Beltane in Southern Hemisphere – Samhain in Northern Hemisphere

Many blessings to those of us in the Southern Hemisphere as we celebrate Beltane and welcome the summer days ahead.  Blessed Be!

BeltaneBlessings

A blessed Beltane to you!

In the southern hemisphere, the first week of November brings the cross-quarter day that marks the end of spring and the start of the heat and energy of summer, and the festival of love. It’s a time of lovers and spells to attract love, and celebrating the fertility of life, not just physically, but also of our dreams and ambitions. Symbolically this day marks the igniting of the fires of creativity and passion, of the fertility of our desires being made manifest, as the universe bursts with a raw energy and power that we can tap in to simply by breathing it in.
In the northern hemisphere Beltane falls around May Day, and while it has no relevance to us in terms of timing, I have been part of a coven ritual that involved a maypole dance, to represent the union of god and goddess at this point in the Wheel of the Seasonal Year. I’ve also leapt over the Beltane fires, although that was before I met my husband, when I jumped over it with friends as part of a personal ritual of purification and preparation, leaping out of my past, burning away the relationship issues that had kept my heart closed, and towards a future where love was possible (I met my partner two months later).
While I’ve been known to dress up as a vampire or a fairy and go to a Halloween party on October 31, privately or with coven members or witchie friends I’m celebrating the new blossoms and the vitality and fertility of Beltane at this time.

So, while it’s perhaps a little easier for northern hemisphere goddess worshippers to celebrate the cycle of the seasons, given that so many of them are actually woven into “normal” life, when you tune in to the earth and the rhythms of nature it is easy to know when it’s the right time to celebrate any of the old festivals. Because whether you live in the north, where they began, or the south, adding your own personal meaning to the traditional forms of celebration, the sabbats are still relevant to our lives. Even today, when we no longer live in harmony with the earth’s rhythms or agricultural cycles, modern pagans celebrate the Wheel of the Year as an honouring of nature and an acknowledgement of the continuing cycle of life, death and rebirth, both literally and symbolically. Becoming aware of the seasonal shifts and the patterns of nature wherever you live, and celebrating these ancient but still relevant festivals, is a simple way to tap in to the magic of the universe and harness it for your own growth. We may no longer grow our own grain or purify the fields with fire, but these celebrations still have power, particularly in the symbolic form – planting the seeds of our dreams in the metaphorical spring, watching them grow and manifest in the world before we give thanks for our literal harvest, then allowing the things that no longer serve us to die off or be released in our own personal winter, then starting all over again with new dreams as we celebrate our own rebirth.
I’ve spent a few sabbats in the northern hemisphere, leaping the Beltane fires in Glastonbury’s Chalice Well Gardens, sitting inside the Great Pyramid on the morning of the summer solstice, watching the sun set over the Hill of Tara at Lughnasadh, and the energy of each season is intense, real and tangible no matter which hemisphere I am in. Whenever I celebrate these magical turning points of our planet I feel so strongly a part of the earth, at one with nature and the universe. And so, regardless of which half of the world I’m in, I always acknowledge the opposite festival as well, in some small way. Perhaps this isn’t as important for those in the north, but for me it seems right to acknowledge the turning seasons all over the world, the beautiful, gracefully balanced dance of light and dark, heat and cold, day and night, that makes up this world that we are all a part of.
We are all connected to the earth, no matter where we live, and we need to learn how to (and accept that we can) follow the seasons of nature in our own unique way, based on the rising and setting of the sun in our own home town, the cycles of the moon as it crosses our part of the sky, and the very personal language of nature that is so different – and yet so similar –according to our own unique landscape.


Serene Conneeley is a healer, writer and witch who lives in Sydney, Australia. She is a reconnective healing practitioner and has studied magical and medicinal herbalism, reiki and many other healing modalities, as well as politics and journalism. Her first book, Seven Sacred Sites: Magical Journeys That Will Change Your Life, has just been published.

 

Samhain  in Northern Hemisphere

Blessings to all my friends in the Northern Hemisphere as you celebrate Samhain and welcome the colder months. Blessed Be!

SamhainGreeting.jpg

 

Samhain Lore and Traditions

October 31 — Samhain Eve
Also known as: November Eve, Feast of the Dead, Feast of Apples, Hallows
and All Hallows Eve.
Possibly the biggest festival of the Witches’ year, Samhain is a time to remember those who have passed on, celebrate the Summers end and prepare for Winter months ahead. The Sun God and earth fall into slumber, as the nights lengthen and winter begins.

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.

Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Also known as All Hallow’s Eve, (that day actually falls on November 7th), and Martinmas (that is celebrated November 11th), Samhain is now generally considered the Witch’s New Year.

It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st.It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands.

It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort. Tradition also teaches that the aid of spirits and guides from the other world was easily enlisted at this time, so in the increasing moonlight of longer nights, many used this time to hone their psychic and divinatory skills, especially with regard to love and marriage.

Originally known as the “Feast of the Dead” this sabbat was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”.Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos.

The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.

The Christian religion has adopted this day as All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day, celebrating the eve as All Hallows Eve, or Halloween. The superstition and misconception linked to this celebration by the early church, led people to take some unusual precautions to protect themselves. They adopted the tradition of dressing in frightening costumes or disguises, and displaying scary looking Jack-O-Lanterns to help protect them from spirits they considered to be evil. In the British Isles, the young people would disguise themselves with hideous masks and walk through the village, lighting their way with lanterns made from carved turnips.

This was also the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person’s fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

Symbolism of Samhain:
Third Harvest, the Dark Mysteries, Rebirth through Death.

Symbols of Samhain:
Gourds, Apples, Black Cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, Besoms.

Herbs of Samhain:
Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, Oak leaves, Sage and Straw.

Foods of Samhain:
Turnips, Apples, Gourds, Nuts, Mulled Wines, Beef, Pork, Poultry.

Incense of Samhain:
Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg.

Colors of Samhain:
Black, Orange, White, Silver, Gold.

Stones of Samhain:
All Black Stones, preferably jet or obsidian.

Traditional Foods:
Apples, Pears, Pomegranates, All Grains, Pumpkin-pie, Hazelnuts, Cakes for the dead, Corn, Cranberry muffins and breads, Ale, Cider, Herbal teas (especially Mugwort) and Meat unless vegetarian and then tofu will do.

Herbs:
Calendula, Cosmos, Chrysanthemum, Wormwood, Hazel, Thistle.

Incense:
Mint, Heliotrope, Nutmeg, Sage or Floral’s.

Woods and Herbs Burned:
Apple, Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg, Sage.

Sacred Gemstone:
Aquamarine.

For further information on rites and rituals to celebrate the sabbats, we reccommend:

Pagan Holidays and Earth Magic by Kardia Zoe

However you choose to celebrate Samhain, be adventurous and investigate some of the older traditions. There is a large amount of interesting and sometimes comical lore surrounding this date. As an aside, it’s OK. to dress up as Witches’, Goblins and have fun with the more nonsense aspects of this holiday. It is good however to set aside some time to learn the true meaning behind this date and follow those observances as our ancestors did.

Blessed Be!

Reference:  https://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/samhainlore.htm

Advertisements

Halloween Promotion – Possibilities By Lisa Williamson

The final Halloween Promotion for this year is for Possibilities, book one of Dark Games by my friend Lisa Williamson.

41wvOrnP7pL

 

There are hunters and hunted out on the dark streets of the city.

We all know what a vampire is. A blood drinking, undead creature of the night. But there are other kinds of vampires and other kinds of vampire hunters.

What if there was one who trolled the lounges to drain you dry of your Possibilities?

 

Links7

 

AMAZON US      AMAZON UK

WEBSITE       BLOG       FACEBOOK       TWITTER

AMAZON AUTHOR

Halloween Promotion – Waking Up Dead by Catherine Wolffe

Today’s promotion is for Waking Up Dead, book two in the Western Werewolf Legends, by author Catherine Wolffe.

WOLFE4.jpg

 

Description1

The truth, Sonja Brooks understands is relevant. She’s a werewolf with a special ‘gift’ and faces danger at every turn. Now, the bloodsuckers stalk her family and the man she loves.

He vowed to protect his men despite the cost. Tyler Loflin must save them and Sonja from the threat of Yankee vampires. Seeking help from one of them will test his faith in the human he once knew and his own strength as a newly born werewolf.

Escaping to a better place, Ty and Sonja set out for Texas, but will the freedom and safety they seek elude them?

 

Catherine Wolffe Bio:

“Sparks fly as her stories come to life on the page.”  – Ally Thomas.  Join Catherine Wolffe for paranormal tales sure to entrance you.  From Werewolves in history to SEALS with special powers, fighting for each other, Catherine evokes men and women at the height of the struggle for good over evil. 

 

Links7

 

AMAZON US       AMAZON UK

WEBSITE       FACEBOOK       TWITTER

AMAZON AUTHOR

Halloween Promotion – Chill Bumps by Anthony Renfro

Today’s promotion is for Chill Bumps a collection of scary short stories by author Anthony Renfro.

chillbumps.jpg

 

Description1

6 Tales of Horror and Suspense

The Man from the Road: A man suddenly appears on a road. He’s lost, confused, no clue as to how he got there. He starts to walk and stops suddenly. There’s a bonfire in a field nearby. He sees people dancing around this fire. They are performing some kind of ritual. He turns to flee, but he’s captured. No chance of escape. He hopes he is only dreaming, because all of this seems a bit too real.

A Haunted House Tale: Five college students on Halloween night set out to discover the secrets of the town’s most infamous haunted house. Will these students live to see the morning or will this house claim five more victims?

Demon Energy: A short story about 1 man possessed and tormented by a 1000 demons who must fight for a soul he is starting to lose. Will he ever find salvation or is his body now an eternal host of hell?

SHe: A monster stalks the city of Tampa Bay. This monster is only attacking women taking only the one thing it needs. Tim Roberts, a detective, is hot on this monster’s trail. Will he catch this monster in time or will this monster feed until it has its fill? Be careful Tim, this monster has a secret yet to be revealed.

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.

Killer Treads: A short story about a man who sees a flashy ad online advertising a twenty dollar treadmill. He buys the machine, too cheap to be scared, and realizes much to his dismay that this machine has a taste for blood. Big Bob better run like his life depends on it because in many ways it does.

 

Excerpt2

EXP: A Haunted House Tale

The passenger door opened.

Robert stumbled out of the car and into the busted, broken asphalt driveway. Weeds swished against his pants as he walked over to a nearby fountain and looked at it. In the center of this fountain was a moss-covered concrete statue of a kid on his knees about to roll a ball.

“Well, he’s out, better go after him,” Scott replied, pushing back the passenger seat so he could join his friend.

Kevin pulled the keys out of the ignition, and climbed out as well. Once outside the car, he leaned back in and looked at the girls. “We’ve come this far. Might as well see what all the fuss is about.”

The girls looked at each other as Kevin went around to the trunk and opened it up.

“What do you say, Suzy?”

“As long as you stay with me.”

“I’ll be right by your side, promise.”

“Let’s go then.”

The two girls climbed out of the car, and walked over to where Scott and Robert were standing in front of the fountain.

“Would you look at this place?” Kevin replied when he joined his friends.

“It is crazy scary,” Scott replied.

“Just the pot man. Come on. Let’s get the gear and get inside,” Kevin replied, walking back to the car.

His friends joined him a second later, and the gear was quickly swept up by all five of them. With gear in hand and five flashlights beaming, they walked over to the gate and stopped. This gate was attached to a silver rusty fence, which was broken in many spots as it made its way around the forgotten yard. Kevin pulled the gate open, and it let out a screech that sounded like a scream, as the rusty hinges were forced back into service. He stepped onto the broken sidewalk, which was mostly tall grass and weeds now, and led the way to the busted porch.

 

Links7

Only available at these locations: Not available on Amazon.

https://www.books2read.com/u/3J006A

AMAZON AUTHOR       FACEBOOK

 

Halloween Promotion – Nightlight Tales by Anthony Renfro

Today’s Halloween post is for Nightlight Tales a collection of scary stories by author Anthony Renfro.

Nightlight Tales - High Resolution

 

Description1

5 out of 5 stars – Terrific plots and plenty of chills and thrills

1. The Man from the Road: A man suddenly appears on a road. He’s lost, confused, no clue as to how he got there. He starts to walk and stops suddenly. There’s a bonfire in a field nearby. He sees people dancing around this fire. They are performing some kind of ritual. He turns to flee, but he’s captured. No chance of escape. He hopes he is only dreaming, because all of this seems a bit too real.

2. The Living Sand: Two boys discover a hidden beach and the evil deadly secrets that lie within its soft white grains of sand.

3. SHe: A monster stalks the city of Tampa Bay. This monster is only attacking women taking only the one thing it needs. Tim Roberts, a detective, is hot on this monster’s trail. Will he catch this monster in time or will this monster feed until it has its fill? Be careful Tim, this monster has a secret yet to be revealed.

4. A Zombie Christmas: Three men risk life and limb in a Zombie Apocalypse in order to bring happiness to surviving kids on Christmas Morning.

5. Need to Feed: Another year. Another massacre looming. When the sun rises on the Old West town of Saltwater Junction this town will face head on two fierce predators. Vampires who stalk you in the sunlight and werewolves that transform with the sunrise. This short story rewrites the legends and all you’ve ever known about these creatures of the night. Where do you go when there’s no place left to hide?

6. A Haunted House Tale: Five college students on Halloween night set out to discover the secrets of the town’s most infamous haunted house. Will these students live to see the morning or will this house claim five more victims?

7. A Zombie Thanksgiving: A woman risks life and limb in a Zombie Apocalypse in order to keep the Thanksgiving tradition alive.

8. Sandy and The Stranger: A road racing champion meets his match in the form of a stranger who may or may not be the ghost of James Dean himself.

9. Demon Energy: A short story about 1 man possessed and tormented by a 1000 demons who must fight for a soul he is starting to lose. Will he ever find salvation or is his body now an eternal host of hell?

10. Killer Treads: A short story about a man who sees a flashy ad online advertising a twenty dollar treadmill. He buys the machine, too cheap to be scared, and realizes much to his dismay that this machine has a taste for blood. Big Bob better run like his life depends on it because in many ways it does.

11. A Zombie New Year’s Eve: Becky and Joe are separated in a Zombie Apocalypse and risk life and limb in order to reunite for their New Year’s Eve kiss.

12. 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.

13. A Vampire at Christmas: A Vampire uses his riches and immortal skills to bring joy to those in need during the Christmas Season.

Excerpt2

EXP. A Haunted House Tale

It was one of those old houses, the ones you see in all the scary films or the ones that are among the scary stories told to you when you were just a kid, a ramshackle Victorian home a century old, vacant, empty, haunted.

A car pulled up in front of this house and stopped. Its lights spread across the weedy overgrown lawn, and the dead landscaping. This light also highlighted a large front porch. This empty porch was now sagging in all the wrong spots.

Inside the car were five people, aged 18–25. Kevin, Scott, Robert, Suzy and her girlfriend Nancy. They all attended the local college together, and they studied very similar subjects. It made them instant friends.

They were out on this night, and at this house for one reason, Halloween. They wanted a good scare, and a cheap thrill to make this holiday perfect. Little did they know, they were about to get everything they desired, and so much more.

 

Links7

 

AMAZON US       AMAZON UK       AMAZON AU       AMAZON CA

AMAZON AUTHOR       FACEBOOK

Scary Promotions for October

halloween-promotion

 

Hi Everyone

Have you any scary books or stories you would like to promote for the Halloween month.

If so send me your Cover, Blurb, Book Links and Social Media links i.e. Blog, Facebook, Twitter.

Email me at chkara.silverwolf@bigpond.com  You must put BOOK PROMOTION in the subject line so that your emails do not get lost.

If you would like to include an excerpt or chapter please do so.

Beltane in Southern Hemisphere – Samhaim in Northern Hemisphere

Blessings to all in the Southern Hemisphere as we celebrate Beltane.    We of course also do Halloween for the kids both little and big.   But for those of us who celebrate the Sabbats it will be Beltane. Blessed Be!

beltane2

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!

happy-halloween

Samhain – Northern Hemisphere

And to all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish for you a blessed Samhain and Happy Halloween.  Blessed Be!

samhain1

How To Celebrate the God & Goddess at Samhain

Posted on October 31, 2014 by ladyoftheabyss

In some Wiccan traditions, by Samhain, the Goddess has entered her incarnation of Crone. She is the Old One, the earth mother, the wise one we turn to when we need advice. She teaches us that sometimes we must let go in order to move on. The God, at Samhain, is the Horned One, the stag of great antlers, the god of the wild hunt. He is the animal that dies so that we may eat, and the grains and corn that once lived in the field before our harvest. We can honor these late-fall aspects of both the Goddess and the God in one ritual.

Begin by casting a circle, if your tradition requires it. Prior to starting the ceremony, place three sheaves of corn or wheat around the ritual space. You’ll also need a statue or other image of the God and of the Goddess at the center of your altar. Around the statues, place five candles — red and black to represent the dark aspect of the Goddess, green and brown to symbolize the wild God, and white for the hearth and home.

Place a plate of dark bread, enough for each person present, near the center of the altar, along with a cup of wine or cider. Circle the altar. The youngest person present will act as the Handmaiden, and the oldest as the High Priest (HP) or High Priestess (HPs). If you’re performing this rite as a solitary, simply take on both parts. The HPs lights the red and black candles, and says:

A pair of candles is lit
in honor of the Goddess.
She is Maiden and Mother throughout the year
and tonight we honor her as Crone.

Next, the HPs lights the brown and green candles, saying:

A pair of candles is lit
in honor of the God.
He is wild and fertile and animal
and tonight we honor him as the Horned God.

The Handmaiden takes the bread and walks the circle with the plate, allowing each person to tear off a chunk. As they do so, she says: May the blessings of the Goddess be upon you. The cup of wine or cider is passed around, and each person takes a sip. As they do, the Handmaiden should say: May the blessings of the God be upon you.

The Handmaiden then lights the fifth candle, for the hearth, saying:

This candle is lit
in honor of hearth and home.
The mother and father, the Goddess and God,
watch over us tonight as we honor them.

The HPs then takes over, saying:

We light these five candles
for the powerful Goddess
and her mighty horned consort, the God,
and for the safety of home and hearth.
On this, the night of Samhain,
when the Goddess is a wise Crone,
and the God is a wild stag,
we honor them both.

The Handmaiden says:

This is a time between the worlds,
a time of life and a time of death.
This is a night unlike any other night.
Ancient ones, we ask your blessing.
Goddess, great Crone, mother of all life,
we thank you for your wisdom.
Horned God, master of the wild hunt, keeper of the forest,
we thank you for all that you provide.

At this time, the rest of the group may also say thanks. If you wish to make an offering to the God and Goddess, now is the time to place it upon the altar.

Once all offerings have been made, and thanks given, take a moment to meditate on the new beginnings of Samhain. Consider the gifts that the gods have given you over the past year, and think about how you might show them your gratitude in the coming twelve months. As the old year dies, make room in the new year for new things in your life. You may not know yet what’s coming, but you can certainly imagine, dream and hope. Tonight, this night between the worlds, is the perfect time to imagine what things may come.

End the ritual in the way called for by your tradition.

Tips:

  • Decorate your altar with symbols of the God — antlers, acorns, pine cones, phallic symbols — and representations of the Goddess, such as red flowers, cups, pomegranates, etc.
  • If your tradition honors a specific pair of male and female deities, feel free to substitute their names in this ritual wherever it says God or Goddess.

By Patti Wigington

Paganism/Wicca Expert