30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Twenty-Five

Dia de los Muertos
November 1 – November 2.2020

Today’s post is about a very special celebration of the Dead, Dia de Los Muertos. As a culture, we tend to have a very somber and to some degree separated view of death. Of course there is sadness in the loss of a loved one and grief can be overwhelming; but celebrating as an act of joy and reverence honoring that death is another phase in a continuing cycle of life can heal in a way that truly integrates the life that was lived and the life that is left in legacy that is being lived. And, Dia de Los Muertos does that and more….

Linda Stone, co-owner of the restaurant, positions photos on the alter at the Day of the Dead celebration held Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, at Casa Borrega. (Dinah Rogers Photo)

At midnight on Nov. 1, Dia de Los Muertos begins. It is a significant day on the Mexican calendar, and a holiday that is widely misunderstood in the United States.

First things first: It has nothing to do with Halloween. It’s a family time, joyful and uplifting, its own celebration. It’s probably too late to put this skull-faced genie back in the bottle, but some Mexican Americans feel it’s disrespectful to wear or celebrate anything to do with Day of the Dead on Halloween, or to incorporate the two. (The upcoming Disney/Pixar movie, “Coco,” which includes a young boy’s journey in the “Land of the Dead,” is set for Oct. 27 release in Mexico but has a deliberately delayed release date of Nov. 22 in the United States for this reason, according to bloggers invited to press events.)

Dia de Los Muertos runs through Nov. 2. It is when the souls of the dead are invited back to reunite with their loved ones in the land of the living. The first night, Nov. 1, is for children who have died, and Nov. 2 is for adults. The holiday affirms that death is part of the cycle of life; it is not to be feared. It is not sad or scary.

Dia de Los Muertos dates back 3,000 years and began with Aztecs honoring of the dead, then evolved after Catholicism arrived in the region. It coincides with the Catholic feast days of All Souls Day and All Saints Day. Families celebrate by visiting ancestors in cemeteries, cleaning tombs, building decorations and picnicking as mariachis stroll around. The magic of the candle-lit, flower-bedecked cemeteries, particularly in Oaxaca, draws tourists from all over the world….

Source: NOLA.com by Judy Walker:
Day of the Dead, a food-filled holiday that has nothing to do with Halloween.”

Marigolds, the flower of the dead, decorate many Dia de Los Muertos altars. The marigold’s scent helps guide the spirits home and represents the fragility of life. (Photo by Judy Walker)

The Voices of Dia de los Muertes 

In San Francisco, California, Martha Rodríguez-Salazar has been working with the San Francisco Symphony for the past 10 years in their annual Día de los Muertos community celebration, which includes music and altars commissioned from different artists.

..The tradition [in Mexico] is you invite people to your house for pan de muerto and then you go to the cemetery. You eat food there, drink tequila or mezcal, and that’s the celebration. You want to leave your door open because a stranger can bring a spirit of your loved one. You never know… 

Juan Castaño, co-founderof Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, moved to New York with his family when he was 22.

“I am a Mexican-American born in the border city in El Paso, Texas. My identity is both Mexican and American. Growing up, I knew about Día de Muertos, but it’s not something my family really did, since it came more from southern Mexico,” he said. “When we moved to New York, I met people from Puebla, and I started learning more.”

When his father passed away, Castaño wanted to do something special, so he decided to make his first altar.

“It was really a beautiful experience…It’s a very personal thing,” he said. “I remember looking at the altar and putting coffee there, because my dad loved coffee. My mom said, ‘No, he would never like it like that — and she took it away and made it piping hot with a little sugar, and the experience created a conversation between us,” said Castaño. Dia de Muertos is very powerful, because you feel peace and a beautiful experience remembering someone and celebrating what they did and who they were.”

The Altars Honoring the Dead

Source: nbcnews.com-Claudia Dechamps
Día de los Muertos Altars: Loving Tribute to Deceased Family, Friends

“The Day of the Dead, remembering loved ones, goes back to Aztec times, los Aztecas, los Toltecs, los Zapotecs,” says Ramírez in his characteristic way of weaving both English and Spanish in his conversations.

The eve of Día de los Muertos, on November 1st, is when the “angelitos” (little angels) or the spirits of children who have passed, descend. November 2nd is when the spirit of the adults follow.

“Los cielos se abren, (the heavens open) and the spirits come down from heaven to be with us and we receive them,” says Ramirez.

The altar “receives” those who have passed with their favorite foods, drinks and even some of their personal belongings.

The construction of an altar starts with a table covered with a white cloth, representing purity. Once that is in place, explains Ramirez, the creation of an altar requires the elements that constitute the universe.

“It is the wind, the water, fire and earth. That is almost the whole universe. That is what it is composed of,” Ramirez says.

The wind is represented with the paper ornaments called “papel picado” since it moves with the wind. The water, according to Ramirez, has a dual meaning.

“Water can be included with a glass of water because the spirits are thirsty when they are coming down. The water can also be seen as cleansing, as a ‘limpia.”

The fire is represented by candles, which also symbolize the lighting of the path for the souls and the burning of copal, a natural resin used as incense.

Other crucial elements in the altar are the marigold flower, or cemasuchil – a bright orange blossom similar to a chrysanthemum symbolizing the sun – and the placement of bread of the dead, or “pan de muerto,” a round baked good with cross bones as decorations. The fruits can either be part of the favorite foods of the deceased though they also symbolize a harvest.

“Sometimes,” says Magdalena Cervantes, “I think you focus on the mourning and the loss and you forget the little things, like the molcajete (a stone mortar and pestle). To me, when you think of grandma, you think of the molcajete.

Expressing love to long departed loved ones, says Ramirez, is exactly the emotion that makes each altar unique. “So, this connects you better with the memories and the spirits and if you really get into it, you can almost feel the presence of your ancestors.”

Please check out the Bonus Post: Book Review

Llewellyn’s Little Book of Day of the Dead by Jaime Girones

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Twenty-Four

Happy Halloween! Happy All Hallow’s Eve!
A Personal Ritual

My offering today is a simple, personal ritual that can be done today, or at any time. The intention is one of honoring your beloved Ancestors, the guidance and gifts you have been gifted from them and your unique gifts that have evolved from them.

Spend some time gathering some pictures/album if you have one, to be used as the representation of your Ancestors. I am going to say that for this ritual, your Ancestors do not have to be biological. These may be those beloveds whom you considered to be “family” in every sense of the word. The key take-away from this statement is that we are all connected and all carry within our spiritual bloodlines the energy of all others who have come and passed before us, whether biological or not. And, I know that there are many who never connected to their biological family and found true home, support, love and Ancestry in other than DNA.

So, when you are ready, let’s begin….

A Personal Ritual of Honoring Your Legacy of the Ancestors

You will need:

A Quiet place where you will not be disturbed, and…..

  • Candle of any color or size;
  • Candle and holder if needed;
  • Lighter or matches;
  • Album(s) or Pictures of any Ancestors you wish to honor;
  • Blank sheet of paper and marker/open;
  • Glass cup or container with a small amount of alcohol, strong black coffee or tea to be used as offering to your Ancestors.

When you have gathered your supplies, take a moment and look around at the space you have chosen for this working. Get comfortable and settle into a chair, the floor or simply standing.

Take several very deep breaths, each deeper and longer than the next and allow any distractions from the day/evening or outside world to fall away for this space of time.

Create a container of Sacred Space for yourself and this work in whatever manner is aligned with your practice. If you wish to do a full casting that is fine, as well as a visualization of being surrounded by white light, an offering to your guides and spirits,etc.

Once complete, verbally invite into that space whatever beings you wish to assist or witness this rite. Feel their presence and offer up gratitude for answering your call.

Turn your focus to the altar space you have set for your working. Bless this space as support and container for the work that you will be doing and offer up gratitude for each of the items present on it-pictures/albums, candle, lighter, sheet of paper and marker. Take several minutes to allow the echoes of what you have set into motion to resonate within you.

Take your blank sheet of paper and pen/marker and in the center of the sheet draw an image that represents You. (I would possibly draw a serpent since I work with that energy frequently, or the glyph for the planet Uranus, which is very strongly activated within me; or an ankh, representing the Egyptian pantheon and those who are my guides and guardians).

As you draw this symbol fill it with all of the intentions of those gifts that have been guided by what you know of your ancestors. When complete, (literally) breathe into this image seeing it enlivened and quickened by your intentions and breath.

Hold up your glass holding the offering to your Ancestors and say aloud a welcoming and calling to those you wish to be present. Make declaration of your intention to honor their gifts left behind and gifted to you and to your work of becoming the embodiment of their legacy. When the calling feels answered place the glass back on the altar.

Around the edging if your paper and symbol draw a star shape or asterisk to represent each of your Ancestors.  As you draw each star of representation, say that Ancestor’s name aloud and hold their image in your mind’s eye for a few minutes. Scatter these stars around your symbol so they fill in space 360-degrees.

Once complete, return to focusing on the symbol of You. Now fill this symbol with all of those intentions of gifts you have cultivated from this lifetime’s work that are unique to you and would be considered your legacy. Hold each gift for a moment in the space of your consciousness and ten send it into the image. When complete, (literally) breathe into this image seeing it enlivened and quickened by your intentions and breath.

Weaving the Legacy

Take up your candle and place it centrally on the paper over the symbol of “you”. Look at each of the stars of your ancestors and envision each sparkling brightly and enlivened. See each connecting one to the other. Take up your lighter and when the star-filled background of Ancestors feels enlivened, light your candle. Let the flame of that candle move into the light of the symbol of “you” underneath. Allow your intention to weave all of the energy of each of your star-filled ancestors into and through the symbol of “you” and up and into the brilliance of light from the candle flame. Spend some time weaving a tapestry of connection from stars to candle to symbol of “you”. Let it continue to build as a complete picture of light and star, you and them (Ancestors), and when you feel ready-draw the energy into your being. Hold the intention of the inter-connectedness.  Remain in this energy for as long as you wish.

When you feel complete. Verbally offer up gratitude to those Ancestors whom you have honored. Offer up gratitude to those guides, guardians and spirits whom you called to witness and assist. Release the energy of your sacred space/casting and allow yourself to slowly return to the mundane.  Extinguish your candle and reuse as needed to bolster and serve as a reminder of the work you have accomplished. Libate the alcohol/coffee/tea to the land and speak the intention of it as gift from the Ancestors to the land.

So Mote It Be!

May the blessings of the  Ancestors remain within you always. And may you always remember that you will one day also become the Ancestor and have those who will carry your legacy forward!

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Twenty-Three

The Hounds nip at my heels as I move through the dark veil of Samhain Night.

I breathe deeply feeling the pain of sharp teeth and hot breath as grateful reprieve comes as winged feet take flight Soaring and carrying me upward.

Time pulls at my back drawing me down into a descent of shadow and light I breathe deeply and feel the strain of forward momentum gaining speed and clarity shatters the fetters of illusion.

Thoughts gather and commune in
my mind each measured by scale of
will and intent as the breath of death
and decay swirls around me .

The Hounds nip at my heels
still running at fevered pace
my breath coming in shortened
gasps and heart that beats
like syncopated drumming.

The Hounds nip at my heels
coming closer still until
I offer up my dues and surrender
to the renewal of rebirth
returning to manifest life
with Hounds laying
obediently at my feet.

It is Samhain Eve and magick is afoot! Breathe into the dark spaces and enter with courage and a heart of pure intent. All that we wish to gain mastery over rises to the surface as shadows and specters swirl about us; probing, prodding and pushing us towards our goals of release, wisdom and celebration.

The darkness crowds in and what we believe to be true is opened like the center of a rare and succulent fruit; awaiting the delight and sensual pleasure of consuming. The light flashes and we see the beauty of what awaits our transformation and we arise from the weight of our doubt to embrace Samhain’s gifts as the hounds nip at our heels…

For today’s post I offer an audio pathworking. It is not specific to Samhain but is aligned with this year’s theme of reflection and personal transformation…Enjoy the journey!

Into the Deep and Evolve

Tomorrow’s post: A Personal Celebration of Honoring Yourself As the Ancestor’s Legacy

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Twenty-Two-VIDEO

The Lantern of Truth
Tarot Spread

Today’s post is a special Tarot spread that can be used anytime you are seeking deeper insight into how to stoke those fires of light that dispel the darkness and illuminate growth. It aligns with the six-pointed star that is held within the lantern of the Hermit. This being the product of the greater work of turning within and allowing to grow a light of consciousness that shines brightly in any circumstance and on all planes. I have also given a little hint as to the Qabalistic references of the card’s placements (not necessarily the traditional assignations :).

Click for the: Transcript Page and Link

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Twenty-Two

The Lantern of Truth
Tarot Spread

Today we stand just at the edge of our first celebration of Samhain on October 30-31st. Throughout these posts I have encouraged you to dig deeper into yourself so that you may better engage with your Ancestors, the energy surrounding as the veils have thinned and the anticipation of what will be revealed in the month’s ahead.

The Lantern of Truth Tarot spread was originally published in alignment with the coming of the Winter Solstice. I have decided to post it now, since we could all use a little direction and guidance as we embark on the journey of moving inward. There is an accompanying video that may be used if you want a “walk through”.

This may not feel very Samhain-like to some, but seeing a larger and different perspective by the work of introspection allows for continued growth. What you choose to accept of the tried and true ways of celebration and honoring, I believe, serve as the foundation of what will evolve and change as you evolve and change on your spiritual path. And, what better time than under the spell of Samhain’s depths to reach into the new and unique?

Transcript and Links

This page is the transcript of a VIDEO showing the Lantern of Truth Tarot Spread

A Little Numerology:

The Hermit- Key IX

Nine (9) is the number of endings and beginnings and initiatory experience. This is the final single digit number that relates to the individual and unique “you”. Wherever nine occurs there is opportunity for growth; but, only if you willingly leave behind what serves no purpose towards your future growth.

The Star of the Lantern-VI

Six (6) is the harmonious elevation of three expressions of being. Two co-create and the resultant product is a third. This triune nature is one of pure creation and amplified x’s 2 gives the energy of polarity. This is the blueprint for creation that is diverse and can serve as a summation of all of its parts. In the model of the 6-pointed star there is an image of 2/triangles (3 parts), one point upwards in reception to the Divine and one pointing downward; acknowledgement that Spirit  has descent into the Manifest.

Seven Card Spread

The number Seven (7) is the outcome of the harmonious six of Descent into Matter. Seven offers the paths of exploration that will  provide deeper knowledge and greater learning from what has been grown. These seven cards offer the key to knowing more of yourself.

The Hermit Key is placed in the center and is YOU!

How To:

  • Use whatever deck you are comfortable with;
  • Set out a beautiful solid color cloth to lay the spread on to;
  • REMOVE the HERMIT-Key IX from the deck and place in the center;
  • Be sure to shuffle the remaining cards very well;
                               …..Then…
  • Take the deck in your hands and breathe and center yourself;
  • Set the intention of seeking the wisdom of finding the truth of your gifts (refer back to the numerology above as the support for this);
  • Set the intention of what is revealed to be used as the tools of birthing a light within that will herald the birthing of a new light at the Winter Solstice.

Card 1: Represents the strength of your Manifest form and its fullest potential.
QBL-Malkuth- The Foundation of Earth, the alchemical Elements and the Physical Form

Card 2: Represents how you will use that strength to create what you wish to out-picture. (The Darkness of Creation’s Womb)
QBL-Binah-The Understanding of the Creatrix and the Womb of First Beginnings

Card 3: Represents the action and energy needed to seed that creation. (Higher Will to Action)
QBL-Chokmah-The Wisdom of the Cosmos and the Seed that Emanates from the Limitless All

Card 4: Represents the image and plan for that creation. (Inspired Mind)
QBL- Hod-The Glory of Mind Inspired by Pure and Abstract Plan

Card 5: Represents where your passion can be stoked to refine what you have planned. (Inspired Heart)
QBL- Netzach-The Victory of Refinement and Balance through Mastery of the Intelligent Heart

Card 6: Represents the outcome and product of The Darkness of Creation’s Womb with your Higher Will to Action and the Manifest form guided by Inspired Mind and Heart.
QBL- Kether-The Crown of Creation and the Divine Shining in Brilliance and Awareness of SELF

Link to the VIDEO

Read more about the Qabalah..
Qabalah Bootcamp-Just the Basics
Qabalistic Journeys

Other Tarot Topics..
78 Keys of Tarot

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Bonus Post

Book Review: Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fire by C. Ara Campbell

Publisher: Fair Winds Press.192pages.9.14.2021

…. Deep transformation occurs when we connect to the ancient wisdom of the dark goddesses. Through her practices and rituals, we can reshape our world. By embrac­ing our darkness and dancing with our shadows, we embrace the truth of all that we are. The wisdom in these myths aids us in finding our truth….C. Ara Campbell

Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fireby C. Ara Campbell is a thoughtful book that expands on the traditional Goddesses associated with darker magick and introduces the reader to a darker side of many others normally favored for their gentler and more nurturing nature. Twenty (20) Goddesses grace this book from a variety of pantheons and cultures which offers up the theme of dark and powerful energy residing throughout. These include Hecate, Kali, the Morrighan and Lilith; as well as Aradia, Spider Woman, Yemaya and Persephone. Persephone is a perfect example of thinking outside of the usual attributes of being the “victim” and in this writing she becomes the transformer and bridge between the worlds of separation, loss and love.

Each of the twenty (20) sections is dedicated to a single Goddess and is formatted in the same way for all, making this title a very user friendly book suitable for both the beginner and the more experienced practitioner. By the time you have arrived at the third or fourth Goddess, the expectations and patterning of what will be revealed of their mysteries has been established giving the journey through this reading a very cohesive and organized approached around what can often become very chaotic subject matter.

A beautiful and compelling color image graces the page that introduces each Goddess and Ms. Campbell offers a listing of the epithets by which She may be known and an invocation specific to the energy of She who is the focus. An invocation to the deity is the first offerings towards learning more. Following a brief introduction to the Goddess and Her attributes, the reader is guided through a brief visualization taking the reader on a visioning unique and distinct to the energies that may be accessed in working with that Goddess. These would be useful as stand alone contemplatives that the reader could incorporate into their personal practice and /or for ritual workings.

Ms. Campbell goes on to provide basic information about the Goddess’ energy and the needs for which that particular Goddess may be called upon. A listing of correspondences and associations that can be employed to enhance the projection of Her energy is provided and these included crystals, colors, archetypes, symbols and more. These add another layer to the building of a conscious identity of the Goddess for the reader to pursue and explore.

An additional component that Ms. Campbell has added is that of an affirmation for each of the Goddesses. This lends a very personal approach and encourages a deepening of connection to that Goddess immediately. It is a very simple and practical way of experiencing the gifts of Dark Goddess energy and allows the reader to become a co-creator in whatever outcome is desired…

…I make decisions that are in alignment with my highest good and deepest truth. I honor my own path forward. I make choices that honor my needs and desires. I am a channel for divine wisdom and magick… Hecate Affirmation

Practical application of what has been learned is provided by way of a ritual aligned with Dark, New or Full lunations. Spell work follows; these often being suitable to incorporating into the ritual aspect and I appreciate that the supplies required for these are easily obtainable and few in number. This encourages the reader to be more spontaneous in trying out what is being presented without concern over having to gather a laundry list of items and engages both those new to the path and the more adept in a personal experience of the Goddess’ energy.

All in all, each section is comprehensive yet simple and concise in what is offered as some of the many ways to access the magick of the selected Goddesses.

Would I Recommend:

Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fireby C. Ara Campbell is an excellent resource for the practitioner who wishes to attune to a power that is more fierce in its nature and provocative in what it arouses in its seeker. A Glossary, Resources listing and Index at the end of the book provide the perfect “go to” for quick reference and reinforcement of the material previously presented. Additionally, the inclusion of so many Goddesses that may aid in the work of a type of magick that is truly transformative by virtue of its disruptive and re-organizing flow is in support of the concept that one size does not fit all. Traditionally, these as well as those Goddesses of a lighter nature have often been categorized under the same archetypal energy and attributes. Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fire offers the resounding reply to that sentiment and demonstrates that the individuality of all beings, God-Goddess-Human or otherwise is both unique and very specific in its outcome in alignment with their deeper mysteries.

About the Author: C. Ara Campbell

C. Ara Campbell is a visionary writer, author, and founder of The Goddess Circle. She is a soul guide, cosmic channel, facilitator of The Inner Priestess Awakening Online Journey and Relationship Empowerment & Sacred Love Online Journey, and author of The Astro Forecast Publication. She is also a purveyor of rare and high vibration crystals in her popular Etsy Shop. Ara is a modern day mystic dedicated to the rising feminine, and connecting others with their gifts and healing using the natural world.

Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fire on Amazon

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30-Days of Samhain 2021:Day Twenty-One

Hecate: The Sorrow of the Mother

Today’s post is the second of three aligned with the Last Quarter Moon of today, and the energy of Hecate as the Mother. I talked of the Goddess, Hecate’s energy during this season and these three posts offer a meeting at the crossroads with each of her selves and we have already met her as the Maiden at the Full Moon on October 20th. Traditionally, we would use the Full Moon as our space of calling to the Goddess in her mantle as Mother. But, this year, I would like to offer a perspective that illustrates the ability to reach out to any Deity, at ANY time in any of their forms. Today, we call to the Mother cloaked in the mantle of a waning 4th Quarter Moon…

October 28.2021
4th Quarter Moon in Astrological Leo
4:05pm (EDT)

I call to you at the darkening
Fourth Quarter of the Moon.
You who are my child
Of great promise.

I, alone, wait at the darkened moonlit
Crossroads as only a
Mother will do for
Her wayward child.

I stand ready to defend and to
Teach but you must reach out
In embrace of my stern ways.

I wait and there is only the
Flow of my tears that you
Have not yet found your way
Back to Me.

It is within my womb that
You were quickened
And each step you have taken
On your journey has had my
Mark of unconditional love
Upon it.

I am cloaked in the light
Of a thousand moons and
The reach of my hand
To draw you to me
Shines blood red from
All that I have birthed.

This is the second of three posts about the Triple Goddess Hecate and her gifts expressed through the face of Maiden, Mother and Crone. This year, at the time of the Full Moon I offered my experience of Her as the Maiden, bursting with the fullness of life and vibrancy. I felt my own strength renewed as I ran beside her; youthful and exuberant. That energy has carried me towards this point of the 4th Quarter Waning Moon, but a deep sorrow has filled me as my own place as a mother has changed. There is a certain joy that permeates everything when your children are younger and they hang on every word, see you as the center of all and love you unconditionally. As they grow and become more self-sufficient the role you had in their lives changes and the relationships you had become memories to be cherished as new ones take shape. The goal when they come into your life is to guide their growth into responsible, self-reliant adults; and when this occurs it is a bittersweet sorrow and joy to experience. Tonight I will seek Hecate’s wisdom and guidance as I sit in meditation and reflect on that goal successfully achieved.

Tonight the Moon is cloaked in the astrological sign of Leo. This is the flaming charismatic sign of the Great Zodiacal Wheel that carries the fierceness of the Lion and I feel the overlay of that thrust towards those beginnings that resonate through me with the same energy left by the Maiden’s hand. Leo is a Fire sign and the intensity of Hecate’s energy as Mother is that of the catalytic fires that quicken in preparation for what will be birthed. Hers is the intensity of a Mother’s love that will traverse the flames of pain and suffering to protect her child. Hers is also the fire of sorrow as the child leaves and the Mother has only memories of a time of nurturing and tending. And so, on this night when the ripe fruits of fullness have turned towards what will become the sustaining harvest and the Fires of Will flame high, I call to Hecate to ease this sorrow of the mother and help me to shine in the radiance of my own quickening.

I hear echoed back to me her response calling me to stand at her crossroads, tell her my story of sorrow and ask of her what I will. I breathe deeply settling into my meditation and see myself standing under the fullness of a moon; the cold chill of wind moving around me and know this is the stirrings of my own anticipation at being in the presence and potency of her energy as the Great Mother. The power of her presence rushes in swirling about me. The energy of youth now tempered Her form takes shape in front of me. Strength and stability are traced in the silhouette of her Being. She is radiant in her darkness and is cloaked in a flowing gown of deep burgundy reds. Hair black as the night sky flows abundantly framing a face of stern gentleness. This is not the Mother who will see past all flaws of her creation. Nor is she the one of judgment whose expectations could never be realized. Eyes radiant and as deep and dark as the waters of creation hold the mysteries of her creative acts and the tests she will issue to all who do not recognize and claim the gifts of their Divine birthright.

She takes my hand and at once I feel small and powerful in its grasp. Palpable life giving energy flows through me. Thoughts of inspired creation flash through my mind. My heart beats clearly and strongly echoing the thunderous crashing of waves against the strong foundation of rock. She loosens her hold and I close my eyes and feel the buoyancy of fluid like waves rocking me gently in their embrace. I sense that these are the waters of my tears and the support is one of healing and renewal. I hear the sounds of children’s voices, mothers speaking words of love and encouragement. The sounds of joy in the first meeting of the newborn child and cries of pain at the loss of a child too soon. These sounds merge and weave in crescendo; crowding around me contracting and expanding as I am carried forward in this birthing rhythm. I breathe deeply and the strong hand of Hecate reaches once again for mine, pulling me from the darkness of this womb and into the enlivened illumined grey light and brilliance of darkened moonlight.

I stare into this light, seeking the familiarity of Hecate’s gaze and its brilliance flickers revealing that it is the flaming light from the Mother’s Torch. It is her light that is drawn up into the luminous moon and becomes the downpour that bathes all in its glow. Hecate holds the mystery of its brightness and it is her light that illuminates the journey of all of her children. She stands at the crossroads and with the patience of a mother waits for her lessons to be heeded and her children to claim the power of their true Mother.

The torch of moonlight rains down all about me and I feel the Mother’s mantle enfold my form, lifting my sorrow and opening me to a new way of mothering. I gratefully accept this power of knowing that I am both the place of offering as the mother and receiving as the child a love that holds the gift of creation itself. I am reminded that the Great Mother has been with me at the beginning of my earthly journey and it is into her arms I shall seek refuge and rebirth at my end. I stand in strength and at peace knowing that the sorrow of the mother is in the neglect of the child within that yearns for the Great Mother’s embrace and hear the gentle words, “you are loved”. I offer up gratitude to Hecate and offer vow to her that I will nurture and tend the child that I am; bringing it to its fullest potential in unconditional love. I tell the Goddess that I will seek out her wisdom at the turning of the New Moon. I will come to the crossroads and call to Hecate, the Crone.

I breathe into the space of my meditation and am no longer at the crossroads. I have come full circle back to the place of my sitting with a renewed sense of purpose. The air is fresher, my vision is clearer and I know I am not alone. She will wait for me with the patience of the Mother.

Hecate and HER Crossroads:

The Longing of the Maiden

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Twenty

A Visual Pathworking of meeting Hecate at Her crossroads and choosing your path of transformation. Enjoy!

As we prepare for All Hallow’s Eve, the energies are denser and their is an excitement filling the air. This is a pathworking I created many, many years ago and has become a favorite request.

One of the gifts of standing at the Crossroads is the wonder of how malleable Hecate is. SHE is not simply the anthropomorphic vision we hold of HER. She is all Goddesses. SHE is any Deity that calls to you and in your unabashed reply graces you with HER blessings and gifts.

We will also revisit this Pathworking as we come nearer to the date of Astrological Samhain. Click here to access on my YouTube channel-Journey to the Inner Chamber: A Meeting at the Crossroads

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Nineteen

The Altars of Samhain

” As above ~ So below”
The microcosm within the macrocosm

Altars add a beautiful layer of intention in whatever way they are used. Altars can be set-up as spaces of devotion to ancestors, Deity, events, etc. The reasons are limitless and they don’t need to be the point of focus for sacred work. Trophies placed just so on a mantle; plates or other curio collections in that special cupboard; pictures of family on a wall. These are all arranged with the same passion of intention that any altar constructed for spiritual work holds.

Samhain is especially a time when ideas and power in selection of altar items is at an all time high. We create beautiful and mysterious altars to evoke the mood for our celebration and in many cases the altar becomes a dining table as our departed beloveds are set a place at the table to join us as we feast in their honor. Today, I am offering some suggestions and lots of pictures for inspiration as you begin to build the image of what your altar will be for Samhain.

(in general).. An Altar Checklist

These are some of the items you may wish to place on your altar:

• Ritual Tools – each representing one of the four elements and placed on the altar in the quadrant which it corresponds to.
• Candles representing the Light within and or to represent the spark of Divinity that is being called as God or Goddess.
• Seasonal items such as pumpkins for Samhain, holly leaves for Yule, spring flowers for Ostara, etc.
• Your Book of Shadows/journal and writing tool.
• Any thing you feel called to place on your altar that will enhance the visual experience of the ritual.

Ritual altars are just one form of creating these pockets of sacred space. Altars can be created for a variety of purposes; devotional, personal workings, meditation and more. There is no right or wrong way to create your sacred space. The important thing is to be creative and to place on your altar what truly and deeply calls to you. This is how the greater connection is made to the inner workings of the ritual and the Divine.

Consider this a photo album of reference for creating your own beautiful space of the Sacred. Enjoy!

Portable Samhain Altar
This was an example given from a workshop about creating portable altars that are discreet and can be arranged in any setting.

Scrying Altars

Tarot Scrying Altar
Rune and Crystal Ball Scrying Altar
Mirror Scrying Altar
Multi Tool Scrying Altar
Celestial Moon Scrying Altar

Samhain Altars: An Audience with Cerridwen
Coven of the Mystic Path, Annual Samhain Celebration

Central Altar: World of the Living
Cerridwen’s Altar 1
Altar of the Raven
Altar of the Moon
Altar of Fire
Altar of Earth

The Silent Feast of the Ancestors
An Alternate Celebration of Samhain

Cauldron of Threshold to Welcome the Ancestors
An Ancestor Chair
An Ancestor Chair
Lighting the Way
Altar of the Dead
Feast Table 1 Food was eaten in silence and reverence
Feast Table 2

The Shadow of the Ancestors Ritual

Shadow of the Ancestors Temple of Meeting
Temple of the Ancestors Central Altar

For Examples of Other Altars:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW FB page
I set up altars for my workshops, as well as the altars we’ve created for Sabbats and more. Look through the photo albums

Sacred Altars
More info and pics of Seasonal Altars

An Audio and Visual of a workshop presented at Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day:
Magick on the Go!
Scroll to mid-page to access audio download of workshop and pics

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30-Days of Samhain 2021:Day Eighteen

At Death’s Gate: The Labyrinth of the Dark Goddess

All Hallow’s Eve (aka. Halloween) is just a few days ahead and as we near the time of October 31st and its traditional celebration, it is time to prepare for the journey that will take us to the Crossroads. Today I have a special live recording of a pathworking recently done as part of the Labyrinth of the Dark Goddess series of classes. This particular experiential lends itself to the season of Samhain and our desire to seek the wisdom held at Death’s gate and make use of Hecate’s gifts and keys as part of our mundane/spiritual life.

When we seek to know ourselves in all of our parts, we are often resistant to know those selves in the form of death’s pall and we fear that meeting at the crossroads where we must surrender and leave behind what is of no value to our growth. This pathworking taking us through death’s door and the meeting with Hecate is one of trusting our innate nature to re-create and give birth anew to who we wish to bring back as our newly transformed self.

Find a comfortable space where you will not be disturbed for approx. 30-minutes. Settle in and relax into what is revealed…

At Death’s Gate: The Labyrinth of the Dark Goddess

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