Thoughts from the Editor….

Another September has passed. School has started, the kids are out of your hair for eight hours a day, and we’re wearing sweaters to work. We have begun to settle in for the winter, as have the animals, which even now still forage for food stores in the wild. My poor fluffy dog has gotten even fluffier as her winter coat comes in, preparing her for her anticipated romp through the snow in the coming months.

I’m so behind in getting the newsletter out!  I only had one submitter to this issue (thanks Monica!) and with my fiction writing and school, the newsletter took much longer for me to finish than I wanted.  If anyone is interested in submitting, email me at witchywanderings@gmail.com and let me know.  Next month the issue will be “Honoring the Crone.”

The season of ghosties is upon us! The weather grips us with colder fingers, the nights grow longer, the days shorter. All the stores display six foot tall zombies and floating apparitions in torn cloaks. You’ve begun to consider what your costume will be this year…or you act like me and put it off until the last minute. If you’re anything like me at all, you dig through every store boasting Halloween decorations, looking for little witches to take home and display.

I’ve never understood the dislike some witches show towards our little “wicked” namesakes. Yes, it comes from misrepresentation in a darker period of our past, and yes, it is a flaw of Hollywood, etc. etc. etc. BUT, it is a PART of our history, and therefore just as important as those midwives of Auld Lang Syne and the medicine men of Native America. Plus, how can you not adore those little green faces??

160.jpg

My collection builds every year. Stores like Kroger, Walgreens, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, and Garden Ridge are a treasure trove for witch figurine seekers. They come in all shapes and sizes, with smiles on their cute little faces or sneers under crooked noses. Not only figurines, but hilarious wall hangings! “The Broom Stops Here”, “The Witch is In”, and “Stop By For a Spell” abound among miniature brooms and depictions of Witches Boots. Ah, the Halloween season, how I love you!

160.jpg

Beyond the commercialized celebration of Halloween, this time is deeply important to us in our faith. Samhain, opposite Beltane on the Wheel of the Year, a night when the veil is thin and our ancestors mock our steps. Step outside in your bare feet, let the cold ground seep inside you and feel how the Earth grows dormant in preparation. Breathe deep of that clean air, perfumed with leaves and chimney fires, and enjoy it.

How will you celebrate this most hallowed of eves?

Heather

About Heather:

Heather is a bibliophile and dedicated writer who has followed the Wiccan path for seven wonderful years. She is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do with a penchant for cooking, and a love for all things Ireland. She resides in Northern Kentucky with a house full of pets and books. You can find her blog at www.heather.bishoffs.com

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

bannerfans_7845311.jpg

There’s excitement in the air at Samhain. With the veil between this world and the next so thin, spirits walk among us, brushing elbows with the living. It is a time outside of time, when the juncture of worlds becomes like the persona of the sacred circle – set apart. The anticipation in the air, the bustle of animals and humans settling in for the winter, all lead to a collective holding of breath. It’s easy to believe the faeries, goblins, and tricksters abound, playing with us just as we play being them on the night of Halloween.

The days grow ever colder. The wind funnels dried leaves in a dance of fall color on cold sidewalks. Trees begin to take on their winter appearance, as bare and creepy as the trees in “The Wizard of Oz.” Before walking out the door, we wrap ourselves in coats and scarves, or shawls around our shoulders and caps on our heads. It’s time to trade in the warm weather ritual clothes for the cold!

Samhain is a holiday of many names. Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Hallow E’en, Day of the Dead (El Dia de los Muertos), All Saints Day, Hallowmas…while the festivals themselves vary, the main point is clear. At this time of year, we all honor the dead and the Divine.

A day to commune with the dead, to remember and celebrate them, but also as a celebration of reincarnation. We should not mourn the death of those we loved, nor our inevitable future departure, but we should be inspired to hope. Hope that our loved ones have resided comfortably in the Otherworld and that their rebirth is imminent. Hope that death is not the end; just as winter is always followed by spring.

You may feel their presence. A touch of a disembodied hand, the familiar scent of their perfume, or the sensation of being watched when no one is visible to your naked eye…they are with you.

If you’re Pagan, you know the story of Christian conversion and they way initial festivals were warped to fit Christian ideals; thus securing new converts for a new religion run entirely by man. So, I won’t get into that here. As any other pagan holiday, Samhain’s roots are obscure and surrounded by theory upon theory. Ancient peoples celebrated a harvest festival around this time; Christians took it in the 7th century (to make a long, evolving story short, this is where the idea of Halloween as evil and negative began to take its roots). Modern Halloween reaches only as far as the early nineteen hundreds, when the parties and mischief of Victorian “Halloween” became commercialized.

In Celtic tradition, Samhain was the New Year. They split the year into only two seasons, instead of four: Summer and Winter. Samhain celebrates the end of summer and beginning of winter. In modern Wicca, the god passes into the Otherworld and the goddess mourns for him, even as the child-God grows inside her belly.

Just a short list of ways to celebrate Samhain:

*Carve pumpkins in a variety of Pagan-y symbols instead of the typical Pumpkin face, then charm them to frighten away evil, negativity, or bad luck and spirits.

*Leave your fireplace dormant all day and light it at sundown in honor of the Sun God’s death, and to hang on to the light as it’s extinguished until Yule.

*Divination! Potent at this time. Use tarot or runes. “Part the veil” by erecting layers of sheer black tulle over a doorway. In ritual, physically part the veil with your power hand and step through to the other side, symbolically into the Otherworld, focusing on your loved one until you can feel them with you.

*Write letters to those who have gone before you. Read them aloud in ritual, knowing they can hear you, and burn them in the cauldron when through.

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

Halloween Spirit Candle
by Monica R. Ashbaugh


On Halloween night, light a black candle in your window (please be mindful of curtains).  The candle can be embedded with or surrounded by black stones:  onyx, obsidian, jet, hematite, lodestone, etc.  The light must be able to be seen from the road.  This burning candle is a “Spirit Candle,” calling forth roaming spirits to your home.  Say a blessing over the candle before use to repel negative entities.  It has been said that the family ancestors will only visit homes with this type of candle burning–it is an invitation to them, so be prepared, it is not for the faint of heart.

About Monica:

Monica is a Cottage Witch, relying on intuition and Nature to guide her along her path.  She lives in a haunted house on a mountain in rural Tennessee with her husband, a herd of cats, and one very silly beagle dog. She enjoys the surge in spiritual energy that occurs at Halloween/Samhain.  She’s the creator and owner of Ye Olde Tennessee Witches Circle,  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TNWitchesCircle/


~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~


Spirit Lights


I originally found the idea in Ravenwolf’s Halloween, and while I loved the concept, I found that with a few tweaks, the spirit lights could be even better.

Ravenwolf meant for the cans to be decoration and a way to honor those people the maker has lost. But, what kind of decoration is a plain silver soup can with a candle inside? Non-Pagans would really wonder what in the world you were trying to accomplish. So, I decided to be a little more creative – go for something a little more Halloween-y.

Ravenwolf intended for the can to remain in it’s original silver form and to be lit by a candle inside.   This is what happened when I exercised a little creativity:

160.jpg

Surprisingly, these were super easy to make! For me, who is useless with a hammer and likely to injure small joints, I found the process of drilling the holes simple and requiring of no muscle whatsoever.

You will need:

As many soup cans as people who have passed and you wish to honor, and an idea of what kind of design you will punch into the can for each.

Nail polish remover and rag

Hammer and nail

Sharpie

String of large Halloween lights – I tried to find orange and was unsuccessful, so ended up with white holiday lights from Target; large bulbs, twenty count

Thin metal wire

Black and orange spray paints

Big towel

Wash each can thoroughly, peeling off the label and removing the remaining gunk with the polish remover and rag. Fill each can with water and allow to freeze over night.

While it would probably be easier to have two sets of hands for this project, I proved to myself it could be done with just one pair. Fold your towel on a hard surface and lay the can on its side on top of it. Move quickly when dotting your design on the can with your sharpie, because the longer the can is allowed to sweat, the sharpie won’t write on it.

Using the hammer and nail, punch out your design. The ice inside stabilizes the can so that the nail doesn’t collapse it. Put the deceased’s initials somewhere on the can, or you can incorporate it into the design.

On either side, punch a hole where you will connect the can to the lights with the wire.

To make the ice melt faster, I filled a big bowl with hot water and submerged the cans for a few minutes. The ice blocks slid right out into the sink after. Allow the cans to dry fully.

I spray painted the inside of each can orange, and the outside of each can black. Looping wire through the anchoring holes, I connected each can to it’s own lightbulb. Hang them inside your living room window where everyone can see!


~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

A Samhain Sacrifice Ritual


Our European ancestors had it a lot rougher than we do now. The winters were harsh and cold, departing in the spring after causing the deaths of those not hardy enough to survive – the old, the infant, the animals. At Samhain time, the animals would be retrieved from the pastures and decisions would have to be made concerning their future.

Knowing that winter’s cold grip was coming, these poor farming families were forced to decide what animals they could afford to feed and house during the winter. The hardier of the cattle, able to survive the freezing season, would be kept, and those deemed too old or too weak would be slaughtered. It was common for only a few animals to remain, and for them to be housed inside with the family for the duration of the winter.

For the old Pagans, slaughtering the animal was enacted ritually with great respect and thankfulness for the beast’s sacrifice. The meat from the slain could feed the family all winter; a blessing in such hard conditions.

One way to honor not only the animals who feed us but our ancestors who came before, is to ritually slaughter a symbol representing the animals. If you’re good with bread, you could form the image of a deer in bread and bake it to use. It’s easy to find cake molds in the shape of sheep or cookie cutters in the shape of animals.

In circle, offer the plate holding the bread or cake to the deities with a simple incantation in honor of our ancestors, something like:

God of winter, goddess of rebirth

Tonight I honor those who came before

As they persevered in the cold winter months

So I remember them.

For those animals whose lives were sacrificed

To sustain my ancestors

So do I remember them.

As they gave of meat, clothing, and shelter

Now I sacrifice for them.

Using your athame or ritual bolline, gently and reverently cut through the cake or bread, reflecting on what it meant then, and what it means now.

An alternative to doing a specific sacrifice ritual, you could use animal crackers as the cakes in your ritual. Bless them in the name of all the beasts that have lost their lives so that our ancestors could prosper.

In the true spirit of “harm none,” one should never enact a sacrifice of a living thing.


~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~


Costume with Intent!

The saying goes that one should dress at Halloween as they wouldn’t year round. A shy, timid girl might don high heels and a pleather mini-dress, flaunting attributes not usually visible, or a nerdy gamer might wear a homemade outfit representing his favorite videogame hero.

What if you changed it up this year and costumed with intent? Like a simple spell, the very act of dressing up can be used to bring about a specific intention. If you’re hoping for a promotion at work, dress as a famous go-getter – Bill Gates, Hilary Clinton, etc. If you’re hoping for health, dress as a nurse or doctor. If you want to bring love into your life, dress as Aphrodite. Be creative, just don’t tell everyone why you’re costumed the way you are, lest the spell be broke!

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~


bannerfans_7845157.jpg

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~


Blood Moon


The nights are cold and the moon takes on a crisp look in the night sky that will only get sharper and clearer as winter nears ever more. The October moon is one of mystery, a moon that shines upon the parting of the veil between the worlds and witnesses the meeting of the two. This moon lights the path for those long dead as they step into our world and follow the flickering window lights of loved ones homes, coming for a visit. The fey prance beneath the night sky, mischievous and sly; some say one should carry a piece of iron in his pocket lest he be carried away by them.

The Blood Moon witnesses our preparations for winter, as it did so many hundreds of years ago when our ancestors prepared their food, land, and cattle for winter. We winterize our homes and cars, we clean, and we prepare our gardens for the cold.

Other October festivals include the Greek Thesmophoria, a remembrance of Kore’s return to the Underworld; Diwalii, a Hindu festival of lights in honor of Lakshmi, is characterized by many lamps and lots of good food.

Correspondences of the full blood moon include: pennyroyal, time, catnips, calendula, marigold, tourmaline, opal, turquoise, stags, jackals, rams, scorpion.

Deities of the blood moon include: Ishtar, Demeter, Kore, Lakshmi, Horned God, and Hathor.

Use the blood moon to let go of those things you need to let go, to perform inner cleansing and inner harmony; use it for justice and balance in the dealings of your everyday life.


~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

Loss

How terrible that often our time becomes measured by those we’ve lost. It’s now been seven months since I lost my 65 year old Granny. She loved butterflies. And bells. My childhood was redolent with the sound of those clear ringing tones as I picked them up, exclaiming over new ones, asking her how she came to have them. She wore shirts embroidered with colorful butterflies, had long fingernails she would tap on things. Her smile was so big it stretched from ear to ear, and she’d do this devious little giggle…I feel like I can’t remember the sound of it anymore. At the end, she was gone. Her mind wasn’t there anymore. But her skin was just as smooth and clear and pink as a new baby’s. Life isn’t fair.

It’s been almost three years now since I lost Cory, best friend, cousin, Marine. The man was so full of life and laughter. He cared so much about everything. A firefighter, a soldier, a son. My heart still aches for him. Not much time can pass without something reminding me of him; to see a soldier, a fire truck, badly dubbed Kung Fu movies. It’s memories of the ones we love that carry us when they’re gone. Though it is most often bittersweet.

At Samhain, take extra time to remember them. Write them letters, visit and tend to their graves, and erect an altar in their honor at home, holding pictures and candles and maybe even something of theirs. Pray to them – prayer is not only for the gods. In my opinion, prayer is any form of communication with someone who is not physically in front of you, but someone who you feel. There is no patent on the word “prayer”. Tell someone you know about them, share stories and memories that would otherwise sit silent in your mind. In this way, you remember them and honor them, passing on the light that is their memory.

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~


Spell of the Month


Wishing Well Apple Spell

You will need:

“Well” of water (cauldron, birdbath, etc.)

One small apple

A knife, cutting surface, and spoon

A tea light

Think of one specific thing you wish to bring in to your life. Concentrating hard on that idea, visualizing it coming to fruition, cut the apple in half so that you reveal the inner star made by the seeds. Still visualizing success in your endeavor, carve a small groove (large enough for the tea light) in the flesh of the bottom half of the apple.

When done, place the tea light in the groove. Place it on your altar or cutting board. Using either the athame, wand, or power hand, mark a pentagram over it and say something like:

I bless this fruit of the goddess

As the candle burns out in her womb

Let my offering bring what it is I seek.

Hold the apple in both hands and concentrate on your intent once more, then when you are ready, let it float in the well of water. Eat the other half of your apple while you watch your tea light burn, still concentrating on your intent. Return your apple bottom, core, and the water to the earth when finished.

Enacted with a small group, the flickering apple candles are quite beautiful as they float in the water together.


~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~
Fiction by Heather

Early this year, I won second place in a local magazine’s flash fiction contest for my 288 word piece “How to Kill a Baba Yaga” – Literary Leo Jan 2010. I took a little literary license by making Baba fat rather than bony. Here it is:

Someone was moving about in my living room.  Throwing back the heavy comforter, I reached for the Louisville Slugger under my bed.  Tossing sleep-disheveled hair from my eyes, I tiptoed down the hall.

She was monstrous, both in size and in face.  Waddling among my furniture, she knocked over two armchairs, four knickknacks, and the coat rack.  It only took her a moment to notice me, standing in the doorway, bat at the ready.

“Baba Yaga hungry.  Baby good.  Bring me flesh.” She regarded me with red eyes from a head full of wild, white hair.  Her bosom knocked over my favorite lamp and I rolled my eyes.

“Have a seat, Baba, let me heat her up for you,” I said calmly, swinging the bat at my side.  Closing my daughter’s bedroom door discreetly on the way, I hurried into my kitchen and pulled out the dough I’d prepared that morning; extra sugar.  The cake mold was beneath the sink.  In forty minutes, I pulled a fair imitation of a baby from my oven.

Baba Yaga took it from my arms reverently, licking her lips with a purple, lizard-like tongue.  Her mouth widened to unbelievable proportions, and the cake disappeared between two rows of sharp, pointed teeth.

I waited, baseball bat in hand, while she chewed.  After four or five jaw movements, her face went slack.  She gasped for air and keeled over stiffly, splitting my couch in two.

Sighing, I tossed the bat to an armchair and set about cleaning up.  I’d taken to asking my mother for a couch every Christmas.  She still wonders how we go through so many of them.  There’d be another Baba Yaga, there always was, but Mother wouldn’t believe me if I told her.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


160.jpg

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

Pumpkins.JPG
Pumpkin Crazy!  October 2007
By Heather

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

Quote of the Month:


…Remember your birth, how your mother

Struggled to give you form and breath. You are evidence of her life, and her mother’s, and her’s…Remember that you are all people and that all people are you…

nat am lit.jpg

From “Remember”

An amazing poem by Joy Harjo

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~


Did you know?

Hysteria over Halloween safety has been present through my entire life. I remember being young, my mother obsessing about checking every piece of candy…According to a survey done at California State University in 1985 by Joseph Best, not a single death or injury was caused by tampered Halloween candy in a 30 year period. Since then, a single instance has been proven to have occurred. In Minneapolis, a man placed needles in candy bars and handed them out in the year 2000. One child pricked his tongue, no one else was hurt. So, while checking your child’s candy for tampering is always a good idea, the data above just goes to show how sad our world has become. We can’t even trust our neighbors, even when the statistics show otherwise.

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

The Dumb Supper


The most important theme of Samhain is that of remembering and honoring those who have passed before us. A Dumb Supper is a common way in which modern Pagans have taken to doing just that. The origins of the dumb supper are obscure, with some arguing it’s an ancient practice while others state it’s modern. I feel like I read about the concept years ago, when I was a little girl, unrelated to modern Pagans. But, I’m also a believer that everything we do has it’s roots in our past!

“Dumb” refers to the fact the supper is held entirely in silence, in the hopes that the loved one(s) in which you are attempting to contact will come sit with you. It is most often performed as close to midnight as possible on Samhain night. One sets a table: place settings for any human guests, as well as place settings for the deceased individual(s) being invited to attend. Some people also include a place setting for the Divine, marked by a white shroud over the chair at the head of the table.

There is no right or wrong way to host a dumb supper. It would be interesting, I think to have guests at your supper; can you imagine having to cater to everyone without being able to communicate? How relevant that is to our inability to speak to those who have passed! However, imagine the intimacy of a dumb supper alone (though surely not for the faint hearted). A silent, dark house lit only by candles, bringing the opportunity for you to be in the presence of someone you once loved. To me, that would be a much more spiritual experience then having to use undue energy hostessing to others.

It is recommended the supper is held in a sacred circle, therefore giving you and your guests protection from outside or negative influences. It wouldn’t be fun to expect Aunt Bessie only to be hosting to a trickster poltergeist.

Some common elements of the dumb supper are below:

*Dishes and decorations, napkins and tablecloth, should be black

*Absolute silence from the moment the first person enters the room until the last person leaves

*No artificial lights; only candlelight/flamelight

*Each person should bring an image of the person they are wishing to contact and a prayer or letter on a small card to that person

*Place a black votive or small pillar candle at each place setting

You can have your guests light their own candles, focusing their intent on the flame. I would choose to put the ancestor chairs directly across from your guests, and instruct them to go to their ancestor chair upon entering the room, light that candle with focus on their loved one, and place their card under the plate. They should then move on to take their own chair and light their own votive candle, placing the image of their loved one in front of them.

Before serving food, everyone could link hands and pray silently, blessing the meal. As hostess, if you wish to serve everyone one at a time, be my guest; myself, though, I’m all about taking up bowls and passing them around the table, letting everyone serve themselves!

A lot of silent prayer and silent communication with the ancestor in question should take place while you eat. The purpose of the dinner is to honor them, maybe contact them, and as such they should be the only thing on your mind.

People can trickle out as they finish their meal, or you can all agree to wait until the last person lays down their fork. Once everyone has removed themselves from the room, you can resume normal speaking, sharing your personal experience and feelings with the others over dessert and wine.

Patti Wigginton of about.com has another great idea for the card and votive: When everyone has finished eating, each guest should get out the note to the dead that they brought. Go to the head of the table where Spirit sits, and find the candle for your deceased loved one. Focus on the note, and then burn it in the candle’s flame (you may wish to have a plate or small cauldron on hand to catch burning bits of paper) and then return to their seat. When everyone has had their turn, join hands once again and offer a silent prayer to the dead.

A dumb supper can be a very intense experience and should not be undertaken lightly. Be prepared for anything to happen; when the veil between the worlds is so thin, don’t ask for contact with those you’ve lost unless you’re prepared to reap the consequences. Wanting to see a spirit and actually seeing one are two completely different things!

Sources used: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/samhainoctober31/p/Dumb_Supper.htm

Silver Ravenwolf Halloween

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

Soul Cakes

by Monica R. Ashbaugh

See Monica’s Biography in her article below!

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup dried currants

1/4-1/3 cup spiced rum

Pour spiced rum over currants, covering them and allow to soak for 1/2 hour.  Preheat over to 350 degrees.   Cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer, add the eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla extract.  Mix well.  Sift the flour and the spices together, then add to butter mixture.  Stir in currants, soaking rum, and milk to make a soft dough.  Form the dough into flattish round cakes and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

The Samhain Altar

A quick view of items you can put on your Samhain altar.

*Black and orange altar cloth

*Sprigs of Rosemary, for remembrance

*Acorns

*Skeletons, skulls, antlers, tusks, other representations of the dead (not necessarily real skeletons! I have a ceramic skull I put black silk roses in and set on my altar.)

*Pictures of those you have loved and lost

*Black stones (onyx, obsidian)

*Image of the Crone

*Pumpkins and gourds!

*Apples

*Ghost images

*Autumn leaves

*Indian corn

*Mums (they come in a beautiful blood red color that would be perfect!)

*An image of Herne, the stag god, or a deer statue; Herne willingly dies for his tribe so they may survive the winter, and is reborn.


~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

Pumpkin Bread

The absolute best pumpkin bread I’ve ever had! Unknown source.

Blend together:

2 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup melted butter

¾ cup water

4 eggs

Then add:

2 tsp baking soda

3 2/3 cup flour

2 ¼ cup sugar

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup chopped walnuts (I put them in a bag and smashed them with a mallet; I don’t like large chunks, but the powder added nutty flavor!)

Grease and flour two small loaf pans and fill halfway. Bake at 350F for an hour.

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

Stone of the Month

160.jpg

Carnelian

Translucent and reddish orange, the carnelian stone is a power stone with many uses. It can increase your physical energy and power, motivation, and confidence. Carry a carnelian in your pocket to job interviews and for other intense times when you need to focus. It is a protective stone, from negative energy and from anger (that of you and of others).

Find a wealth of information (more than I could put in here!) about this stone at http://www.gemstonegifts.com/stones/carnelian.htm


~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

Herb of the Month

Rosemary

299.jpg

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember…”

Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Burn rosemary for it’s cleansing and purification abilities. You could substitute it in smudging before beginning ritual instead of sage. Put a sprig under your pillow to ensure restful sleep and pleasant dreams, or put it under your bed to protect from all harm. Use rosemary for protection, love, mental powers, purification, healing, and sleep.

Masculine in gender, rosemary corresponds to the sun and the element of fire.

Pilgrimage to the graves of loved ones and leave an offering of rosemary in remembrance, or create an altar to those you’ve lost and continually burn rosemary for them.

Sources used: http://www.lugodoc.demon.co.uk/PAN.HTM

http://www.theoi.com/Georgikos/Pan.html

Picture source: http://sarahdbelle.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/theres-rosemary-thats-for-remembrance/

~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

God of the Month

Pan

299.jpg

Pan is the Greek god of shepherds, flocks, mountain wilds, hunting, and folk music. His name means “All.” One source suggests he was worshipped as early as 6th century BCE in Arcadia, and equivalent versions of him existed in numerous other cultures. The race of satyrs were in his image, but more like nature spirits who weren’t worshipped liked gods but believed to exist.

This god is depicted not in the usual bulging pecs and rock-hard abs way of the Greeks, but as a diminuitive man with the horns and lover body of a goat and the torso of a man, with a thick beard and pointed ears.

The reed pipes carried and played by Pan originated from the nymph Syrinx. Pan, well known for his sexual nature, chased after Nymphs in an effort to get a little action. Syrinx managed to get away and pleaded for river nymphs to help her. They transformed her into reeds on the riverbank, and when Pan found her, he liked the sound it made when he blew through the reeds. Thus he made his “pan-pipes” that he carries.

Pan can be sneaky, and certainly inspire panic and sexuality, so when dealing with him, be careful. In his aspect as a nature deity, think of him when you are next in the wild and maybe you will feel him…and not panic!

(The painting used here for Pan is the artwork of Thalia Took.  Take time to visit her website and see the rest of her god/goddess work – absolutely stunning.  I just happened across it while looking for a picture of Pan and I’m glad I did.)


~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~

Goddess of the Month

Baba Yaga

From Russian folklore, Baba Yaga is a fearsome deity. Skeletally thin and with iron teeth and large, long nose, Baba travels the forests in a mortar, pushing herself along with the pestle. Her presence is often accompanied by the wails of spirits and the fearsome groaning of trees and wind.

Baba lives in a hut deep in the forest, and her hut is a character all on its own. It walks on long chicken legs and feet, and seems to “watch” from it’s windows. It often spins crazily while in motion and can only be stopped with a specific incantation. It is protected by a fence of bones and skulls.

Though Baba is often a dangerous and ugly creature, like the crone goddess, she does have a wise and helpful side, but only for the “pure of heart.” It was a common fear tactic of parents to tell their children if they did not behave, Baba Yaga would come eat them.


A Baba Yaga Folktale: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/ftr/chap06.htm

Sources used: http://www.oldrussia.net/baba.html


~~~~~~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~~~~~~