Faery Oracle Message

•December 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Good morning Starshines and happy Wodens / Odins day!
This reading is perfect for this day. Odin is considered the All Father, He knows ALL. He was so committed to learning “The Seecrets” he gave his left eye.

The Faery message today is Glimpse & The Secret Path.
There is a newness coming. This could something that may be from your past that still pulls you in some way being reborn to your future. This could also mean something that is being awakened in you while you are doing something that you feel you’ve outgrown. But you’re being pulled into that new direction.
Your heart and soul are pulling you into a different direction, but you know that you will not be able to go on that New Path in the place that you are now. It’s time to start making those changes that need to be made, and prepare for this newness to be birthed into your life. This could be a job, a relationship, or any place that you feel like you just do not belong to, or more appropriately, fit in to any longer. This change maybe having to do with your past as well. It could be something that you experienced from your past that inspired you, or called your heart.
Maybe you want to focus more on your health? Changing your diet and daily routines will be a must.
Its time to get those changes underway so you can usher in your new path.
Many Blessings,
Sirona Rose 🌹

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December 10, 2018 Weekly Reading

•December 10, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Good morning Starshines!
I hope you all had a restful slumber.
Here are the cards that represent the underlying energy of the week. You could pick one or pick 2 or 3 and you can read them in any direction.

Reading from left to right…

4 of PENTACLES… Every time I see this card I think of the lyrics “Hold On Loosely but don’t let go”. Pentacles are about our material wealth, and here we are hanging onto something that we consider of great value to us. This could be something that you have been working very hard on building, being 4s represent a foundation. We have to realize that we can’t be in control all the time, sometimes we have to go with the flow and work things out along the way. Make sure that what you are holding onto so desperately is actually worth it. Some of us can’t seem to release what is really not beneficial in our lives anymore. This card has the energy of greed, so remember your self-worth isn’t equivalent to your bank account.

2 of SWORDS….. swords represent our intellect, our mental mind. And here we have a decision that needs to be made, in this card the Mermaid is having to pick between the man drowning in the water below her or going back to the Sea – her home. This is a decision that you will have to dig down deep to find the answers to, and it won’t be easy. The red in the card indicates passion meaning this is something that will affect you emotionally; the water represents our intuition, so this is something that we’re going to have to listen to our intuition about; and the shell that she is holding represents messages from the Otherworld, to help her get to the truth. The Sun is setting, meaning time is running out, you have a decision to make a very important one at that and it’s time to make it and go forward.

QUEEN OF SWORDS… I refer to this card as the ship store. As this queen gets to the bottom of the situation, to the absolute truth, not letting anything stand in the way. In this card, it shows her holding on to her sword resting your head upon it as if it is telling her something, and it is. It is telling her that even though there is a lot of passion, emotional energy swirling around her to remain grounded and centered. She will always cut through to the raw truth of things, as that is all she will accept. This truth can be strong, and feel as though it is cutting through all of the nonsense to that which is truly important. Don’t expect a sugar coating here, this is the raw truth and this is what is definitely needed at this time. This Queen expects you to walk your talk.

Summoning this reading up, reading all the cards together….

This week we really need to look at what we are grasping to. Is it still bringing us growth, or has it settled into stagnation? The moon’s light is pouring into the window on the 4 of Pentacles card, meaning there are things hidden that need to come into light. And if you were too focused on one thing, it can blind you to you what else is going on around you. There’s a pressing decision that needs to be made. It will be one that will change your life forever, in a good way. This is something that may not come easily to you, as you may have a lot of yourself invested into it and have depended upon it in material ways. But it seems that the Queen of Truth is here to make sure things will all come out in the open. There may be a deep secret that could be revealed to you, or you could just feel like you have been going through the motions and you have been living a lie yourself.

This is a week where the big decisions are to be made, bringing us truth like we’ve never experienced before….as well as allowing us to walk in our truth and integrity.

To thine own Self be true.

Have a magically blessed day!

Sirona Rose 🌹

Night of Hecate

•November 15, 2018 • Leave a Comment

hecateVaticanCity

Night of Hecate is November the 16th, and this year there are definitely some shifts going on. First, let’s talk about the Goddess Hecate.

Hecate/Hekate is known as the Goddess of the Crossroads, magic, the night, moon, ghosts as well as necromancy.  Her family history is a bit scandalous, but the one most probable is she was the only child of the Titan Perses and Asteria (who passed down the power over heaven, earth, and sea to Hecate).  Her name is from the Greek word ‘hekatos’ meaning “worker from afar” and the masculine form of her name is Hekatos, which is a common epithet of the God Apollon. She has been identified with a few other Goddesses such as Artemis, Selen (the Moon), the Arkadian Despoine, the sea-goddess Krataeis/Crataeis, the goddess of the Taurian Khersonese (of Skythia), the Kolkhian/Colchian, Perseus, and Argive Iphigeneia, the Thracian Goddesses Bendis and Kotys/Cotys, Euboian Maira (the Dog Star), Eleusinian Daeira, and the Boiotian Nymphe Herkyna/Hercyna.

In most statues, this ancient goddess was often depicted in triple form as the Goddess of the Crossroads.  She is said to aid those that are at crossroads in their life, helping them take the path that will be best for them.

In many Greek vase paintings, she is shown as a woman holding twin torches, dressed in a knee-length maiden’s skirt and hunting boots similar to Artemis.  For that, she is mostly considered a virgin goddess. As of today, the oldest known image that has survived of Goddess Hecate is dated back to the 6th century BCE and is very small, only 20cm high and is made of terracotta.  Goddess Hecate is depicted as crowned and enthroned in a pose which is similar to that of the Goddess Kybele (whom Hekate shares the title “Brimo” which means angry or terrifying). The name Brimo is very significant as it has been found recorded on Orphic Funeral Tablets as a password to be spoken by the initiation death at the gates of the underworld (where Hecate holds the keys) to safely enter. This particular password was combined with the Orphic Oath, “I am a child of earth and starry heaven, but my race is of heaven alone”, which supports the context of Hecate being the daughter of the stellar Goddess Asteria.   

 

November 16th is the Night of Hecate and it begins at Sunset, as well as August 13th is dedicated to her. On that day, she is prayed to for protection against severe thunderstorms and the protection of crops. On the Night of Hecate, we honor this triple Goddess as a Crone, taking us into our dark cycle. This is the night of the dinner at the Crossroads.

Goddess Hecate has many aspects than just the one of The Queen of Ghosts, she is also known as a Goddess of fertility, Goddess of Magic and Night, Queen of the Witches, and holder of the keys to three roads: to Hades, to Heaven and to a lucky life on earth.  Although today, she is worshipped more for her caring, loving, sweet, and gentle but those are just some aspects of this Triple Goddess as we do have to honor her as our Dark Mother. In this aspect, she is the Crone and it is here where growth begins. Here, she will challenge you, she will present your shadows to you, helping you to face them and work through them so they will no longer be your blocks. She teaches you had to work with that energy and the importance that it has. The good thing here is it is She that will walk with you all along the way, never leaving your side. It is She that stands at the Crossroads with you in your time of transition. Remember, it was She who rescued Persephone from the Underworld. This Goddess can peer into all worlds and guards the border between this world and the Spirit world. She has also been known to work with Witches during their dreams times when they are having difficult times.

One of the ways we acknowledge Hecate in our lives is when we pull back the veil and be conscious of all of our aspects. It is she who is a mirror unto us. Whatever imagine you see of her, it is only a reflection of your shadow. She does this because she knows that the only way you can truly “know thy self’ is by having that walking the Underworld and leave our old self behind and transition through the changes allowing self-transformation. She helps us leave our fears behind.

As she walks along beside us, She carries a lantern that not only helps us to see our stepping, but it stands for enlightenment – our enlightenment. She teaches us to take our challenges, no matter hard bleak it may seem, and transform them into stepping stones turning them into tools to help get us where we want to be. Evolving into a more conscious BEing.
Many Blessings,

Sirona Rose

 

Mercury Rx in Sagittarius

•November 14, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Good morning Starshines!
So I guess most of you have gotten wind that Mercury will be going retrograde on the 16th. Mercury retrograde (Rx) has become quite the buzz, but many do not really understand what it is about. They only understand the “miscommunication” or whatever can go wrong will. I want us to see it in a different light because retrogrades are actually a gift to us. You see the planets are not “out to get us”, they are completely neutral with us. Retrogrades are completely normal, and actually, give us a time to go inward and pull our energy back to us a bit. So I want to explain this a bit so you don’t feel panic or anxious about this time. Remember you are in charge of yourself, and I want to help you make the most of these energies.

Mercury will be going Rx November 16 in Sagitarrius and will travel back into Scorpio on December 7. Now the blessings of Rx is it helps us see what we have missed, helps us get clarity on those things we need clarity on, helps us see where we need to slow down, and helps us declutter our lives a bit. When life gets busy and hectic, there are things we miss, maybe we have been focusing too much on the little things instead of looking at the bigger picture. Mercury is the fastest moving planet and it associated with our mind and traveling. Retrogrades simply help us slow down for a minute. With it being in Sagittarius, it will help us process our world. Mercury is more of a specific, while Sagittarius is more about the world, the bigger picture. This is actually an opposite energy, but they do have something in common…..they are both non-committal. In this placement, we are urged to be more open-minded and giving us a moment to process our world. Some of us have had to really step out of our comfort zones, making us have to dig deep and forcing us to push forward, some have just felt tied to something and not being able to breathe. Sagittarius is giving us the energy of freedom, it is about the experiences that have shaped your life. This is actually a refreshing energy as this year has been super intense. With this retrograde being square to Neptune in Pisces, you will be free to float in those Neptune waters.
This retrograde will offer you a feeling of freedom to just float along for a bit. It will allow you the time to review things in your life, to open your mind a bit, These 3 weeks will be a blessing, it will give us a moment to be out of our head, so we can truly have a deep reflection on your life and all that has happened this past year. it’s time to really reassess your life and call back your energy where it is no longer needed.
I will say you might have to watch how you communicate with others. As at this time you may want to go inward and be away from the world, you still need to be conscious that somethings need to be said and some maybe not.
Many Blessings,
Sirona Rose 🌹

Being Psychically Attacked

•November 10, 2018 • Leave a Comment

A while ago I read an article, I can’t remember where that was talking about vampires and zombies.  Now we all know for the past couple years that

Vampires and zombies have been flooding the scene of movies and TV shows. We’ve probably heard of energy or psychic Vampires and how they drain empaths, but what of zombies? In this article, they spoke of zombies stealing ideas and living off of another, and I can’t remember exactly all that was said but let us look at zombies, what do they do? Well, energy vamps take energy, but zombies, well I associate this with those people who take others ideas, or others creations and use them for their own gain. They take and take use and abuse, and then when they are finished just cast them aside. They really have no particular talents, they will do or say what they need to just to take from others.

Now empaths and sensitives usually fall prey to these people because they project themselves in either being a victim or someone that desperately needs help. You will be shown by them a background of people who have taken advantage of them in some shape and fashion appealing to the healing nature in empaths, but unfortunately, you only get to see their side. It isn’t until they have sucked you dry that you realize they aren’t the victim they claim to be.

These people, in my opinion, and experience, do tend to be narcissistic in nature. You will see them try to surround themselves with empaths, intuitive, those sensitive type peoples because they crave that spiritual energy. They will try to even live in that spiritual world but it never fully goes to their heart. They will project it, but their actions tend to show differently.

As I speak to different clients, especially those just opening their third eye, their intuition, and other empaths I can see a pattern in their lives.

As sensitives and those of the artist paths, we have to be careful about how much we give to others. We really have to be clear in our boundaries and keep our ground when others try to blur those lines….and they will.  We have to draw those lines to protect ourselves.

As more and more people are awakening, they are able to identify the players in their lives and heal; drawing those boundaries and protecting themselves.

If you like to wear stones, black tourmaline, Apache tears, amethyst, ruby, labradorite, and adventurine are a few that you can use for protection.  

Blessings,

Sirona Rose 🌹

Samhain into Halloween

•November 1, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Sharing this piece written by my High Priestess

THE HISTORY OF SAMHAIN
(A Bit Long).

Samhain (pronounced Sow-en), dates back to the ancient Celts who lived 2,000 years ago. Contrary to what some believe, is not a celebration of a Celtic god of the dead. Instead, it is a Celtic word meaning “summer’s end.” The Celts believed that summer came to an end on October 31st and the New Year began on November 1st with the start of winter. But the Celts also followed a lunar calendar and their celebrations began at sunset the night before.
Many today see Halloween as the pagan holiday. But that’s not really accurate. As the pagan holiday of Samhain is on November 1st. But their celebrations did and still do, start at sunset on October 31st, on Samhain Eve. During the day on October 31st, the fires within the home are extinguished. Often families would engage in a good “fall” cleaning to clear out the old and make way for the new. Starting the winter months with fresh and clean household items.
At sunset on October 31, clans or local villages begin the formal ceremonies of Samhain by lighting a giant bonfire. The people would gather around the fire to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. It was a method of giving the Gods and Goddesses their share of the previous years herd or crops. In addition these sacred fires were a big part of the cleansing of the old year and a method to prepare for the coming new year.
During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, and danced around the bonfire. Many of these dances told stories or played out the cycles of life and death or commemorated the cycle of Wheel of Life. These costumes were adorned for three primary reasons.
The first was to honor the dead who were allowed to rise from the Otherworld. The Celts believed that souls were set free from the land of the dead during the eve of Samhain. Those that had been trapped in the bodies of animals were released by the Lord of the Dead and sent to their new incarnations. The wearing of these costumes signified the release of these souls into the physical world.
Not all of these souls were honored and respected. Some were also feared as they would return to the physical world and destroy crops, hide livestock or ‘haunt’ the living who may have done them wrong. The second reason for these traditional costumes was to hide from these malevolent spirits to escape their trickery.
The final representation was a method to honor the Celtic Gods and Goddesses of the harvest, fields and flocks. Giving thanks and homage to those deities who assisted the village or clan through the trials and tribulations of the previous year. And to ask for their favor during the coming year and the harsh winter months that were approaching.
In addition to celebrations and dance, it was believed that this thin veil between the physical world and the Otherworld provided extra energy for communications between the living and the dead. With these communications, Druid Priests, and Celtic Shamans would attempted to tell the fortunes of individual people through a variety of methods. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
These psychic readings would be conducted with a variety of divination tools. Such as throwing bones, or casting the Celtic Ogham. There is some historical evidence that additional tools of divination were also used. Most of this comes from writings recorded by Roman invaders, but there are stories of reading tea leaves, rocks and twigs, and even simple spiritual communications that today we’d call Channeling. Some historians have suggested that these early people were the first to use tiles made from wood and painted with various images which were the precursor to Tarot Cards. There’s no real evidence to support this, but the ‘story’ of these tiles has lingered for centuries.
When the community celebration was over, each family would take a torch or burning ember from the sacred bonfire and return to their own home. The home fires that has been extinguished during the day were re-lit by the flame of the sacred bonfire to help protect the dwelling and it’s inhabitants during the coming winter. These fires were kept burning night and day during the next several months. It was believed that if a home lost it’s fire, tragedy and troubles would soon follow.
With the hearth fires lit, the families would place food and drink outside their doors. This was done to appease the roaming spirits who might play tricks on the family.
The Romans began to conquer the Celtic territories. By A.D. 43 they had succeeded in claiming the majority of the Celtic lands. They ruled for approximately four hundred years combining or influencing many Celtic traditional celebrations with their own. Two Roman holidays were merged with Samhain.

Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead.

Pomona’s Day of Honoring, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

Samhain to Halloween
With the coming of Christianity in the 800s AD, the early Church in England tried to Christianize the old Celtic festivals. Pope Boniface IV designated the 1st of November as “All Saints Day,” honoring saints and martyrs. He also decreed October 31 as “All Hallows Eve”, that eventually became Hallow’een.
Scholars today widely accept that the Pope was attempting to replace the earlier Celtic pagan festival with a church-sanctioned holiday. As this Christian holiday spread, the name evolved as well. Also called All-hallows Eve or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day). 200 years later, in 1000 AD, the church made November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It is celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’ day, are called Hallowmas.

November 1st or May 13th?
Some people confuse Samhain being originally celebrated in May with other pagan and early Christian holidays.
Samhain comes from the Gaelic word samain. “Sam” – summer and “fuin” – end. It literally means Summer’s End. The early Irish and Brythonic cultures believed the year was divided in half. The dark half and the light half. Samhain marked the end of the light half and the beginning of the Celtic new year or the dark half.
According to Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia (1979 Vol 12 p 152), The Druids originated the holiday. It was a celebration of Saman Lord of the Dead who was the God of Evil Spirits. There is some debate about this origination as the Druids were not the only, or the first spiritual pagans of Ireland.
Some of the earliest archaeological evidence of the Celts come from their trade routes with the Greeks. Their culture can be followed with great precision from the 5th Century BC through the La Tène culture. From these early records with the Greeks we know of some of their great festivals and in particular one of their biggest Samhain the new years festival. Certainly we can gain information from Julius Caesar who wrote extensively about the Gauls during his invasion campaigns in Ireland during 4th Century BC. Eventually Rome is sacked by the Celts in 3rd Century BC, around 390BC. The Romans in general wrote of their warlike inhabitants and many of their barbaric celebrations. Which included Samhain.
In most if not all of these accounts, Samhain is immersed in blood and sacrifice. Often in the earliest of times, those sacrifices were human. One Greek account states these early Celts sacrificed prisoners captured during a battle during their New Years festival of Samhain. In The History and Origins of Druidism by Lewis Spencer writes about the Druids stating they burned their victims in holy fire which had to be consecrated by a Druid priest.
The confusion of May to November 1st probably comes from the Christians and pagan Roman festivals. The Roman Empire was a pagan culture. During their reign they held many pagan festivals and celebrations, one being the Feast of the Lemures on May 13th. During this time malevolent and restless spirits of the dead were appeased and festival participants would attempt to gain the favor of the spirits. The feast covered a three day period that honored “all the dead” with food, drink and sacrifice.
At the same time Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs. This was celebrated in the west from May 13, 609 to 610. Pope Gregory III (731–741) during an oratory in St. Peter’s for the relics “of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who are at rest throughout the world”, moved All Saints Day to November 1.
This is further confused by the early Irish churches who did not celebrate All Hallows Day in November or May, but rather in early spring on April 20th during the Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Talaght. A festival of All Saints was already widely celebrated in the days of Charlemagne in November. But it took a decree at the insistence of Pope Gregory IV to all the bishops, that the celebration be confirmed on November 1st.
These early similar celebrations come together around 835AD. The Roman pagan festival is over taken by the early Church, the Irish Church conforms it’s celebrations with Rome, and everyone seems to move their day of the dead to coincide with early Irish pagans and their celebration of Samhain on November 1st.
There’s no doubt, however, that the Irish festival of Samhain has always been at the end of summer on November 1st, and has been one of the prominent harvest festivals for Celtic pagans from the past and the present.

The Evolution Of Halloween
“Trick-or-treating” is a modern tradition that probably finds it’s roots in the early All Souls’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called “soul cakes” in return for their promise to pray for the family’s dead relatives. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as “going a-souling” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.
“Dressing up” for Halloween gets it roots from dressing up around the sacred bonfire during the original Celtic festival. Some suggest, this practice originates from England, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world on Halloween. People thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes, so to avoid being recognized people would wear masks after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. In addition, these early English people, would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter or cause harm to their homes. A tradition obviously taken from the ancient Celtic pagans.
As European came to America, they brought their varied Halloween traditions with them. Celebration of Halloween in colonial times was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. Primarily because Celtic immigrants settled more in these regions than in the north.
As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups meshed together a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included “play parties,” public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, America entered an age of mysticism. What was more often termed spiritualism. Metaphysical groups and clubs began to spring up throughout the Golden Age and the wealthier set of Americans. At the same time, America was welcoming a new group of immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland’s potato famine of 1846. This new cultural influence brought with it a melding of Irish and English traditions, and a new Americans culture was born. People began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. Young women believed that, on Halloween, they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings, or mirrors.
In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Because of their efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.
By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated.
Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow.
By the 1990s, Americans have made Halloween one of the largest commercial holidays. Spending an estimated $6.9 billion annually on Halloween costumes, accessories, decorations and pumpkins.

Samhain Traditions
To pagans the world over, November 1st, still marks the beginning of the New Year. To Witches and Pagans, Samhain is the Festival of the Dead, and for many, it is the most important Sabbat (Holiday) of the year. Although the Feast of the Dead forms a major part of most Pagan celebrations on this eve, and at Samhain voluntary communications are expected and hoped for. The departed are never harassed, and their presence is never commanded. The spirits of the dead are, however, ritually invited to attend the Sabbat and to be present within the Circle.

Orange and Black:
The colors of this Sabbat are black and orange. Black to represent the time of darkness after the death of the God (who is represented by fire and the sun) during an earlier sabbat known as Lughnasadh, and the waning of light during the day. Orange represents the awaiting of the dawn during Yule (Dec. 21st to Jan. 1st) when the God is reborn.

Jack O’Lanterns:
There is some debate about the origination of Jack-o-lanterns. One line suggests this custom originated from the lighting of candles for the dead to follow as they walked the earth. These candles were placed in hallowed out gourds and put on the ground to light the way.
Others suggest the practice originates from a Christianized Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.”
Stingy Jack and the Devil enter a pub to have a drink. Jack convinces the Devil to turn himself into a coin to pay for the drinks. But instead of using the coin, Jack slipped it into his pocket and next to a silver cross. The cross prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. But Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year. And if Jack should die during that year, the Devil would not claim his soul. And the Devil agreed to these terms.
Jack again tricked the Devil. This time, the Devil climbed into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down. Once again, Jacked struck a bargain with the Devil. He would free the Devil from the tree if he promised not to bother Jack for ten more years. And if Jack died during those years, the Devil would not claim his soul. And the Devil again agreed to these terms.
Not long after this, Jack did indeed died. But because of his trickery, God would not allow him into heaven. In keeping his word not to take his soul, the Devil also would not allow Jack into hell. Instead, the Devil sent Jack out into the darkness of the world between worlds with nothing but a burning piece of coal. Jack placed the coal into a carved out turnip and has been roaming the Earth ever since. The Irish began to refer to Jack’s ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply as “Jack O’Lantern.”
The Irish and Scottish people began making lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away the wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets were used. Immigrants from these countries brought the tradition to America where they found the pumpkin, a fruit native to America, that made the perfect jack o’lanterns.

Tricks & Treats:
Treats also originated from an old custom of leaving cookies and other foods out for those relatives to enjoy as they shared this one night of feasting. The ‘trick’ portion of “Trick or Treat” was an invention of the Christians. The tricks were supposedly caused by the dead who didn’t receive a treat of food left for them when they arrived at your door.
The Contraversary of Samhain and Halloween
Sad to say there have been many fundamentalists who are inciting ignorance and bigotry into the celebrations of Halloween. No longer is Halloween a religious festival here in the US. It has become commercialized as an event for kids to have fun, play dress up and be scared by ghouls and ghosts. It has become nothing more than a secular holiday.
Those who have tried to link Halloween to Samhain are also missing the boat. As Halloween, All Hallows Eve are Christian created holidays devised by the early Churches of Europe as a means to convert pagans to Christianity. The celebrations were indeed taken from pagan practices, but their purposes have long since been corrupted and are no longer pagan in nature. Right down to being practiced on October 31st.
Some one asked me if I cared that a nearby town was attempting to change Halloween from October 31st to the last Friday of each October. My response is why should I mind? Halloween is a Christian holiday, do with it what you will.
The modern celebrations of Halloween do not take away or alter the spiritual significance of Samhain for pagan practitioners. Our Sabbat is still intact and still honored with reverence and in the traditional methods practiced by our ancient pagan ancestors. Though we don’t make animal sacrifices any longer, there are some who will toss a steak into a bonfire as a symbolic gesture. The main focus of the holiday for pagans is still to honor our loved ones who have passed on and to share in communication with them during this time when the veil between worlds is narrowed.

Additional articles of interests:
⦁ Pagan Sabbats – ⦁ High Holy Days
⦁ The Celtic Samhain
* Fantasy & Folklore of Hallows Eve – Library Of Congress

Additional Reading:
In addition to the sources listed below that were used to write this article, you might also check out the following resources:

⦁ Natural History periodical – October 1983 p43-44
⦁ Pagan Celtic Britain by Anne Ross
⦁ Celtic Mythology by McCane
⦁ The Druids and Their Heritage by Ward Rutherford
⦁ The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish
⦁ Human Sacrifice by Lewis Spencer
⦁ The History and Origins of Druidism by Lewis Spencer

Gyda Awen
Lady Rain Dove

Samhain

•October 31, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Blessed Samhain!

Shona daoibh, a dhaoine uaisle!

Celtic Origins of Samhain

Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year, for the Celts divided the year into two seasons: the light and the dark, at Beltane on May 1st and Samhain on November 1st. Some believe that Samhain was the more important festival, marking the beginning of a whole new cycle, just as the Celtic day began at night. For it was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground. Whereas Beltane welcomes in the summer with joyous celebrations at dawn, the most magically potent time of this festival is November Eve, the night of October 31st, known today of course, as Halloween.

Samhain (Scots Gaelic: Samhuinn) literally means “summer’s end.” In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oíche Shamhna, while in Wales it is Nos Calan Gaeaf, the eve of the winter’s calend, or first. With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints’ Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year, so the night before became popularly known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve, or Hollantide. November 2nd became All Souls Day, when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who the departed and those who were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry of celebrations from Oct 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.

In the country year, Samhain marked the first day of winter, when the herders led the cattle and sheep down from their summer hillside pastures to the shelter of stable and byre. The hay that would feed them during the winter must be stored in sturdy thatched ricks, tied down securely against storms. Those destined for the table were slaughtered, after being ritually devoted to the gods in pagan times. All the harvest must be gathered in — barley, oats, wheat, turnips, and apples — for come November, the faeries would blast every growing plant with their breath, blighting any nuts and berries remaining on the hedgerows. Peat and wood for winter fires were stacked high by the hearth. It was a joyous time of family reunion, when all members of the household worked together baking, salting meat, and making preserves for the winter feasts to come. The endless horizons of summer gave way to a warm, dim and often smoky room; the symphony of summer sounds was replaced by a counterpoint of voices, young and old, human and animal.

In early Ireland, people gathered at the ritual centers of the tribes, for Samhain was the principal calendar feast of the year. The greatest assembly was the ‘Feast of Tara,’ focusing on the royal seat of the High King as the heart of the sacred land, the point of conception for the new year. In every household throughout the country, hearth-fires were extinguished. All waited for the Druids to light the new fire of the year — not at Tara, but at Tlachtga, a hill twelve miles to the north-west. It marked the burial-place of Tlachtga, daughter of the great druid Mogh Ruith, who may once have been a goddess in her own right in a former age.

At all the turning points of the Celtic year, the gods drew near to Earth at Samhain, so many sacrifices and gifts were offered up in thanksgiving for the harvest. Personal prayers in the form of objects symbolizing the wishes of supplicants or ailments to be healed were cast into the fire, and at the end of the ceremonies, brands were lit from the great fire of Tara to re-kindle all the home fires of the tribe, as at Beltane. As they received the flame that marked this time of beginnings, people surely felt a sense of the kindling of new dreams, projects and hopes for the year to come.

The Samhain fires continued to blaze down the centuries. In the 1860s the Halloween bonfires were still so popular in Scotland that one traveler reported seeing thirty fires lighting up the hillsides all on one night, each surrounded by rings of dancing figures, a practice which continued up to the first World War. Young people and servants lit brands from the fire and ran around the fields and hedges of house and farm, while community leaders surrounded parish boundaries with a magic circle of light. Afterwards, ashes from the fires were sprinkled over the fields to protect them during the winter months — and of course, they also improved the soil. The bonfire provided an island of light within the oncoming tide of winter darkness, keeping away cold, discomfort, and evil spirits long before electricity illumined our nights. When the last flame sank down, it was time to run as fast as you could for home, raising the cry, “The black sow without a tail take the hindmost!”

Even today, bonfires light up the skies in many parts of the British Isles and Ireland at this season, although in many areas of Britain their significance has been co-opted by Guy Fawkes Day, which falls on November 5th, and commemorates an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the English Houses of Parliament in the 17th century. In one Devonshire village, the extraordinary sight of both men and women running through the streets with blazing tar barrels on their backs can still be seen! Whatever the reason, there will probably always be a human need to make fires against the winter’s dark.

That piece was written by my Clan president, Michael MacFarlane.

Samhain blessings,

Sirona Rose 🌹