I have often wonder why it almost always rains and is cold on Samhain. Where I live, in the central United States, it usually nice the day before and the day after but rarely the day of.
This morning my Guides gave me an answer to this question that seems so right I have no idea why I never thought of it. It rains on Samhain because the veil between our world and the Summerlands is very thin allowing those residing in the Summerlands feelings to come into our world and our feelings to go easier into their world.
Just as we weep for loved ones lost because we miss the person they were in this lifetime they weep because they miss us also so. The rain we experience is in reality their tears. The cold is because they do not need heat to keep a incarnated body warm like we do in this world.
When honoring your ancestors this Samhain remember to take into account their feelings and try to explain yours to them. Communication is not just important when we some someone face to face it is important when dealing with those who have crossed over too. Do not think the dialoge has to stop when Samhain is over, it may not be as easy to hear them but if they have something you really need to hear you will. Talk to them, ask them questions, tell them things. Just because they no longer have a physical body does not mean they are not interested in things going on in your life.
When helping those who passed away this past year cross into the Summerlands remind them of the happiness, rest, joy and love they will feel there instead of the cold uncertainity of roaming this world with no physical body. If you feel they are hanging on to something in this world or have unfinished business they want to take care before moving across the veil ask how you can help them let go or finish the unfinished business. It is important for us all to cross into the Summerlaands after ourphysical bodies will no longer support life in this world, so we can rejuvaniate and be reborn into our next life time.
Talking with my mom today and helping her to finish something she left undone (this I will not share as it was very personal between the two of us) after dreaming about her the other night for the first time since she passed brought a calm to me I have not felt since the day before she passed. I knew the mooment my mom passed as I felt a pull on both my heart and root charkas the two most connected to parents and our children. She is happy and excited to be fully reunited with my dad, he refused rebirth until she and he could have some time together alone and with my eight siblings, who all passed away shortly before or after birth, in the SUmmerlands They both told me today that they will wait for me to join them in the future when it is my time to return to the Summerlands before they consider another lifetime in this world. WHich made me feel very loved and special. You see my dad crossed over the veil wexactlly one month before my twelfth birthday in 1970.
I am sorry if this post seems to ramble some but I was typing as it came to me and had a couple of interuptions for trick-or-treater, all the kids in the neighborhood love to come to the Witch’s house because she gives out good treat if they do not trick her ;o}
May your Samhain be blessed,. May your time with your ancestors be joyful. My your New Year be filled with everything you need, a warm home, loving family and friends, enough food to keep hunger at bay, clothing to keep you comfortable and even bring you a way to get a couple of things you just want.
Copyright 2015 Lady Beltane
Norse 101, Part 2
Happy Friday! Ready for the Norse creation story? Sure you are! I’ll warn you, it’s a bit weird. So, pop some popcorn, grab a drink, and get comfy.
Before the world was created, there was a void called Ginnungagap. To the north of this void was a land of ice called Niflheim, and to the south was a land of fire called Muspelheim. The two lands expanded and grew closer and closer until the flames from Muspelheim began to melt the ice from Niflheim. The drops of melting ice ran together and formed the first giant, called Ymir. When Ymir would sweat, he would reproduce more giants. Yes, from his sweaty armpits came the giants. But wait, it gets weirder.
As the ice continued to melt, it eventually freed a cow named Audhumla. She fed Ymir with her milk, and fed herself by licking the salt from the ice. As she licked, she freed another being named Buri. He was the first of the Aesir, which is the race of the Gods who live in Asgard. Buri had a son named Bor, who married a giantess named Bestla. They had three sons: Odin, Vili, and Ve. The three brothers killed Ymir, and from his body, they created the world. Ymir’s blood became rivers and oceans. His skin and tissue became the soil. His hair became the plants, his teeth became the rocks, and the clouds were once his brains. The dome of the sky is the inside of his skull. Gruesome, isn’t it? The next time you’re at the beach, swimming in the ocean, think about what you’re doing according to the Norse myths. You’re bathing in the blood of the first giant! Yikes!
There are a few different versions of the story about the creation of the first humans. One translation says that it was Odin, Ve, and Vili, three brothers, who made them. Another version names Odin, Lodhur, and Hoenir as the brothers and creators of humanity. At any rate, the story goes that the three brothers were walking on a beach and came upon two logs of driftwood. They shaped the logs into the first man and woman, and named them Ask and Embla. But Ask and Embla had no spirit, no breath. The version of the story that I like best says that Odin gave them breath and spirit, Hoenir gave them senses, and Lodhur gave them blood and healthy color. Some scholars believe that Lodhur is an earlier name for Loki, and I’m inclined to agree. If you’re particularly interested in that speculation, I’ll be happy to direct you to some sources.
Ancient creation stories like this one do sound incredibly strange to our modern ears. Nowadays, we have myriad theories about our universe, how it works, and how it all came about. Our ancestors did not. They had absolutely nothing to relate it to. Can you imagine the first time that the Norse were told this story? I often wonder how it went down. Did the Gods try to relay this information through a volva (a seeress or shamaness)? Did someone back then “horse” or allow a God to skinride them to tell the tale of creation? Did They zap Themselves down to Midgard and tell us? I had this scenario playing out in the back of my mind while I was preparing to write this article, and I felt inspired to draw it out as a short comic strip. I am by no means artistically inclined, and you’ll see the obvious influence of the “Cyanide and Happiness” comics. But this is how I imagine it might have gone when the Gods tried to explain the universe to the Norse. Yes, it’s tongue-in-cheek, yes it’s a bit tacky. What can I say? I’m a Lokean, and Loki lends a lot of inspiration to me. Enjoy my artistic rendition, and I’ll see you here again next Freyja’s Day for the third installment of Norse 101.
This ritual is for the third harvest festival on the night before Samhain. It does not include anything towards horoning our ancestors but is enjoyable for children just learning the Pagan path.
What you will need:
A Space outdoors
Some type of Fire
A Pumpkin carve by each person participating
An Altar set up with minimal tools (Atheme or Ceremonial Knife, Cauldron, Autumn fruits and or vegetables your family or coven members will like to eat raw Something to represent each Element and the Goddess and God you choose to invite to celebrate with you. For suggestions check out this website http://www.goddess-guide.com/harvest-goddess.html )
A Cutting Board
The Ritual Ideas
Please make any changes to this ritual that would fit in with your personal path better.
Start the fire in the middle of where the sacred circle will be made. Set up the altar approximately 5 to 6 feet or more in behind the fire (you want enough room between fire and altar for people to be able to walk through safely). You want the South part of the altar to be in line with the fire you have made (in some places this may have to be done in a grill because fire pits or rings are not allowed.) Remember it is safety and abiding by locals laws that must come first when first lighting the harvest fire. Set the Altar up as you would for any ritual using the friuts and vegetables to decorate it.
Next make a path wide enough for two adults to walk it side by side using the carve pumpkins on either side of it to light the way to where the circle will be. How far apart they are depending on how big of a space you have to work with, how many carved pumpkins you have and how far apart they are to be spaced. (Some years we have each had to make to pumpkins because we were given a large field to use for the night and it was almost a mile to where the circle was being held. Another year with my children our six pumpkins were about a foot apart because the path to our backyard was so short.)
This is also a fine night to dress in a costume as this is more a festival ritual to have fun and celebrate the last harvest then a serious ritual to honour our ancestors. Make sure if costumes are worn especially by children that the distance between the fire and altar is large enough that a stray sash, cape, skirt, etc can not catch fire on accident.
To walk the path of pumpkins start with the High Priestess and High Priest walking side by side, then next comes the Priestess and Priest and then the rest of the coven preferably in man and woman couples if possible with any children walking in front of adult coven members or paired with them.
If this is being done by your family have mom and dad or whichever parent or whatever adult is the head of the household be first in line, the children will follow with another adult at the end of the procession to the circle.
Everyone enters into where the sacred circle will be cast around the altar and fire entering from the south. The High Priestess and High Priest stop at the opening to the circle area and welcomes each person with the words “Merry meet may you enter into this sacred space with perfect love and perfect trust.” (The people do not have to have perfect love and trust in the High Priestess and High Priest but in the ritual that is taking plaace and their own spiritual path).
Once everyone has entered into the area the High Priestess will cast the circle and High Priest will call the Watchtowers. If you are doing this as a family you can decide who does these things.
Now the High Priestess blesses the Fire and altar. Using these words –
I bless this fire to keep our home warm and the lights on through out the cold months to come. To purifiy and prtect us. So mote it be.
Next the Fire Element on the Altar is blessed with the same words.
Next in a single file line each person passes through the area between the fire and altar fire. After a person has passes through the fires they go back to where their place had been in the circle.
The High Priestess and High Priest stay behind the altar to bless the fruits and vegetables and to call upon the harvest goddess and god to do the same. The High Priest blesses the furits and vegetables by say “From Mother Earth and the Elements we have been given this great bounty. We thank them for the nourishing things that will help to sastain us through the long, cold months. So mote it be.” The High Priestess then calls upon the harvest goddess to enter the circle and bless the harvest. USing these words “_________ please bless this food and empower it to help nurish and sastins us through the long, cold months.” The Hig Priest calls upon the harvest god to bless the harvest. Using these words “________ please bless this food and help empower it to help nourish and sustain us through the long, cold months. So mote it be.”
Next the fruit and vegetables on the altar are cut into individula pieces so each member of the coven or family gets a piece. With one small piece of each left over as an offering to the Goddess and God called up, Mother Earth and the Elements. After everyone has finished their portions the entire coven says “This is or offering to Mother Earth, the Elements, Goddess called in and God called in foour thanks for your help in the growing of this food and for the havest that it brought to us. We thank you for your power and help in making this food to help us through the long, cold winter months. So mote it be.” Place the food offereing on the ground to be eaten by wildlife.
After this the High Priest will dismiss the Watchtowers and the High Priestess will close the circle. Now it is time to take down the altar and stoke up the fire. Have some warm cider or hot chocolate or whatever you feel like drinking, enjoy the fire, tell stories or sing songs. This is a time for jubliation and merriment in celebration that the harvest season is over and help keep you warm thoughout the cold months from the love and postitive energy being brought about by spending timwith friends and/or loved ones.
“Samhain – Endings and Beginnings”
“The third and final harvest festival, as know as “The Witches” New Year, celebrates both the end of the old year and the beginning of the new, On this day, the veil between world is at its thinnest, and so we use this time to speak to those who have come before us: our ancestors, our beloved dead, all who are no longer with us. Some celebrate with a Dumb Supper, a traditional meal eaten in complete slience, with plates set out for those we have lost. Others set up a special altar with candles honoring the dead, often decorated with pictures or tokens to represent each individual. Some use this night for divination, which is enhanced as the veil is thin.
This is a bittersweet holiday when we say goodbye to those we’ve lost in the year gone past as well as mourn whatever goals we didn’t achive, But it is also a celebration of the coming year, full of hope and anticipation. We wipe the slate clean, dancing around a bonfire in celelbration of the Goddess in her Crone persona; full of wisdom and ready to sustain us as we move inti the darkness of winter. She teaches us that dark is nothing to fear, only a quite place where we can rest until we are ready to begin again.”
Copyright Deborah Blake Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2015 Page 113
“Beltane – Love in Abundance”
“Beltane falls on the first day of May. Some folks celebrate on May Eve with a bonfire, which is fitting since Beltane is a fire festival derived from a word for “bright fire.” Others observe the holiday at noon, with the spring-time sun serving as fire.
Beltane can be a boisterous and bawdy holiday since it focuses on abundance, fertility, and love. The God and Goddess, who are at the height of their power and vigor, join together in passion to bring life back to earth. Pagans often celebrate with feasting, a dance around the Maypole, and all acts sensual and sexual.
But Beltane isn’t just about lust and romance – it also celebrates abundance, growth, and increase. If you need to bring more of anything into your life – money, love, health – this is a good time to do that type of magickal work. It is also a good time to show love for your significant other, family, friends, pets, or even our Mother, the Earth.
Instead of a Maypole, try using a May bush. (Plant a new ooon or use as exisiting bush or potted plant.) Tie ribbons on to it to symbolize the things you wish to increase in your life and dance with joy, your heart filled with love.”
Copyright Deborah Blake Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2015 Page 61
Hi everybody! Lady Beltane asked me to post a quick guide to pronouncing some of the Norse names. They can be quite a mouthful, I’ll admit. Here’s a short list of the names you’ll see in the Norse 101 Part 2 post tomorrow:
- Aesir: eye-seer
- Asgard: az-guard
- Ask: ask
- Audhumla: ow-DOOM-la
- Bestla: BEST-la
- Bor: bore
- Buri: BOO-ree
- Embla: EM-blar
- Freyja: FREY-ya
- Ginnungagap: Gin-oon-guh-gap (the G’s are hard, like in the word ‘go.’)
- Hoenir: HUR-near
- Lodhur: LO-thur
- Midgard: MEED-guard
- Muspelheim: MOO-spell-hime
- Niflheim: NIFFLE-hime
- Odin: OH-din
- Ve: vay
- Vili: VEE-lee
- Ymir: ee-MEER
- Volva: VOOL-vuh
I’ll post a pronunciation guide for each week’s lesson. See you tomorrow!
“Samhain – Divining the Unseen”
“At Samhain, the veil between the worlds is thinnest. The ordinary and extraordinary meet. Death and life touch at the edges. Mysteries drop hints. These factors make divination easier now, and traditional Samhain activities include various forms of it. Nuts may be placed in the coals of a fire to divine the future of a relationship. Scrying in a mirror or bowl of water is another popular option. An apple peel thrown on the ground reveals symbolic shapes. Of course, tarot cards also suit the occasion.
Celebrate the mysteries this Samhain. Choose from mystical colors such as purple, gold, silver, and black. Decorate the covenstead with lace veils and velvet drapes. Cobwebs of paper, string, or floss evoke the Fates who spin the thread of the future. The Norse god Odin traded an eye to the Norns to gain wisdom. In Greek mythology, Apollo is associated with the oracles. The Sumerian goddess Inanna also relates to prophecy and visions.
Consider a ritual that enacts visiting a sacred oracle. Lead coveners into a softly lit space where they can consult a priest or priestess who is skilled in divination or psychic arts. Use drums or bells to summon people back out..”
Copyright Elizabeth Barrette Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2014 Page 115