Tag Archives: Samhain

Pumpkins Vine Time

Merry meet all,

The Halloween stuff is in the stores!! Oh my I’ll grab my broomstick and fly over and won’t be back till I’m broke!!! October is three months away. I’m still waiting for my veggies to grow though. I am anticipating a big harvest though. This is the time of year when I get excited. I live for Samhain. It’s time to dust off our brooms and our cauldrons, don our striped socks and head over to the stores selling the Halloween stuff.

My pumpkin vine has flowers!! My zucchini plant has a new flower too. I can’t wait for them to get big already. My cucumber plant has lots of flowers but tiny cucumbers. Oh my goddess it’s not like they have all year to grow. Can you tell I’m frustrated?

A real gardener is patient. I still can’t find that gardener. Since we are in harvest season, I hope you enjoy reading this post and learn how to grow your own!

Here are some tips on how to grow our favorite Halloween fruit-pumpkins. Pumpkins need up to 120 days to mature. Pumpkins can be grown from seed. However this year I had luck with the transplants I bought from the local plant store. Wait until all chances of frost have passed. They will grow in warm weather. They can take over a garden too and need up to 30 feet of room to grow.

Before planting your transplants, add plenty of compost material to the soil. You can grow the plants in hills. You mound up the soil and then (If you want to start from seed), put one seed per hill and plant up to four seeds in each hill Make sure there is plenty of room between the vines.

Pumpkins need tons of water. Be sure to only water the plants enough and to avoid root rot. If they look wilted, then the plant has died. Feed the plants a healthy mix of phosphorus and nitrogen, and add more phosphorus than nitrogen, which helps them grow their very best.

If you want to prune the vines, then be sure the vines have pumpkins on them first. When you carefully prune the plants, then you force the plant to stop concentrating on the vine growth and it focuses on maturing the fruit vine. This produces better fruit growth in the long run. Also, consider sprinkling diatomaceous earth under your plants. I did all summer and I have a healthy big zucchini plant in my garden that is pest bug free!

If insects are a problem on your vines, then plant nasturtiums. You have to attract pollinators to pollinate your plants. Aphids, cucumber beetles and stink bugs are a pest to your plants. By planting flowers such as nasturtiums, you will attract pollinators and the insects that might like some aphids for a tasty meal. Plant lots of flowers to increase your chances of healthy plants overall.

Harvesting pumpkins is fun and saves you money!! When the stem looks dry and the fruit is an orange color, it is time to harvest them! Knock hard on the rind of the pumpkin. It should sound hollow. Scrape your fingernail on the rind. It should not scratch easily. Harvest before the frost!

Use your favorite witch tool or boline to cut the pumpkin from the vine. Leave a few inches of stem to avoid disease. Let the pumpkins to cure for a couple of weeks first and store them properly. When they are fully cured, you will know. Allow for air ventilation and don’t dry them out near other fruit. Fruit give off ethylene gas. You can coat a pumpkin in oil which seals it for storage.

Enjoy your glowing orange pumpkins after all this hard work. !!

Blessings Spiderwitch

 

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Filed under gardening, organic, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain, seeds

Samhain Ancestors

Merry meet all,

Whew. Samhain has come but is not gone. The New Year is here. I am tired but content with the holiday events. I performed two rituals, one to welcome in the new year by banishing bad energy. The other was a solitary Samhain ritual.

I also completed my ancestor altar cloth. I posted in the past about the altar cloth. This year I created an ancestor altar doll. I was inspired by another website and set out to make my own doll.

I printed out the template. I traced the template onto black knit fabric. I stitched the doll together and stuffed her with cotton batting. Then I added herbs that correspond to ancestor worship such as mugwort, wormwood and rosemary and a black hematite stone. I filled the head section with more cotton batting and stitched the opening closed. I added a patch of white fabric for the face. I marked her face on using a sharpie pen.

I made her a witch hat. I traced out a cone hat on black fabric and stuffed it with cotton batting. I found a weird thing of orange and black hair at the thrift store. It had a clip on it so I clipped the hair thing to her head. I even braided a section of her hair. I had a hard time making her a dress. I have LOTS of black lace. But finding the perfect fabric was hard. I finally made her a dress and stitched it on by hand. I stitched the collar of the dress to the black fabric of the doll. I added black and white striped socks to the legs and feet. I hemmed the dress and added lace cuffs to the sleeves. I sewed her a black lace over skirt and made her a shawl from the black and white spider print fabric left over from another sewing project. Now for the fun part.

She is an ancestor doll. I glued on a rune to the front of the doll, beorc- the closest rune to ancestor. Beorc means family. I also ironed an appliqué of a black spider to the front of the doll. I fashioned her a broom from a branch and straw outside. I painted the branch black and bound the straw using an elastic. I glued the broom and her hands to the broom. It looks like her hands are clasping the broom. I added sprigs of lavender to the broom.

I hate covering the tiny minute details but it is those very details that make such a project last a long time. I had to hand stitch most of the clothing to the doll. I had a hard time stitching the brim of the hat to the doll’s head. I did and in the back of the doll’s head, the glue adhered the hat to the head. I secured the collar of the dress to the doll which was more work but worth it.

She has a pentacle necklace. I named her Helga, The name Helga, in Old Norse, means “Holy”. As in “Helgafjell”, the “Holy Mountain”, the afterlife for those who were not warriors, but still lived good, honest, and honourable lives, and contributed positively to their society. It was said that Helgafjell was so beautiful, that one could not gaze upon it without shielding their eyes. Hardened, brave, and proud Valhalla-bound warriors and Valkyries would even weep at its beauty. Helga, meaning “Holy” (or “Sacred”/”Hallowed”.

Here is a photo:

I shall add to the doll to make her a true ancestor doll as time goes on. But I wanted to tell you how it was done if this post inspires you to make your own doll for whatever reason. I dedicated her on my altar and she now has a perch to hang from and oversee all activities.

Merry Samhain

Blessings, Spiderwitch )O(

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Halloween Haunts 2016

Cemetery

Merry meet all,

From October 1 through to October 31 the Horror Writers Association is hosting an online event to celebrate the season of Halloween and help connect horror writers with horror readers. Most HWA members will participate in this eerie blog event. The blog posts, giveaways and book excerpts will be posted. This also helps raise the profile of the HWA, and gives the members the much needed exposure for their writing.

The blog event was a big success last year and they hope to make it a success again this year. If you want to contribute to the blog, and you are an active fearless member, you can send a blog post here and find the specific submission guidelines here: https://horrorwritersassociation.submittable.com/submit/64037. You can read past posts here on this web address: (http://horror.org/2015/10/).

I enjoy the blog event Halloween Haunts. I participated last year and I was quite proud to. I wrote about performing an ancestral supper and this year I wrote about honoring our beloved dead with a small photo and candle. I honor Samhain in October and like that I can write about Samhain to show readers the wonder of the thousand year old traditional Sabbat.

I encourage you all to see what the Halloween Haunts blog event is all about in October. I shall be promoting the event here on my blog and my other social media outlets. There is also an events page for Halloween Haunts at this address: https://www.facebook.com/events/547494652114305/. Celebrate thirty one days of Halloween blog events, excerpts and book giveaways from some of today’s best horror writers (yes, me too). Updates on the event will be posted on the event page on Faecbook regularly.

Enjoy some frightful reads during the magical month of October! Pen your own horror stories. You never know, you may be the next Mary Shelley!!!

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Filed under Paranormal and Witchy Fiction

Story

cropped-eerie-moon.jpg

Merry meet all,

I am proud to announce that I won a contest to have my entire paranormal novel edited for free!! I receive the edits before Yule. I just have to sit tight and wait for the editor to edit the novel and for me to make the appropriate changes. 

I am waiting in addition to that to hear if I pass muster to make it into the Writers Federation mentorship. My novel sample is under consideration there. This would be a huge step forward for me. I am crossing my paws that I make it. 

In the meantime, I am currently working on a proposal for the ms if I don’t get into the Mentorship and then would be able to market it to publishing companies. My poem Over a Blood Moon is slated to be published in the Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine and the editor interviewed me. I just completed reading and reviewing two successful amazing pagan titles for Moon Books. Moon Books published a book titled Naming the Goddess, a devotional gazetteer and my essay titled ‘Sedna: The Inuit Sea Goddess’, which was originally published in Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine, is in the book. Circle magazine reprinted my essay about Persephone in their latest issue. Essential Herbal magazine published an article of mine about herbs as gifts for well being for the holiday season. I am not bragging, just trying to show you all what I’ve been up to. 

I was busy this Samhain, carving pumpkins, brewing mulled cider, baking breads, attending an awesome herb workshop and public Samhain ritual, and attempting a botched dumb supper in honor of those who passed before me. I was a Corpse Bride this year. I froze and perhaps that was appropriate. October 31st happened so fast I don’t know how I breathed. I made a botched orange pillar candle that smells like pumpkin spice. 

I’ll include the link to the upcoming and sure to be exciting Winter issue of Eternal Haunted Summer ezine when it launches! I was reading the ‘Penguin Book of Witches’ and at first reading, found the book to be so witch-bashing. Now I’m not so sure. I think it is an excellent historic account of the witch trials in Europe and Salem. I want to buy the book again and reread it. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Penguin-Book-Witches-Katherine-Howe/dp/014310618X Read it and decide for yourselves. 

I hope you all had a magical and devilishly delightful Samhain!!

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch 

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Jack O’ Lanterns Safety

Witch

Merry meet all,

I bought a cool pumpkin to carve yesterday. Have you all got a pumpkin to carve? I hope so. Mmm can’t you all taste the roasted seeds already? 

Remember to burn candles and incense safely this Samhain. There is nothing romantic about the Fire Department arriving at your charred doorstep. Believe me. Every year we hold a Samhain Rt on the Commons and every year, some stupid muggle calls the Fire Department out of sheer ignorance. Um, we have a permit. The Fire Dept visited me to tell me I can’t burn resins in my cauldron anymore if it sets off my smoke alarm. So yesterday I bought a book titled Incense Magick by Carl Neal. I plan to read this book cover to cover and learn from it. I admit to having only a limited knowledge but now I will hopefully be able to avoid disaster. 

I have another tip for you. I always compost my expired pumpkins in my garden. I don’t put them in the compost bin once they have served their duty for Samhain. I let the pumpkins rot, which takes months, and the pumpkins add nutrients to the soil. So green your pumpkins!!

Steep sage tea in a teapot and sprinkle it around your house. This creates a safe space and energy to keep out unwelcome spirits during Samhain. I wish  it could keep away nasty people. But steeping sage tea and pouring it around your property creates a boundary. I do this every Samhain and will do that either today or tomorrow. 

Samhain is meant to be fun. So be safe and smart. You will enjoy Samhain even more!

Here is another spooky true tale of a ghost:

I can’t remember if it was Samhain last year or the year before that. I strolled down the hill to view the full moon on Samhain Eve. I wish the moon was full this Samhain. I strolled along the shore to enjoy the moon. I saw a man seated on a bench not far from me. As I approached him, he vanished into thin air. I went straight home. 

 

 

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Samhain Ritual

Mabon altar 2

Merry meet all,

Samhain is days away!! I bet  you’re excited. I am. Samhain is magical and bewitching. 

Samhain means “summer’s end”. It is an ancient Celtic festival and celebration. The word Samhain originates as ‘Samhuin’. The earth recedes and the greenery dies back. The cold dark half of the year rules now. They brought in their cattle and sheep. They celebrated and honoured the dead. 

To perform your own ritual or rituals if you prefer, to honour the dead, try this. Decorate your altar with a black velvet altar cloth and black and orange candles. You will need a few sprigs of rosemary and black, orange and red ribbons. If you can, perform the ritual outdoors. 

Say aloud:

Samhain is here, we are in a time of transition. The winter approaches and summer wanes. This is the time of the Dark Mother, a time of death and rebirth. 

Place the rosemary on the altar in an offering bowl. Say:

Rosemary is to remember our dead, who have passed through the veil. We will remember. 

Light the black candle and say:

The Wheel of the Year spins once more, as we cycle into darkness.

Next, light the white candle and say:

The darkness shifts into the light. We will celebrate its return once more. 

Hold out your ribbons- one white, one black, and one red and say:

White for light, black for death, red for rebirth. We bind the ribbons together as we bind life. 

Now bind the ribbons together. As you weave, focus on the good memories of those who you loved and lost in your life. Chant while you bind the ribbons.  Leave the bound ribbons on your altar. 

Don’t get too sad if you have family members who passed away. I always remember my grandfather but I know that it can be a hard time for some. Seek out your friends and have fun this Samhain. 

Blessed be,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Spooky Samhain Tail

Mist

Merry meet all,

Since you are either not brave enough or too busy to share a short horror story on my blog, I thought I would tell you all a true scary story or two. I do however, invite you all to continue sharing your terrifying tails, or tales here. You can post comments or put your story in the comment section for this post if you want. 

The stories have to be true. That is the one rule. This one is. It’s spooky. 

I was seated in the dark quiet living. Ok imagine an old Victorian home with all the spooky stuff. Ok I watched a movie and bored, I turned the movie off. I sat there quietly.  It was dark and quiet. Too quiet. I became uncannily aware that a restless earthbound spirit was behind the couch, watching me and waiting for me to be aware it was there. A dark almost formless shape. It seemed sort of human like. I sat there, still, and then got off of the couch. It came from behind the couch. Now the couch was against the wall, near large windows. The mantle and fireplace were on the other side of the room. The French doors were open (Thank the Goddess.). I got up and looked at a ghost. It was male, with a dark cloak or dark shadow around it. It’s eyes bore into my soul. I didn’t like that. Nor did I like the weird energy spreading through the room. Yikes! I had enough and fled. The spirit or whatever followed. And you think that was scary? Just wait. I fled up the large stairs to go upstairs. I felt like the Devil was on my tail. It breathed down my neck. It didn’t want me to get upstairs. My limbs felt like lead. I felt it right on my neck and had to force my body to go up the steps. I made it and as a grown woman, still ran into my Mother’s room. She is solid as a rock. I woke her up, much to her annoyance. The thing is, it followed but when I got to her room, the power of my Mom’s love halted the spook in its tracks. We said a prayer and it has not bothered me since. I will swear an oath in the courtroom that the story is true.

Please share your own terrifying bone chilling tales here!! Don’t be shy. 

 

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Filed under Traditions of Samhain, types of ghosts

Samhain Rituals

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Merry meet all,

The wind sings in the trees. The sun sparkles over my street, casting a bright glow on the leaves. The blue sky is clear. It’s a beautiful October morning. A lively morning for October.

Samhain Prayers. Samhain is the time to honor the dead and a time for death and rebirth. Light a candle and meditate on what this time means to you. Record the experience in your Book of Shadows. Here is an example of a prayer:

Corn has been shucked, 
grain has been threshed, 
herbs have been hung to dry. 
Grapes have been pressed, 
potatoes have been dug, 
beans have been shelled and canned. 
It is the harvest season, 
and food is ready for winter. 
We will eat, and we will live,
and we will be grateful.

Now  who can resist a Samhain ritual? I can’t. Use black and orange candles, a black velvet altar cloth, a cauldron, red candle for fire, clean candleholders, a silver athame. Velvet is such a sensual material. This is the time to go all out on your altar. The magic works better if your altar area is clean and fresh. You can celebrate Samhain as part of the ancestor ritual or do it separately. Place a photo of a loved deceased one on your altar. 

Decorate your altar with pumpkins, gourds, a skull- crystal, if you can, roots and berries, and grave rubbings. You could use graveyard irt. Be sure to get the dirt ethically. Be respectful. Usually at Samhain many Wiccans Pagans perform a dumb supper. You solemnly honor the dead and your loved one who passed. If you are sharing the meal with family members, you can choose to speak during the ritual. 

Set the table with a dark-colored plate and set mead, wine, dark breads, and cheese on the table. Serve yourself and the other family members. Set an extra dinner plate for the ancestors. Light the candles. A serving of each food goes on the ancestors’ plate before the family members or yourself. Remember that you don’t speak during the dumb supper. Leave the food as an offering for the spirits outside. 

Let the candles burn down and leave the wine on the table for your ancestors. Think of what family means to you and what traditions you always enjoyed. You can do a separate ritual for pets. You can follow this ritual with a seance. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch

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Blood Moon of Samhain

Thunder Moon July 2013

Merry meet all,

This rainy morning I was in my garden and I decided to harvest the tiny carrots. I fed the carrots to my pet guinea pig/ animal familiar Magic. He devoured them in seconds. I knew he would because the carrots were organic. He squeaked for more but that was all I could offer him. I put the soil from the pot on to my garden. The soil is full of nutrients for the garden. I trust Magic enjoyed his free organic breakfast of carrots and carrot tops. I harvested a pea and shallots. The single tomato was in too bad form to keep so I left it to compost in the garden. 

Tonight is the Blood Moon of October. The Blood Moon is powerful. Tonight there will be a lunar eclipse. The moon is at 25 degrees Aries. The Blood Moon is also known as the Shedding Moon or Falling Leaf Moon. 

The colours that correspond with the Blood Moon are dark blues, black and purples. The gemstones that also correspond are obsidian, amethyst, and tourmaline. Apples and yew trees correspond and apple blossoms, pennyroyal, mint, catnip, and sweet annie. Herne, Apollo, Cernunnos, an Mercury are right for the Full Moon. The Elements of Air and Water correspond with the Blood Moon. You can invoke these elements or decorate your altar tonight with these herbs and gemstones. 

Tonight would be the perfect time for divination. It is close to Samhain. Consider contacting your ancestors or a deity. If you read Witches Book of the Dead or Nocturnal Witchcraft, you can get some great ideas on how to set up an altar and contact spirits in a fun and still safe way. 

May the Goddess bless you with a magical Blood Moon

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Cerridwen the cauldron

New Cauldron- Cerridwen

 

Merry meet all,

I finally have my large cauldron home. I’m proud to own such a beauitful cauldron. I plan to do many magickal spellworkings with the cauldron. The cauldron is so big and heavy that I had to take a cab to get it home and even then, it was hard carrying it up the steps to the door and to my apartment. 

I have already cleansed and dedicated the cauldron. The cauldron is home in time for Samhain. What witch doesn’t want a big cast-iron cauldron to work spells with? I do, I do. The cauldron is shown in the photo above. The cauldron is also already pre-seasoned. 

The cauldron is a symbol of the Goddess, the womb of the goddess, and representative of mystery, magick, the water and fire elements. A Witch can scry using water or oils in a cauldron. A Witch can burn incenses and resins too. I am sure I will have many wonderful magickal workings with my cauldron. I named her Cerridwen, which I feel is appropriate. 

It’s 33 more days to Samhain! I will be prepared!

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under autumn, autumn magic, Cast-iron, Colourful flames in cauldron