Strega Jewellry's Blog

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Wheel of the Year: Samhain


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Misty mornings, bright, sunny afternoons and crisp cool nights, that’s October.  Then the changes to chill driving rainy days.   It’s the last harvest festival of the year, the final fruits of summer.   Apples, nuts, squash, and pumpkins abound.  The world is filled with glorious fall colors of leaves falling from the trees and smells of dry leaves, bonfires and apples.

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All my animals are growing heavier coats.   The grass is brown.   We have plowed the space for next year’s garden and tomorrow, after the rain, I’ll sprinkle the ground with an organic recipe of nutrients that will soak in the soil and enrich it this winter.   A mixture of cola, dish detergent, ammonia, and water will make a great fertilizer for next year’s veggies.

The kitchen smells of hearty soup, a pot of chili or baking on the chilly mornings.   The hens will soon start laying and will give us fresh eggs through the long winter.

All the changes in the weather and the shortening of the days creates subtle changes in our bodies, preparing us for the shorter days of winter.  Our minds shift gears also, from the active mental energy of the spring and summer days to the quieter, more receptive state appropriate to the dark half of the year.   It is a time for divination.   Time to break out the tarot cards, the pendulum, your scrying crystals, whatever you prefer to use to seek answers.

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In October is also the great sabbat, Samhain.   For those who are not pagan, it’s just a fun night of the year, a time of frolic and masquerade.  For pagans, it is no small holiday.   It’s actually bigger than your Christmas.
” The word Samhain, comes from the Scots Gaelic word Samhuinn, which litterally translated means “summer’s end.”  In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oiche Shamhna, in Wales it’s Nos Calan Gaeaf, or the eve of the winter’s calendar.  With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saint’s Day to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year. So, the night before this celebration became known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve or Hallantide. November 2nd, became All Souls Day, a day when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who departed and those who were awaiting entry to Heaven in Purgatory. Throughout time the Pagan and Christian traditions inevitably became intertwined and celebrations have been known to extend from October 31st through November 5th…”

Samhain is both the end and the beginning of the Celtic year.  First, it is a time of Thanksgiving.  For six days before the 31st, which most call Halloween, it’s a celebration of thanks.   Day 1 begins with a lighting of the first candle and giving thanks for all the plants that have died to give both life and comfort to us, for food, clothing, shelter, medicine and things as commonplace as paper, we have plants to thank.

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Day 2:  Two candles and giving thanks for all the animals who have died to feed, clothes and support us.  Day 3 is for the pets who have brought joy, companionship and love into our lives.

Day 4:  for fallen warriors who have poured their life’s blood for our freedom and safety.  Light a candle to honor poiicemen, firefighters and soldiers.

Day 5:  honor for ancestors whose lifeblood, saint and sinner alike, connects to us.  By learning about them and honoring them, we send thanks for the lessons we have learned from them.

Day 6 is more personal.  This is for friends and family who have gone before us to the Other Side, those whose lives have directly touched ours.

Day 7:  With all the candles blazing, thanks is given for all the lives given for our own, all the LIFE connected to ours.   It’s a celebration of life.

It’s also a time of looking inward.  What has this past year brought?   What needs to be “weeded” from my life and how do I prepare for the seeds I will plant in the coming year?   Have my work and spiritual efforts brought forth the “harvest” I expected?   What do I need to do in the coming year to increase next year’s “harvest”.?

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The “Addams Family”  celebrates with a big feast, plenty of food, treats for the little kids and camaraderie.  We celebrate LIFE and we remember our loved ones.   When everyone has gone home, I fix a plate to leave outside for any spirits who drop by while the veil between the worlds is thin.

It’s a magical time!

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October 27, 2015 Posted by | metaphysical, New Age | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Join the dance!


Lying around all summer, laid up with back problems and suffocating in the heat and humidity in Ohio, I have not posted in months.   I have spent most of the summer reading books and living in some far off world and not creating much of anything.   I’m kicking myself and trying to get back in the dance.   To do so, I believe I’m going to host a blog hop.   It’s something I wanted to do before but had no idea how to accomplish such a thing.   I chose the month of October for this hop to happen and I chose a theme that goes hand in hand with Samhain, or Halloween as you may call it.   My hop is going to be called Danse Macabre.

Oh, right, it’s French, you say, what the heck is that.   Literally, it means the dance of death and the phrase was coined in Medieval times when artistic types used allegories most of the time.   Danse Macabre illustrates the universal aspect of death.   It comes to all, regardless of station in life.  Paintings were created with skeletons dancing their way to the grave, sermons were preached cautioning people that the material side of life was unimportant, death is a fate we must all meet, peasant, pauper, priest, pope or noble.  So, enjoy life, make the most of it for we are all on our way to the same fate.   Life, after all, is a glorious dance with the grave as the finale, dance through it with joy!

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1493 medieval painting

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from the Creative Life of Bob Sparks on blogspot

It’s also a brilliant classical music composition for violin and piano.   I’m sharing here a modern dance version

Now you want to know what is this blog hop about?   Please, no medieval stuff you say.   Nope.  and we are not going to get morbid either.   We are going to join the dance.  We’re going to have a party.

The challenge?   Pick a spooky or scary or creepy representation from a Halloween type character as your inspiration.   It can be really scary or it can be generic, like “a witch”.  It can be cute, like Mavis, Dracula’s daughter  from Hotel Transylvania.  It can be a zombie or a mummy. It can be Elvira, that Queen of the Night or your favorite vampire.   Make something.  It does not have to be jewelry.   It can be decorations or some other type of craft.  It can be a costume.   Make it, show it off and tell us about it.  How will you celebrate at our dance?

Sign up by commenting on this blog.   Tell me you are IN and leave your name and blog address.  You might want to leave your email address also, especially if you are not in the Bead Peeps Group so I can email you and remind you of the date.    And while you are here, choose one of these pictures for our blog badge.    I simply cannot decide.

one    Please do not sigh up if you do not have an active blog!   I will check links.

Signups are open until August 25th.   On the 31st of August, I’ll have a list of participants here on the blog.  You can copy and paste for your own blog.   And, I will have chosen the official badge for the hop with a link.  

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two

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or three?

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come on now, you know it’s going to be fun!

August 13, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 28 Comments