Spirit Message of the Day – Inward Reflection, Heart Alignment

Today is Samhain October 31st

CandlesThree_FullA Little History – Samhain Lore
Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.

It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort.

Originally the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”. Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chawheelcolorlgirs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.

This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that perDay of the Deadson’s fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Also known as All Hallow’s Eve, (that day actually falls on November 7th), and Martinmas (that is celebrated November 11th), Samhain is now generally considered the Witch’s New Year.

— Excerpt from Akasha, Herne and The Celtic Connection wicca.com

Samhain is popularly known today as Halloween, a contraction of the words “Hallowed Evening”, and it retains much of the original form and meaning it had long ago in Celtic lands, despite the efforts of the Church to turn it into an observance of feasting and prayer for their vast pantheon of saints.  The Church began calling it Michaelmas, the feast day of St. Michfireplaceael, but the old Samhain holiday proved to be too potent a drawing card for one lone saint to combat.  So it was renamed the Eve of All Saints, or All Hallows Eve, which precedes All Saint’s Day, and is still one of the holiest days in Catholicism.

The pagan Samhain is not, and never was, associated with evil or negativity.  It has always been a time to reaffirm our belief in the oneness of all spirits, and in our firm resolution that physical death is not the final act of existence.  Though death is very much a part of Samhain’s symbolism, this Sabbat also celebrates the triumph of life over death.

While it is true that Samhain is no more evil than any other holiday, it is also a fact that evil does exist, and pagans have always been aware of this.  Our ancestors sought to protect themselves on this night by carving faces in vegetables to place near jack_o_lanternwindows or at the perimeters of their circle.  These were the forerunners of our present day jack-o-lanterns.  These carved pumpkin faces are probably relics of the even earlier custom of placing candles in windows to guide the earth-walking spirits along their way.  Today it is still a custom in Ireland to place candles in the windows on Samhain night and to leave plates of food for the visiting spirits.

There are two possible sources for the origin of the Samhain Sabbat’s name.  One is from the Aryan God of Death, Samana, and the other is from the Irish Gaelic word “samhraidhreadh”, which literally means “the summer’s end”.  Samhain marked the end of summer boardwalk_originals_halloween_decorations_witch_with_jack_o_lanternand the beginning of winter for the Celts, with the day after Samhain being the official date of the Celtic New Year.  The reason the Celts chose this point in time as their new year rather than Yule, when the rest of Western pagans celebrate it, was because the sun is at its lowest point on the horizon as measured by the ancient standing stones of Britain and Ireland.

This is also a time for harmless pranks, lavish feasting, circle games, and merrymaking which can be teasingly blamed on nearby spirits 😉   (ala Loki, Abbot, Lord of Misrule etc.)

Samhain bonfires, called balefires in paganism, were once lighted on every hilltop in Britain and Ireland as soon as the sun set on October 30.  The word “balefire” comes from the word “boon”, which means “extra”.  The fires serve the purpose of containing the energy of the dead god, lighting the dark night, warding off evil, ushering in the light of the New Year, purifying the ritual space or home, and being the focus of ritual.  In many parts of the British Isles these balefires are still lighted on Samhain to honor the old ways.

The idea that evil spirits walk the earth at Samwhite ghosthain is a misinterpretation of the pagan belief  that the veil of consciousness which separates the land of the living from the land of the dead is at its thinnest on this night.  This does not mean that hordes of evil entities cross this chasm.  Some pagans believe this veil is made thin by the God’s passing through it into the Land of the Dead, and that he will, for the sake of his people, attempt to hold back any spirits crossing into the physical plane whose intent it is to make trouble.  In nearly all the Western pagan traditions, deceased ancestors and other friendly spirits are invited to join the Sabbat festivities, and be reunited with loved ones who are otherwise separated by time and dimensions of existence.

Some modern scholars claim that Samhain’s traditional ‘trick or treat‘ custom was derived from a ploy to to scare away fairies and other mischievous spirits, but it has overtones of being a custom of a much later period, perhaps one which grew up around the Burning Times.  During the Burning Times, masking and dark clothing hid the identities of witches going to their covens so that they might escape detection.  The mask also had the added benefit of frightening away any inquisitor who might happen upon a lone figure in the woods.

—- Excerpt taken from http://www.witchway.net/hallows/lore.html

Spirit Message of the Day – Preserve What is Sacred to You

“When this card appears, it is a sign that preservation is needed. It is time for conservation, staying put, and endurance.”

“The Tree in Winter symbolizes endurance and preservation and tells us to conserve when we find ourselvesTree in Winter by Mickie Mueller in the barren season of our life. A tree in winter does not hate the cold nor mourn the loss of its leaves. It stands as a tree in winter embracing what is natural to the conditions surrounding it, while it awaits the ensured renewal of the coming spring. The card depicts the dead of winter with a tree devoid of its leaves, its branches covered with snow. A wolf approaches, symbolizing the season of decline. To the right of the snow are the hoofprints of a stag, the symbol of the waxing season.”

“The Tree in Winter card speaks to us of preserving and preparation. As a mystery teaching this applies to the barren times of spirisnowy-treetuality when a person feels cut off from divinity, community, or even oneself. The message of the tree in winter is to hold onto those things that remain, and to accept what is sparse without feelings of negativity of deprivation. When we focus on preparation then the message is that something else is on the horizon. Such thoughts and feelings draw us into the spiritual spring season.”

Today’s message is the final and last card series from two books published by Llewellyn that this blog has featured over the past few months which I highly recommend for personal growth and expansion: The Seeker’s Guide to the Hidden Path and A Traveler’s Guide to The Well Worn Path both by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Mueller. Thank you for your contribution – bright blessings to you.

Spirit Message of the Day – A Cycle of Dissipation

“When this card appears, it signals a person or situation arising or arriving that can bring about release, decline, dissolution, or loss.”

“In northern Europe lore we find the character known as the Holly King. He personifies the waning period of thThe Holly King by Mickie Muellere year, which runs from the summer solstice through to the winter solstice. In his legends, the Holly King fights his brother the Oak King for rule of the year. The Holly King wins the summer solstice battle, and the Oak King wins the winter solstice fight.”

“In southern European lore the equinox period marks the waxing and waning periods of the year. The seasonal changes are personified by the stag at the spring equinox and the wolf at the autumn equinox. The card depicts the Holly King dressed in winter clothing and wearing a holly wreath crown. He holds a staff that bears a carved wolf’s head. On his chest he wears a medallion of amber and jet that signifies his time of power.”

“The Holly King presenHolly Tree Winterts the theme of decline as a cycle of its own in nature. It assures us that even as life and the return of life is certain, so too is the certainty of decline and death. The Holly King personifies the divine consciousness within this cycle of nature, which is testimony to the tenacity of the principles represented in the waning season of the year.”

Today’s special message is from The Seeker’s Guide To The Hidden Pathby Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Mueller.

Spirit Message of the Day – Commitment and Integration

“When this card appears it is addressing mating, partnership, union, incorporation, and integration. This card speaks of what unites and binds one thing to another. The card can also speak of matters of love, marriage, and close relationships in general.”

Handfasting by Mickie MuellerTEACHING
“Traditionally the rite of Handfasting is the Pagan equivalent of marriage. In some ancient cultures the couple agreed to be joined together for a limited amount of time (such as a year). At that time the union could be renewed if both members of the couple agreed. In other cultures the rite of Handfasting was intended to join a couple together until the end of their lives.”

“The Handfasting card depicts a couple with their hands fastened together with a cord. The bride holds a bouquet of flowers, which symbolizes thbeltanegrove Mickie Muellere blossoming of a new life. The groom holds an antler with oak leaves, which symbolize endurance and protection. Rings appear on the hands of the couple. The ring is the symbol of completion and unity. It is a token of the love that encircles the couple, and is a sign to the community of their commitment to one another as husband and wife.”

“You move down the well worn path and pass into a clearing in the woods. A wedding is taking place with much merriment. You pause to watch for a few moments. As you watch the couple standing together, you notice her flowers and his antler piece. The figures begin to shift and change into a fairy maiden and a powerful stag. The maiden is born from the flowers in the meadow, and the stag is born from the antler in the woods. These are the timeless figures of the Lady of the Fields and the Lord of the Woods.”

natures_embrace“As the vision continues, the red and white cord binds the maiden and the stag. It is a red, flowing river of ancestral blood giving new life to the white bone of the dry ravine. Here the souls of the ancestors are carried to the womb of the maiden, where they await rebirth. You hear the voices of the ancestral spirits coming your way from the cottage in the woods. You decide to move on, and the vision fades away. As you look back you see the bride and groom holding hands as the wedding continues.”

Today’s message is from A Traveler’s Guide to the Well Worn Path by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Muller.

Spirit Message of the Day – Seek And Act With A Higher Nature

“When this card appears, it is a sign to be open and to ‘rise above’ and seek a higher nature. Doing so may require becoDrawing Down Moon by Mickie Muellerming a vessel to draw and contain what is needed to accomplish what you seek. It can also indicate the awakening or strengthening of oracle or psychic abilities. It is time for a higher vision with an expanded perspective.”

“In modern times, drawing down the moon refers to invoking the Goddess within the mind and body of the High Priestess. this is performed in a ritual circle on the night of the full moon. The High Priestess then serves as the vessel for the Goddess through which she may speak and interact with her followers. In the earliest mentions of the drawing the moon down from the sky we find the concept of using the moon’s light. Dew was collected from moss or lichen at dawn  on the morning following the night of the full moon. Ancient Roman writers such as Lucan refer to this magical substance as the foam of the moon.”

“The card dDrawing Down Moon 2 by Mickie Muellerepicts a High Priest kneeling in front of a High Priestess. He invokes the Moon Goddess into her body. In the background the Goddess is seen manifesting during the invocation. The High Priest wears a crown with antler tips, which denote his connection with the woodland God of the forest. The High Priestess wears a circlet bearing the symbols of the full moon, waxing moon, and waning moon. The circlet is a sign of her rapport and connection to the feminine divine.”

“The triangle figure of the priest’s hands represents the Triangle of Manifestation, which marks time, space, and energy. These are the three requirements for manifestation to take place. Traditionally, to assist the High Priestess with invoking the Goddess, the High Priest uses the ritual want to trace a triangle on her body” starting from the chest downwards. “This creates an inverted triangle into which the Goddess pours like water into a cup, taking on the shape of the container.”

“The Drawing Down the Moon card deals wmoon_goddessith the concept of the receptive vessel and the vehicle for channeling. This concept relates to the necessity of a material form through which a spirit being can operate within the material dimension. This is similar to possession, with the exception that possession can be involuntary or undesired, whereas the act of drawing down the moon is a willful and purposeful act of opening up to receive the emanation of divine consciousness.”

Today’s message is from The Seeker’s Guide To The Hidden Path by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Mueller.

Spirit Message of the Day – Expand Sense of Self to Encompass Your Future

“The reality of other dimensions that are not evident to one who sees only the surface or what is apparent or in plain view.  This card reveals that there is more depth and a greater connection than what seems apparent in the situation. It is time for expansiveness, all encompassing, and elaboration.”

Three Great Realms by Mickie MuellerTEACHING
“There are three realms that comprise the Universe. These are known as the Overworld, Middleworld, and Underworld. The Overworld contains the stars and the heavenly worlds. The Middleworld is the realm of mortal kind. The Underworld is the realm of the dead, and also contains Otherworld of myth and legend. In one of the earliest writings to mention the Three Realms (Hesiod’s Theogony), we find that the goddess Hecate reigns over the three known realms of the ancient world. Hecate, in her earliest reference, is depicted as a great goddess who grants fertility, victory, and good fortune. In late times we find the introduction of elements that associate her with the dead and the crossroads, and portray her as a crone figure.”

“In the mystical tradition of the broom, we find it made of an ash handle, a birch brush, and willow straps that bind it all together. In old lore associated with the broom,broom it is used for magical flight, and is therefore connected to the Three Great Realms as a vehicle for traversing the worlds. The card depicts a Book of Shadows opened to a page portraying a broom-like tree that represents the three worlds. Its branches reach into the sky where birds, the messengers of the gods, come to nest. Its roots twist and move downward like serpents into the dark secrets that reside in the shadowy Underworld.  In many old legends we find tales of the World Tree symbolizing the structure and supporting system of the Universe. In some myths we find the tree as a symbol of enlightenment, such as in the tale of Odin, who hangs suspended from a tree until he gains enlightenment. The tree is, in essence, a bridge that unites the Three Great Realms. In the Middleworld of mortal Faerie Door by Mickie Muellerkind, the tree is often shown with a hollow in the center, which is known as a faery door. Through the gateway located Middleworld, one can enter and exist in the other dimensions beyond. However, the way is open only to those who have the courage and fortitude to explore the mysteries within and without.”

“The Three Great Realms card speaks to the three levels through which we connect to other realities. In a spiritual sense it also reflects the three parts of the soul: the higher self, middle-self, and the lower self. This spiritual design establishes a transitory state that allows the soul to explore and integrate all levels of its consciousness and its experiences along the path of evolution. The message of this card is to not be bound to any sense of weakness, but to honor personal achievements as well as failures with an eye towards what is ideal and beneficial for the future.”

Today’s message is from The Seeker’s Guide To The Hidden Path” by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Mueller.

Spirit Message of the Day – Life Vision and Growth Cycles

“The matter at hand relates to the divine feminine expression. It is the whole versus the parts vision of our perception. This card calls for us to payCrescent Crowned Goddess by Mickie Mueller attention to the concept rather than the details. It’s spiritual teaching is to ‘maintain the vision’. Here the card calls to us to not let details deter us from the ultimate goal. At the core of the reading this card focuses on things related to womanhood (birth, cycles of life, motherhood, sexuality, nurturing, etc). On a mystical level the card can also indicate messages/communication from the dead, and oracle forces/powers/abilities.”

“The traditional concept of the Goddess comes from the notion of an ancient Great MCrescent Selenaother figure. She contains a triformis nature within herself, which is reflected as the Maiden, Mother, and Crone (collectively known as the Crescent Crowned Goddess). These attributes connect with phases of the moon: waxing (maiden), full (mother), and waning (crone). As a lunar Goddess, she reveals the inner mysteries of the timeless cycles of life and death.”

“The card depicts the Crescent Crowned Goddess at the entrance to a cave, which represents the portal to the Underworld or Otherworld of myth and legend. Water trickles from the cave, symbolizing the mythical river of descent and ascent (that connects the Otherworld to the mortal world). The torch symbolizes the powCrescent Goddesser of the Moon Goddess to bring enlightenment to the places of darkness. The serpent coiled around her arm represents the power of transformation. It is the shedding of the old for the new, which allows movement and passage between the worlds.”

“The Goddess holds a spindle that represents the life patterns woven by the cycles over which the Goddess reigns. The cauldron is the womb gate, the receiver of life and the vessel of rebirth. In the card the Goddess wears one sandle, and her other foot is bare. This symbolizes that the Goddess walks in both the material and the spiritual realms. Her consciousness is conceptual and holistic.”

 “The Goddess wears a necklace of thirteen pearls, which represents the lunar cycles of the year. The triformis triangle that is suspended from the necklace represents manifestation. A lunar crescent crown adorns the headTriformis by Mickie Mueller of the Goddess, which symbolizes her divine essence contained in the light of the moon. Vervain blossoms decorate her hair, and represent her as the Queen of the Fairies.”

You are walking along a moonlit path of light. You see a glow in the distance, and you follow it to a cave. You notice a small cauldron at the opening of the cave. As you approach, a beautiful woman appears from inside the cave. She carries a torch in her left hand and a spindle in her right. A serpent is coiled around her left arm. You notice the crescent headband the woman is wearing, and her countenance emanates an awesome power at her command. It becomes immediately recognizable that this is a goddess who stands before you.”

“In this moment you see that the cave is the ancient rocky grotto, one of the earlier sites of goddess worship. The cauldron is the mystical womb of generation and regeneration, which is many legends is hidden in the Underworld. The flowing water is the river that conveys the souls that transition through life and death. Images flood your mind as you look at the spindle, torch, and serpent. Ancestral voices teach you of the serpent, a timeless guardian of the graiMoon Phasesn against rodents who threaten its storage. Here you see the serpent as the protector of the seed of new life.”

“The voices reveal that the torch is the sacred light of the night sky that brings enlightenment to the dark places. The spindle is the power of fate, which the Goddess wields over the lives of mortal kind.  You feel drawn to be with the Goddess, but she tells you that your journey has only begun. She directs you to walk up the path that leads to the light of the mortal world, for you must know the bright blessed day before you can embrace the dark sacred night. You turn and follow her instructions, knowing that in the end you shall return to her again.”

Today’s message is from A Traveler’s Guide to The Well Worn Path by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Mueller.

Spirit Message of the Day – Nourish Your Spirit

Cakes and Wine by Mickie MuellerCAKES AND WINE
“When this card appears it is addressing the core issue of spiritual nourishment. It also speaks of the balance between feminine and masculine energy. Essentially this card focuses on spiritual results rather than religious practices. It is more about who you are than it is about what you do. This is a card of the inner self, the place where you connect and meet with the divine. The appearance of this card asks the questions ‘From where are you drawing nourishment for your soul?’ and ‘Where do you find your inner balance?'”

“Traditionally the ceremony of cakes and wine represents the sacred meal, which is the meeting place of the Divine Spark with the Divine Source. This joining together revitalizes the spirit or soul. The wine symbolizes the essence of thhot_cross_bunse Goddess, and the chalice is her womb. The cakes represent the substance of the God, and the cakes are his body. Initiates partake of the wine and cakes in a sacred rite of connecting with Goddess and God, spirit, and form. On a mystical level the rite of cakes and wine establishes the recognition of the soul’s relationship to deity.”

“The Cakes and Wine card depicts two candles, which represent the presence of divinity manifesting as Goddess (feminine) and God (masculine). The cakes and wine are the divine offering versus the mundane meal. Here the wine is the menstrual blood of the Goddess, the essence of the cycles of life. The cakes symbolize the body of the Harvest Lord, the seed-bearing vessel of life’s renewal. The cakes and wine appear set onHistoric Chalice a black cloth, which represents the ever-present potential of creation. Through the window the starry night reminds us of the great expanse to explore, knowing that we are never alone.”

“As you stand looking out the cottage window, you hear a noise behind you. You turn to find that the crone of the cottage has set something on the altar chest. It is a chalice filled with wine, along with a platter of bread made from wheat and barley. The crone directs you over to the objects. She explains that the wine is the vital essence of the Goddess, and the chalice is her womb. Then the crone describes the bread as the vital substance of the God, the essence of the sacred seed that is received by the earth. Next she recounts an ancient tale.”

“The croLisa Huntne’s tale is the recollection of an ancestral belief that the seed, while in the dark earth, is taught the mysteries of the Underworld. The sprout brings these teachings up from the earth when it rises. The plant contains them and preserves them as it matures from leaf to bud and flower. When the grain appears, the Fairies come and touch the ripened seed. Through this the teachings of the Otherworld are passed to the new seed. Here, in an endless cycle, the seed receives the mystical teachings of the worlds that are above and below.” As Above, So Below.

“The crone bids you to drink the wine and taste the bread. As you comply, the crone explains that the essence of the Goddess, and the substance of the God, will awaken the spark within you where the divine meets the soul. She smiles at you and says, ‘May you come to know that within you, which is of the eternal gods’.”

Today’s guidance is from A Traveler’s Guide To The Well Worn Path by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Mueller.