Samhain Newsletter 31 October 2021
The mornings are dark on waking, the air feels damp and cold and the chilly wind blows the yellowing leaves off the trees and down the street… rustling leaves and skeleton trees mean it must be time for Halloween!!
Samhain (pronounced sow-in) signifies the start of winter, on the run-up to the shortest day. The Holly King has control over the Oak King as he stands proud with his leaves all in place and red berries bright for all to see, whilst the remainder of the broadleaf trees become naked until the spring. It’s time to bring out the thermals, winter coat and waterproof boots…yes, this is the beginning of the Celtic year, marking the start of winter.
Nowadays, we see Halloween as the night of ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night, but it is the night when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest and we remember those who have gone from our lives. The children may love to go door to door dressed as ghosts and witches in the hope for a treat, but this is the night witches seek to find out what the next year holds on our Celtic New Year’s Eve.
Decorate your altar and home with orange and black candles, burn divination incense, and light a jack o’lantern in the window to guide the good spirits to your home. You can use a pumpkin, but in Britain it should be a swede, using its contents for soup, and the face should be scary as possible to keep the unwanted spirits away!
Seeing the Future…
Samhain is the night to try and predict the future, and the link with the spirit world allows us to do this. People have done this gathered round the fire at this time of year to see their future love… everything from peeling apples to get the first letter of their first name from fallen peel to faces in the mirror in the dark!! Some odd games were made for this time, but the best way is to sit in candlelight, with incense burning, and scry with a crystal ball, shuffle and lay tarot cards or pick cards from an oracle and do a reading in the quiet whilst the veil is thin, and discover what the next year holds.
If all else fails, then this is the night of the pendulum…simple to use and easy to get hold of without breaking the bank…write your list of questions and let the pendulum answer them for you! We carry lots in the shop – don’t buy one online - it has to move first! The pendulum should be from natural material like crystal, wood, metal or seed, and when you pick it up, it should feel right in your hand and move freely.
You can also use dowsing rods but they are not for me. First used for finding water, dowsing and dowsing rods have been used for thousands of years, whether to find minerals, locate water or simply answer questions. This was supressed by the Christian Church during the Inquisition, as you should not be able to get answers from spiritual means without it being via a Priest! However, using this as a method to find water made it indispensable, so was not in question and made it through. Although thought to be mainly superstition to use this method in the 20th Century, it is still used today to find Earth energy such as Ley Lines and water under many sacred spaces. Why not find your method of dowsing, whether by metal rods or crystal pendulum, and keep yourself on the right track!
Catch a falling leaf and put it in your pocket…
One of my favourite autumnal past-times is to catch a leaf as it falls from the tree! There is magick in a leaf falling and then being caught by human hands before it reaches the ground…not as simple as it sounds! Once it hits the ground, the magick is lost but catch that leaf and to me, the next 12 months will be filled with happiness and good health. Try it yourself and see, because we all need every bit of luck we can get to get life back on track!!
The Samhain Flames…
I know most are used to bonfire night on 5th November, but it is a magickal night indeed when you can have a fire on Halloween (weather permitting). To the Celts, fire was very important and in days gone by, the fire was kept going 24/7, but would be extinguished on Samhain, then embers carried from the village fire high on the hill and used to relight the fire in homes. A symbol of anything that had plagued the community would be made and burned on the Samhain flames…can we make a representative of a Covid-19 virus?? Just a thought…
The allure of the simple Agate…
The Vikings used Agate with a double headed axe to find things whilst the Saxons thought it defeated the Devil. The Romans used it, crushed & diluted with sweet fruit juice, as was said to cure insanity & diseases of the kidneys and spleen, and the Egyptians used it to repel intestinal issues. In 1500’s Italy, Agate was used to ‘turn away lightning’ and ‘stop a storm’ whilst farmers hung it over the stable entrance to keep evil from the door. Most of all, in times gone by, brown agate gave victory to a warrior, protected them from poisonous reptiles, increased intelligence, repelled fevers and madness whilst attracting love, riches, happiness and a long life…what a stone!! Not an exciting crystal to look at in its natural form, but I love it. It’s generally used for strengthening, grounding, stabilizing & centring to bring balance & harmony to life. It boosts courage and gives support during conflict, anger and day-to-day issues, problems & stress. It is also helpful in setting goals and achieving a successful outcome, and when something or someone has outlived their part in your life, Agate helps support you in letting them go. It also attracts good things into your life and helps you give thanks for all that the Universe brings... what’s not to want!
Coping with change…
Our lives are continually changing, but this last 18 months or so, outside forces have brought more changes to our lives than usual during our lifetime. Someone like me who lives by fate, will deal with it in my own way, using the pendulum and tarot cards to check that all will be well…but not everyone is the same as me!! Even though this thing is not yet over, life must go forward, and this Samhain is a perfect time to begin that forward move. None of us like change, especially forced change, and for some, this has led to anxiety and insecurity, fear and sadness, so maybe a little witchy stuff may help!! Samhain is all about letting go of the past and beginning afresh with our best foot forward, so here are a few witchy tips that may help in some small way…
There are certain crystals I wear in certain situations…these are my lucky talisman pendants and can help me get through anything stressful. Choosing agate, carnelian, tiger eye or hematite, let this be your talisman of courage. Light a white tea-light in a holder and place in front of it 3 cleansed clear Quartz points or tumbles in a triangle.
Once chosen, this specific stone will be your talisman of courage and should be only used as such!
Hold tightly in your hands, close your eyes and visualise yourself facing whatever fills you with dread. See yourself surrounded by bright orange light radiating outwards like the Sun (think Teletubbies) and being triumphant.
‘I stand filled with Fire and Courage, and bravely walk into “…work/the town/the train/ whatever stresses you out…” & finish with “So mote it be”. Now balance the stone on the top of the triangle. That is its resting place for recharging, so use it when you need extra courage and replace when done. Recharge your triangle with incense and a tea light whenever you feel the need for extra help.
Fear is primal and is part of us to keep us safe and alive. It helps us with fight or flight, but too much is really detrimental to health and can effectively paralyze us, the opposite effect needed!! A good stone for this is Seraphinite, helping us to overcome these fears whilst radiating well-being and allowing our internal compass to navigate our way out of the unknown emotions being turned upside down to a safe haven.
Ginger is an amazing root full of Fire. Find a ‘human-like’ piece of fresh ginger and a little box or bag to carry it in. Decorate the figure with 3 yellow ribbons tied around ‘wrists, leg’ or ‘waist’ (but not neck). As you tie each ribbon, kiss the knot to wish for luck and say as you tie each knot “In all the journeys in my life, keep me protected and safe from strife.” Place your little man of courage in its box or cloth bag and carry with you on your travels to keep you safe and protected whilst out and about in the big wide world.
Ganesh is Lord of new beginnings and he sits in my shop in the crystal window to keep me moving along safely. He is the elephant-headed God, ensuring success in difficult times. Simply lighting incense to him daily will ensure his help. Find a Ganesh statue or a small elephant and make a wee sacred space for him to sit and light Sandalwood incense daily. When asking for his help, bring your hands together, pointing to your forehead, and bow before him to enlist his help. With your need/obstacle written on a piece of paper, place it under the statue and say”
‘God of wisdom & strength, bringer of success, help me in these times
Mould them, shape them, bring them together and make these wishes mine
Praise be Ganesh
Bow once more. Daily burn incense and let him work his magic for you. Once a new way has been shown to you to overcome your obstacle, thank him for your good fortune and continue with his daily offerings. Works for me….
Normality at the shop…
We have now returned to normal trading at the shop as vulnerable customers began to not need special shopping as they began to adapt to the new normal. We are continuing with our 5-day opening now I have extra helpers to help this old bat manage running the shop. We have been so busy…I mean really busy…that we have been working flat out just to keep the shop shelves stocked, though I have problems finding some items including bottles… I am blaming Mercury retrograde as all down to transportation…we have bottles but no tops and lids but no jars so bottling is an issue which I hope to get resolved during November but you may have to wait for your favourite items!! I am however, doing my best to ensure the shop is well stocked and gaps filled with new ‘stuff’!
New Moon: Thu 4 Nov @ 21.15 hrs Full Moon: Fri 19 Nov @ 09.03 hrs
New Moon: Sat 4 Dec @ 07.35 hrs Full Moon: Sun 19 Dec @ 04.36 hrs
Stay well and happy and make sure you look after you and yours…
Spooky Samhain blessings from the Green Witch