Three Simple Samhain Rituals

I don’t know about everyone else, but this Halloween/Samhain season is insane.  I’m starting a new job, been invited to a couple of costume parties, and am helping with some local Samhain events.  Oi.  Making time for personal practice is going to be rough.

Source: http://www.renegadebroadcasting.com/radio-wehrwolf-samhain-music-special-10-27-15/
Source: http://www.renegadebroadcasting.com/radio-wehrwolf-samhain-music-special-10-27-15/

Even when shit gets busy, it is so important to make time for the spiritual.  There will always be a reason to be busy: work, school, partner, kids, coven, hobbies, PTA, mothers-in-law, etc.  The point of a religious, Pagan, spiritual, whatever-you-call-it practice is that it causes you to pause and do something for yourself.  Whatever else is going on in your life, your practice will be there for you to lift you up and sustain your spirit. Continue reading

Samhain Events in New England 2015

So Mainer, Masshole, and Vermonter Pagans, Wiccans, and Witches, we seem to have a ton of events to choose from this year!  Everything from dumb suppers to psychic fairs.  A few of the events are family friendly and the ones that aren’t note that on their websites.  So don your costumes and celebrate with our community.

Source: www.cornucopiacollective.com
Source: http://www.cornucopiacollective.com

Event planners if you don’t see your event please comment with a link to your website!  I am especially looking for events in Maine, Vermont, and Rhode Island. Continue reading

Magical in the Mundane Series: Samhain

Samhain is the season of reflection, honor, and reverence.  Pagans and Witches take this time of year to accept the past, to honor the ancestors, and to look inward to discover what they really want.  It’s also the time of year to get closer to family and friends.

Household

  • Clean out the house.  Donate old furniture, clothing, and house goods to charity
  • Frame photographs of family members
  • Pull out a few old family recipes, favorites from when you were a kid
  • Go to the cemetery to clean family members’ graves and to plant bulbs
  • Winterize your outdoor spaces and bring in potted plants

Self Care

  • Break an unhealthy habit, such as smoking
  • If your doctor says its cool, consider doing a detox (people with liver conditions or other serious medical ailments can’t do this activity).  Some are super crazy and unhealthy (plus who wants to just drink lemon-chili water for a week?!), but the Vegetarian Times has a lovely weekend detox designed to safely eliminate toxins from the body
  • Indulge in an extra bath or two to cultivate serenity and peace of mind as you reflect on your life.  Make them super luxurious by infusing equal parts rose petals and calendula in a large pot of water.  Let steep for at least a half hour, strain, then add the tea plus a gallon of whole milk into a warm bath.  Throw in a hand full of bath salts to scent the water and soak as long as you like
  • Start a journal or similar reflective activity
  • If you feel you need a little extra help or get a little overwhelmed as you look on your past, talk to a mental health professional.  If you’re a university student, you can get free services through your school.  Otherwise, Psychology Today’s Find a Therapist is an exceptional resource.  If money is the problem or your troubles seem more spiritual in nature, the Witch’s Voice can connect you to priests and priestesses with counseling credentials.

Work and School

  • Have a meeting with your academic advisor or boss about your goals and future in your field
  • Do some internal evaluations to figure out any problems in your department.  A simple, anonymous survey given to each of your coworkers will do nicely. If you’re a manager or supervisor, take your workers suggestions seriously and make small changes if needed
  • Usually for university students, professor and course evaluations will be in the coming weeks.  Take them seriously and honestly, even if the class is terrible.  They are the best way for students to make changes in their colleges, because they affect how the courses are taught and what professors get tenure
  • Clean out and reorganize your desk
  • If you’re feeling a little stagnant in your job or are looking for a change, start looking at job postings and revise your resume

Social Life

  • Unfriend or block exes and toxic friends on Facebook and other forms of social media
  • Treat your parents or sibling to dinner
  • If you’ve argued with a friend this year, sit down with them and resolve the conflict over drinks
  • Do something joyful such as pumpkin picking or attending a corn maze with your partner and, if you have them, children to balance some of the heaviness of the season
  • Do a little genealogical research to discover your ancestors

© Ariadne Woods

Samhain Blessing

As the Wheel Turns to the dark of the year

May you connect with your loved ones far and near,

Feast on candy, pumpkins, and witch’s brew,

And see into your future what’s best for you.

On blessed Samhain when the spirits soar

May you heed the wisdom of myth and lore

See the Goddess as the wise, cauldron stiring Crone

To know life’s mysteries of dust and bone.

And may you gain all good things you desire

Forget and forgive the muck and the mire

Health, wealth, love and wisdom to thee

Blessed Samhain, so mote it be!

 

© Ariadne Woods

Samhain Recipes

Samhain is a great time of year to get friends together for some feasting and fun.  Apples and pumpkins are the stars of this meal, as well as foods that are a little sweet.  Enjoy!

  • Witches Brew: There are tons of mulled cider recipes (this one comes courtesy of CharmingPixieFlora). Tip: I know some people like having pieces of apple or spices in the drink, but this is not great for kids.  And if you want to spike it for adults, I recommend a nice dark rum.
  • Pan de Muertos:  A traditional Mexican recipe to celebrate the Day of the Dead.  You can also usually find this at your local bakery, too.
  • Pumpkin Dip: My friend taught me how to make this a few years ago. It is tasty and addicting!  I like to serve it with apple slices and pretzels.
  • Roasted Pork with Apples: Easy, yet elegant enough for a full Samhain feast.  I like to include an apple recipe in my meals this time of year because of their connection to the afterlife.  The Isle of Apples is one of the many names given to the transition space between this life and the next.
  • French Green Lentils:  Great for the vegetarians in the group.  Fill a pot with water, add a handful of salt and a bay leaf, and bring to a boil.  Add 1 cup of French green lentils, 1 diced potato, 1 diced sweet potato, and 1 diced carrot.  Bring back to boil, and then to a simmer.  Leave alone for a half hour.  While the veggies are cooking, make a simple vinaigrette with red wine vinegar, mustard, cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Set aside.  Two minutes before the cooking is done, add a cup of froze pearl onions to the vegetable mixture.  Drain the veggies, remove the bay leaf, and combine with sauce.  Enjoy!
  • Squash Mash: Roast any squash (cut in half and seeds removed) at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until fork tender.  Remove skin and mash with a little butter and salt and pepper.  Also works well with sweet potatoes.
  • Witches Hats: There are tons of cutesy Halloween deserts out there. Find one that will enchant your guests.
  • Trick or Treat Ideas: NEVER be the lame house that gives out dental floss.  If you have time, making caramel apples or cookies are a fantastic option.  And you can never go wrong buying half a dozen bags of chocolate!

© Ariadne Woods

Witch Tips: Samhain Activities

Samhain, Halloween, the Day of the Dead, oh my!  This season is marked by lots of holidays dedicated to the last harvest and the honoring of the dead.  For modern witches, Wiccans, and some Pagans, we embrace these days as more than just an excuse to get dressed up and eat a lot of candy (although that’s fun too).  Try to take time for deliberate spiritual practices before the Wheel of the Year comes to a close.

  • Movie Marathon: Practical MagicThe Craft, even a couple of early episodes of Charmed.  Check out some witchy role models in popular culture.  And then don’t forget to finish off the evening with It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
  • Divination: The veil between the worlds is thinner at this point of the year.  It is a good time to break out the black scrying mirror and tarot cards.  If you have no experience in this area and have a little extra cash, consider findingr a reputable psychic and paying them a visit.
  • A Wishing Tree: As this is the witches’ new year, it is a good time to think about what you want to happen in the coming months.  Try to find a dozen or so candle lanterns that you can easily hang from a tree (or a bush or if need be place them around your home).  Before placing the candles in the holders, carve a symbol of a wish into it.  When you light it, the wish will be released.
  • A Feast (and a Dead Supper): Sometime in the next week I will post some food ideas.  But in the mean time, there is no harm in munching on a little Halloween candy as a snack!  Make sure to leave some for your ancestors.
  • Get Out in the Last Few Warm Days of the Year:  Enjoy these days because in a few weeks the leaves will be gathered and the Earth will be settled for a long winter.  Also, I am originally from a rural community where this time of year is all about corn mazes and pumpkin picking.  If these activities exist near your home, take full advantage. 
  • Pumpkin Carving: If you are sick of carving faces into your Jack-O-Lantern, there are plenty of great templates online. Consider Hecate, the Green Man, pentacles, triple moons, and ancestor spirits as inspiration.
  • Family Time:  As this is the time of remembering the ancestors, take some time to hang out with your loved ones just to relax and have fun.

© Ariadne Woods