Beltane in Southern Hemisphere – Samhain in Northern Hemisphere

Beltane blessings to all of us in the Southern Hemisphere, we are heading towards summer and here in parts of Australia bush fires are raging already so we will be on high alert all throughout the summer.

It’s not really Halloween here, but as there is so much hype about it you can’t tell the children not to trick or treat, so they do.  We have loads of kids come to our house, they love it.

Blessed Be! to all.

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Beltane Festival is held in honour of the god Bel.

 In some modern traditions he is also known by the names, Beli, Belar, Balor, or Belenus.

In the myth of many modern traditions of wicca/witchcraft, Beltane marks the appearance of the Horned One, who is the rebirth of the Solar God slain during the Wheel of the Year. He then becomes consort to the Goddess, impregnating her with his seed, and thereby ensuring his own rebirth once again.

 Beltane marks the beginning of summer’s half and the pastoral growing season. The word “Beltane” literally means “bright fire”, and refers to the bonfires lit during this season.

It is also a time of beginnings, the beginnings of many new projects.

 Beltane is a fertility festival, concerned with Nature enchantments and offerings to wildlings and Elementals.

 The return of full-blown fertility is now very evident.

 The powers of elves and faeries are growing and will reach their height at the Summer Solstice.

 The celts respected faeries, active at this sabbat, and were sure that these Little People would come to the celebration disguised as humans to ask for a part of the fire, which, when freely given, would give the faeries some measure of power over the giver.

 Beltane is the cross quarter holiday between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice it is the time when the abundance of flowers and green is a welcome relief from winters drabness; it was traditionally a day for leaping the Beltane fires, which were lit to honour the sun god, and for celebrating fertility.

 Beltane celebrates the blessing between Mother Earth and Father Sky and honours all life.

 Both are times when the “veil” between the worlds is thought to be thinnest, and therefore magik can happen, such as visits from faeries or similar other-worldly occurrences.

 This is a good time for invoking our spirit guides to help us.

 A blessed Beltane to you!

 

Samhain in Northern Hemisphere

To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a Blessed Samhain, as the cold and snow begins to come your way may you stay warm and cosy.  Enjoy Halloween and trick or treating.  Blessed Be!

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Article by Selena Fox

As October turns to November, thousands of Witches, Wiccans, Druids, and other Pagans across America, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere observe the sacred time of Samhain. Samhain is a festival of the Dead. Meaning “Summer’s End” and pronounced saah-win or saa-ween, Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year. For many practitioners, myself included, Samhain also is the beginning of the spiritual new year.

 

Originating in ancient Europe as a Celtic Fire festival, Samhain is now celebrated worldwide. The timing of contemporary Samhain celebrations varies according to spiritual tradition and geography. Many of us celebrate Samhain over the course of several days and nights, and these extended observances usually include a series of solo rites as well as ceremonies, feasts, and gatherings with family, friends, and spiritual community. In the northern hemisphere, many Pagans celebrate Samhain from sundown on October 31 through November 1. Others hold Samhain celebrations on the nearest weekend or on the Full or New Moon closest to this time. Some Pagans observe Samhain a bit later, or near November 6, to coincide more closely with the astronomical midpoint between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice. Most Pagans in the southern hemisphere time their Samhain observances to coincide with the middle of their Autumn in late April and early May, rather than at the traditional European time of the holiday.

Samhain also has been known by other names. Some Celtic Wiccans and Druids call it Calan Gaeaf, Calan Gwaf, Kala-Goanv, or Nos Galan Gaeof. In Welsh, it is Nos Cyn Calan Gaual. It also is known as Oie Houney. A medieval book of tales, the Yellow Book of Lecan, reports that common folk called it the “Feast of Mongfind,” the legendary Witch-Queen who married a King of Tara in old Ireland. In the ancient Coligny Calendar, an engraved bronze dating from the first century C.E.and dug up in 1897 in France, Samhain is called Trinouxtion Samonii, or “Three Nights of the End of Summer.” Variant spellings of Samhain include Samain, Samuin, and Samhuinn.

With the growth and spread of Christianity as the dominant religion throughout Europe, Samhain time took on Christian names and guises. All Saints’ Day or All Hallows on November 1 commemorated Christian saints and martyrs. All Souls’ Day on November 2 was a remembrance for all souls of the dead. With the coming of Christian Spaniards to Mexico, the indigenous customs of honoring the dead at this time of year mixed with Roman Catholicism and gave birth to the Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, in early November. Samhain shares the ancient spiritual practice of remembering and paying respects to the Dead with these related religious holidays of Christianity.

Halloween, short for All Hallow’s Eve, is celebrated on and around October 31. Although occurring at the same time of year and having roots in end-of-harvest celebrations of the ancient past, Halloween and Samhain are not the same, but two separate holidays that differ considerably in focus and practice. In contemporary America and elsewhere, Halloween is a secular folk holiday. Like its cousin, Thanksgiving, it is widely and publicly celebrated in homes, schools, and communities, large and small, by people of many paths, ethnic heritages, and worldviews. Furthermore, Halloween has evolved to be both a family-oriented children’s holiday as well as an occasion for those of all ages to creatively express themselves and engage in play in the realm of make-believe and fantasy through costumes, trick-or-treating, storytelling, play-acting, pranks, cathartic scary place visits, and parties.

In contrast, Samhain and its related Christian holiday counterparts continue to be religious in focus and spiritually observed by adherents. Although observances may include merry-making, the honoring of the Dead that is central to Samhain is a serious religious practice rather than a light-hearted make-believe re-enactment. Today’s Pagan Samhain rites, while somber, are benevolent, and, although centered on death, do not involve human or animal sacrifices. Most Samhain rituals are held in private rather than in public.

Samhain’s long association with death and the Dead reflects Nature’s rhythms. In many places, Samhain coincides with the end of the growing season. Vegetation dies back with killing frosts, and therefore, literally, death is in the air. This contributes to the ancient notion that at Samhain, the veil is thin between the world of the living and the realm of the Dead and this facilitates contact and communication. For those who have lost loved ones in the past year, Samhain rituals can be an opportunity to bring closure to grieving and to further adjust to their being in the Otherworld by spiritually communing with them.

Selena Fox is senior minister of Circle Sanctuary, an international Wiccan church and Pagan resource center headquartered in the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin, USA. Selena also is a psychotherapist, a minister active in interfaith endeavors, and a guest speaker at conferences, festivals, colleges and universities and other venues. Her writings have appeared in a variety of publications in-print and on-line. More info about her and her endeavors: www.selenafox.com.

 

Halloween Month – Demon’s Reach By Will Macmillan Jones

Today I have Demon’s Reach, book five in the Mister Jones Mysteries, by my friend Will Macmillan Jones.  If you like being kept on the edge of your seat then this is the series for you.

Will Demons Reach

 

 

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All families have secrets or skeletons in the cupboard, hidden away from view. Most of those secrets are better left undisturbed, for very good reasons. When Mister Jones agrees to deal with the Estate of a recently deceased cousin, he finds that the secrets hidden by his family are very dark indeed, and that the skeletons in this cupboard are very real – and not yet entirely dead.

Drawn once more by Fate into a world where magic and myth are all too real and danger lurks at every turn, Mister Jones confronts a past that seeks again to become the present, and to plunge his future into a rising Darkness.

Can he escape the Demon’s Reach?

 

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Halloween Month – Death Walks Through By Lisa Williamson

Today I have Death Walks Through, a short story collection by my friend Lisa Williamson.

Death Walks Through

 

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Every culture has some type of figure of Death. The Grim Reaper who collects souls as they lie dying. For some he is the cruel face of an end come too soon, for others a gentle healer of life lived too long.

But there is another face to this spectral figure. Death walks through the world, helping those souls that linger between this world and the next, those trapped by circumstance, wish, desire or loss.

So many souls linger needing but a gentle voice and hand to help them move past the final moments of their lives.

This collection contains 15 tales of beings who either know not that they are dead or just how to move on.

This book collects together 14 previous published short stories and includes one totally new story.

 

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Halloween Month – Bumps In The Night By Anthony Renfro

Today I have for you Bumps In The Night, a collection of short stories, by author Anthony Renfro.  There is also an excerpt from The Dragon.

 

BumpsInTheNight

 

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4 Stars out of 5: Unique stories

6 tales filled with gore and suspense.

The Headless Fountain Man

A simple photo. A quick snap shot. One woman’s perfect picture is about to become her scariest nightmare.

Devil at the Wheel

A Joyride in a Chevy Chevelle. The car was just sitting there for the taking. What could possibly go wrong? Vinnie and Mike are about to find out what can and will go wrong once they turn the key. Evil awaits.

Fear of the Scarecrow

This short story is about a desperate man hungry for revenge. Sometimes revenge comes with a price.

The Dragon

A simple machine. Able to answer requests. Able to play music. Able to turn on lights and answer questions. Fun and enjoyable technology, but what happens when this machine is able to manifest actual things. In this short story two guys worst fears will come to life.

Webs

A pyramid in the deep dry desert. What secrets lie within its walls? One explorer is about to find his greatest desire and his worst nightmare inside this ancient artifact.

A Haunted House Tale

This short story is about five students on Halloween night who discover the secrets and terrors of the town’s most famous haunted house. Will they live to see the morning?

 

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EXP: The Dragon

“This is too cool,” Pat replied. “Let’s see what else we can ask it. Dragon, what color is the sky?”

“It is blue,” she replied, softly, easily. “Would you want to know why?”

“No,” Doug replied, as he looked at his friend with a bit of anger in his eyes.

“What?”

“We can ask it baby questions all night, but let’s try something tougher? Let’s try something for giggles.”

“Like what?” Pat asked, almost knowing that whatever his friend was going to do was going to be bad. He had a way of getting both of them into trouble. It was his idea, of course, to break into this house.

Doug thought about the question for a moment, staring out the window, staring at the black of night draped all over the lake. Thinking of a question, a real doozy, he turned to face the machine. “Dragon, what is 666?” He asked, smirking like a kid standing in front of a cookie jar.

“That is the number of the beast. Shall I summon it or a demon for you?” Dragon answered with her soft female voice never once raising or lowering her tone.

Pat looked at Doug, and Doug looked at him. Pat saw in his friend’s eyes that dark mischievous look, and before Pat could tell his friend not to do it Doug’s mouth was opening, spilling out this next phrase.

“Sure, Dragon, summon a demon for me. A really nasty one from the deepest pits of Hell,” Doug replied, and laughed.

Pat punched Doug on the arm. “What the hell did you do that for?”

“Just thought it would be funny. Besides, it won’t do it. Machines can’t make things manifest like that. If they could, don’t you think I would have asked for a girl instead?” Doug replied.

“But they’re making these machines smarter these days.”

“So, she can now conjure up a demon out of thin air. Tell me you’re not that stupid.”

“Guess you’re right. That would be impossible,” Pat replied, and looked at the machine.

The machine did not respond to Doug’s command. It just sat there silent and lifeless, almost like it was thinking or pondering something.

“See, told you nothing would happen,” Doug replied, turning away from the machine that was now kind of given him the creeps. He didn’t like the fact that it hadn’t responded with a response that it couldn’t do the requested action. That bothered him for some reason, and he didn’t know why . . .

 

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Halloween Month – Riptide:Betrayal of Blood By Claudette Melanson

Today I have Riptide:Betrayal of Blood, from the Maura DeLuca trilogy, by author Claudette Melanson.

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Praise for Riptide:
“I will scream it from the rooftops how much I love this series.”
“I can only say that Riptide is one of the best modern vampire stories I have ever read, and I read them all from Stephen King to Ann Rice to Stephenie Meyer.”
“Riptide was action packed and the fight scenes were well written but more than that it was the story of family and love, of taking responsibility, and dealing with hate when all sane avenues fail.”
“The lore is superb, as is the writing. I can’t wait to catch up with Maura again!”

The 3rd book in the 1st of several trilogies featuring Maura & her family!

2017 New Apple Solo Medalist for Summer eBook – Young Adult General Fiction
Maura has never felt so alone in her life…nor has her existence ever been so overshadowed by peril…

Not only do both her parents—her distant but loving mother and recently- returned father—remain absent from her life, but due to the hideous error in judgement executed in collusion with her best friend, Valdamir, and adoptive sister, Susie, Maura has been cut off from the pair’s friendship and support, forbidden by both her father and the fallout from the dire outcome to see either of them. The heartbreak she suffers, brought on by the weight of these estrangements, is only intensified by the continued mysterious absence of her supernaturally-destined mate, Ron…whose disappearance delivers grave consequences Maura would have never dreamed possible…

Despised by her vampire cousin, Aldiva, for reasons Maura cannot yet comprehend, the young changeling will be forced to guard her back with every step, as she comes to realize this member of her vampire family would love nothing more than to bring about her demise. Aldiva’s wrath calls forth other members from both Vancouver covens, forcing them to rush to Maura’s aid—even though her father, their king, has expressly forbidden the other vampires to initiate contact with his daughter. Will her extended family on Vancouver Island obey, abandoning Maura to her doom, or will they instead rebel against Maxwell’s wishes in order to save her life?

In addition to the menace personified in her unsolicited enemy, the unlikely vampire princess will find herself drowning as she is pulled down into the depths of a far more devastating crisis…one which may condemn her to a fate she considers much more undesirable than death. But in order to tear herself free from the deadly pull which is drawing her under, Maura must enlist the help of her preternatural family, exposing her newfound friends to a danger none of them have ever had the misfortune to face before. Can she be saved or will the riptide drag Maura under…along with those she loves the most…

In this third and final book of The Maura DeLuca Trilogy,the first of several trilogies to come, the reader will delve even deeper into the secrets guarded by Maura’s father, the mystery of Ron’s role in her life and the identities of the mysterious Vancouver Island Coven members who have, up until now, remained hidden in the shadows. This trilogy rounds out the segment of Maura’s life during which she discovers she is a member of The Born—a human destined to complete her transformation into a vampire! This series of young adult fantasy novels has been enjoyed by readers of nearly every age and are found by them to be dramatically different from any other vampire books they have read in the past. Discover a magical world filled with fae, angels, elves, pixies and other enchanting creatures in addition to two families made up of some of the most likeable vampires—for the most part—to ever exist. Scroll up to read a sample once the book is available!

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Halloween Month -The Curse of Clyffe House By Will Macmillan Jones

Today I have The Curse of Clyffe House, book four in the Mister Jones Mysteries, by my friend Will Macmillan Jones.  As in all this series it will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Curse of Clyffe House

 

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The Curse of Clyffe House is the fourth in the Mister Jones Mysteries collection

It was supposed to be a holiday, time away whilst his friend and neighbour wrote a book about their last adventure. But as soon as Mister Jones arrives at the holiday cottage things start to go wrong, and waking up to find a skeleton in his bed is only the start. Terror stalks this cottage and before long Mister Jones discovers an ancient Evil is plotting to wreak devastation across the land; and it will start with his death.

Poison, fear and a horrific Shadow from long ago stand between their survival: can Mister Jones and his friend defeat the Curse of Clyffe House and live?
Praise for the Mister Jones Mysteries collection on Amazon:

‘I could not put the book down’

‘Creepy and unsettling’

‘Don’t read alone in the dark’

‘Sparsely told in a classic horror style’

‘A mad rush into danger that horror lovers will adore’

‘A classic, Dennis Wheatley feel’

‘Read it in one sitting’

‘Two days later, I can still remember every detail’

 

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Halloween Month -A Haunted House Tale By Anthony Renfro

Today I have A Haunted House Tale by author Anthony Renfro.  It will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Haunted House

 

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Will this evil house devour more victims? This short story is about five college students on Halloween night that set out to discover the secrets of the town’s most famous haunted house.

Bonus Short Story: The Living Sand – This short story is about two boys who discover a hidden beach and the evil deadly secrets that lie within its soft white grains of sand.

Bonus Short Story: Demon Energy – This short story is about a man possessed and tormented by a thousand demons and his struggle against a losing battle to save his soul.

 

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