Just an FYI this site will be going down for maintenance in the next couple of hours. Should be up by tomorrow. I apologize for any incovenience.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Samhain!

Friday, October 30, 2009
I wanted to take time off today from my series on connecting with your family this holiday season to wish you all a Happy Samhain.

We plan on taking both of our kids trick-or-treating this evening and then may include the youngest in ritual but with the oldest not being Pagan this becomes very difficult. But for those that are planning on doing ritual with their children make sure to check out Friday's post.

So here's hoping that you have a fun and a safe Samhain.

Blessed Be!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Samhain Ritual for Children

Thursday, October 29, 2009
  • Four Candles -- yellow, red, blue, green,
  • A bowl of water
  • A bowl of dirt
  • A feather
  • Musical Instruments if you so wish
  • Bell for each of the children participating
  • Jack O' Lantern

Arrange the colored candles and other items in a circle around you. In the East put the yellow candle and the feather. In the South put the red candle. In the West put the bowl of water and the blue candle. And finally in the North put the bowl of dirt and the green candle. Light these candles as you set them out. Walk with your children from candle to candle, ringing a bell as you leave from candle to another.

Start in the East and tell them that it represents Air. Wave the feather at them so that they can feel the wind.

In the South tell them that here is Fire represented. Carefully let them feel the heat from the candle.

In the West talk to them about Water. Have them wash their hands in the water.

In the North speak about the element of Earth. Let them touch the dirt.

When you return to the Center talk to them about the Goddess and the God and how they are always there. Let them know about Love and the Blessings that the Gods can give us.

Now sit with your children and tell them about Samhain. Tell them that this is the time that our ancestors can cross over and visit. Set out a plate for the dead and for the Gods. Read them a children's story for Samhain.

But don't let this day be all about solemnity. Have some fun and celebrate. Play some music and sing some chants. Raise some energy.

When you are done spend the rest of this Sabbat enjoying a huge feast. Take a look through the different recipes that I have posted in the last few weeks or cook your own. But be sure to enjoy the bounty of the Earth at this the third harvest.

Since many of you will be trick or treating tomorrow, here is a link to a site on safety. Remember safety is important, fun can come later.

Blessed Be!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lord of the Underworld

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
This is a repost from an earlier series on the different aspects of the God. But with Samhain being here this weekend I figured that it was appropriate to go back over this darker aspect.
Rede of the Lord of the Underworld

Hark and listen to my words. I who am Hades, Lord of the Underworld; who is Mars, God of War; Who has been the misshapen Blacksmith, Hephaestus. I am also the Holly King and the Lord of Shadows. The Boat Keeper Charon and he River Styx are also some of my incarnations. I am the Guide to and through the Underworld. I am the pair of the Crone and the Dark Mother.

I am the Darkness but I urge you not to fear me. War comes and yes it brings death and pain, but i also brings a chance for rebirth and renewed prosperity. The Underworld is the hidden part of the soul in every man and woman. The place where pain, hate and anger is locked away. Yet I am Lord of th is region and as such I can help you to tame this energy and use it for good. To change pain to pleasure - hate to love and anger to peace. So when you feel like all is against you then turn to me and I will aid you. I provide the power for you to help thyself.

As Hephaestus I am the protector of the outcasted people and the Unloved. For often the most beautiful comes from those with the greatest physical beauty, do you not agree? For beautiful art and other things created comes not from the body but from the heart and soul and mind. So worry not when the world laughs and jeers at you, stay strong and I will send you friends.

And if Winter has come to your life, do not be unhappy. For Winter is a time of rest and a chance for your life or the Earth to become fertile again. Just think of how fast things grow when the Spring comes and melts the snow.

And Have Heart.

Anubis, the Jackal God of the Egyptians is a good example of the power of this aspect. Even though he was shunned and made fun of by the Romans his worship continued at least until the second century in Rome.
As the God of dying and later of death, he was the guide of the souls through the veil. And as such he was known and prayed to as the protector of lost souls, such as orphans. Anubis was also the weigher of souls and this makes him a god of judgement as well.

The lame smith God of the Greeks Hephaestus is my favorite God that falls into this aspect. His lesson is that you can be unpopular and not have good looks but still be in great need. The myths tell us that he was given the hand of Aphrodite because of his great crafting skill.
In fact his skill was in such demand that he wound up making most of the necessary items of legend for the other Gods and Heroes of old.
Hermes' winged helmet and sandals, the Aegis breastplate, Aphrodite's famed girdle, Agamemnon's staff of office, Achilles' armor, Heracles' bronze clappers, Helios' chariot, the shoulder of Pelops, and Eros' (Cupid) bow and arrows.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Decorating for Samhain

Thursday, October 8, 2009
In my house we have a grapevine wreath and a family altar. Both of which we decorate for the Sabbats.  And if you decide to do this as well, the question may come up: "What do I decorate it with?"

Well there are many different things that you can do decorate it with. Our wreath and altar are pretty much unchanged since the last time we changed it at Lughnasadh. But we have removed the plastic corn and added squashes and gourds instead. For Samhain we will be adding a small pumpkin to the altar.

Here is a small list of the different things that you can decorate your altar or wreath with:
  • Apples
  • Acorns
  • Gourds 
  • Squashes
  • Pumpkins
  • Indian Corn
  • Oak Leaves - in Autumn colors
  • Pomegranates
Happy Decorating and Blessed Be!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

God of the Week -- Freyr

Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The Norse God of sun and rain he was also recognized as the God of bountiful harvests. In addition to this dichotomy he was also a God of peace and a powerful warrior.

The most beautiful of the male members of the Vanir (one of the two tribes of the Norse pantheon) he was later also called the "Lord of the Aesir".

In the Elder Edda there is a verse that sums him up.
Freyr is the best
Of all the chiefs
Among the gods.
He causes not tears
To maids or mothers:
His desire is to loosen the fetters
Of those enchained
He is married to the beautiful giantess Gerd, and is the son of Njord. His sister is Freya. He rides a chariot pulled by the golden boar Gullinbursti which was made for him by the dwarves Brokk and Eitri. He owns the ship Skidbladnir ("wooden-bladed"), which always sails directly towards its target, and which can become so small that it can fit in Freyr's pocket.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Spend Time With Your Partner This Holiday Season

Friday, October 2, 2009
Yes I know the "Holiday Season" hasn't quite started yet, but it is quick upon us. When I go to the stores I already see some of the Christmas decorations already up and for sale.

It was in one of these stores that the idea for this series of posts came upon me. This series of posts being on ways to get away from the seasonal rush and focus on what is the truly the most important, the family.

After this idea came upon me, I started to brainstorm on the best way to organize and present these posts to you. I have settled on, over the next thirteen Saturdays, alternating between posts on spending time between your partner and on spending time with your children. Since it is an odd number of weeks, the final week will be on spending time with your family as a whole.

That being said, on with today's post!

It is important for you and your partner to be connected and on the same page. But with life in general and now the Holiday Season it can be very difficult to find time to do just that.

So my challenge to all of us is to set aside a little time at least every couple of weeks, every week would be better, to take your partner out on a date. Whether it is the movies, a picnic in the park or just an evening walk. The most important thing to do is just spend time with them.

You both need time to decompress and talk to each other about how things are going. Both in your personal lives apart and together. Think of this as part State of the Relationship address and part just continue to get you know each better talk.

Think of this as dating like you used to, before you got "serious". Get dressed up and have some fun. Go dancing if that is what you used to do or just out to eat. Again just spend time with your partner.

I hope that you find this to be of some use. Got any thoughts? Then head over and comment on this article.

Blessed Be!