Volume 2 - Issue 1 - Samhain 2004
Seasons of the Moon is a quarterly online magazine published by students and members of The Order of The White Moon, an eclectic international order of women dedicated to The Goddess. The Order provides personal empowerment and priestess training, and operates local groups. All contributions are original material submitted by our students and members. (We do not accept outside contributions.) Please direct comments and questions to the Ezine Editor.
Astrology of the Seasons by Arteal
Hecate: Goddess of the Witches, Our Dark Mother by GrannyMoon
Tolerance, Surviving the Season by Rowen Saille
Goddesses Of Seasons: Cerridwen by Heathwitch
Moonlit Reflections by Luna Blanca
Astrology of the Seasons
A Column By Arteal, HPS, Order of the White Moon
You can save your solitary ritual for Lunar Samhain on Friday November 12. This is the night of the New Moon with both Sun and Moon in Scorpio. It will make it a wonderful time to go deep within, shamanic journeying, divination, and honoring of ancestors.
What I would like to focus most on this issue is the Mercury Retrograde that will occur on November 30 at 11:28 pm EST until December 20 at 1:29 am EST. I discussed this some in the last issue, but want to discuss it a bit further this issue.
About 3 times a year for approximately 3 weeks Mercury appears to go backwards in the sky. This is referred to as Mercury Retrograde. It is a time when Mercury seems to go on vacation. That means all the things Mercury rules are unreliable while Mercury is Retrograde.
So, what does Mercury rule you ask? Well, everything from cars, trains, and planes to all forms of communication including verbal, phone, fax, e-mail, and snail mail. This means back up computers. Mail your bills at least a week earlier and expect something to get lost or stolen. You may feel you have difficulty getting your point across and expect a few misunderstandings. Sounds like a pretty frustrating time doesn't it?
Well, let us look at this time from a different angle. Mercury speeds along usually blessing us with his quick wit and lightening fast speed, but even dear Mercury needs a break to recharge his battery. He tries to teach us that will all need to slow down and recharge at times, because if we keep up our speed of light lives we will burnout. So, while he is Retrograde think of these problems as reminders to slow down. This is a time to NOT start new projects or sign contracts. Slow down and rest, reevaluate, redo, reconsider, and revisit.
I know this is the holiday season and we are all busy with shopping, parties, family obligations, and all the other merriment that comes this time of year. But I recommend finding time to keep things simple and not to push too hard from November 30 until December 20. You may start to feel the effects up to a week before Mercury goes Retrograde and the feeling may remain up to a week after Mercury goes Direct. Remember your R’s during Mercury Retrograde to rest, redo, reevaluate, reconsider, and revisit.
About The Author: Arteal is an Ordained Minister and HPS of Moonlit River a sister branch and affiliate of the Order of The White Moon. She is a Reiki Master and offers healing and attunements. Arteal specializes in healing and divination. She is currently taking students in Chester, Delaware, & Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania and in Delaware email: Arteal@moonlitriver.com - website: http://www.moonlitriver.com and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MoonlitRiver
Hecate: Goddess of Witches, Our Dark Mother
by GrannyMoon, HPS, Order of the White Moon
Kindly old Grandmother, The Crone, a woman of wisdom, Our Dark Mother, she of many names and guises. Goddess of the Crossroads, Queen of the Witches, the Dark Goddess, The TripleGoddess. The protectress of the flocks and the sailors, she is invoked as the bestower of wealth and favor. These are but a few of the names by which she is known. She has been with us from the beginning.
Hecate is the oldest Greek tri-form Goddess. She is at the same time the three-phased Moon, and, in particular, it's dark phase. She is the Dark Mother, or Crone aspect and a major deity of the Dianic tradition. In the Greek pantheon, Hecate Tri-form is known as Artemis, Persephone and Hecate. Hecate is sometimes seen as the third aspect of the Trinity Persephone/Demeter/ Hecate for it is Hecate who leads Demeter to her daughter. She is a "dark" Goddess, associated with magic and the night. She is often portrayed with 3 heads or with a 3 headed dog. She was worshipped mostly at crossroads where offerings were left for her -- these offerings were known sometimes as "Hecate's Suppers" -- and were left there late at night on the eve of the Full Moon. The person leaving the food walked away without looking back, for fear of confronting the Goddess face to face. This was a way of honoring the threefold Goddess where one could look three ways at once. Other offerings included honey, dogs, black ewes and sometimes even humans. Some say she is not originally Greek, she has been classified as Thracian or as a Titan. She may also be linked to the Egyptian Goddess Heket.
She is a Goddess of the Moon, of the Underworld, and of Magick. She is also considered the protectress of flocks, sailors and of course, witches. Hecate is the protectress of far-away places, roads, and byways. She is considered the Goddess of The Crossroads. Statues of her stood at crossroads where travelers were faced with three choices. In latter-day paganism, Hecterions (a form of pillar) depict the Goddess with six arms, three torches and three sacred symbols: A Key, A Rope and A Dagger. With the Key to the underworld, Hecate unlocks the secrets of the occult mysteries and knowledge of afterlife. The Rope symbolizes the umbilical cord of rebirth and renewal and the Dagger or Athame is a symbol of ritual power.
Hecate belongs to the class of torch bearing deities, and carries a burning torch in accordance with the belief that she is the nocturnal Goddess of The Moon. A huntress, she knows her way into the realm of spirits. She is depicted wearing a gleaming headdress of stars. All the secret powers of nature are at her command. She has control over birth, life, and death. Her work includes the world of the dead (just a resting place of the dead), of the night and of the darkness. She is the Mistress of all the Witchcraft and Black Arts.
On her walks at night, Hecate has many accomplices. Her two black, ghostly dogs who have been sacrificed to her, (her priestesses Circe and Medea) are sometimes referred to as being her daughters. At night during the Dark Moon, the Goddess can be seen walking the roads of Greece with her howling dogs and torches. The black howling dogs at night mean that Hecate is approaching. She and her dogs journey over the graves of the dead to search for souls of the departed and then carry them to refuge in the Underworld. She also haunts scenes of crimes as a Goddess of Expiation and Purification. She can be called on during the Dark of the Moon to banish or render justice.
The women who worshipped her often stained their palms and soles of their feet with henna. An adaptation of this ritual is held on Halloween or Hallowmas held on October 31, to honor Hecate at a time when the veil between the Worlds is the thinnest. In private worship her followers prepare and partake of Hecate’s suppers and the leftovers are to be placed outdoors as offerings to her and her hounds.
Wishing you health, wealth and the magick of the Season!
About The Author: GrannyMoon is a High Priestess and Charter Council Member of The Order of the White Moon. Former staff member and student of the Esoteric Theological Seminary, attended LDS Seminary and is an ordained Metaphysical Interfaith minister with doctoral degrees in Theology and Divinity. Doula, Reiki Master and Lifetime Member of Herbal Healer Academy, Inc. Founder of Sisters of the Burning Branch, dedicated to the Feminine Divine and is currently taking students in Virginia and the Washington DC area. Feel free to contact her at GrannyMoon@goddessschool.com or visit her website: http://goddessschool.com.
Tolerance... Surviving the Season
by: Rowen Saille, HPS, Order of The White Moon
The holidays are always an interesting time for me. Living in an eclectic family has given rise to chaos starting in October and stretching through January. There are so many things to do and places to be that often I meet myself coming and going.
Throughout the years, I have met with a variety of reactions, opinions, and hostility for differing beliefs and celebrations of the holidays. My family has celebrated for years, nay centuries the festival of Samhain (pronounced Sow-en much to the confusion of most of the folk in our area who would say Sam-hane). Whether it was called Samhain, Halloween, Winter Nights, or Mischief Night, it was looked forward too no less as my sister and I grew to adulthood than it had when we, as children, excitedly carved pumpkins and gourds surrounded by the smells of spices, baking pumpkin, and roasting seeds.It came as a shock to my sister to be accosted at her workplace and told that it was an evil day and that she was unholy for celebrating it. For myself, as the cynic in the family, it was no shock, but the offense was still there when a small child of only 8 years informed me that it was Satan's birthday and only devil worshippers celebrated that holiday.
I have learned to be amused, but it was the laughter of irony rather than true joy.For years I have casually observed the intellectual scuffles that intensify starting with Samhain and progressing through Yule as the differing beliefs of the wide variety of religions struggle with each other in our community. I took pride in the thought that witches and pagans were more tolerant and objective in their interactions with those of other faiths... including Christians. Now, I find I was wrong. Recently, on a list I moderate, I found that an email was sent around through several pagan lists proclaiming fear of a "hate group" calling themselves witch-hunters. The author of the email had encouraged others to beware of this menace that was out there in the internet community recruiting members to rout out the scourge of witchcraft. I was appalled and frightened. So, being who I am, I checked it out. I visited the home page of this group and something rang a bell. I started suspecting that things may not have been as they seemed. Under an assumed name, I joined the group. I found, much as I had thought, that rather than being a militant group of pagan hating violence mongers, it was made up of teens who play a roll-playing game based on a Japanese anime cartoon called... Witch Hunter. Now, I have been concerned about the cartoon in question because of the negative aspects implied to witches. However, I was sorry to note that several of the pagan community had joined the group and were flaming and bashing these teens as pagan-haters. The reactions were much as you might imagine. I am sorry to say that while the young people in question may not have started out holding any animosity towards those who worship the gods and goddesses, by the time the infiltrators were complete in their rants, the teens who began with a game have now been turned into true witch... well, if not haters then strong dislikers. Getting electronically screamed at by rabid pagans does not generally engender good feelings. It made me realize that perhaps the sisters and brothers of the pagan paths are not necessarily more tolerant or understanding than any other religion.
While this discourages me in some ways, it also gives me new impetus to be more open and understanding in my own interactions. Each person carries with them their own set of baggage, packed by years of indoctrination and experience. No matter how heavy, each individual clutches their own as if life depended on it. It does in a way. Letting go of those heavy burdens and leaving the baggage behind removes ballast that may turn all views and perceptions of the world upside down. For those willing to drop their baggage, the result can be unsettling, but it may lead to greater understanding and peace. But that requires courage.
So, I will celebrate Winter Nights with seidr and campfire and laughter and kinship. I will host the week following a large variety of differing faiths to enjoy themselves with food and drink and merriment. I will connect to my loved ones who have passed through the veil, and I will enjoy it. Each culture and faith has elements that interest me, and I learn from every encounter. It is much easier to pick up new knowledge and experience now that I have my hands free.
About the Author: Rowen Saille is HP Order of The White Moon, Founder of The Shining Crescent, Founder of The White Willow. http://www.thewhitewillow.com/shiningcrescent/
Goddesses Of Seasons
A Column By Heathwitch
Lady of the cauldron deep
where mysteries flow with memories;
whose shape shifts and enchants
teach us the way of transformation
and aid us with your divine touch;
Help us learn through experience and
let us not be afraid of changes to come;
Cerridwen, Dark Mother,
Open the way on this night
when the veil is thin...
Winter is just around the corner, and the seasons roll and change and die as Samhain appears on our calendar. The wheel has turned again: another year over, another beginning. As the year-wheel wanes and dies, our thoughts turn towards our Beloved Dead and the lessons they have taught us. On this Samhain night, when the veil between the worlds is thin, they reach back from across the great divide to touch our lives once more... Do you reach back and touch the fingers lost to time and memory?
Samhain, also known as Halloween, is one of our most important festivals and our altars are decorated with the colours of life and death -- oranges and blacks, golds and reds. We light candles in remembrance of our ancestors, and find photographs and mementos of our lives with them. On this most magickal of nights, our arcane fingers reach for the tarot deck, the bag of runes, or the rattle of bones to cast. Magick is in the air, a tangible scent on the breeze, and who better to teach us the ways of magick and divination than the Lady of Magick, Cerridwen...
Cerridwen is known in Welsh myth as the mother of Taliesin, the greatest poet. When Cerridwen gave birth to a dark and disfigured son, Morfan, She brewed a magickal potion in order to gift him with brilliance and inspiration. The potion took 13 moons to brew in Her cauldron, made from herbs and waters of prophecy, and tended under the movements of the sun and moon.
However, Cerridwen charged a servant-boy named Gwion to guard the potion, and when he took three sips of it he was gifted with all the knowledge of the universe, and also the talent of shape-shifting. Enraged, Cerridwen chased Gwion across the lands, both of them shifting from one shape into another until he turned into a grain of corn. Cerridwen, in the form of a hen, ate him. Nine months later, the seed had grown in Her womb and Cerridwen gave birth to Taliesin, the greatest Gaelic poets with the gift of perfect rhyme.
Cerridwen is the Celtic Crone Goddess of magick and transformation, divination and mystery. As a Dark Goddess, Her lesson is one of life, death and rebirth. She shows us how best to use our energies to focus on projects, whether they need to die or need to grow and prosper. In Her cauldron we see ourselves shifting shape, moving with our experiences in order to change and develop throughout our lives. Cerridwen rules over foresight, psychic abilities and dreams.Cerridwen is often represented as a sow, and Her colours are silver, dark blue and black. Her tool is the cauldron, and all herbs, simples and incenses are sacred to Her. To ask Cerridwen into your sacred space this Samhain, why not try the following incense:
1/2 part bay leaves
1/2 part wheat grains
1/2 part ivy leaves
1/2 part vervain
1/2 part chervil
1/2 part mistletoe
1/2 part apple blossoms
1 part honeysuckle blossoms
1 part blackthorn wood
3 parts oak wood
Cerridwen can aid in psychic dreaming and development. To invoke Her aid in these acts this Samhain, try the following.
Mix the above incense and add 3 parts of mugwort to the blend. In your protected sacred space, light some silver, black or dark blue candles and a charcoal block. Invite Cerridwen into your circle by saying:
Lady of Foresight and Knowledge,
I seek the wisdom of your cauldron
and the magick of transformation:
Guide me into Your world."
Feel Cerridwen enter your circle. Sprinkle the incense onto the charcoal, and inhale the scent. Close your eyes and visualize yourself sitting in a dark cave with Cerridwen. She is stirring a large cauldron which is sitting before Her. Ask Cerridwen if you may look into its depths and maybe even drink from it. Listen to Cerridwen's answer. Talk with Her about your psychic gifts and how you may develop them, and ask Her advice.
After a while Cerridwen will rise and walk to the rear of the cave, deeper into the shadows. She beckons you to follow Her. As you walk deeper into the cave, you see some faint symbols on the cave walls. Some you may recognize, some you may not. Eventually you realize that you are walking alone, that Cerridwen has disappeared ... and in doing so, has lead you into the gateway between the worlds. Continue exploring for a while, if you wish, and when you are ready, come back to the world. Remember that you can return to the cave whenever you wish, to explore your psychic gifts through dreams and meditations. And should you ever need Her, call for Cerridwen, and She will appear to guide and advise.
When you return to your circle, thank Cerridwen for Her lessons and remember what She has told you. Bid her a peaceful and respectful farewell, blow out your incense and candles, and welcome back into the mundane world.
Have a Blessed Samhain -- and Happy New Year!
Franklin, Anna. Magical Incenses and Oils. Capall Bann: Berkshire (2000).
About The Author: Heathwitch is a Witch, teacher and author. She runs courses and workshops on energy work, healing, Witchcraft and magic. High Priestess of the Circle of the Moon coven, Heathwitch lives in Cheshire, England. web: http://www.heathwitch.com - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kick off your shoes, grab a cup of tea, and let's chat! Welcome to Moonlit Reflections, a new column where I share my spiritual journey with you.
Samhain is a wonderful time for reflecting back on the past, and in this issue I've been asked to talk about how The Order of The White Moon came into being. Here's the story.
In the spring of 1998, I was living 3000 miles away from friends and family and had some time on my hands, so I took a class in basic html at the university where I was teaching. Oh the pain and suffering I underwent just to create a simple homepage! Once the page was completed however, I had mastered some basics that would serve me well for years to come. (Yes, I write all my pages by hand in html in Word Pad -- can you believe it?)
That summer I wasn't teaching, so I had even more free time, countless hours of which I spent in the library researching my personal passion du jour, Mary as Goddess. One day it occurred to me to put my research and my new web skills to work, and viola! I created my first website, Mary as Goddess (www.thewhitemoon.com/mary), at the time hosted on a free site.
Over the next year I connected to many Goddess Women online through my website, actively participating in several discussion lists and taking some online classes through the Esoteric Theological Seminary (www.northernway.org), a site that honors Mary Magdalene as the Bride of Christ.
About this same time, my younger sister became interested in exploring Goddess Spirituality and asked me for a reading list and suggestions. With her encouragement, I decided to start my own online school in Goddess Studies. At the time, there were no other online Goddess schools online -- I checked! I secured my own domain name, TheWhiteMoon.com, and in June of 1999 opened The White Moon School of the Feminine Divine which was given an award by Avatar Search for original content.
I wasn't sure that anyone would enroll. I started off by choosing the texts, writing an outline of the curriculum, and creating the first four lessons (which I offered for free to women on my discussion lists). Surprisingly women came! And kept coming. And stayed enrolled after the trial period had elapsed. I wrote lessons just ahead of the fastest student (Nazarri). I was amazed at the crowd of powerful women drawn to the school. We enjoyed a lively discussion list and "distance rituals" where we "met in the ether" each month (and still do!).
In January of 2000, I moved back to California, but many of my students were still on the East Coast. We got up the nerve to meet f2f for the first time in the summer of 2000. Current High Priestesses Nazarri, Granny Moon, Kerritwyn, Burning Snow, and Auralia with her infant daughter Ciara attended. (Teri, who is no longer a member, attended as well). Nazarri was the first student to finish the entire three level course, followed shortly by Granny Moon and Kerritwyn. These three women experienced their Level III initiation together at the Gathering in Prince William Forest National Park. We continued to hold annual f2f Gatherings in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
The first twelve women to complete Level I and I became The Order of The White Moon. These charter members of the school include:
Tannim (no longer active)
Nine of these charter members are now HPs.
In August 2000, Granny Moon founded Sisters of the Burning Branch Order of the White Moon with local students in the Northern Virginia area. She attracted students via her website GoddessSchool.com. This was an important step for our Order, and she currently heads the largest branch (aside from the original White Moon School).
In March of 2001, the High Priestess Council and discussion list was formed with six High Priestesses: Nazarri, Burning Snow, Granny Moon, Kerritwyn, Rowen, and me. By having a private discussion list, we were better able to make joint decisions that guided the Order.
In 2001, I began delegating more jobs to students, such as the Gallery Coordinator position. This marked an important trend that has continued: sharing the work of the Order. In 2002, after writing columns every week for three years, I began asking students to write some Weekly Tarot Zodiac columns. In 2003, I handed over the column to the Order and the WTZ Coordinator, HP Samantha.
In May 2002, Rowen opened the first affiliated order, The Shining Crescent, which offers White Moon Teachings to men. The following year, bilingual HP Fleur de Lune, opened an online French language branch of the school based in Quebec. (That branch has since closed.)
In July 2002, our HP Council decided to formalize our Traditions for guidance of The Order as we grew and expanded. These were approved in March 2003 as "The Traditions of The Order of The White Moon" (www.orderwhitemoon.org/beliefs)
In 2003, we began adding regional Gatherings. Granny Moon invited all White Moon sisters the SBB gatherings she had been holding in Northern Virginia, and some began attending. I held the first White Moon West gathering in northern California. In addition, Kerritwyn opened The Rainbow Moon to offer White Moon teachings to transgendered people and their female partners, and The Shining Crescent expanded to offer teachings to men, women, and couples.
At our HP Council during the 2003 Gathering, we decided that The Order should become an non-profit corporation, which we accomplished in December of that year thanks to the generous financial support of our members (and a lot of hard work on my part!).
In 2004, we also began offering ordination to Level IV graduates. We now offer several short courses and White Moon teachings via 9 online schools (www.orderwhitemoon.org/schools). We invite you to come join us!
About The Author: Luna is a college professor and spiritual teacher who lives in Sacramento, California with her partner, Red Beard, and her cat, Lion. She heads White Moon School of The Feminine Divine through her website TheWhiteMoon.com. You can email her at Luna@TheWhiteMoon.com.
by: Willow Myst, White Moon School
This is a ritual for Hallows. I was thinking that, if he's willing, my husband and I could do this together, late at night after our children are done with trick or treat and fast asleep.
Intent: Banish our fears and inspire our hopes for the new year
Need: Jack-O-Lantern already lit
black and white candles
Paper and pen/pencil for each person
Bowl of cooked pumpkin seeds (from Jack-O-Lantern)
Cauldron/pot for burning paper
About the Author: Willow Myst is a mother of two wonderful children and currently studying to become a Priestess of the Order of the White Moon.
Witch Works: Spells and Rituals for Every Season
A Column by Banshee
It's Samhain once again! The Wheel of the Year has come full circle. Be sure to take a few moments this Samhain and give thanks for all your many blessings. That being said, it almost goes without saying that Samhain is the best sabbat for divination. The veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, making communication with the other side easier. I feel that Samhain is also an excellent time to make the divination tools you will use for years, particularly, the scrying mirror.
Making a Scrying Mirror
The first step in this process is to select a frame that speaks to you. Preferably, the frame would be oval, but it does not have to be. The only requirement on the frame is that it must have real glass, not plastic.
You will also need black paint. Oil-based enamel will work the best for this project. I personally prefer the glossy paint, but matte is fine too. Disassemble the frame and physically clean the glass with soap and water. Do not use cleaning solution such as Windex, as this can cause the paint to break down over time. If you want to spiritually cleanse the pieces that would be fine as well. Paint the glass black on one side. Several coats will be needed. You will know you have used enough paint when no light passes through the glass.
If you purchase or make a plain frame and would like to decorate it with symbols, now would be the time to do that. Place the glass into the frame so that the painted side is to the back of the frame. This will make the darkness appear deeper. Assemble the rest of the frame. If the frame does not have a leg on it so that it can free stand, you will need to purchase a stand for the mirror.
The mirror is now finished! Perform a ritual to cleanse and consecrate the mirror. I do not suggest trying to make the mirror inside of a magick circle. The processes of painting the glass can be quite messy and long. Once the glass is painted though, all the other parts of creation, decoration, and assembly could be performed in a ritual.
It has been my experience that "tools" created on Samhain are more powerful than most. Recharge your mirror every Samhain and see what the other side of the veil reveals to you!
Have a blessed and safe Samhain!
About the Author: Banshee is a solitary practitioner from the Midwest. She is currently a student at The White Moon School, studying to become a High Priestess. Banshee has been a practicing witch for 4 years and performs tarot readings and long distance energy work via the Internet. To contact the author, please email email@example.com
Samhain: A Personal Transformation
by Nessa Crescentmoon, Initiate of White Moon School
Here is my Samhain train of thought; a conversation I had with myself.
Samhain rolls around and brings to mind the giant cauldron we keep candy in for the trick-or-treaters. I run down my mental association list -- Samhain, death, rebirth, transformation, knowledge, cauldron, Cerridwen, elixir, wisdom, what do I know..Aha!
I think to myself; what do I know?...candy!.... I need...candy...I need to know myself so I can transform like Gwion maybe. Candy...what am I made of? Sugar & Spice? I need to know so I can journey onward...
Personal Ritual for the Waxing Moon this Samhain
(special note: if there are allergies or you wish to change your correspondences- please follow your instincts and do so)
Gather: Mini-Cauldron, spoon, small bottle with tight lid,
Incense [ that invokes a feeling of wisdom within you..your choice!
Red wine, pepper, honey, mint,
one white candle [Goddess energy]
one yellow candle [knowledge, wisdom]
Set up the altar & set other items aside, but within the space.
Begin by purifying yourself with the rose incense.Create a sacred space or circle utilizing the incense; also focus creating the circle out of love and trust to invoke wisdom and transformation.
"Ceridwen’s cauldron holds many mysteries. What is the mystery of me? What are some of my correspondences?" (Light white candle)
"Cerridwen, I call to Thee" (light yellow candle) "Let this cauldron hold the elixir of me."
"Red wine to represent my Earthiness and Intellect" (pour a bit of wine into the cauldron)
"Pepper to represent my Zest and boldness" (put in a pinch of pepper)
"Honey to represent my Natural sweetness and clarity of thought" (put in a few drops of honey)
"Mint to represent my Freshness and spontaneity" (sprinkle in a bit of mint)
"I stir this cauldron three times round" (stir clockwise 3x's)
"Wisdom, Beauty, and Strength to me are bound."
"Cerridwen, I know that I am the cauldron.
For that which I sought inside myself, I have found." (Take a 3 drops of the elixir and place on your tongue.)
"I hold the essence, the knowledge of myself," (Pour rest of elixir into the bottle)
"I take it with me wherever I may go" (put lid on bottle)
"Thank you Goddess for your blessings - Hail and farewell!"
Ground, Center, and open circle.
**bottle of elixir may be opened and poured as a libation, saying "To the Goddess that I am; for I am an aspect of the Goddess Cerridwen."
About the Author: Nessa CrescentMoon is an initiate of the WMS, a mother of three and a wife; she also works full time, volunteers year round, and honors the Goddess in her daily life.
by: Freya, HPS, Order of the White Moon
Commonly known as Halloween, Samhain is the third and final harvest of the year. It is celebrated October 31.
It is a time to give thanks to Nature. Once celebrated as the ancient Celtic New Year, those who follow an Earth-based path still revere Samhain as a time to remember those who have died; to celebrate reincarnation; and to look within ourselves to reassess the progress of our goals and achievements.
The Celtic festival marking the end of the year and the beginning of winter, is perhaps the most loved great Sabbat for many Pagans. It is dedicated to the concept of eternal life, and our connection with our ancestors. The "veil" between the worlds is exceptionally thin on this Sabbat, thus spirit communication is highly effective.
Since spirits and faeries run free on this day, you may wish to take extra precautions in protecting your home and sacred space. Clean the floors with basil and Rosemary steeped water to wash away any negativity from the old year.
Other means would include to first use sage to cleanse a space of negative energies, then to burn sweet grass to create a positive atmosphere and to attract helpful spirits and ghosts.
In Norse Traditions, Samhain is associated with the Festival of Vetrnaetr.
The Nordic Wheel of the Year entails Blots ( Festivals) held throughout the year demarcating the seasons. According to the Runic Calendar the Blots are celebrated on the following dates
Disablot 31 January
Ostara 21 March
Valpurgis 30 April
Midsumarsblot 21 Jun
Freysblot 31 July
Haustblot 23 Sep
Vetrnaetr 31 Oct
Jol 21 December
Vetrnaetr (Winter Nights) marked the beginning of winter as well as the beginning of the New Year, according to the Norse calendar. The Norse peoples used to celebrate this night by lighting large bonfires to frightened spirits and demons, because on this night they freely roamed the world. It is also the night that Odin was supposed to lead the spectral horsemen and hounds in the Wild Hunt. The Wild Hunt lasted throughout winter, peaking at Yule's night before ending the following year on Walpurgis' Night.
There are many other traditional beliefs and customs associated with Samhain.
The wearing of masks and dressing up was particularly strong in Scotland and was popularized in the U.S in the late 19th century by newly arrived immigrants, and later developed into the custom of playing "Trick or Treat".
In Irish, Scottish and Welsh pagan traditions, Samhain night was the time of the wandering dead, and the practice of leaving offerings of food and drink to masked revelers, and the lighting of bonfires was being practiced long before Samhain was adopted as a Christian festival.
In Germany, the custom of wearing masks and dressing up is associated with Karneval or Fastnacht at the end of February, which marks the end of the year according to the Roman calendar.
However, Samhain celebrations are slowly beginning to be recognized. The custom of "trick or treat" is still not common but is becoming more and more popular each year.
Most interesting; traditionally, Samhain was also a time of truce with no fighting or violence allowed. Furthermore, divorce was not allowed on Halloween and hence it was a time of marriage.
Traditions in other European countries on Halloween night include baking special Cakes for the Dead, usually small white cakes or cookies. A cake or cookie would be eaten for each spirit honored with the belief that the more cakes or cookies one would eat, the more the dead would bless you.
Another custom of the past was to light a fire on the household hearth which would burn continuously until the first day of the following spring as well as to light huge bonfires on the hilltops at sunset in honor of the old Gods and Goddesses, and to guide the souls of the dead home to their kin.
Of course, a time when the veil between worlds of living and dead, past and present is thinnest is an excellent time for divining: Scrying, Tarot readings, Rune Casting, dripping of candle wax into water to form image for interpretation, etc. Halloween is also an important time for dream interpretation;
Use Anise Seeds in your dream pillow to help communicating with your spirit guides through dreams.
On Halloween night with your dream pillow close by, just before you fall asleep, think of a question you would like to ask your spirit guide. Happy and Magickal dreaming!
Apple Bobbing On Halloween
Apple bobbing is a very interesting custom all by itself:
In Celtic traditions, the Goddess Pomona was a fertility Goddess and the pentagram was believed to be her symbol. When an apple is sliced in half the seeds form a pentagram. Hence, the Celtic peoples believed the apple could be used to determine marriages during Halloween. >From this belief comes the game of apple bobbing.
Recipe for Halloween Apple Bobbing Punch
1 ½ cups orange juice
4 cups apple cider
1 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cups ginger ale, chilled
6 to 8 small red apples
1 orange, sliced
In punch bowl mix orange juice, apple cider, pineapple juice and sugar. Chill of a couple hours. Before serving add ginger ale, apples, orange slices and ice cubes.
About the Author: Freya is a High Priestess in the Order of The White Moon and founder of Sisters In Freya's Moon ~ Womyn's Path of Healing~ an on-line school for women offering courses in various alternative healing arts, dream studies and Priestess training Her web site can be found at www.sistersinfreyasmoon.com; e-mail address; firstname.lastname@example.org . Sisters In Freya's Moon ~Womyn's Path Of Healing~ is registered with the Private Post Secondary Education Commission of British Columbia.
Poetry and Artwork
by: Ezevia, Adept, Sisters of the Burning Branch
I came round the corner and there it was
Enchanted by those who live there
Those who fill it with love
Those who make no sound
Or those who cannot be heard
It was there I saw them
The ones who stand so still
You may not see
The ones who attempt to giggle
Without being heard
The magical ones
They let me be
They watched me
As I wandered to and fro
I pretended not to notice
But I think they knew
They knew it was I who
Gathered the fallen branches
Who cared for the growing ones
Who watered with care
Who waited for the ones to grow
That just sprouted there
Yes I knew them
They know me
My little garden friends
When I make magick
There in the garden
They are the first to come and see
What human come to join
To have a bit of fun
In the world of enchantment
With one bit of earth
One bit of fire
One bit of water
And a bit of wind
All come together
To make it whole
A world with faery
A world all their own.
Written by Ezevia Rose
September 22, 2004
About the Author: Ezevia Rose, 51 is a wife of 28 years, mother of a son 23 and daughter 25 and a grandmother of a 6 1/2 year old, who she says is the spark of her life as are her children. She is also a teacher of young children and owns her own school,(22 years in business) which, she says is not only her livelihood but her life. She is also a singer and an artist, with a B.A. degree in Elem. Ed and Art Ed., she loves animals, reading and gardening, and says musical instruments and books are her vices. Currently she is a third level student of Granny Moon.
by Dreaming Bee, Sisters of the Burning Branch
Red earth mother.
Singing to her children
Singing for their feet
to step over spider.
Earth, web, sticks,
rumbling belly of
wild river. Spider
grows a Dream Catcher
in return. With her
delicate hands, sets it
gentle before the
faithful feet of
Wild belly of the sea
Rages against her father.
Who would throw delicate
yellow and gutsy purple
flowers to the ravenous
foam? Father who has
birthed a goddess. Sedna,
who sinks ships, ferociously
guards sleeping children,
who washes our wants upon
the shores of our strangest
dreams. We wake up in
the sweat of it. Feeling the
bite of the shining teeth of
the mouse. Hearing the crack!
Thunder shakes our bones. Still,
in the center of the wildness,
the gift she brings, message
about our very lives. The gift
shouts "Wake Up!"
Huron Creator Goddess
peering out from the
undulating steel pipe
at the mouth of the barn.
By day, she sits, blinking
out at the circle of light,
mouth end to the world.
There she watches the wind
blow leaves like a dancing
parade in front of her doorstep.
She is born in morning,
Wedded to dusk. It is there
she does her work, her
weaving. Night falls and
with a scruff, scruff, scruff,
she walks out of the pipe
on all fours, her golden
eyes still blinking, blinking.
With her webbed hand
she scoops up earth, makes
raven, makes horse.
Nodding in satisfaction, she
sits like a toad, knees to her
chest and thinks. Then she
reaches out again, scoops
up a handful of earth, makes
lake, makes oak, makes feet.
But, for what? She hops forward.
Leaping over a stone. Scratches
her head. Makes two leggeds.
Scratches her head. Grandmother
Toad, stretches up on hind
legs, breaths into woman’s mouth.
She says to woman. Remember,
remember the earth.
You will know her.
She brings you a pomegranate.
Sweet red seeds burst in your
mouth. She holds you in her
hands like you hold the fruit.
Rocking you back and forth.
She says, "It is time to choose."
These lives are like snakeskin.
This time you could be a scorpion,
spider, swan or wolf. You could
dance in the joy of having red
hair. You could love lakes, eat
words for dinner every night.
You choose the path. And
before you answer, feel each
of those tiny seeds exploding
on your tongue.
Watch her dance,
Skirts in the wind.
Dyed bright colors of the sun:
orange and red. Of the rock:
turquoise. The desert her
dance partner. Lean close to
her whispering lips. She is
kin with scorpion and stinging
wasp. Her bedfellow each
night a different snake.
Malinalxochi has learned
of shedding skins. When
her words pour into your
ear like the wind, she will
give your mind the same
shedding skin. Wrapper
of the vain air, unlacing itself
into your dreamtime,
Only you blink, startled to
realize you are awake.
You, afraid of the scorpion,
the jet black wasp. She with
these creatures as familiars
and house pets, common as
the water glass on her
About the Author: Tiazo Dreaming Bee is a poet and artist who spends her time lost in the creativity of quilting or writing her first novel about mothers and daughters. She has published a book of transformational poetry called Symphony of My Shoulders. Right now she is living the life of a gypsy while she and her family find their home in a 30 foot travel trailer. She joined Sisters of the Burning Branch to learn more about the Goddess and is currently dreaming up a project to pour her Goddess poems into. All poems are under copyright. Email email@example.com.
by: Jewelgirl, White Moon School
I began alone my journey fair
I had high hopes of who I'd meet there
Never did I think I'd meet the Lady
New friends I'd meet, maybe
I met a Lady always know to me
Though her name I could never see
She shared Her light with me this night
She helped make the way seem bright
I never thought I'd see her here
Even though I'd ever felt her near
She made her presence know to me
Her name now I clearly see
Lady of the crossroad lead me
In your shelter, safely keep me
Hecate was the name she bore
Walk the crossroads evermore
By my side both night and day
Thank you, Lady, for showing me the way.
About the Author: Connie B. Estrada - Jewelgirl, is currently a student at The White Moon School, studying to become a High Priestess.
Recipes Fit For A Goddess
by: Spiralotus, Initiate of White Moon School
There are two things I do when I am carving the pumpkins for Samhain, I save the pulp for soup and the seeds for snack.
Spicy Pumpkin seeds
This recipe is for about a cup of seeds adjust your measurements for more or less seeds and to personal taste. You will need:
1 Tbls. Seasalt or Kosher salt
1-2 tsp. Curry spice
1-2 tsp.Tumeric (for good color)
1-2 tsp. of Cumin
1 C of pumpkin seeds - cleaned of all their pulp rinsed off and dried for about an hour or two in a single layer.
Turn oven on to 250 degrees and lightly oil a pan. Combine all the ingredients and spread the seeds in a pan in a single layer. Bake for about an hour. When seeds are cool put them in a pretty jar where everyone can snack on them - they will go fast.
I use the pumpkin pulp from our jack-o-lanterns for this soup. You will need:
1 quart of your favorite stock
1-2 boiled potatoes cut into small pieces
1 onion cut into small pieces
2-3cloves of garlic (depending on taste)
1-2 tsps. of curry
1-2 tsps. of chili powder
1-2 tsps. of ginger.
Lightly fry up the onion and garlic in olive oil or if going fat-free, water. Cook the onion until soft and clear. Combine all ingredients in the blender or food processor to puree. You may need to process the soup in small batches. Put the soup in a pot and simmer over medium - medium high until it starts to gently boil. Let simmer for about a 1/2 hour being sure to stir periodically so it doesn't stick. This can be made a day or two ahead which allows the flavors to blend. Check flavorings before, this soup may need a little extra salt or flavorings just before you serve, it depends on how spicy you want it! When ready to serve, put a dollop of non-fat yogurt or sour cream in the middle. You can garnish with a little chili powder and/or toasted pumpkin seeds if you like. Serve with a green salad and fresh crusty bread - Yum.
About the Author: Spiralotus is initiate of WMS, a Reiki Master/Teacher trained in Crystal and Chakra Therapy. In her mundane life she is a Special Education Teacher working in a High School on Long Island in New York. She is a wife and mother of two children, her youngest enjoys carving pumpkins as well as making these recipes with her.
by: Majka, White Moon School
Triple Goddess Biscotti
Celebrate the Divine Feminine and the divine benefits of ginger -- Success, courage, strength in triple strength.
½ cup Sugar
2 medium eggs
¼ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans
2 tbs. ground ginger
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs. grated ginger root
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ cup minced crystallized ginger
In a bowl, cream sugar and butter. Stir in gingers, eggs and pecans. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder; add to ginger mixture. Divide dough in halves or thirds. On a well floured surface, shape into logs. Transfer logs to a parchment paper-lined or lightly sprayed baking sheet; bake in a preheated 375° oven for 20 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes. Cut logs on the diagonal into ¾-inch slices. Return slices to backing sheet, leaving space around each slice; continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until desired crispness. Cool completely on rack before storing in an airtight container. Makes 24.
From ancient Syria, the Mymphai of the Fig, Sykei, offer this gift -- Figs for divination and love.
½ cup Sugar
1 cup (about 8 oz.) toasted pistachio nuts
¼ cup butter, softened
1 cup chopped dried figs
2 medium eggs
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. lemon extract
In a bowl, cream sugar and butter. Stir in eggs and vanilla and lemon extracts. Add pistachios and figs. In another bowl, combine flour and baking powder; add to fig mixture. Divide dough in halves or thirds. On a well floured surface, shape into logs. Transfer logs to a parchment paper-lined or lightly sprayed baking sheet; bake in a preheated 375° oven for 20 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes. Cut logs on the diagonal into ¾-inch slices. Return slices to backing sheet, leaving space around each slice; continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until desired crispness. Cool completely on rack before storing in an airtight container.
The Goddess Pomona brings us the fruits of ancient Rome; Almonds for wisdom and cinnamon for spirituality.
1 cup toasted almonds
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ tsp. baking powder
2 tbs. honey
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 medium eggs
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. almond extract
¼ tsp. allspice
In a food processor or blender, finely gind 1/3 of the almonds. In a bowl, combine ground almonds, flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Stir in honey, egg, vanilla and almond extract.
Gradually blend in dry mixture and remaining almonds. Divide dough in halves or thirds. On a well floured surface, shape into logs. Transfer logs to a parchment paper-lined or lightly sprayed baking sheet; bake in a preheated 350° oven for 20 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes. Cut logs on the diagonal into ¾-inch slices. Return slices to backing sheet, leaving space around each slice; continue baking for 10-15 minutes or until desired crispness. Cool completely on rack before storing in an airtight container. Makes 36.
Ix Chel Biscotti
The Mayan Goddess of the Moon, Ix Chel, wishes us good health and mental powers with her sweet gifts.
½ cup Sugar
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped toasted Brazil nuts or walnuts
¼ cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs. Chocolate extract
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
2 medium eggs
2 tbs. Unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbs. Instant coffee powder
In a bowl, cream sugar and butter. Stir in chocolate extract and eggs. Add nuts. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients; add to egg mixture. Divide dough in halves or thirds. On a well floured surface, shape into logs. Transfer logs to a parchment paper-lined or lightly sprayed baking sheet; bake in a preheated 375° oven for 20 minutes or until firm. Cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes. Cut logs on the diagonal into ¾-inch slices. Return slices to backing sheet, leaving space around each slice; continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until desired crispness. Cool completely on rack before storing in an airtight container. Makes 24.
I prefer walnuts! Careful -- these are hard to tell when they are done. For the first baking, they should be firm and not doughy in the middle.
Editors Note: Majka's Goddess biscotti rocks!!! GrannyMoon
About The Author: Majka Zmaj is a perennial student and teacher. Most recently she has enrolled at the White Moon School to further her studies into Goddess Spirituality. She is a professional scientist and project manager in her mundane life. Gardening is one of her passions. She is always ready to discuss labyrinths or other sacred space at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her other interests include cooking, web design, blogging, beading and writing. Her current home is in North Carolina.
Weaving The Web...
Further information on this issue's theme can be found by searching online using a search engine such as Google. Here are some links to get you started.
WitchVox: Samhain Events
An incredible collection of events from the largest Pagan site on the internet.
Samhain Lore and Symbolism
Samhain Customs and Lore
The articles featured in Seasons of the Moon are written and/or submitted by members of The Order of The White Moon and are their own intellectual property. Please feel free to share this publication but please do give credit where credit is due and link back to the source.
Thank you for reading, we hope that you have enjoyed it just as much as we have enjoyed presenting it to you!
Many blessings to you and yours!
Seasons of The Moon Staff
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