Samhain Coven Gathering Monday, October 30, 2017 at 7:00 PM CT

“Festival of the Dead”
Samhain Ritual – Written and lead by our adept Armer.

WHEN:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2017

GATHERING STARTS AT 7:00 PM CT
CIRCLE STARTS AT 7:15 PM CT
PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THE CHAT ROOM AFTER 7:15 PM CT as that will break the circle

WHERE:

COVEN LIFE’S CHAT ROOM

What you will need:

One Black candle: Representing death and darkness
One Orange candle: As encouragement for the spirits of the deceased to make a connection with those in the mundane world.
 One Pumpkin: The glow symbolizes the spiritual survival of death to welcome the spirits of the deceased. (Maybe carved and Lit)
 One Mask: (Of your choosing) To be worn or placed in the room. Masks serve as reminders that we are always surrounded by the realms of the spirits and the Goddess/Gods themselves, and on this night more than any other, they are very close.
A snack for feasting and wine for making merry.
Optional: Feel free to decorate your altar with pumpkins, cornstalks, gourds, acorns, and apples. You may include photos or memorabilia of deceased family, friends, and companion creatures.

RITUAL

ARMER: Merry greet Brothers and Sisters of the Craft and honored guests.
EVERYONE: Respond with Merry Greet. Please tell us your first name and your location.
Guardians of the Watchtowers to the East we invoke you to protect this circle and empower our work within this circle.
Guardians of the Watchtowers to the South we invoke you to protect this circle and empower our work within this circle.
Guardians of the Watchtowers to the West we invoke you to protect this circle and empower our work within this circle.
Guardians of the Watchtowers to the North we invoke you to protect this circle and empower our work within this circle.
ARMER: I cast this circle round all those here Three times Three to protect all inside and outside. To gather our strength and power as One. To Commune with those who have parted to the Summerland’s.
EVERYONE RESPOND: In perfect Love and perfect Trust I enter this circle.
ARMER: This circle is now Closed!
We stand at the Crossroads at a time when the Veil between Life and Death is very thin. Our intention is to reach out and Commune with our departed loved ones. To honor those we love by remembering them solemnly.
EVERYONE RESPOND: This is our will, So mote it be!
ARMER: Here and now we invoke Divine Spirit, the power, and force to protect this circle from any Wicked Spirits that may do us harm. Protect all inside and outside from any spirit that has ill intent towards anyone present, we call thee hence.
Light your ORANGE candle and then your BLACK candle at this time. Also, light your pumpkin if it has a lite.
ARMER:  We invoke thee “HEKATE”, the triple Goddess of the Moon, Earth, and Underworld.
Have your Dragons bring you forth. Pierce the dark veil on this night, grant us visits, give us sight to speak with loved ones, this Hollow night. Visions we seek to touch our hearts, questions, and answers before we part.
EVERYONE RESPOND: Part the veil that we may see.
At this time everyone may feast and drink as a friendly gesture. Saving a bit of each as an offering.
EVERYONE: Each of us will meditate (Commune) with our deceased loved ones. Remembering our past. Be open to receive messages and ask questions. Understanding may come at a later time. Enjoy the visit for 3 minutes. (You may go back to visit with your loved one (s) after the circle has been opened or tomorrow if you choose to.)
EVERYONE: At the end of the 3 Minutes everyone say to those you have visited and type in Merry meet and merry part, until we merry meet again.
LADY BELTANE: Blessed are we that have felt the touch of our loved ones once again. We thank you all for coming forth to visit with us. Please return to your place of rest and peace with our deepest love and gratitude until we meet again.
ARMER: HEKATE, Goddess of the Witches, we Honor you. Queen of the dead, we thank thee. We are grateful for your power and energy that helped lift the veil of the Underworld tonight. Hail and Farewell Hekate of the crossroads.
EVERYONE RESPOND: Hail and Farewell Hekate
ARMER: Divine Spirit, We thank thee for your power and strength that prevented wicked spirits from entering our circle. We bid thee farewell.
Guardians of the Watchtower in the North return from where you came with our thank you for your power and energy that helped me with our work tonight.
Guardians of the Watchtower in the West return from where you came with our thank you for your power and energy that helped me with our work tonight.
Guardians of the Watchtower in the South return from where you came with our thank you for your power and energy that helped me with our work tonight.
Guardians of the Watchtower in the East return from where you came with our thank you for your power and energy that helped me with our work tonight.
ARMER: The circle is now open but never broken. Thank you to my Brothers and Sisters of the Craft for being here tonight and lending your Power and Strength to the circle. I pray your visit to the Summerland’s was fruitful and enlightening. Merry part until we merry meet again. Have a blessed and Happy Samhain!
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For a Water Cremation Ask a Mortician – Article from the Washington Post

This article may seem out of place on this website but I thought it a good one to share as we approach Sanhaim. If it is offensive to any reader I appologize. I feel it is important to consider and know other cultures biews on how to honor those who cross the veil into the Summerlands.

Article written by Tara Bahrampour in the October 20, 2017 issue of the Washington Post

In some Indonesian villages, families live with and care for the bodies of their loved ones for months or years after they die. In Japan, relatives of the deceased use chopsticks to remove large bone fragments from cremated ashes. In Mexico, mummified babies and children were once revered, and people would hold parties and games for them.

If those practices sound alarming, Caitlin Doughty would like to remind you that injecting a body with formaldehyde might seem appalling to people in some parts of the world. Recently, she crisscrossed the globe looking at how diverse, and even healing, death can be. Her new book, “From Here To Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death,” published this month, underlines how subjective our views on death are.

Doughty, 33, is a mortician in Los Angeles but, as she says, “that doesn’t really describe it.” She is an activist for a view of death that offers a lot more choices than Americans have traditionally been given. Doughty believes that what happens after a person dies can be much more personal, transcendent, and comforting than the mainstream funeral industry would have us believe.

By exploring death rituals around the world, her goal was to open the door to new possibilities.

“Even things that we find strange or repulsive or disrespectful can actually be quite beautiful when you break them down and tell the stories,” she said. “I was hoping to prove that change is possible and that even when I’m standing there with a son brushing off his father’s mummified corpse or I’m seeing a body being pulled off a compost pile, there’s so much respect there and it’s such a human process. You could be surrounded by mummies and still feel completely comfortable … because there are children running around and playing and laughing and it just feels like a family has gotten together to be happy and perform this ritual.”

Doughty, who has written a memoir about her profession and also hosts “Ask A Mortician,” a series of video shorts that discuss such phenomena as coffin births (when built-up gases cause a recently deceased pregnant woman’s body to expel a fetus) and what happened to the bodies of those who died on the Titanic. Some of the videos boast hundreds of thousands of views, perhaps testimony to a transformation Doughty says is underway as more Americans consider alternatives to the standard funeral package.

“People are going to funeral homes and going to ‘traditional’ services and they’re more and more not satisfied with them,” she said. “They see Mom and she looks kind of waxen, and they’re like, ‘This isn’t for me. There must be another way.’ ”

This attitude reflects a generational change, she said. “The people who are really dying right now are in their 80s and 90s, the Greatest Generation. I think they’re going to be the last generation to embrace the embalming the body, putting it on display, the wake, the Catholic ritual. Baby boomers, Generation X and Millennials are more open to these new ideas, to these green ideas, to these participatory ideas.”

The new ideas include allowing loved ones to attend a cremation, or doing a water cremation, in which the body is dissolved in very hot water and lye (avoiding the use of natural gas and the release of toxins).

Doughty got interested in death as a child after witnessing another child suffer a fall that was likely fatal. The experience made her afraid of death; she confronted her fear by entering a field in which death is commonplace.

But once there, she felt something was missing.

“It was always my instinct that we weren’t doing enough for our families, that we weren’t giving them enough emotional space to really grieve and have feelings,” she said. “Nothing makes me more angry when I hear about someone asking a funeral director, ‘Do you think that I could come in and fix Mom’s hair and fix Mom’s lipstick, because she liked to wear it this way,’ and they say no. It’s like their self-esteem is so wrapped up in them being the professionals.”

By contrast, many other cultures encourage intimate physical contact with the deceased, resulting in a warmer, less forbidding experience. “When you’re in Mexico the whole cemetery is just glowing as they interact with the memories of the dead,” she said.

For the book she also traveled within the United States to visit people who are promoting alternative methods, such as a North Carolina group that experiments with composting human remains and a mobile funeral pyre operation in Colorado.

To Doughty there’s no right or wrong way to do things, including the standard American way, but she would like people to have access to a wider range of choices — such as burying a loved one’s remains on private property, or setting them on a mountaintop for the vultures.

“These things aren’t available and you should be angry about that, because the American funeral system has a lobby,” she said. “There are regulations in place that make it incredibly hard to enter the funeral industry or have any new type of disposition become available.”

Recently, the cremation rate surpassed the burial rate in the United States for the first time. Still, embalming, which is particularly lucrative for funeral homes, is more common here than in any other country, and it is often done even when a body is going to be cremated, Doughty said. Twenty-nine states require funeral homes to be ready to embalm, meaning that even if a mortician serves only clients who don’t embalm, such as Muslims, “the state is going to say, ‘You need to go to mortician school and set up a $100,000 embalming room.’ ”

For herself, Doughty wants to be buried close to the surface of the earth, “in that really rich topsoil full of microbes and fungi. I want my body to decompose. As women we’re taught to be contained and clean and not have control over our bodies. … There’s something about the messiness of the process — the oozing and stretching out into the dirt and the earth, and that my organic matter is merging with other organic matter, that is what’s really attractive to me and really brings me comfort.”

Thank You All!!

Image result for thank you

I just wanted to say thank you and how much your prayers, candles, etc helped and are helping me to heal. I came home from the Hospital Thursday afternoon and am feeling a little better each day. The doctor has not released me to return to work yet so hopefully, I will feel up to doing more posts in the next few days.

Blessed be dear ones.

Runes of Odin ( Divinations)

The Runes of Odin like to stay in a clean bag made of natural material such as cotton or linen. Keep them in such a  bag , white colour of the bag is good since it is neutral and consists of all colours. The Runes should be placed on white surface when you do  divinations. This is both to keep then clean and to show respect towards them. Sit with the Runes . You should face North. I have a special cotton white cloth to place my runes on it. The square is the perfect form for the cloth. But you also may use a white paper square. There are numerous types of divinations and I will share these I know and these that work for me.

Some practitioners work only with the main meaning of Runes and pay no attention if the Runes come reverse. But some regard the way the Rune is drawn , the reverse Runes mean “NO” or the negative side of the Rune, the opposite meaning of the rune. When the Rune is drawn normally as it is in the runic alphabet Futhark , the answer is “Yes”.

It is good to know

When you ask the Runes your questions should be as precise as possible, usually the question is of one sentence. Concentrate on your question and focus your attention before drawing the rune out of your runic bag. Do not try to manipulate the runes with the intent or expectations you have, you must feel neutral so that the true answer to come to you. If you are not satisfied by the answer …take it and thank the runes , do not ask again . Asking the same question again is “tabo”, you will insult the runes and they will stop answering to you or they will start lying to you. You should better ask for advice about how to act or what to do to overcome the obstacles on your way instead of asking your question again. The Runes will give you the proper advice. Sometimes you will feel the answer you get  seems illogical or not connected with your question at all. Wait for some days and have this answer in your mind … observe, be aware..you will see/feel the  signs that the Runes have given to you wise answer and this is the true answer of your question ; and you will capture the “message”given to you . Working that way with the runes you will see how gradually you become more intuitive and spiritual. This is Odin`s way. It teaches you how to see in the darkness and how to reach wisdom through insight. This is to follow the Spirit.

Some practitioner also drink special tea when they do divinations. Some of them use special stones or crystals . But all of this is optional and depends on each individual. I will share with you a list of stones that help your intuition BUT you do not need them in the divinations, you may wear them as long as you want to and they will help you develop your psychic skills : labradorite, lavrikite, amethyst, tiger eye, blue tiger eye, opal, moonstone, moss agate, turquaze, lapis lazuli, larimar jasper, super seven melody stone, pure quartz, lemurian quarts, smoke quartz, phantom quartz, obsydian.

Yes/ No divination

This way of divination is done when you ask a single question and expact an answer “yes” or “no”.

If the rune comes upright it means “yes”, for more detailed answer you should check the meaning of this particular rune you have drawn.

If the Rune comes reverse, the answer is “no” and you may check what is the meaning of the particular rune you have drawn

For these that work only with the upright position of the runes, you draw 2 squares on a white sheet of paper. The first one is for the positive and the second one is for the negative question, for example you ask “ What will happen if I agree to do this task?” – draw one rune and put it in the first quare, it will tell you what will happen if you do something. Then ask : “ What will happen if I do not agree to do this task?” – draw one rune and put it in the second square, it will tell you what will happen if you do not do something.

The Three Norns Divination

Ask a question, you may write it on  paper.

Draw 3 runes of your bag . The first rune is the past. The second rune you draw out  of the bag is the present, it shows you the situation now and gives you the advice needed. Check its meaning to have an idea of what it tells you. The third rune is the future. It tells you what the future of the current situation will be if you follow the runic advice / that comes with the second rune you drew /.

Make notes because you will perhaps be thinking of the runic message during the following days  and you will be decoding the message, you will have the whole picture in a day or two. At first when you draw the runes out , it may seem to you that the runes do not answer at all, in fact they do . Time is needed to understand their message.

Asking with 9 runes

This method can be seen when you follow the link below. I think it is an amazing way to get closer to our ancestors and their way of working with Spirit. This way of divination requires intuition and skills and develops your intuition and skills. Enjoy :

http://www.sunnyway.com/runes/runecasting.html

I will start introducing each of the Runes and its meaning with my next posts. This is a long journey and I am thankful to share it with all of you.

Until we merry meet again

Mistress of the Mountains

 

 

 

 

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Witches Of The Craft®

Good Saturday Morning, dear brothers & sisters of the Craft!  In case you are wondering, we are working on the store today. Adding some new merchandise, taking down what has sold out. Oh, I should mention, we have a whole new line of robes in. What’s special about these robes? They are custom made to your size. You heard right. It takes a little longer to get them but you will have a robe that fits you perfectly. I know what you are thinking, custom-made to fit, must cost an arm and a leg, right? WRONG! These robes are extremely affordable and are on the site right now. So check them out! Oh, and if you decide to order one, please include your size in the comment section of PayPal. After that we will be drumming up some business on Pinterest.

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Pray for People Still in the Path of or the Wake of California Wildfires

We are and hear a lot about all the hurricane survivors and the earthquake ones also but we hear or see very little about the wildfire victims. While aid to help the survivors pour in or I’m a couple of areas trickles in, we are happy to see the help they are given. I’m the past fewer homes were effected by a raging wildfire then the currents ones. These humans and animals in California need our prayers and help just as much of not more than the hurricane and earthquake victims. Please do not misunderstand me I am not trying to minimize what any natural sister victim, human or animal, have and are suffering through; I just don’t want to see the wildfire victims be forgotten.

I’m California there are at least 36 humans that have crossed into The Summerland and thousands displaced. The total for most of these statistics are sure to rise as 17 known wildfires still rage. Of course there is no mention in the articles I have read or new shows I have listen to about the animals, wild and/or domestic, who have lost their lives, been seperated from their human, or had their natural habitat destroyed. Yes, a controlled burn is good to keep dangerous ground vegation manageable or to help make organically rich soil for crop rotation or other positive reasons I know nothing about.

The following article from the Washington Post e-newspaper is about one couple’s story of how they escaped death. Please read this article all the way through besides being feeling compassion for the couple you can learn some favorable information about the fires.

Out of the Flames and Into the Water

They couldn’t flee so they jumped into their pool

By Wesley Lowery printed in the October 14, 2017 Washing Post E-Newspapere

Daniel Pomplun jolted awake. It was 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, and he heard the crackling of flames. He noticed the power was out, and he rose from bed and went to the window.

They had been fast asleep, and Daniel and his wife, Cindy, had missed the warnings. The residents of Santa Rosa, Calif., had been evacuating for more than three hours already as the rapidly spreading wildfire approached. The red glow through the window told Daniel it was too late. The fire was here.

“Cindy! Wake up!” Pomplun, 54, shouted, shaking her. “We’ve got to go!”

They threw on the closest clothing: for Cindy, a light T-shirt and cargo pants, and for Daniel, a Minnesota Vikings sweatshirt and University of Minnesota sweatpants. They grabbed the car keys and ran to the front door.

For 17 years, the Pompluns had lived in this two-story moss-green home in rural Santa Rosa. There is just one road out of their neighborhood. After Daniel’s frantic fingers found the knob of the front door and pulled it open, he saw the fire had leapt over the driveway. The only pathway to safety was blocked by the flames surging toward them.

The choice had been made for them.

“We’re going to stay here as long as possible,” Daniel instructed Cindy, recalling a television show he’d watched about wildfires that had suggested it would be safer to be inside at the height of the flames rather than out on foot among them. “And then we’ll run.”

If the house caught fire and there was nowhere to turn, he thought to himself, they could make a dash to the swimming pool, where maybe they could wait out the blaze.

Authorities in Northern California are still assessing the damage from the most devastating, and deadliest, spate of wildfires to strike the state in modern history. With at least 17 blazes still burning as of Friday, officials say thousands of people remain displaced and at least 36 have been confirmed dead.

More than 220,000 acres of land have been scorched in the past week, and the fires have encroached upon — and in some cases leveled — residential areas, forcing people to leave behind houses full of their belongings. Search parties have begun sifting through the ashes of felled homes, looking for the bodies of those who couldn’t escape.

“We all have suffered a trauma here,” Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey told reporters Friday. “And we’re going to be a long time in recovering from this incident.”

Into the water

Before the Pompluns could leave, they needed to find their cats.

Sishi, their 10-year-old calico, was lounging in the sunroom, but they couldn’t find Tabitha, their mackerel tabby. They ran toward the back of the house, looking out at the shed where the cats often slept. It was engulfed in flames.

For the next half-hour, Daniel and Cindy stood in the window of the sunroom and watched as their neighborhood ignited and charred. Soon, their garage caught fire, thrusting smoke into the house through the second-floor crawl space.

It was pitch black except for the approaching red-and-orange glow. The sunroom had filled with smoke, with just a foot or so of air left. It was about 2 a.m. It was past time to go.

Daniel carried their passports, a bottle of water and a pair of kitchen towels. Cindy clutched the cat tight against her chest. They slid open the sunroom door and began to run.

To the left, they could see flames on the roof. To the right, red dots speckling the far-off hills seemed to be leaping closer. The cat shed was a pile of ash. Sishi wriggled her way from Cindy’s arm, leaping to the ground and disappearing into the darkness.

The grass beneath their feet was crispy and black. The air was chilly and smoky.
They reached the edge of the swimming pool. They stuck one foot after the other into the cold water. Once they were shoulder-deep, they draped wet towels over their heads.

The flames danced across the roof and rolled down the sides of their home.

Then came the popping, as the fire reached the 100 rounds of shotgun and rifle ammunition in one of the upstairs bedrooms. The oak tree just to the north of the pool became a bouquet of fire. Then the pine tree to the west did too. Both trees loomed overhead, the flames licking the darkness.

They stayed as far away from the burning home as they could, but they didn’t want to wander deeper into the pool than where they could stand.

After about 30 minutes in the water — the height of the fire around them — the back wall of the house was fully engulfed in flames, pounding their faces with cruel, raw heat. Their heads were burning, faces blistering. Their bodies shivered, shaking uncontrollably beneath the cold water.

During the worst moments, they completely submerged under the cold water, holding their breath for as long as they could, bobbing up for air.

They discussed the things they were losing, watching as room after room of their five-bedroom home burned. The reality of what couldn’t be recovered — the photographs, the mementos from college, the souvenirs from family vacations — settled in. But for most of their time in the water, the adrenaline robbed them of any focus other than staying alive.

The house collapsed, and the fire moved on. Their melted and sagging cars sat where the garage had been. A single surviving squirrel ventured down from an untouched tree branch and approached what remained of the Pompluns’ home before retreating. Maybe, Daniel suggested to Cindy, it was time they came out of hiding, too.

As the songs of a few returning birds marked the sunrise, the shivering Pompluns slowly emerged from the water. The concrete path was still warm, the ruins around them smoldering. They lay down together and embraced for warmth as their clothes hung from the metal frame of what was once a poolside table.

Occasionally a helicopter or plane would fly overhead, so Daniel arranged stones on the patio to send a message: “NEED EVAC.” Cindy went searching for Sishi, finding her snuggled beneath a juniper bush. She came out to cuddle for a few moments before sneaking back under the bush, refusing to budge.

Daniel decided it was time to start walking, but they both needed to find shoes. As he surveyed the neighborhood, he spotted a single house that seemed untouched. The back screen door was open, so they let themselves in. They found two pairs of flip-flops that fit, and a hat to cover Cindy’s head from the sun. They took a few pieces of paper, and a pen, and shoved a couple of bottles of water into a brown paper bag.

Daniel left a note on the floor, apologizing for what he’d taken and promising it would be returned. Around noon they started walking, changing the message in stones outside their home to: “WALK OUT.”

A white pickup truck drove past, as a group made their way back into the neighborhood to check on friends who lived nearby. About a mile farther up the road they found a sheriff’s deputy.

“Come on,” the deputy shouted out to them. “I’ll get you to the shelter.”

They spent the rest of the day huddled at a metal folding table in a shelter at a high school in Windsor, making a trip to the hospital to check for smoke inhalation, plotting out how to best fill prescriptions for their burns and figuring out how to get new phones.

That night they slept in the shelter. When people walked across the parquet floor, it made a loud popping sound, reminiscent of their oak tree burning.

“It took a long time to fall asleep that first night,” Daniel said.

Daniel’s employer — where he works as a software engineer — helped them find temporary housing and got them a borrowed car so they could go to the bank and get new credit cards and the eye doctor to each be fitted for new glasses. The insurance claims have been filed for their home and cars.

The Pompluns began discussing what comes next: Do they stay and rebuild? Do they move elsewhere? They don’t know.

They said they think their cat Tabitha didn’t make it, probably succumbing to the fire in the shed. But they have called animal control, hoping that Sishi is still out there, nestled beneath the juniper bush.

 

8 Ways to Celebrate Beltane

Ah Beltane . . . . flowers, maypoles, dalliances in the dark . . . . few sabbats feel more PAGAN than Beltane. Some of that is because the trappings of Beltane haven’t been adopted by the over culture (especially in the United States), and some of it’s probably because of the all the tree and flower sex going on right outside of our windows.

Here are eight quick ideas for your Beltane rituals and festivities. However you celebrate, I hope it’s great!
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/panmankey/2017/04/8-ways-to-celebrate-beltane/#SMQViQtfOU2mO8LZ.99