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Samhain and the Time of No Time…An Earth Spiritualist’s POV…

wheel_of_the_year    Today I was listening to the Starz’ Series Outlander Volume 1 and 2 Soundtrack on my computer and couldn’t help but feel a jolt of excitement.  Samhain is coming up next week, and if anyone has watched the Outlander Series, Claire’s journey begins on the feast of Samhain.  (Mind you, the book is different and shows that her journey begins on Beltane, but I kind of like this change, since Samhain is literally strewn in mystery, which is what time traveling is all about, right?)

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Samhain.  The end and yet the beginning of the Celtic New Year.  Halloween itself started about 1300 years ago in the Celtic Isles, however Samhain has been around much much longer than that.  This Holy Day, was the original holy day of obligation that many today know it as All Saints/All Souls Day.  The ORIGINAL holiday was called Samhain or Samhuinn (pronounced SAH-WHEN).

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(Samhain Ritual and Celebration at Columcille Megalith Park in Bangor, PA 2013 – Photo taken by Sean DeStephano)

So, how can I go from understanding myself as a Galactic Starseed during this Ascension process yet still can resonate with my Earthly bound needs?  Well, for me it’s quite simple.  Our souls are galactically bound to the Heavens, to our Creator.  It’s so vast and so strong and powerful, there is no denying where our souls come from. (at least in my opinion).  However, we are humans of the Earth right now, and we asked to be a part of this planet to learn the lessons our souls need right now.  And there is no doubt, no doubt, in my mind, how connected I am to Mother Earth.

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From gardening, to the Moon, to understanding my body’s wants and needs, and how this is all connected to the core of my humanness, my soul.  See, what many people don’t either understand or care to want to educate themselves on is that these Earth Spirituality faiths were the original religions.  Yes, I know it may come as a shock to many, but these “religions” came before Judiasm, before Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and so on.  What has happened today is that Jesus’ legacy was severely altered by subjecting those followers to believe that honoring the planet we walk upon should be viewed as “evil”.  Men perversed the Earth religions because it overpowered their own beliefs.  How the written word has literally been changed time and time again over thousands of years.  How sad is that????  Think about it this way:  You decide to start a company.  You begin in the trenches and work your way from the bottom.  Then, something happens…people start buying into your business.  You make enough money and some big investment firm offers you a proposition that you simply could NOT turn way.  You leave your company in the hands of those who never knew what you had to do to get where you are today.  Fast forward 5 years, and everything you originally started the company was no longer there.  The product changed.  The logo changed.  The mission statement changed.  Everything you thought of, dreamed of, was gone.  Why?  Because someone else decided they wanted to make it different.  And all it takes is a little marketing and boom….it’s a new brand.

This is precisely what happened here.  The old religions were shunned aside, making way for something different.  And I mean, come on, let’s look at Christianity.  The teachings Jesus taught.  Do you REALLY think that’s what the church stands for today?  I’m not looking for debate here, I’m not looking to insult anyone’s faith.  In fact, I love Christianity.  Well, the way it WAS, at least.  I live in a way, a Christian life.  I am kind to EVERYONE, even those who have hurt me.  I forgive.  I work hard and am humble. (at least I try to be).  I try to set a good example for my children.  I am loyal.  And I believe EVERYONE is welcome to enjoy the glories of eternal life, no matter WHAT faith you walk by.

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But see, I’m more than that.  I wish you could feel what I feel when I go outside at night and look up at the Moon.  Or when I light some incense and close my eyes and think about how I can be a better person in life.  Or a take a set of cards and lay them out, trying to find out what I need to do to work on myself.  Or when I stand in front of a table, with statues or pictures of people I love and honor, and pray to help me here in life.  Now, let me ask you:  Do I sound like a person who is evil?  Do you think I am playing with fire?  Because that’s truly what people think.    I’ve learned to let it go, no matter how much it breaks my heart.  But my love of this planet, my creator, and everyone around it is MORE important than a few people who think I am damned to eternal fires.  It just has to be this way.

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(The Moon from our deck just now)

This coming weekend I will be spending a quiet evening with a couple of people I am incredibly close to.  My next of kin outside my own blood family.  And we will be honoring those who have passed on, especially those in the last year.  I have a list of friend’s relatives, family and friends who have been asked to be put on my special intentions list, and we will be remembering them that evening.  I will call them to join us for dinner, and to stay with us in deep and spiritual meditation, reminding them how much they were loved here, and how they will never be forgotten.  In Latin communities, they call it Dia De Los Muertos.  In Christian communities, they call it All Saints/All Souls Day.  Again, let me ask you, why is it okay for those in those communities to do what I do, yet what I do is evil?  Asking people to let down their guard, as well as their egos, can be quite a challenge.  But I always welcome this conversation, because I believe everyone has a right to believe in what they believe in.  And as long as they respect me the way I respect them, we will live in more harmony.

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(Ritual of Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico)

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(Catholic Cemetery honoring All Souls Day in Bangladesh)

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(Traditional Altar honoring the ancestors at Samhain)

Samhain is a time of reflection, a time where we go into a void until the Winter Solstice, which is the beginning of Yule, the welcoming back of the sun, or in Christian communities, the Son.  I love this time of year, because it is an amazing experience to really go inward, and let go of your ego, and you realize what true humility is like.  It’s precious, and I take advantage of every moment I have in reflective solitude.

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I am going to begin doing classes for those who are interested in my path.  I look forward to helping people on their path, whether it is along my side, or on a different road.  Either way, I will always be there for those who need me.

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Another great thing about the next several weeks of being in “no time”, is in that reflection, I will find more time for my art.  My art in writing, painting, drawing, and other crafts.  If you are interested in a painting or drawing or anything of that matter, please let me know.  I have found my best work, albeit in my poetry and artwork, always comes between November and the first 3 weeks of December.  My inspiration?  The skies at Sunset.  Trust me when I say they are extraordinary.

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(December 2013 Sunset near Appalachian Mountains)

Will you be participating in anything honoring your ancestors this week?  If so, how?  I love to hear about what everyone is going to be doing.

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Photo:Copyright JOE;CONLON;ATHBOY;;;

(Photo:  Joe Conlon)

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Creating a Sacred Space…

 So, although this could be part of the Ascension Series, I’m going to make this a more universal post about this particular subject.

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What is a Sacred Space? Well, a sacred space is a place where you can go and get away from the world you live in, and quiet your mind, body and soul. This could be anywhere in or around your house, at your office, in your car, anywhere you can be where you can just be you and no one can bother you. Now, I would not suggest your car or office, as you want to be in a place of absolute peace, and I think many of us can agree the office or a car isn’t always very peaceful!

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(Photo Credit to Rabbit Moon Tarot )

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Some religious folk get nervous when you speak of sacred spaces because it possibly gives way to the possibility of idolatry outside of the worship of a person’s one true God. Well, the truth is, they are correct when it stands in their own personal belief. But, in the end, it is not for me to judge you or anyone else in this world as to what you should put in your sacred space. I know many Pagans, Witches, Wiccans, Buddhists, Hindus, and even Christians that have these special places they can go to quiet themselves down. Stop worrying about what society expects from you and focus on what makes you closer to your spirituality. You are doing this to honor YOU as being part of the vast Creation that is one with our Creator.  How you view that is your own personal opinion and NO ONE has a right to tell you if you are right or wrong!  As I have stated many times before, your relationship with God, however you view God (1 person, 3 person, several Dieties, a figmant of Light, the Christ Consciousness), is between YOU and GOD.

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There is nothing scary or freaky to have an altar in your home. Altar’s are not saved for Christianity alone; Hindu’s, Buddhist’s and Pagan individuals out there and the like also utilize altars and sacred spaces in their home.

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So, what makes up a Sacred Space? Below are some great ideas you can use to create one especially designed for you:

1. Special table or shelf that will be used as your sacred space ONLY

2. A nice tablecloth or runner

3. Statues, Crosses, symbols of your guides

4. Candles

5. Crystals

6. Incense

7. Holy Water

8. Chalices

9. Foods like berries and nuts

10. Outside nature elements (twigs, leaves, stones, flowers)

11. Pictures of the spiritual beings you connect to (iconography)

12. Prayer beads (rosaries, malas, etc)

13. Ritual tools (Athame, Healing wands, Prayer Feathers, Tarot or Oracle Decks, Tibetan Singing Bowls, Bells, Chimes, etc…)

14. Dream catchers

15. Specific items related to the guide you are connected to

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Now, these are but a few of the things I know people have used for their sacred spaces. If you decide you want to make an entire room a sacred space, then you have more luxuries in what you can put in there (furniture, pillows, tapestries, etc)…

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(My Personal Sacred Space in our Bedroom)

The best part about this is that there are NO rules when setting up your sacred space. Why? Because it is YOURS and yours alone! No one has a right to tell you how to decorate your home, or tell you how to dress, so why would you allow someone the right to tell you how to commune with your God? Below are a few of the Sacred Spaces I have in my home….(I am looking forward to finding my new Sacred Spaces next month when we are in our new place)…

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(Our family’s Sacred Space)

So, in all, creating a place in your home or outside or wherever you can go to communicate with your Creator, is a great tool in bringing yourself back to Spirit, and aligning yourself with your soul, giving you a much needed rest and respite from the days of being, well, human. Because being a human is NOT easy. And especially with everything going on right now, anything that will put my body, mind and spirit at peace is the way to go!

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(More of my personal indoor/outdoor Sacred Spaces)

Sunday Ramblings of a Tired Hobbit….

It’s Sunday morning, and I’ve accomplished SO much, and yet I feel I haven’t even broken a dent in my day.  Summer can be truly glorifying when your home is at a state of organization.  But I am sure most of you would agree with me that rare do we have an organized home.  Still, I am grateful that I got up this morning, that I got to the store, made 3 ½ pounds of homemade meatballs, and picked up a bag of clothes from my sister.  All in all, a productive day so far.  My darling husband, sweet man that he is, has been domesticated bliss and I cannot appreciate him any more than I do right now.  While I was out gallivanting around to get the unordinary chores completed, he was at home doing laundry, dishes, and taking the trash and recycling out.  How amazing is he?  And yet, I come home from my chores, incredibly stressed out and irritated, and still manages to be romantic and sweet, even though I wasn’t able to reciprocate it back to him immediately.  It’s how we complement each other that makes me so blessed.

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My sweetie, isn’t he dishy?

When I am down, he balances me back up, and when he is down, I do the same.  As humans, it is impossible to be 100% of the time.  We are bound to make mistakes and mess up.  And it had been so long since I had a partner in my life who actually GROUNDED me.  His love shows me every day I still have so much to learn not only about myself, but how much I can truly give if I just try harder.  So, I’m doing my best to be less irritated, and spend more time at being happy my boys are spending some downtime to themselves, something we ALL need.

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This summer has been at the very least, semi-challenging.  Most weekends have been spent busy at parties and events that required our presence, and although I love being around my friends and family, the lack of quiet time that many of us actually do get in the late autumn pre and post-holiday chaos is significantly felt, which no doubt, aids in my tension.  As I am preparing my journey from the Mother to the Crone stage of life, I have found my love for Spring, although still very strong, is beginning to wane, while my love for Autumn is beginning to grow.  Spring and Autumn have always been my two favorite seasons, but Spring has been without a doubt my favorite.  Easter/Ostara has always been my favorite holiday, however my love for Samhain has definitely curbed my Spring appeal.  Something about quieting down, going within, that makes my stomach warm with butterflies.  My longing for October and November gets stronger every morning I wake up.  I feel the seasons changing as we speak, and my desire for the following things is seriously heeding my call:

  • Bon/Camp Fires
  • Hot Apple/Mulled Cider
  • Caramel Apples
  • Burning Leaves
  • Everything in their orange, red and yellow glory
  • Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes
  • Hayrides
  • Mums
  • My apartment being adorned with orange lights and leaves

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Beautiful enchanted forest during fall or autumn, great fairy tale background, hdr

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I am sitting here, enjoying a nice warm cup of Kratom tea, and the butterflies are fluttering like crazy in my belly.  My headset is currently listening to “Embraced” by Paul Cardall, and realizing I need to start making my Autumn 2015 playlist!  What shall I put on it this year??????  Last year, I had Ingrid Michelson start my playlist with “Girls Chase Boys” with a follow up of All About That Bass by Post Modern Jukebox featuring Kate Smith and Adele’s Set Fire To the Rain.  Would love to know your thoughts, as a musician, I am ALWAYS looking for new music to listen to.  Right now I am straight head-on listening to mostly New Age/Dark Celtic music such as Enya, Clannad, Loreena McKennit, Gandalf, 2002 and Secret Garden.  Really, this music is sort of my go-to music when I am turning inward, so it only goes to understand why I would be listening to this kind right now.  But I do like a twist during my Autumn-time, as I always see Autumn as the romantic season.  There is something about cloudy, dark, rainy, cold days that puts me in that “mood”.  Maybe it’s the cuddling!  Some other artists that have made an Autumn playlist in the past include:

  • Omnia
  • Nox Arcana
  • Faun
  • Damn the Bard
  • Emerald Rose
  • Spiral Rhythm
  • Coyote Run (now respectfully called Picti)
  • Albannach
  • Dead Can Dance
  • Qntal

I love using these artists above because they make SUCH AMAZING music!!!!!!  Please let me know if there is a specific band you want to hear more about, because I will definitely blog about them!  I am a singer, writer and pianist and sacred drummer, so I’m always looking out for new stuff!

So, I know this was a hodge podge of information today, but I wanted to get it out there, so we can talk more about things!  I still have to get back to my 40 days of Spirit, I promise this week I will get a new post on that!  In the meantime, I leave you with my new favorite band, I’ve been in love with these ladies since I found them last year on a Woman Tribal Facebook page I am a member of.  It’s my new theme song (you know how I feel we all need one), as it truly speaks of who I am.  As a Northern Appalachian Shamanka/Hedge Witch, whatever you want to call me, being able to help heal people through the Earth is something that lives within me and truly gets me out of the bed every day.  I hope you like them…They are Rising Appalachia:

How one word can affect a life…

******Due to the absolute horror that my sweet friend Jacqui had gone through, she has since deleted her post as well as many other posts regarding her homesteading due to these malicious attacks*******

Witch. A word that has been in our vocabulary for hundreds if not thousands of years. What is a witch? Well, it depends on the person you ask. The term, “witch” simply means, “magical person”. Witches are male and female, children and adults. Witches are in every religion. I know, crazy, right? Every religion? Well, yes! Judaism, Islam, Christianity, you name it, there are witches everywhere. This term has come up for many years with me, because some people claim I am one. To me, it is an honor to be called one. To others, the term can be considered scary, wrong, if not downright evil. Media, books, religion itself, has taken the term “witch” and created a cataclysmic definition that is so chaotic in nature, when the word is spoken, most people create the same image in their minds: Green skinned, warts, angry, satan worshiper, devil worshiper, black hat, black cloak, stirring a cauldron of an evil magical spell.

How many people reading this had that EXACT picture in their minds? Well, let’s looks at Hollywood. The Wizard of Oz, Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Sleeping Beauty, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Practical Magic, Hocus Pocus, just to name a few. In fact, Disney itself has created a legacy of making the evil counterpart to the main character a “wicked witch”. Why? Because a long time ago, people who feared magical people simply wrote that they were in fact, evil. Magic is evil. Why? Why is magic evil? What is the definition of magic? Well, according to Webster’s dictionary, it states, “The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces”.

Okay. Well, in Catholicism, that’s called a “Miracle”. So, why, if you are not within an organized religion, is this power considered “evil”? Why do you have to be part of a “religion” to be considered something good? Yes, I am a seeker. There is nothing wrong with that. I have been criticized over the years for seeking the truth. That looking at my gnostic views of spirituality is considered heretic. But, folks, that’s further from the truth. Religious persecution is still very much alive in our world. People who are so convicted in their beliefs that they point fingers at others telling them there are wrong. Why? Why does this still exist? Why are people so concerned with the personal relationship with God and another person? Is your relationship with God THAT perfect you think you have time to fix others? No! Stop it! Stop it now! It’s exhausting to feel that sadness and despair when someone you care about judges you so harshly for something you love so dearly.

Today, I watched a video of my mentor, Jacqueline DuBois, who has an amazing web series on YouTube, and has for many years. Jacqui is known as a “Kristo” or “Christo” Pagan. What is a Kristo-Pagan? Well, a Kristo-Pagan is a witch. A magical person who believes in the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ and the teachings of him, the Saints, and the Blessed Mother. Someone who believes in the reverence of the Trinity, the Holy Blessed Mother, BUT does NOT agree with the rules of the Catholic Church per se, the people that consider Jesus Christ “His” Church. This is where many of us part ways in the matter of beliefs: I do not believe that Jesus would allow some of the rules that man has created within the Church by using Jesus’ words “anything you hold true on Earth, I will hold true in Heaven” as Dogmatic Law. But does that make me an unbeliever? Does that make me a Satan worshiper? NO! I dare you to debate me on this. NO ONE, and I repeat, NO ONE, has the right to make such ridiculous accusations just because I or anyone else does not follow the “rules” of a church! It is the moral and values that Christ taught us that I live by, and nothing else!

I believe in magic. And I believe in Jesus. I believe there are elements we cannot describe that walk the earth in spirit, watching over us, and the planet we live on. I believe I have the God-given gifts to create magic with the determination, passion and unconditional love inside of me. Why is it okay to pray to a Saint, or heck, pray to our Creator, light a candle, receive Communion, say a Novena, go to Confession and allow a priest to absolve you of your sins in the name of our Creator, but yet, a magical person does the same thing, and it’s considered an “evil spell” and devil worshiping? Explain that to me. Why is everything that goes against the laws of a religion Satan’s doing? Why? I know it’s hard for people to actually answer this.

I have been made fun of, bullied, yelled at, ignored, and everything else in the book that would borderline cruelty. All because I believe in the magic of the Passion of the Christ; and not the “laws” of the man-made Church his name is under. I do not need to go to Mass every Sunday to live my life in the eyes of Christ. I was told that my reasons I just stated are a cop-out. That it makes me “unaccountable”. Quite the contrary, actually! I hold myself accountable for EVERY SINGLE THING I do in this life, something I never considered when I was younger, but stand true to that conviction with every fiber of my being as an adult woman today.

Those who believe my life is wrong, an abomination, or the devil dancing around me, answer me this: Do you support the Westboro Baptist Church? Do you support the people who murder doctors at abortion clinics? These are the very people that believe in the same thing you do! What makes you different? When it comes to a religion, I do believe you cannot pick and choose what you want to believe when you are a part of a church, correct? So, if a Christian believes that you can sell your children into slavery, or kill your mother for wearing different types of thread, which in fact is all in the bible, WHY do you ignore that? If the bible is the law/holy scripture of the Church, why don’t you follow it? I want you to think of this before making another accusation on another person for their beliefs and how they practice their faith. It is why I left the Church. Not because I believe they are wrong. I left the Church because I no longer believe in the laws to stay within that religion. My FAITH, however, has never changed.

Today I watched a video of my mentor, like I stated above, who is a Kristo-Pagan, who was wrongfully accused of sacrificing goats and cats and being a Satan worshiper. Why? Because she proclaims herself to be a witch. And she runs a small urban homestead at her house in Southern California. Yup, that’s it. Someone took 2+2 and came up with 9. All while trying to ruin and sweet and spiritual, loving woman who’s goal in life is to walk in the path of Spirit, help those in need, and be of service to the people of the world. So, she is a witch and runs a farm, therefore she is a devil-worshiping, animal sacrificing person. All because of one word: WITCH.

The sick and twisted world we live in has gone too far. I am begging you, please stop it. If you cannot be my friend, have a relationship with me, no longer speak to me, because of my beliefs, then I release you with full heart and unconditional love. I will be heartbroken, but at least I will be at peace. Those who judge are never in peace. It is why our world is in such torment right now.

I was really hoping to have a more uplifting blog today, but after watching the absolute horror my sweet friend went through, it would have been wrong of me not to speak up. All it takes is one person to make the change. Are you going to the be the one to stop this cruelty?

God is Love. God is Magic. God is Peace. God is Life. Life is magical. Be at peace with that and you will find salvation.

So, if you want to call me a witch, don’t think I will be offended. I would be honored. I would rather walk with the sinners in life, helping them along the way, then walk with the righteous who think they will get into heaven quicker than anyone else. Remember, the first will be last, and the last shall be first. Think about that before placing judgment on another person.