond milk but use any kind you want from half and half to rice milk)

1/4 heaping cup pumpkin puree (more if you really love pumpkin)

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice blend, or to taste

1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste

1 tsp vanilla extract

sweetener of choice, to taste (I use 2 tbsp brown sugar or a pinch of stevia to taste; you can also try honey, maple syrup, etc. to taste)

Optional: pinch of ground nutmeg, ginger, garam masala, cardamom, or other warming spices to taste

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well by hand or blend all ingredients using a blender

Optional: Warm the finished pumpkin milk mixture in the microwave or on the stovetop.  (microwave approximately 1 minute)

3. Pour 1 c of brewed coffee into a mug and pour half the pumpkin milk mixture over the top of the coffee and enjoy.  (Optional: Finish by garnishing with real whipped cream, recipe found below and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon on top)

The other half of the pumpkin milk mixture is for the refill you know you will want.  If you truly don’t want a refill, refrigerate it for up to a few days and use for your next latte, in a smoothie, or drink it as is.  As long as you're dirtying dishes, I always make a little extra for refills or for later.

The spices will not “blend” or entirely dissolve.  This is to be expected and normal.  If this bothers you, this may not the recipe for you and you may want to experiment with other recipes or techniques.

All spices and seasonings are to taste; in this case, mine.  If you want to reduce the spices (or increase them), obviously adjust everything according to your own taste preferences.  Some people may find the amounts I used a bit strong, but I like robust flavors.

Homemade REAL whipped cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1TBS sugar or stevia
1 tsp vanilla extract

freeze beaters to your electric mixer and medium mixing bowl for approximately 30 mins prior to using. Pour heavy whipping cream into bowl, add vanilla and sweetener. Mix on high until stiff peaks form. Add a spoonful (or more) to your latte and enjoy. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 48 hrs.



Easy Make Your Own Paper Ghosts

Our craft for today comes from Country Living

Photo by John Kernick
You will need:
Paper wedding bells (you can get them at any craft store)
Black Construction Paper
Cheesecloth
Scissors
Glue

First, cut the construction paper into black dots (for eyes and gaping mouths) and glue them to the wedding bells. Cut out pieces of cheesecloth and drape over the bells. See? Told you it was easy!


Today's Song 

From Kestril Trueseeker:
I love the violin on today’s selection, Dead is the New Alive. Emilie Autumn is actually a violin prodigy. She was homeschooled starting from age 9 so she could devote more time to learning it. 


60 comments:

  1. Great post today everyone! I liked East Coast on Facebook!

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  2. The Pentacle Dangler earrings are so awesome, I love them!

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  3. I tweeted about the giveaway! @TheWitchWriter

    https://twitter.com/TheWitchWriter

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  4. I already like East Coast Craft & Curio on facebook! Love her items!

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  5. I love the Dragons Vein Agate Pendant!

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  6. I loved the East Coast blue Fae Dust necklace

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  7. I blogged about the giveaway!

    http://bellafoxglove.blogspot.com/2012/10/day-2-post-and-giveaway-is-up-over-at.html

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  8. So much good stuff here today! Alan, thank you so much for sharing your Samhain ritual. And Vickie, that latte is definitely on my to-make list!

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  9. Love the Pretty Purple Peace Bracelet. :)

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  10. I follow the Sirens! Emilie Autumn is an astounding performer :)

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  11. Love the Latte recipe will have to try. This entry is great you guys. :)

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  12. The gorgeous Malachite pendant on page 3 is my favorite on Tess' FB page/store.

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  13. I like the Sirens on FB (jonquil alexia).

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  14. I LOVES me some Sirens on Facebook and everywhere else, too ;-)

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  15. I love Alan's post, by the way. I might have to use it to call my grandmother.

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  16. I follow on Twitter. Does that make me a stalker?

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  17. And I might have to fight Danni for the Pretty Purple Peace Bracelet. It's fantastic!

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  18. Following on FB.......... Blessed be!!!

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  19. Love Love Love the Hecate's Wheel pendant!

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  20. 2 Favorites! LOVE the Goddess figurines...... and the Dragon's vein Pendant!!!! Beautiful!

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  21. LOVE Dreamcatcher Pentacle Spirit Turtle Medicine!! I have a close relationship with a turtle :)

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  22. Also shared publicly on Google+!! You Sirens are AMAZING!!!

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  23. and.....following Blog :) whew!

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  24. Liked your page...great stuff! I love the Om Love Bracelet - so beautiful!

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  25. Back again :d I am a follower :D XXX

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  26. I have visited East Coast's shop...so hard to choose a favourite, but am going for the Sand Dollar pendant..we don't have those here, and I love a gift from the sea :D XXX

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  27. I have "liked" East Coast on Facebook...and will blog in the morning :D

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  28. love her wrapped Purple and clear polished agate

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  29. Now about your post...loved it all...again!! That song is amazing! Very eighties lol I always set an extra place at table during Sanhain...just incase anyone wants to drop by :D XXX

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  30. Fun once again...considering I lost power...looking forward to tomorrow posting.

    In my blog I put a short post and link to her site and also liked her on facebook.

    Oh and I do like samhain siren on facebook also.

    Coffee is on.

    http://peppylady.blogspot.com/2012/10/weather-report-for-september-2012-and.html

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  31. ooooooOOOOOoooo yessszzzzz feed my caffeine addiction please!

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  32. I'm a follower! And an avid pumpkin spice latte drinker - so thanks for the recipe! Also - wonderful ritual Alan!

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  33. I'm already a follower of the blog!

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  34. I also already liked you on Facebook.

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  35. I love the triple moon pendant on East Coast Craft and Curios.

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  36. I follow you guys on FB, but can't figure out how to follow you on Blogger.

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    Replies
    1. Hi there, Scribal Voice! If you look at our blog page to the left, there's a place that says "Join this site".. click on that button and follow the directions from there :)
      email me if you need more help: kallan.kennedy@gmail.com

      Thanks!

      Delete
  37. I liked East Coast Craft and Curios on FB and my favorite item in her store is the Kwan Yin prayer chain.

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  38. And I did manage to finally follow you here. :)

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  39. And I liked the Goddess Statuette best at East Coast Craft and Curio.

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  40. I'm a GFC follower! :)

    silverhealer21 at msn dot com

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  41. I went to her store and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pink & green Celtic knot Wicca set!

    silverhealer21 at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I like Samhain's Sirens on Facebook!

    silverhealer21 at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Following Samhain's Sirens on Twitter @MissMaryApple

    silverhealer21 at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete

 
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