Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blessings on Samhain

Wishing you a Bless-ed Samhain!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Witches and Black Cats

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.
~Author Unknown

I have my bowls of Halloween candy ready, though I seemed to have noticed a slight decrease in the amount. I absolutely have no idea how candy could go missing before Halloween! Odd, isnt it?

Wishing everyone a happy Saturday, preparing for the big day tomorrow. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

This is a True Story

Last clematis, 10/28/10

I have hesitated writing about this, but if not now, when? It's Halloween time, and I have read some good ghost stories on the blogs. It just makes me a little anxious to recall a time that was frightening and worrisome.

In 1987 my husband and I were living in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. He was in the Navy and we were very near the end of his tour at Pearl Harbor.  I was working as a word processor for Public Works at Pearl Harbor in Building One. I worked the shift from 4:00pm til 12:30 am with a staff of 6 others. We sat for 8 hours typing, plugged into our walkmans, listening to Sally Jesse Raphael, or music. It was always quiet in the building, daytime staff of over 200 people gone for the day. Most of the two-story building was dark, just our section lighted.

I think most of were experiencing small trivial things at first. Not really paying attention to odd little noises, or the occasional shadow, non-specific little events. It is a very old building, there are bound to be noises, settling, office machines making their little electronic hums and beeps.

I was on a break with one of the girls, Liz, sitting outside having a smoke and a coffee, chatting. There was suddenly behind us a loud sound, as if someone was dragging something heavy, possibly metallic. We looked and saw nothing. The noise stopped. We immediately returned to our office, feeling slightly odd, but not too concerned. We did not mention this to anyone.

The next night, two other of the girls had gone out to the same place for a break. They returned very quickly saying they had heard a very strange sound, and were nervous to stay out there. Liz and I looked at each other and mentioned we had heard something the night before. We then, all shrugged, and decided not to take breaks in that area anymore. Who knows what it was....just keep working and forget about it.

In an office area down the hall, cubicle type office, all the lights are always off. There was a fan mounted on the wall. Occasionally it would be left on by a day worker, and I would just go and turn it off. One night after I had turned it off, I noticed an hour or so later it was back on. Well, maybe the switch didnt fully connect when I turned it off. So, turned it back off, went back to my work. It was back on within 15 minutes. So this time I unplugged it.  It was back on by the time I returned to my work station.  We all started talking and wondering aloud what the heck that was about. And then the others started mentioning other things that had been going on. Bathroom lights going off and on, loud footsteps. Nervewracking when we all began to compare notes.

Things began to escalate in just a few nights. It was late, near the end of our shift, and one of the girls suddenly hollered: "Whoever is throwing paperclips at me, would you stop?" The rest of us looked at her blankly, and she asked again, which one of us was doing it. No one responded. We had all been steadfastly working. Suddenly as we were talking, a pencil fell from the ceiling, into the middle of the floor. Startled, we stared and looked around, finding no one else. Liz called Security. Two burly armed guards showed up a few minutes later, searched the building, said all was secure, no one to be seen, and pretty much acted as if we were a bunch of nervous women, calling the cops about a stupid pencil.

For the next two or three nights, we were plagued by pencils dropping, paper clips falling, erasers showing up on our keyboards, loud noises, and voices at the far end of the hall. We left early on two nights, and on the third night barely made it an hour into the shift. Lots of voices in the office areas down the hall. Lights going off and on. A general feeling of unease, unrest, an abnormal sense of darkness and fear. We all were scared and unwilling to continue to work there.   The next morning Liz called our supervisor, Ed, who works days in downtown Honolulu, and explained the situation. He was dubious, but wanted to give us the benefit of the doubt, and arranged to meet us all that during that night's shift.

Ed arrived around 6:00 pm, with pizza and soda, and a briefcase of work. We ate, gave him all the details of our experiences. He explained to us, that the building we worked in was used as a temporary morgue during the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. There were also rumors, not verified, that there had been a murder-suicide in the building, maybe 20 years before.That certainly unsettled us.

So, here we are,  Ed and the six of us, stuffed with pizza and working away.  Suddenly, there is a loud noise and the metal trashcan by Ed's desk is knocked over, and rolls across the floor. We all jump up, and Ed picks up a large alligator clip that had hit the trashcan. It came from the direction of the hall, not a soul around to throw it. Ed gathers up his papers and brief case, tells all of us to go home, and he went flying out of the building before we could barely turn off our word processors.

The next day, Liz called me at home to explain that Ed had arranged for a Hawaiian menehune, a priest, to come and do a cleansing and blessing of the building. They wanted all the workers to be there, except me, as I was just a couple of months pregnant at the time. The menehune did not want a pregnant woman present when he was trying to rid the place of negative entities for fear of them inhabiting the fetus. Needless to say, I never went back to work there, and we left the Island a couple of months later, relocating to a new assignment in California.

Liz said the blessing seemed to work for a while, but she also left Hawaii a while after that. We never were in contact with anyone else. So who knows if the ghosts of Building One are still walking the halls and teasing the workers.  I cannot express though, how frightening many of those nights were. So eerie, with such a strange atmosphere of tension, fear and darkness. It always disturbs me to talk about it as it calls up memories of an odd and unsettling time in my life.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday--Faerie Cam

Faerie Village

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Samhain Traditions

October 31st...that date is important to Wiccans. The day goes by other names: All Hallow's Eve, Halloween. For Wiccans it is called Samhain (pronounced sow-wen, sow as in cow). The Witches' New Year. There is much folklore about this day. Traditions that go back to ancient times, days long past when magic was a common, daily practice. When spells and potions, herbal magic were accepted and real. When mystic ways were not some "new age" fad, but taken seriously as they were a traditional part of life, and important for survival.

Today there are many people who wish to bring this reverance for magic and the old ways back into the mainstream. To make this lifestyle as accepted and useful as any other way of life. Here are a few old traditions that may sound odd, perhaps they fall into that realm of "old wives tales". Who knows, maybe they are. But some of those "old wives" were pretty clever and wise.  Because Samhain is just a few days away, how about a look at some old traditions? The following comes from a book called "The Magical Household" by Scott Cunningham and David Harrington, published by Llewellyn in 1987.

On the night of Samhain, October 31st, ghosts roam freely. Leave food on the porch for these spirits.

Bury apples in your garden for those who have died in the past year.

After sunset on October 31, you can make a wish in front of a mirror, and use visualization to help it come true.

Fires should be kept burning all night. Burn broom, heather or flax.

Do not leave doors or windows open, because bad luck can come in.

Clip a piece of shrubbery and hide it away till Midsummer's Eve. If it is still green your year will be successful.

Do not bake bread on Samhain because ghosts will eat it.

October 31st is a very good night for divination. Read the Tarot, scry using a mirror, water or crystal, or throw runes.

Interesting little tidbits, are they not? Who can say if they are true or false?  Don't scoff though. Truth is often stranger than fiction.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Medley

First and foremost, you must go over to this blog to see a fabulous video set to Loreena McKennit's All Souls' Day. There will be chills and goosebumps!

A nice little jaunt Sunday through calico-colored landscapes, and cloudy autumn skies to a place called Paradise Market .  This is where I had an adventure of strolling through a large building filled with over 200 vendors, selling everything from A to Z! Handcrafted items such as autumn and halloween decor, wood crafts, sewing, baking, jewelry, leather goods, floral, antiques and collectibles (my fave), food, wine tasting, clothing, and so much more. This is also where I found my friend Mary and her metaphysical booth Feydragon. I have a link to her online website on my sidebar. And also in my blog list you can find her (Jesus and the Greenman). Her shop is a cozy little pagan paradise! Necklaces, incense, books, witch balls, gemstones, tapestries and more. I purchased a Robin Wood Tarot deck, a beautiful owl pendant, and picked up the long sleeved t-shirt I'd ordered at the CNY Pagan Pride Festival in September:

Wishing everyone a great week as we draw closer to Samhain. It is truly a bewitching time of year!

Here are three pictures to showcase a disgruntled dog.

Our Lexie-Girl does not enjoy putting on Cat's ears.  And from her point of view, can you blame her?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mine eyes have seen the GORY!

The following Halloween "Corn" is presented with my profuse apologies!!!!

I swear by my hat never, ever to tell jokes again!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oh, Lucky Me!

Trumpets blaring! Drums are rolling! Look at all the confetti flying in the air!  I won! Yes, I did! Day 21 of Mrs. B's 31 Days of Halloween. I have a button on my blog for her contest (I had it before October 1st). Click on it to enter her runs for 9 more days! I can not tell you the thrill I felt when I saw I had a won. And I won a great prize, a book (one of my favorite things). A book from Weiser Books written by Judika Illes called Magic When You Need It, 150 spells you can not live without. Now that is something I can live with!!! Thank you, thank you Mrs. B, for the great contest, and the opportunity to visit many different blogs.

Full Moon Esbat tonight. It is the Blood Moon, also called Falling Leaf Moon by the Native Americans. What's an Esbat, you say? An esbat is a lunar ritual, an observance of the moon in one of its phases. Each phase holds a special power for magickal workings. The moon also is special because it is a symbol of the Goddess. Our beautiful Goddess, shining silvery white in the dark sky. We ask the Goddess to bless our magick, to guide us, and to add her power to our spells.

Have a great Friday!!  Here's a Halloween picture for you. Do not be scared.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Goose Bump Syndrome

Candy CornHenge

I love a good scary movie or book, especially one that starts with: "the story you are about to read (or the movie you are about to watch)" is based on fact. Unfortunately, I sometimes get so freaked out that I can't stay up alone, after everyone else has gone to bed. It really is ridiculous. When my kids were little and a movie or tv show would cause them those nighttime fears, I would always tell them: "It's just a movie, all make believe, actors pretending.. it is not real." Apparently this same reasoning does not work for me!

I remember the first movie that really, really scared me was the original "Invaders from Mars" ( the remake in the 90s was not scary, and rather disappointing). This movie scared me, and some of  my friends, so badly, it affected the way we slept (never on your back because that is where the Martians inserted the thingy that turned you into a zombie kind of a thing, and also, never walk on any kind of sandy surface, because that is how the Martians got you, sinking down through the sand into their cave of horrors)!

Then there was Hitchcock's "The Birds" and "Psycho". Scary stuff. When you see a big flock of crows, do you for just a second think:  uh, oh.

Nowadays there are way too many movies that rely heavily on gore, chainsaws, torture, huge special effects, shock factor. Doesn't really scare me, just grosses me out. So I stay away from those.

But "The Ring" and "The Grudge"...whoa, big goosebumps there. Very eerie images that stay with me. And yet I love to watch them. I will cover my eyes with a pillow, I will hyperventilate at times. But I will add scary movies to my Netflix queue. I will watch Paranormal State on A&E.  I loved and was afflicted by the low-budget movie "Paranormal Activity", and am thrilled to see "Paranormal Activity 2" is about to be released. And I know I will get scared and have to sit as close to my husband as possible and give him bruises on his arms as I grab and claw my way through the movie.

I do believe in ghosts. I have experienced my own paranormal activity. I do believe there are many unexplained events going on all around us. And boy do I get goosebumps.

Still, I love the thrill, I love the big scare and I will keep watching and reading these goosebump raising, hair standing up, creepy ghosty, bumps-in-the-night.  Gotta go now, there's a ghost show coming on tv, and I must find my scary movie pillow!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday--Faerie Cam

Faerie Condos

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wiccan Reads--Scott Cunningham

Though I have a fair sized Wiccan library, there are two books I turn to time and time again. Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner and Living Wicca A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.  Scott Cunningham is the author of these books, and quite a few more, that are essential for someone like me. I am a solitary practitioner of Wicca, and for the longest time knew no one else, either Wiccan or of any other pagan persuasion. These books taught me the basics of this religion and I like to think of Scott Cunningham as my "mentor".

First published in 1988 by Llewellyn Publications, Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner  has sold more than 400,000 copies and has had 36 printings.  It is a practical, common sense guide which explores Wicca from the "ground up".  If you have no prior knowledge of Wicca, this book will explain everything you would need to know to have a solid understanding of this religion and its spiritual and magickal practices. Scott explains history, deities, magick, tools, music, ritual, the Sabbats, symbols, spells, the use of herbs, crystals, runes, and gives an excellent guide to developing your own Book of Shadows.

Written in a style that is calm, informative, without being dry, Scott teaches his Wiccan way in a manner that exemplifies the loving, gentle nature of Wicca. If he feels he might be confusing  the reader, he will stop and explain in a different way. He was a wonderful writer and teacher, and I can not emphasize enough how important, essential, and valuable this book is.

In his introduction to Living Wicca A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Scott Cunningham explains that in reading this book, he assumes that the reader has already become familiar with and has gained some experience with the practice of Wicca. He wanted to give the Solitary Practitioner as much information as possible, because at the time when Scott was writing this book in 1992, there was very little to be found for Wiccan solitaries.  Today, there are many authors writing for solitaries, which is both good and bad, because sometimes there can be so much contradictory information. Thus, when I become confused, I simply return to Scott's two books, and usually find the answers I am looking for.

This second guide explores further the everyday practice of Wicca, how it becomes an integral part of our daily lives. He discusses tools of learning, magickal names, self-initiation, effective prayer, wiccan rites, more magickal practices, rules and beliefs, ritual design and so much more. The essays are heartfelt words of wisdom and can be used not just for educational purposes, but for spiritual uplift in times when there is a need for added inspiration or encouragement.

Scott Cunningham writes in the introduction to Living Wicca that he wrote this book for those "...who have become enchanted by the moon shining through trees; who have begun to investigate the sublime world that lies out beyond the fabric of daily life, and who stand in smoke-shrouded circles, raising aloft their hands to greet the God and Goddess as the candles flicker on the altar."

I hope that if you have not read either of these books, and have an interest or desire to learn about Wicca, or would like to find other ways to live Wicca more fully, please read these books by Scott Cunningham. His words will delight your spirit, and inspire your practice.

You can find these books online at, or at most booksellers.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Sampler

Need I say the dogs went nuts when they saw THIS!

A chilly Autumn day here, leaves flying around, the sun comes and goes, the clouds look ominous, then scurry away. Perfect!

Here is a favorite movie I absolutely have to watch every October, usually just a few days before the 31st. It may be a bit corny, perhaps a little definitely is hilarious, and I just adore it. I love all three actresses who play their roles with gusto, I love the scenery, the plot and the cat. I love the haunting little tune that one of the characters sings, and who can forget the "raining fire of death"?

Love it!!!

Speaking of witches, I want to recommend a blog I truly enjoy. There were three posts this week that impacted me on different levels. Lyn over at posted about blog content theft, which prompted me to add a little copyright blurb at the bottom of my blog. She also talked about intent in our charitable giving, which I had never given much thought to, and has really changed my whole thinking about giving. And finally Lyn offered a little daydream/fantasy that gave me a smile when she asked what our favorite chocolate is and, if, stranded on a desert island who would we share that chocolate with. She mentioned Johnny Depp, and I have to say, wow and oh my, wouldnt that be nice.  (Of course I am happily and inexonerably married to my darling adorable husband, and would not Seriously think of running off to a desert island to eat dark chocolate with Johnny Depp, good goddess what are you thinking!!!!) Anyway, take a stroll over to Lyn's blog when you have a chance.

Take care, and Bright Blessings

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What is Samhain?

A couple of my non-pagan followers asked me about Samhain. I had written a post about Samhain and my plans for the observance.  Samhain, pronounced sow-wen (sow, rhyming with cow), is the last Sabbat of the year. A Sabbat is a religious holiday and in Wicca we celebrate 8 sabbats during the year. Our Wheel of the Year marks events throughout the seasons of the year. Four of the Sabbats are based on agricultural/nature observances: Imbolc, Beltane, Lugnasadh, Samhain. The other four sabbats mark the solstices and equinoxes:  Ostara, Litha, Mabon and Yule.
Samhain is also know today by  more familiar names, Halloween or All Hallow's Eve. But Wiccans celebrate this sabbat a little differently then non-pagans. It is a religious observance, and is also called the Witches' New Year. Wiccans believe that this is a time to honor our loved ones who have passed during the year, and to remember our ancestors.  The "veil of the Otherworld" is at its thinnest at this time, hence a good time to contact, if you will, those who have passed beyond the veil. Do not get spooked by this, it is a loving remembrance, and a soothing riutal.  Samhain is also a time to reflect on the year that has passed, and to prepare for the Wheel of the Year to begin it's journey again at Yule (Winter Solstice) when we celebrate Light returning to us.

This is a nutshell description of this Wiccan sabbat. Wiccans love Samhain, a favorite for most. Of course, Wiccans will say that about all their Sabbats...each one is a favorite. Wishing all of you a Bless-ed Samhain, and Happy New Year.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

You say "Witch!" like it's a bad thing
My daughter sent me this Hallmark card last year, and I just love it. A great image, that perhaps doesn't reflect the true outside, but definitely shows the inside!!!

Just a little over two weeks until Samhain! Time is flying by (on a broomstick?).  I am thinking about my ritual for that night. The preparation for ritual is as important, and meaningful as the ritual itself. Perusing through all my books, looking  for something new to add, something different to try. Gathering candles, incense, herbs. Thinking about the ancestors, and how to honor them this year. And looking forward to casting a circle with my brand new athame (ritual knife). Usually I use a wand, a wonderful branch from an apple tree I found in Quebec, on family property. Apple trees that were planted many many years ago by relatives who have been gone for so long. The ritual knife is never used for cutting. It is not a weapon, not a piece of cutlery. It is used for directing energy. In this case, energy required for casting the circle, a protected, sacred place. A place to invoke the elements of fire, earth, water, air; and to invite the God and Goddess to share in my ritual. The circle is a place filled with loving, positive energy, and where one can meditate, talk to the Lord and the Lady, ponder magick and ritual, and to spell cast. It is indescribable the feelings of peace, love, magick, power, happiness and energy that one finds inside this circle. A time between time and a place to find perfect love and perfect trust.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A birthday, and also a World celebration

Today is my mother's birthday.....95 years old. Wow that is a long life indeed. So I say to my mom, Happy Birthday with all my love, and thanks for being the most wonderful mom a gal could ever have. You are beautiful, and I treasure so many great memories of being raised by you. You are an inspiration. I love you very much.

And on this day, the world is celebrating the rescue of the 33 trapped miners in Chile!!! May they all be healthy and happy, and may each one get out safely. Thinking about the families, what a day for them. The pain and suffering that has been endured by all, is now almost done.

Celebrate Life!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Autumn Berries

Mountain Ash, also called Rowan

The birds will enjoy, as well as the squirrels. Love to have food in the garden for the local wildlife.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Last Rose

Plucked from the garden just before the first frost settled down to Earth. A sweet gift from summer, so recently passed.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

So Here's the Thing--A Different Drummer

There have been occasions of late where all I can do is wring my hands. What else can one do? Perhaps you know the feeling, too, considering a the news stories over the last few weeks.

There are those in society who do not quite meet the requirements of what one could call "Mainstream"; either by choice or chance, birth, nature/nurture, religion, ethnic background...for whatever reason, or no reason. Those that live outside the mainstream boundaries, those who follow a different drummer, to use that poetic phrase. Those that come under fierce scrutiny at a moment's notice. Facts are ignored, rumors take the forefront, misinformation breeds contempt.

Granted there are many who live in the mainstream world who are tolerant and accepting of these others, the ones "outside the norm". But the hue and cry that casts a pall across our nation, that negates the premises of freedom, justice and equality for all, is the sound heard loudest.

The Muslim mosque slated to be built a few blocks from Ground Zero has raised a furor of anger, indignation, and that incipient shadow of racial profiling and hatred of people who do not meet the "correct" standards. The memories of 9/11 are too tender to bear, but the issue at the core of this, is not about forgiveness, or blame, or retribution. The people who wish to build their mosque do not need forgiveness, do not deserve blame or retribution. They did not perpetrate the heinous crimes against humanity. That was the action of an extremist minority..a minority amongst an immense population of Muslims. The issue is ignorance, lack of understanding and knowledge of a specific religion. As in the case of the preacher who called for the burning of a holy book: an example in the extreme,of ignorance and intolerance.

And now, Tyler Clementi is in the news because he lived a quiet, secret life outside the "norm"...following his own drummer, and because of the reprehensible acts of two students, his life is over, but his pain lives on, for his family and friends, for people who never knew him, and for those who do not fit the model of mainstream morals; morals in this case fashioned after a lack of knowledge and understanding.

As a follower of Wicca, a pagan religion, I know too well the difficulty of following a different drummer. The majority of this difficulty lies in the lack of knowledge concerning pagans. Those with prejudices against pagans are unwilling to listen to the truth, and misinformation abounds.

My most fervent wish, my strongest dream is that somehow a mass epiphany could take place across our country, around the globe that would shed light on all the dark places were ignorance lives, and where people would blissfully and thankfully have knowledge revealed to them. That the mainstream could step aside and let those marching to a different drummer be allowed to mingle openly, join in and be free to pursue their own lifestyles and religions, and where no one would need to live in fear of retributions, or of being ostracized.

According to an old expression: "Ignorance is bliss." This is absolutely false, because if the facts were known, if the correct information were in the possession of those who would raise their hands against another because of their religious or sexual preferences, their choices...perhaps those hands would lower, and let anger and hatred die.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Ringo, Crested Canary

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Owl Wisdom

I will tell you something that I do NOT like about the Autumn: political ads. Elections in November bring with them the negative campaign. Being informed and educated about the issues and the candidates is our duty as voting citizens. But must we deal with these "slings and arrows" of outrageous mud-slinging, spiteful back-stabbing, condescending, disdainful mutterings.........oh, I do go on! You get my point I am sure. I do not enjoy the long phone messages on my answering machine from the candidates, or their supporters. I am appalled by the wastefulness of reams of slick campaign notices arriving in my mailbox. And I just grow tired of their never-ending "he said, she said, they said" that continues ad nauseum.

I came across this poem as I perusing an anthology of poetry and I think it sums up nicely my thoughts on this subject.

A Wise Old Owl

A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke,
The less he spoke the more he heard:
Why can't we all be like that bird?
~~Author Unknown
(from A Treasury Of Poems compiled by Sarah Anne Stuart)

One last word: Do vote, and do be informed.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Out of the Ground, Into the Ground--Endings and Beginnings

Autumn is about endings...the endings of the warm season, gardens, foliage, light. But too, it is about beginnings.

A wagon load of purple cone flower
Dug up by a neighbor, a gift of purple coneflowers from her overgrown garden. An ending, but think of the beauty in my garden next summer.

Seeds from a buttercup squash

Baked up a delicious buttercup squash, in the oven. A gift from the Farmer's Market. And now the seeds are drying, to be planted in the spring..another beginning.

Bulbs from Holland
A gift in the mail....bulbs to go into the ground at the end of the season, for delightful signs of beginnings of a new season.

The Wheel of the Year turns.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

If the Hat Fits

From my collection of Halloween cards, I would like to share this one, a favorite:

By Mary Englebright
I personally do not own a witchy hat. But I might just find one this Halloween, could be a good look for a witch like me. I also do not have green warts and a high pitched laugh, and don't plan on acquiring either.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October, Finally here

bring out yer punkins!

I could not find the book I wanted to write about today. It was the first book by a pagan author I ever bought and thought it would be great for October. So now I will need to do a "Finding Spell" and track it down.

Happy October, and enjoy the autumn weather!