Tag Archives: wicca

Samhain: Honoring the dead

IMG00100Most pagans know of Samhain as a time of the year where we honor those who passed on before us.

Some traditions include lighting candles to represent each person who died this passing year. Others might set photos or mementos of loved ones, sharing stories of them on Samhain.

One year, my study group decided to include not just those who passed on, but other symbolic deaths, so we might reflect on them. One man shared the death of his marriage (divorce) while another shared the death of a job. This might also remind us that death can also offer rebirth, and the Wheel of the Year turns to another cycle.

Some ideas to honor the dead:

  • Share stories. I’ve always felt this it the most powerful way to honor those who passed on, by sharing memories of them.
  • Share songs. If you know favorite songs or music, share in ritual to honor those who passed on.
  • Hang photos, ribbons, or ornaments that represent the dead.
  • Offer prayers, thanks, and offerings. You can offer to honor them by making a promise you’ll keep in the coming year. For instance, I might promise to donate to veterans to honor my grandfather who was a veteran of WWII. I could make an offering of charity or good dead, to promise to quit smoking or take care of a family member to honor them.

What traditions do you partake in for Samhain to honor the dead? Share in comments below.

Prep for Winter

While walking the other day, I see the animals making their preparations for winter. Here are some tips to help you do the same;

gardentobed

On the blog,  onegoodthingbyjillee.com, she shares some neat tips on how to put your garden to bed.

heaterTrying to stay warm can be an issue if your power goes out, but BE CAREFUL with heaters and anything warmed with candles. This project offers an inexpensive means for heat, but DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED.

I have fingerless gloves to help keep my hands warm, as well as wrists. My husband made me another pair from an old sweat shirt. This makes a huge difference for me in staying warm when our house is kept at a lower temperature.

This lends to my next tip- Programmable Thermostat. We got one a few years ago, and it can lower the temperature in the evenings, when we’re toasty under blankets. It turns the heat up by the time we get out of bed. This helps tremendously to cut our electric bill without freezing us through the winter.

I love my electric blanket for sleeping, but I also have a electric blanket that’s heated as well. My son uses that at his desk, or we use it to watch TV on colder evenings. You can also find USB heated blankets, or car charger blankets for your vehicle.

wdhouseguide

And here is a helpful article from Women’s Day that shares House Prep Tips, that includes gardens.

This includes weatherization, and caring for patio furniture.

Preparing for winter in an emotional or spiritual sense involves some planning as well.

- Make a list of fun things you want to do through the winter. This might include skating, sledding, building a snow man, or watching movies, sipping cocoa, or learning new things (language, herbalism, or knitting as suggestions).

- Keep a journal. Journaling offers catharsis for those who might deal with depression or negative thinking. Promise yourself you won’t ‘feed your depression’, but practice happy thoughts, focusing on the positive, and adjusting the attitude to reflect a healthier outlook on Life.

- Use the winter for learning. It’s the best time to stay indoors and master new skills. I already started my ‘learning list’ which includes crochet, handmade cards, jewelry making, and even some projects around the house. Keeping busy will keep the doldrums at bay.

Are you ready for winter yet? Post in comments to share your ideas.

Shedding what you no longer need

campics 032Harvest always bring to mind a season of culling and clearing space. Not only do you reap whatever you’ve sown for the year, you also need to clear and prepare for the coming Winter.

As a homeschool mom, this means cleaning out textbooks and other school related items, but I also take stock of the emotional and spiritual things I should shed. This is especially true when things aren’t working for me.

This year’s goals have varying results, but I recognize some didn’t come to fruition because I didn’t apply myself. Even the weight loss demands more rigorous exercise I wasn’t willing to do. Either case, I know the reasons why my ‘crops failed’.

And that’s okay. Know why? Because I learn from those mistakes. I adjust my life accordingly, or I take time to meditate and question as to why I’m not applying myself. Is it fear? Laziness? Do I even want it badly enough?

Fingernails[5]Growing out my nails took almost two years to get them to the length they are. I slipped a few times, adjusted my habits, but most important of all- I recognized that it wasn’t the actual biting of my nails that was the issue. It was the anxiety I had that caused the nail biting.

Once I worked through that, it became easier.

I can tell you right now one issue with the weight loss is that I don’t really like exercise, well…more to the point, I don’t like getting sweaty. I also like to eat, not so much to eat until engorgement, but I love flavor and texture, and food is connected to social events as well.

So I started walking.

Look a turtleWalking my dog ends up being enjoyable, once I get my butt out the door. I see the changing season, I meet nice people along the trail, I gain the happiness knowing my dog is enjoying herself.

(She doesn’t, in fact, see the turtle in the photo, but she gets real excited when it splashes in the water.)

I also picked smaller portions, so I can still enjoy food, just less of it. (And I refuse to buy Nutella because I recognize I would eat the whole jar by myself).

We see our limits, adjust for changes, but forge ahead to find that success.


Manifestation Box (or basket)- Get a box or some container to keep on your altar and decorate as you wish. You can find paper mache or wooden boxes very cheap at craft stores.

You can paint, glue, or stick paper on it to make it yours own, but while doing so, vision your energy flowing through it, empower the materials even if its just cardboard. Make this your manifestation box, to put in things you want manifesting in your life.

Get scraps of paper and a pen to keep at your altar. When in need, jot down things you need, or things you need to gain your goal. For instance, if I want to lose weight, I might wish for weight loss, but I also need to wish for resolve, motivation, health, energy, and strength so I can meet that goal.

Periodically, you’ll need to clean out the manifestation box. You can do this by casting circle and ceremoniously burning the paper as a way of sending that energy back to the universe. You can also glue seeds on the paper and bury them, sending energy back to earth but also getting the added bonus of growing something (like flowers or fruit/veggies).

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