Samhain Blessings

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Welcome back, everyone. We took a day off during the height of Superstorm Sandy not only to batten down the hatches, but to focus our attention on all of those affected by the storm. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with all our friends, family and those we haven't met yet who have   been dealing with the effects and aftermath.  We struggled with whether to move forward, as we know so many people are still experiencing power outages, storm clean-up, etc... we ultimately decided to go on, as today is an especially holy day, and we want to honor it and all of you.

We'll be making up for yesterday, and will also post for today. This will keep us on track for ending up the week and our celebration.

Our first blog post comes from Sosanna (Renee Olson).

Handfasting – A Pagan Wedding

A handfasting is a Celtic ceremony of marriage.  The term itself comes from an Old Norse word Hand-festa, which means “to strike a bargain by joining hands”.  It can be a betrothal, where the parties agree to stay together for a year and a day to determine if they would like to be married permanently. Or it can be permanent from the start.  The ceremony can be a formal ceremony with a Priest or Priestess overseeing the ritual.  It can also be a solitary one, where just the intended join themselves together in a private ceremony.  Some even combine the handfasting ritual with a modern or traditional wedding ceremony.  Handfasting are not bound by gender and can be used to celebrate all couplings.

In my case, my partner and I chose a very private setting for our handfasting.  We sat out three or four days before in preparation for the event by picking the perfect location and cord.  We searched high and low until we found a perfect blue cord for his color and a deep red for mine as the tassel.  We selected the rose garden in Balboa Park for our setting.  After putting our cord together; we headed out to the park.  We waited until just before midnight on October 31st to bind our hands together and devote ourselves to each other.  Since that day, the cord has hung in our bedroom.  Ten years together.  It’s seen homes in two states and traveled across the country.  It’s worn and tattered, but it has endured.


Things have changed so much in the last ten years.  We’ve learned and grown.  This year for our anniversary we’ve decided to renew our vows.  We own  property and we’re building a temple to Hecate in the back corner.  Here we will take that same simple cord we made so many years ago, and combine it with a new cord, a thicker cord and once again bind our hands together with only the divine to witness our union; we will again pledge ourselves to each other.  With all the same joy, love and understanding we had on that very first night, we will again be one.


Handfasting is a binding together.  A binding of heart and soul.  Each person takes a pledge to the other, in perfect love and perfect trust.  

You can read more of Sosanna's great blog posts at Confessions of a Modern Witch

Giveaway 1:

Sosanna is also giving away a beautiful hand-crafted hand-fasting cord.



Rules are as follows:
1. Follow us here. (leave a comment that you did/do)
2. Go to Sosanna's Closet, come back and comment about your favorite item there.
3. Blog about this giveaway (come back and leave us a link to your blog post)
4. Tweet about this giveaway (come back and leave us a link to your twitter post)
5. Follow us on Facebook (come back and comment that you did)
6. Follow us on Twitter (come back and make a comment that you did)
7. Make a post about this on G+(come back and comment that you did



Our second blog comes from Bella Foxglove:
Witchy Entertainment: Six Witch Movies You May Not Have Heard Of!
Written by Bella Foxglove of Tales of the Wolf Queen

Hello everyone! We are entering the final stretch, only five days left before the festivities draw to a close and the grand finale takes place! I hope you have enjoyed all the awesome blog posts, recipes, music, giveaways, and other goodies this awesome group of people have provided for our entertainment, I know I have!

I decided to share Six Witch Movies You May Not Have Heard Of with you all.  I love watching movies, and this time of year creepy movies are popular, along with some old favorites that are fun for the whole family. I decided to add six of my favorites to the mix!
We have all most likely watched Practical Magic, The Craft, and other such movies a thousand times, and while I love those, I did not include them here, because of that fact. I also did not link to the movies, to save time. A simple internet search will provide you with more info and where to purchase them, should you choose to. Some of these you may know well, and there might be a few you have not had a chance to check out! Are you ready? Break out the popcorn and Milk Duds, make that last trip to the bathroom, grab your favorite beverage, and settle in for these silver screen witches!

Stardust (2007)

                                                                 
With an all star cast including Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, and Claire Danes, this lighthearted fantasy film is sure to please. Set in 19th century England, Tristan promises the beautiful and shallow Victoria a fallen star. Along the way he meets Yvaine, a recently crashed human incarnation of a star. In their journey to get back to their respective homes, the Witch Lamia wants to capture Yvaine, and harness the fountain of youth like power a fallen star can give. De Niro plays a hilarious air pirate, and he has some of the best lines in the movie. It is a cute “feel good movie”, great for the family.


Simon, King of the Witches (1971)
                                                      
This is a movie for adults. Andrew Prine plays Simon Sinestrari, a warlock. (I know, I know that everyone groans over the use of that word now, but hear me out lol) He lives in a sewer and likes to have conversations with trees. He hates lies and assumptions about the craft. He spends a night in jail after being arrested for vagrancy with a guy named Turk who has connections with a Mob like group of people. One of the members of that group hires Simon to entertain at a party and there he meets Linda, a pill addict. When he is not performing sex magic rituals with Linda, he is faced with people who make fun of his magical abilities, eventually driving him over the edge and resorting to calling up dark and evil forces to help him enact his revenge. Dark and edgy, this is a cult classic, slightly cheesy and totally worth seeing.


Season of the Witch (2011)
                                                       
This is probably one of my favorite movies on this list, even though it is a bit more mainstream film. Starring Nicolas Cage (whom I adore as an actor, even if he is nuttier than a fruit cake in real life) and Ron Perlman (whom I have always called Monkey Man, because…well..he looks like a freaking monkey, but he is an awesome actor.)
Set in the time of the Crusades, former Knights Behman ( Cage ) and Felson ( Perlman ) recognized and arrested as deserters are given the choice to spend the rest of their lives in prison or escort a young girl accused of witchcraft to a far away abbey where she will stand trial. They say no at first, but after meeting the girl and seeing how badly she had been mistreated, they agree as long as the monks agree to a fair trial. After gathering the rest of their party, they set out, meeting a young altar boy who wants to be a Knight more than anything along the way. The group takes him along and they continue on their journey. Throughout the movie the young witch plays mind tricks on the party members, pitting them against each other, using obvious elements of each person’s character, and it is hard to tell if she really is the one behind the incidents or if it is all a mistake. Cage and Perlman work well together and there are several lines that made me crack up, even though the movie is a horror/thriller type deal. Creepy, dark, with funny, sarcastic lines to break the tension at times, with an unexpected ending make this one a must see in my opinion.

Witchboard (1987)

Witchboard is another one of those campy 80’s B-rated horror movies that was actually pretty decent. Tawny Kitaen (Of Whitesnake video fame) plays Linda, a pretty woman who, in a moment of bad judgment, invites her ex-boyfriend Brandon to a party while there with her new boyfriend Jim, who used to be best friends. As expected, the guys are throwing insults and sarcastic comments back and forth at each other, and Linda decides to put her fear aside and accept Brandon’s idea of fooling around with an Ouija board in order to distract the guys from being jerks to each other. After a while they actually make contact with the spirit of a little boy named David, whom Brandon has spoken to before. Jim ends up angering the spirit with his insults and condescending comments, and calamity ensues. In all the confusion, Brandon leaves his board at the apartment that Linda and Jim share. Linda decides to start using the board to contact David by herself. Terrible things start happening as Linda becomes more and more obsessed with using the board, to the point that her own life is in danger. Brandon eventually realizes what is happening, but the only way he can save Linda is with Jim’s help, which is not an easy thing to accomplish. This movie is not “scary” in the traditional sense, it is more suspenseful than anything, but there are a few “jumpy” moments that still get me, over 20 years later. There are two sequels that were truly awful, but this one is worth seeing at least once.


The Good Witch (2008)

Some people do not like this movie, which was a Hallmark Channel movie, which I can understand. Some of the acting was not that great, but the overall movie was cute and left you with good feelings. It was nice to see a witch being portrayed much more realistically than the typical “bad witch”….the old hag who is hell bent on wreaking havoc on the world. Catherine Bell plays Cassie, a young witch who inherits the local “haunted house” that was left to her after the death of a relative, the “Grey Lady.” Cassie moves in and opens a shop called the “Bell, Book, and Candle” which sells exactly what the title suggests. She meets the local chief of police, and helps him with his children and his father. All is not perfect however; the Mayor’s wife takes an instant disliking to Cassie and does her best to run her out of town, even to the point of refusing to punish her two sons who vandalize Cassie’s shop. Cassie really is a “Good Witch” and does not want the boys punished, as she does not want them to have a criminal record. It is a cute and magical little movie with life lessons and leaves you feeling happy.


 Still Small Voices

Originally a Lifetime movie, which usually makes me roll my eyes, I saw this one while visiting my Mom one day and it held me riveted. Catherine Bell plays a 911 dispatcher named Michael Summer (yeah, it threw me too) who is trying to recover from the emotional experience of giving birth to a stillborn baby. She has physical problems as well, and is starting to hear voices. One day she receives a 911 call from a little girl who is trapped in a burning building that no one can find. Unable to let the call go, Michael eventually ends up in a nearby town and uncovers a mystery of two lost little girls. Her own physical ailments progress to life-threatening degrees, yet she refuses to give up on the little girls, afraid that by the time she sought medical treatment, it would be too late.  The ending was very surprising and I cried my eyes out at the end.  This is one you do not want to miss.

There you have it! If you have not seen any of these movies, I do hope that you will check them out; they are all really good and will stay with you long after they are over! If you have already seen any of these, what did you think? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to recommend your favorite witch movie; it might be one we have never seen!






Giveaway #2:

And, we have another great giveaway from Tess at East Coast Craft and Curio.
It is a 35.00 gift certificate to use in her lovely shop!

Rules are as follows:

1. Follow us here. (If you already follow, just make a comment saying you do)
2. Go to East Coast Craft & Curio, peruse her wares, and let us know which item you like best.
3. Blog about this giveaway (come back and leave us a link to your blog post)
4. Tweet about this giveaway (come back and leave us a link to your twitter post)
5. Follow us on Facebook (come back and comment that you did)
6. Follow us on Twitter (come back and make a comment that you did)
7. Make a post about this on G+(come back and comment that you did)

THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Please specify in your comments which giveaway you're entering for (you're welcome to enter for both, but you must make separate entries and specify)

EACH chance is one entry, so that means you must leave a separate comment in order to get more chances at winning.. if you post something in one comment like "I follow you on Twitter, Facebook and I blogged about it", then that will only count as one entry.

You have until 8pm tomorrow night to enter for these giveaways. We'll announce all winners on Friday in our final post. Remember, each entry is good for an entry into our Grand Prize Giveaway, worth over $400.00!!

Today's Recipe

Pumpkin Cheeseball from the Food Network
Photo by Sam Kaplan

With a mixer, blend 16 ounces room-temperature cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, 3 tablespoons minced onion, 2 tablespoons salsa, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno. Scoop onto plastic wrap and use the wrap to form the mixture into a 5-inch pumpkin-shaped ball; chill at least 2 hours. To serve, unwrap, roll in crushed nacho-flavored tortilla chips and press a bell pepper stem into the top.



Today's Craft

Photo from Simpalife

We know several of you will be carving pumpkins today, so we thought we'd give you links to free pumpkin-carving patterns to print for you and your little goblins to use:

From Reader's Digest:

From Pumpkin Masters:
http://www.pumpkinmasters.com/free-patterns.asp (note: if you like them on Facebook, you get access to even more patterns)

From HGTV:


From the Pumpkin Lady:


And the Winner is....

The winner of the Twysted Thystle Giveaway is : Amy Blackthorn!
Congratulations, Amy! Please send an email to samhainsirens@gmail.com with your shipping address so we can make sure to get your prize to you :)






Song of the Day with Kestril Trueseeker

I’m sure more than a few of you were wondering if I was ever going to get around to this song. Of course I was! It just needed to be the grand finale. The Sanderson sisters are in the house to close out our month long celebration. You can find a playlist of all the songs on Youtube as well as all of the bonus songs I’ve posted to the Facebook Samhain’s Sirens page. Thanks for listening and on behalf of all the Samhain Sirens have a wonderful and blessed Samhain!



A very blessed Samhain to you and yours from all our Sirens!

66 comments:

  1. #2 I posted on facebook. x3 :) Samhain blessings to everyone.

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  2. I'm entering for #2 and my favorite thing at her shop is the Celestial Bangle Bracelet.

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  3. I'm entering for #2 I follow on Twitter.

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  4. Cheeseball!!! (sorry I have an obsession with cheeseballs... no clue why) Blessed Samhain everyone! :)

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  5. #1 - I love all of Sosanna's protection wards. With faces like that they could also be cheer up charms. :-)

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  6. My favorite item in Sosannas' Closet is the sweet Yule Wreath!

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  7. I am entering for everything lol. I follow us everywhere!

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  8. The Dragons' Vein Agate pendant is a stunner in East Coast Craft & Curio :) Hoping that everyone is safe after Sandy!

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  9. I follow the Sirens' blog....twice? Somewhat confused...need more coffee!

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  10. Hocus Pocus is my daughters' favorite Halloween movie. (even though it is a bit disheartening when the grandchildren say 'Bette who?'.

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  11. I'm entering for the gift cert. My favorite item at Curio's is:Pretty Purple Peace Bracelet Wicca

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  12. I also follow on FB

    Thanks for all the great giveaways~

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  13. I blogged!

    http://bellafoxglove.blogspot.com/2012/10/its-last-day-and-i-helped.html

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  14. I tweeted! Twice!

    1st:

    https://twitter.com/TheWitchWriter/status/263673605999710208

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  15. Annnnd twice:

    https://twitter.com/TheWitchWriter/status/263673863739682816

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  16. I love everything from Sosanna, there is no way to choose just one!

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  17. I follow Sosanna on Twitter and FB ( x2 )

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  18. I like Tess on FB and everything she has is great!

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  19. Also, I just wanted to say how much fun this has been, and I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Samhain!

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. I follow Samhain's Sirens on Twitter! (x2)

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  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  23. What I love most from Sosanna's Closet are her Wheel of the Year wreaths (and the Native Medicine wreath)! I definitely need one of those :)

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  24. At East Coast Craft & Curio, my favourite thing there right now is her Celestial Bangle Bracelet :)

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  25. LOL I love hocus pocus.. fun movie. I put a spell on you is a great song done by all, nina simon, bette midler, marilyn manson, etc etc YOu cannot go wrong.

    Entering draw for the hand fasting cord, I am following :D

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  26. I follow Samhain's Sirens on Twitter! (1)

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  27. Blogged about Sosanna's giveaway! http://sweetmaplelife.blogspot.ca/2012/10/happy-halloween-and-blessed-samhain.html

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  28. Blogged about Tess's giveaway! http://sweetmaplelife.blogspot.ca/2012/10/happy-halloween-and-blessed-samhain.html

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  29. Tweeted! (1) https://twitter.com/MissMaryApple/status/263701037020508160

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  30. Tweeted! (2) https://twitter.com/MissMaryApple/status/263701037020508160

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  31. Happy Anniversary Renee!

    I had a handfasting once--in a national forset next to a stream. We invited a bunch of non-wiccans, had a priest officiate, formed a circle and did the full thing complete with jumping over the broom. Our Christian friends started out rather frightened but by the end they were downright giddy and couldn't stop talking about the temperature difference once the circle was released. LOL

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much!! What a wonderful story! I can totally see why you were giddy, I renewed my vows tonight... I cried. :)

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  32. I really like the Pendulum with Tibetan Silver Setting and Pentacle End from Sosanna's closet for giveaway one. Malachite is one of my favourite stones.

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  33. I love the Malachite pendant in giveaway two, for east Coast Craft and Curios.

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  34. Bella, nice list! I've actually seen a few of these. I agree that Season of the Witch was cheesy but worth seeing, even maybe a second time:)

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  35. #2 - The celestial bangle bracelet is lovely!

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  36. I follow here. I shared on google+ and FB.
    Please enter me in #1 AND #2.
    Thanks!

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  37. This entire Samhain event been fun. I hope it will happen again in 2013. Those who put it on did a wonderful job and Thank you so much for your time and energy.
    I know there still a few more days.
    I do like S.S on facebook.
    I did blog post of the giveaway.
    Best to all this Samhain Season and the coffee is on.

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  38. Happily following your blog =D
    (Entering Giveaway #2)

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  39. I've 'Liked' you on FB for awhile now =D
    (Entering Giveaway #2)

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  40. Been following you on Twitter =D
    (Entering Giveaway #2)

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  41. I would defiantly go for the Witchy Love Harvest Bracelet at East Coast Craft & Curio. I love the warm bright colors =D
    (Entering Giveaway #2)

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  42. Happy Samhain everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful day. I know I did. Spend the day with family, and Honoring family that is no longer on this realm. I know my grandmother (Rest her soul) was very happy with how the day went! Thank you all for this wonderful blog. My husband and I are planning on doing a hand fasting for our 10 yr anniversary! (In 4 yrs :) yey ) So its been alot of wonderful information that Sosanna gave. Also, Really love the list of Movies from Bella. Alot of them sound really good, and going to definetely have the watch them. :) Happy Samhain to all!, and hope you all had a safe and joyous holiday!!

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