The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Celebrating the Harvest at Samhain - a kitchen ritual you can use now!

 Good Evening,



This is the time of the last harvest of the year and soon, come November 1st, we will be celebrating our New Year's Day and the first day of the Pagan winter. 

Many people have asked me this time of year, Pagan or not, what they can do to celebrate the harvest season, to mark this special time of the year. It just seems appropriate doesn't it, to make a celebration of the end of the warm season, summer and the harvest season.  So tonight, I have put on my witches hat and have come up with a kitchen ritual you might enjoy doing when it comes to celebrating this wondrous season.

A ritual to celebrate the Harvest Season. 

This is a food ritual, a giving of thanks for the bounty and abundance we have in our lives and metaphorically using food to recognize and give thanks for this abundance.  This ritual takes place in your kitchen and the altar is your dining table!

Your Menu (foods and tools needed for your ritual)

Vegans or Vegetarians can omit any animal products and substitute the protein of your choice.  Wash your hands thoroughly, and dry carefully. Safe food handling is paramount but this hand washing also takes the place of a ritual bath which some choose to use before ritual, some do not.  I prefer to  carefully wash my hands and forearms, taking care with the nails, then prepare the food to be eaten with your hands.  Carefully, slowly eating your food allows you to make a spiritual connection to the nourishment and nurturing energies that wish to work with you.  Gather the following foods:

Green salad - tossed with fresh herbs chopped fine and dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
The greens in the salad are and also represent the growing things of the earth, the vinegar the memory essence of the ancestors and the olive oil is the earth energy that connects those energies to your magickal energies making you a part of what you eat, as it soon becomes part of you.

Bread - a good, hearty, home or hand made bread with a great taste. Served with  seasoned olive oil  it should be chewy and require you to rip it with your teeth. This is such an ancient practice, the eating of hearty bread and a necessary one as it assured survival for generations, it feels like a communion between man and the divine. Grains, I feel, were the one specific staple (gift of the Gods) that mankind needed for our survival and we still eat and enjoy them today. The grains are no better way honored and celebrated than by chewing bread in relationship with others or simply the divine.



Salt - placing a container of salt on the table (it does not have to be consumed for the energy to permeate the ritual)  also recognizes the wealth to be found in abundance. It represents safety and strength, protection and warding off evil and harm are all magickal properties of salt and have been since long before biblical days.

Olives - another food representing a strong, abundant harvest. Eating olives brings protection, a sense of peace within as well as abundance and wealth.  In ancient Greece olive leaves were worn for luck and today we can eat the cured olives, any variety, for the same purpose.

As you place each food, arrayed separately, each in its own dish (make it a pretty dish of glass or china)  on the table then ring a bell three times.  After the bell is rung you can say aloud "Thank you Goddess/God/Universe (you may insert any name of Deity you please), for Life, Love and Abundance"

Then place the next plate of food, ring bell three times, then recite prayer.  Again and again until all food is on table. 

Additional choices for your celebration table could be:

Cheeses - varieties of your choosing. I like sharp cheddars, soft Havarties, mellow Goudas and tangy Swiss. And a staple for me is fresh mozzarella, for its flavor is so mild it acts as a palate for all the other flavors its paired with. Sprinkle mozzarella with finely chopped fresh or dried herbs and drizzle with a thin stream of olive oil. Make up a sun wheel (plate) of cheese to represent the waning sun and its warmth and strength that will soon return as we turn the Wheel of the Year. The cheese also represents the coming spring with the returning warmth and life giving greening of the fields. The harvest of the cured cheeses that had cured in some cases almost a year by this time were looked forward to and considered a great abundance.

Fresh Fruit - the harvest season ends with the last of the fruits and vegetables being harvested from the orchards and fields. Having a fresh fruit platter represents all the abundance of the harvest and apples should be a part of any fruit chosen for this holiday.  Candied apples are a favorite and the apple displays the protective symbol of the pentagram when cut horizontally to the stem and have long been considered the fruit of the Goddess. Any fruit is appropriate because it comes from the Mother Earth and fruit cannot be eaten until ripe so it represents the patience one must have between sowing seeds and harvesting fruits. Fruit can teach us of the lessons of patience and appropriate timing. A fresh vegetable platter is also a great choice for the same reasons as the fruit.




Chocolate - Cocoa is considered a food of the Gods according to the ancient Aztecs, which when blended with sugar becomes a heavenly delight that frankly to me is proof positive of a higher spirit called God/dess. Only one so divine could have come up with such a nifty treat! Just perfect! Janet Farrar (author of 'The Witch's Bible) as well as so many other wonderful books, told me that Goddess today enjoys chocolate as an offering.  I have yet to meet anyone as knowledgeable as she of the many aspects of the Goddess and their likes and dislikes. She also wrote The Witches Goddess and The Witches God, frankly this woman knows her Goddesses!  So ever since I last met her, I  have made sure to offer the Goddess a piece of chocolate every now and again and its always been received well. 

Pumpkin and Squash - a harvest favorite, especially with pumpkin muffins, or pie.  Or cube up some squash (remove rind first) and place in baking pan. Cover with maple syrup or honey and sprinkle with nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 to 1 hour. The time depends on how 'hot' your oven is and how big the chunks are you cut up. When you take it out of the oven a few pinches of butter melted in the sauce then spooned over the squash will be very tasty. The ingredients of this entire dish shout 'the harvest season', abundance, health and strength, which are also traits looked for magickally,  to get one through a long winter with illness, cold and flu. 

Finally a centerpiece of the fruits, squashes, gourds, corn and colors of the season. Maroons, yellows, oranges, dark greens, russets, bright reds and browns, blacks, silvers, coppers, bronzes and golds all combined to make a pretty table display. You choose the actual pieces but the colors are easy enough to come by this time of year.



Ribbons can be incorporated into your design or decorations as ribbons are metaphoric for the connections we still retain to our loved ones who have passed on.  Place name tags in front of table settings for loved ones who will be present only in spirit. Be sure to have a place setting for them, as well as placing food upon their plates. No one in this earthly realm will consume the food and its discarded afterwards as typical left over food is discarded. It is believed the spirits take the 'spiritual energy' of the food and what's left over is just waste. If possible the food, small amounts can be taken outside and left for the small creatures that need to eat also this time of year.

After table is set and food is properly placed, wash hands again, very well.  Be seated (if with others, hold hands around table) and say the following blessing with others repeating after you:

Great Mother/generous Father
we thank you for Life
Great Mother/generous Father
we thank you for Love
Great Mother Generous Father
we thank you for Abundance, Health and Happiness
So Mote it be!

The bell is again rung three times and laid aside as the feasting begins. This is not a 'dumb supper' so talking and sharing are permitted.  Take time to slowly chew and savor the food, the abundance which fills your belly and your soul. Enjoy, talk about the loved ones who have passed and are tonight with you at this sacred, special ritual meal, and remember them with happiness and good memories while enjoying the love of family and friends still with us. And we can be grateful.


This is just one way to celebrate this harvest season and remember the ancestors, which is a sacred part of the Samhain Holy Day (Holiday).  


Peace and Happiness


© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Monday, October 24, 2011

More Halloween Trivia

 Good Evening,

For those who can't get enough of Halloween trivia here's some additional fun Halloween facts:



Halloween Trivia  

  • Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with the winter season which Halloween/Samhain starts off on the Celtic calendar.  Black is also associated with Halloween because it is a Celtic day of the dead, a day to honor and remember loved ones who have passed on in the past year.
  • Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.  Pumpkins came from America and were not introduced to the Halloween festivities until the mid to late 1800's.
  • Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for different decorating ideas!
  • Halloween was first brought to North America by immigrants from Europe, especially the Irish, who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes and play party games.
  • The ancient Celts believed that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human in an attempt to scare away the scary spirits.
  • Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, only after Christmas.
  • Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the Roman harvest festival that honors Pomona, the Goddess of fruit trees, gardens and the harvest.
  • Black cats were once believed to be a witch's familiars who protected their mistress's powers.  They were in actuality help mates of the woman whose realm in medieval times was the kitchen and the barns.  They kept the vermin level down.
  • Tens of thousands of cats were destroyed during the Burning Times in Europe as well as upwards of 7 million people who were put to death on the charge of witchcraft.
  • Halloween is on October 31st, the last day of the Celtic calendar. It was originally a pagan holiday, honoring the dead. Halloween was referred to as All Hallows Eve and dates back to over 5000 years ago.

Spooky Trivia

 

  • It is believed that if you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved one watching over you.
  • It is believed that if you stare into a mirror on Halloween at midnight you will see your future spouse. 
  • Ghosts and spirits are as present and active during the day as they are at night. It’s legend and spooky stories told around night campfires that has most ghosts stories taking place at night.
  • The Ouija Board ended up outselling the game of Monopoly in its first full year in Salem, Mass. Over two million copies of the Ouija Board were sold.
  • In the United States, the first citywide celebration of Halloween was in Anoka Minnesota in 1921. (My most recent discussion gave the 1950's as the date. This was in error, my apologies)
  • 36 million is the estimated number of trick-or-treaters in 2007— children 5 to 13 — across the United States, down 45,000 from 2005. Of course, many other children — older than 13, and younger than 5 — also go trick-or-treating.
  • More than 93% of children, under the age of 12, will go out trick-or-treating
  • Over $1.5 billion is spent on costumes each year and more than $2.5 billion on other Halloween paraphernalia
  • About 50% of adults dress up for Halloween,
  •  About  67% of adults take part in the activities, such as parties, decorating the house and trick-or-treating with their children
  • 86% of Americans decorate their house for Halloween
  • Over 15% of pet owners dress their pets in Halloween costumes
  • In 2004 the most popular costume for children was Spiderman!
  • The first Halloween card was made in the early 1920′s. Today over 28 million Halloween themed cards are sent each year, with U.S. consumers spending about $50 million on Halloween greetings.
Halloween Candy Trivia -


  • Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
  • Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America and created in 1896.
  • Some polls list chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers #1.
  • In 2004 one poll saw candy corn actually surpass chocolates and Snickers.
  • One recent list of most popular Halloween candies list the most favorites as follows:
  1. Tootsie Roll
  2. Hershey's  Chocolate bars
  3. Nestle Crunch
  4. Nerds
  5. Hot Tamales
  6. Candy Corn
  7. Snickers Bar
  8. Baby Ruth
  9. Reese's Pieces
  10. Almond Joy
  11. Milky Way
  12. Razzles
  13. Life Savers
  14. M & M's
  15. Sour Patch
  • Halloween candy sales average $2 billion annually in the United States and it is the largest candy-purchasing holiday.
  • 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equals nearly 9 billion pieces.


Peace and Happiness 

© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Some Fun Halloween Trivia

 Good Evening,



My Goddess!! It's been a fun, exciting and busy, busy, busy month! Imagine being a witch in October, well .  .  .  frankly .  .  .  it's a lot like being an Elf in December! I've been interviewed on the radio,  conducted a 'History of Halloween lecture at MCC, hand crafted a bunch of life size witches and cats, prepared the outside gardens for winter, harvested several herbs and plants from the gardens, amongst other things. 

There's more happening this week, with Enchantments being used in a small independent horror film, myself conducting tarot readings at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford, CT on Friday the 28th and then again the following night at the Daniel Rust Inn in Coventry, CT.  Oh yes, there's also the actual day and night of Halloween!  My cauldrons! Indeed.  But I love it all, every little bit of it. Ha!

Tonight I wanted to discuss with you some fun, little known facts concerning Halloween, the pagan celebration of Samhain.

The Halloween Capitol of the World:

The Halloween Capitol of the World is Anoka, Minnesota.  Anoka received this designation, back in the 1950's, due to its acceptance of Halloween when other towns were considering banning Halloween festivities due to the violence and mischief it seemed to foster.  Rather than banning festivities, Anoka sought to create community friendly activities that would help curb the mischief making and vandalism that would often occur during the night of Halloween.

Activities like a Halloween Parade, where the children, dressed in costume would walk through town and all the towns folk would come out in support gives Anoka the distinction of hosting the first Halloween parade.  Later there was held a community Halloween dance and party where children and adults were welcomed and encouraged to attend. In an attempt to avoid mischief after the community party, a contest was held where all of the children and young people would put their names in a drawing for a really cool prize. Think of an IPod or computer today, something you would really want to win.  The catch was, everyone had but 30 minutes to be home after the party where they would listen to the local radio station which would call out the name of the winner. The winner needed to call the station within a few minutes to win. So it assured everyone was home under proper supervision shortly after leaving the party, and they thusly experienced a vandalism free Halloween. By accepting the holiday, and seeking solutions to the problems Anoka embraced the fun and excitement of Halloween earning them the title of Halloween Capitol of the World. They deserve it!


Halloween Candy Tampering

According to the FBI, there have only been two incidents of Halloween candy being tampered with causing two children to be injured or worse.  Both of these cases were finally determined to be cases of a family member who deliberately wished to kill the child for the insurance money.  These were separate cases, and never has there been a case of a child being injured from candy from a strangers house from trick or treating. I can't find any information as to candy or fruit actually being tampered with by sickos, because even I think I've seen those news reports around Halloween, the good news being no one has been hurt by these attempts.  Its still an excellent idea to exhibit the proper precautions we all have become so familiar with i.e. check all candy, eat no candy unwrapped or homemade (its a shame but safety must be a priority!!) When in doubt, THROW IT OUT!!!, and be smart about things. I personally think this is why there have been no actual 'stranger' incidents. Not that there aren't sickos out there who just want to hurt others, but by being diligent and careful everyone can have fun and enjoy and worry a bit less about how often this type of thing occurs. 


Ghost Stories:



Ghost stories go very far back in time, over 5,000 years to the early civilization of the ancient Celts.  The Druid's were the priesthood of the ancient Celtic culture and they believed in the magickal, the spiritual and the invisible world of spirits, ghosts and the unseen magickal world.  The nature of the ancient cultures were to pass the tribal knowledge, the legends and lessons to the young through story telling.  They taught and instructed the young as to the ways of the tribe, and the spirits of those who had passed on were still considered to be a part of the community and death was considered just another step on the path.  The topic of spirits and the unseen world would have been discussed and taught  around the nightly campfires as this culture was an agricultural culture that worked in the fields and farms from before sunup to sundown.  It makes sense that humans would congregate around the campfires at night as little work can be done in the dark of night and during this time alternative sources of light, candles, rushes, sconces were dim at best, smoky and expensive at least.  The campfire or central fire in the Celtic roundhouses made a communal place to sit and be with each other. The telling of stories therefore grew out of this dynamic, and the ghost story was born.  People have loved stories about spirits for centuries and I bet we will continue to do so for many years to come.


These are a few interesting tidbits that I've come across during my extensive research on Halloween and Samhain. I hope you enjoyed them also. 


Peace and Happiness


© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 


If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Monday, October 17, 2011

You're invited to my class this Friday -The History of Halloween!!

 Good Evening!



I have some exciting news!! This Friday night from 6 - 8 pm, I will be at MCC, Manchester Community College, here in Manchester, CT USA, teaching my one night course "The History of Halloween" and you are invited to attend!

Please register for this once a year event by calling 860-512-2800 or by checking out this web page for the college,  http://www.mcc.commnet.edu/continuing/  There is a $20 fee for the class, payable to the college and space is limited so please get your reservations in right away! I would love to have you there.

The class starts at 6 pm with a skit poking a bit of fun at William Shakespeare's three witches in MacBeth which is followed by a PowerPoint presentation. There will be ample opportunity to ask questions and afterwards there will be a short meditation where everyone will receive a magickal stone helping them connect with a loved one who has passed on.

The basis for the history of Halloween falls smack in the middle of the ancient culture of the Celts about 5,000 years ago. For those who are interested in the Celts and their culture which still affects us today you will love this presentation!  We talk about the history of the witch and the history of the woman in this information packed evening of fun and discovery.

Halloween Witch Silhouette made personally by Ms. Faith and only available at Enchantments!


I am always available to answer any questions you have when conducting my classes and lectures. Even if its questions about being a witch, the magickal world, spell casting and has nothing to do with the History of Halloween, I always try to make time for everyone's questions to be answered. So come along for some fun and education!!

It will be great to see you there!


Peace and Happiness




© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Harvesting magickal gifts from the witch's garden

 Good Evening,

Soon we will experience a long winter's rest as we sit inside waiting for the sun to return and the gardens to turn green again. But not quite yet!  Indeed, we are experiencing 'Indian Summer' here in Southern New England, and there are plenty of things that need to be done before the snow flies.  Of course, each person's garden is different from another's and the necessary chores will also differ.  But generally speaking harvesting the final gifts from your garden is something everyone can do.  




Harvesting:  Of course, Samhain (Halloween) November 1st is the traditional last food harvest of the Wheel of the Year, but while the weather is nice you can harvest right up to November. Walk among your gardens and yard and see what might be harvested for use during the winter.  I have ever-blooming strawberries that have berries right up to the first frost. I harvested the leaves for love spells.  Placed in a basket they dry quickly and in just a day or two. I lay them down on a clean piece of paper towel.

I also harvested some beautiful lemon balm, which even when dried smells as lovely as it does fresh.  Lemon Balm is good for love, success and good health. Carrying lemon balm with you will ensure you find your true love.

Don't walk too quickly past some late season 'weeds' if on a magickal herb walk.  A favorite of mine is witch grass or couch grass (Agropyron repens) which has the magickal properties of attracting happiness and is used in banishing rituals.  It's a grass that spreads by roots trailing along the ground often on top of the soil, anchoring down every so many inches and putting down a new root ball, then trailing out again to root again.



Witch grass can be sprinkled under the bed to attract a new lover.  When an infusion is made, it is sprinkled around the property to rid a place of entities and unwanted spirits.

Thistle has the properties of hex breaking, strength, protection and banishing. Grown in the garden thistle keeps thieves away.

Goldenrod - Has the properties of money and divination and is often used in money spells.



Its easy this time of year to make use of the magickal properties of trees by the falling leaves and tree pieces being blown to the ground.  Using twigs, bark and leaves ground up for spell mixes or pouches, infusions and powders can give you the following magickal properties.

Ash - Protection, Prosperity, Sea Rituals, health
Birch - protection, banishment, purification .  The birch is a tree of the Lady, white birch especially.
Hazel - Luck, fertility, anti-lightning, protection, wishes
Maple - Love, longevity, money.
Oak - Protection, health, money, luck, potency

Many fruit are ripe and falling to the ground, the following could bring the specific magickal properties you're looking for.

Apple - Love, health, garden magick, immortality
Peach - Love, banishment, longevity, fertility, wishes
Plum - Love, protection - the fruit is eaten to promote and maintain love
Pear - Lust, love - the fruit is eaten to arouse sexual feelings



Let us not forget the common herbs culinary and typically found in a kitchen garden. Many have magickal properties that will enhance your spells and magickal working. 

Thyme - Health, love, courage
Onion - Protection, banishing, money, prophetic dreams, lust
Lettuce - Protection, love, divination, sleep
Tomatoes - Prosperity, protection, love 

These are just some of the garden's bounty you might choose to harvest and dry or use right away to add a specific magickal property to your spells, your meals and your life! 


Harvest small amounts until you find out how often you will use each ingredient. It doesn't take enormous amounts of herbs, but a small packet is usually good for personal use. It may take a few years to really learn which herbs and plants in your yard you will utilize but that's the fun of learning about the magick to be found in your garden. Happy Harvesting!


Peace and Happiness



© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Ancient Druid's Practice of Sacrifice

 Good Evening,




 Imagine a large expanse of grassy plain at night, on the Western plains of England, under the light of the full moon shining down, making everything a mix of silver and shadows. A large group of people gathered with one person kneeling down head bowed in the center of the crowd. An elderly Druid dressed in robes, holding a cord in his gnarled hands comes close to the kneeling man and fastens the cord around the man's throat.  Another druid comes up and starts to strangle the kneeling man while the other Druids present start to chant.  Scented wood smoke drifts in the air and as the man falls to the ground from the lack of air, hands instinctively clutching the cording biting into his flesh, another Druid holding a club came up behind the prone man and using the club, smashed it down upon the man's skull, rendering him unconscious.  The elderly Druid kneels close to the silent body of the sacrificed man and taking a sharp knife out of his robes,  he slices the neck of the dying man,  his life's blood flowing out and onto the earth.  The people leave with a sense of hope and anticipation that the difficult days they have experienced wil now ease and become less so. That the food harvest will be plentiful and rains will return to ease the drought. Life will become .  .  .  not easier, but possible in the threat of tribal extinction.  The life of such a man, a Druid Prince, should appease and please the gods. He gave of his life willingly and eagerly as he knew as did everyone in this day that he would return to this life again, to live again. His sacrifice was an honor bestowed upon a very few. . . 

Tonight we're discussing an ancient practice that still today brings shivers of 'horror movie' fright and morbid excitement to many people.  The ancient practice of human sacrifice and the Druid's who performed such rituals.  

The above is a fictional story created by me, but utilizing what we know about ancient Celtic Druidic sacrifice.  Of course much of the 'knowledge' we have today are simply educated guesses made by many experts in the field.  This sort of knowledge invites serious debates and dissension amongst experts. In 1984 a 'bog man' was discovered in the peat bogs of Lindow Moss, near Wilmslow in Cheshire,  North West England.  A mummified man who was remarkably preserved and thought to hold many answers to questions man has asked for centuries about the ancient Celts and their Druidic ritualistic practices.  He was considered the archaeological find of the time and it has been determined forensically that he was a ritually sacrificed high born Celt, possibly a Druid himself.  He had been served a last meal of charred oaten cake, then garotted with a cord around the neck, bashed in the head and then his throat was cut. After this ritualistic three-fold death, he was then dropped into the waters of the bog, where he was discovered by peat cutters almost 2,000 years later.  


Lindow Man

Scientists have determined, using forensic scientific methods, that the years preceding Lindow man's death were difficult ones with poor harvests, droughts and illnesses affecting the populace.  They also determined that Lindow Man died a willing death.  The ancient Celts did use human sacrifice as Lindow man teaches us, but to them an unwilling sacrifice was murder. To give gratitude to the Gods and Goddesses who granted mankind life by offering them murder in return would be suicide and in their sympathetic practice of magick would only ensure the end of the tribe.  They could only give a willing sacrifice, a life for life.  As the Gods willingly gave us life, so in turn we gave it back.

The first reports of Druidic sacrifice was documented by Julius Caesar, the Roman General who visited on campaign England and Ireland and witnessed Druidic practice first hand. He first brought the 'horror' of Celtic human sacrifice to the civilized world, although I personally find it a touch ironic as the Romans were known for sacrificing humans in the Coliseum regularly for the purpose of general entertainment.  What they accepted without pause in Rome was considered barbaric and uncivilized in the northern reaches of Great Britain.

 A recreation of what Lindow man was thought to look like before his ritualistic death over 2,000 years ago.

The early Celts practiced what we call today sympathetic magick.  'Like attracts like'  is an ancient occult saying that stems back to the Druids and their spiritual philosophy.  The practice of giving a life for receiving life in return made perfect sense to the ancient way of thinking. It was logical and an example of 'concrete' thinking rather than abstract thinking.  The ancient Celts practice of human sacrifice demonstrates this principle nicely. 

Stonehenge in England

There is so much we now know about ancient civilizations, and archaeologists are uncovering more factual evidence every day.  Many of the suppositions and beliefs held for centuries by people that had been written about and often debated as to whether the legends were accurate or mythological are now being proven to be accurate descriptions of life as it was lived.  Of course, we will never know everything about a culture or people that no longer exists, but we are learning more and more everyday.


Peace and Happiness








© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website.

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Listen to my Radio Interview tomorrow morning on the History of Halloween!

 Good Morning!

I just received some tremendous news!  I will be interviewed tomorrow morning, Friday October 7th, 2011, at 11:30 am on WDRC 1360 AM Radio, Hartford, CT and the topic will be The History of Halloween.  A topic close to my heart.

I'd like to invite you all to listen and to wish me luck.  I've always loved history and Halloween being one of my favorite holidays, well .  .  .  its a good thing all around.


By the way, have you got your pumpkins yet?  Better hurry, because of Tropical Storm Irene that went through Southern New England at the end of August many pumpkin fields were flooded and we have a shortage of pumpkins this year. Don't wait till the last minute!!



Peace and Happiness




© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Witch and her Halloween Image. What's that all about? Let me tell you . . .

 Good Evening,


Many people have heard about Wiccans today, especially the reader of this witches web log. I love that 'webs' are a part of the modern technology. Many people are aware that 'real' witches do exist, at least the last time I checked!  But so many more people around the world are much more familiar with the 'traditional' image of a witch and sadly many still believe this imagery and what it infers to be true.

The green skinned hag with protruding nose, forehead and chin, warts, hunched over working evil spells over a large iron cauldron and causing ill.  Tonight I want to discuss this Halloween image of the witch, the elderly woman, the wise one.
  Margaret Hamilton as The Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz (1939)

Firstly, the imagery we think of at Halloween, I believe, got its start in the ancient early Christian woodcuts depicting the hag, naked, ugly and misshapen.   Thinking politically, and the early church was as political, if not more so, as it is today, early art was deliberately designed.   Books and pictures were all created to generate a certain message and elicit a certain response.  Witches were seldom ever depicted as young, nubile and attractive women, as desire and want were not the desired response from the masses, but fear and revulsion. So to start our discussion it is important, I believe, to know that the 'ugly' image of the witch was made this way and marketed this way for a purpose and this is what we are looking at.  A marketing propaganda designed to blacken the name of the wise woman, the witch.

Yet, putting this aside for a moment let us look at the potential hidden meanings of the imagery. It has been suggested to me over the past several decades by witches further along on the path than I at the time, and further research has shown it very likely that the imagery had a place in the actuality of the life of an elderly wise woman in medieval times.

Let's look at the common image of the witch having green skin. Totally fantastical right?  But there are those who feel that it signifies the 'green' aspect of being a witch. Being at one with nature and in sync with all her vibrations.  The green skin being reminiscent of the herbal knowledge and practice of the witch. I like this concept as much of what I am is a green witch.  I communicate with my herbs and flowers and feel most perfect when surrounded by nature in the wild.  No my skin is not green, but give me time. Ha!



The imagery of the witch being an elderly crone whose facial features are elongated bony protrusions and seemingly a caricature has been suggested as such. The malnutrition most of the general population in these ancient times suffered from, would exhibit itself in the elderly, along with arthritis as bony growths of the facial features, hunching over the back and riddling the hands with arthritis causing them to become claw like.

Of course, the witch being a crone is no surprise as a witch is and has always been associated with knowledge. Whether that knowledge was perceived as 'good' or 'bad' was dependent on the person making the assumption, but always the witch was a woman with knowledge. It makes logical sense that the most knowledgeable, most skilled,  would be the one who has practiced the longest and has the most experience. The elderly win this one, always, hands down. Period. 

The imagery that includes warts, blackened teeth, and a harsh, frowning, scary face I still feel goes a long way towards the desired affect of creating fear and revulsion.  But what about the wearing of black?

Well, it has been suggested that the ancient crones wore black at night to help disguise their movements as they went about midwifing and caring for others in a time when being a mid-wife and giving any medical help or care could have you arrested and put to death.  Yes, during the dark ages when the early Christian church held sway over all,  midwifery and medicine were outlawed. Being a physician was outlawed.

Any illness was by the will of God or perhaps the offender (sick person) was in league with the devil and their sickness a heavenly punishment.  If they got well, it was as God decided. If they got sick and died, again God's will.  So when aiding and helping the sick and dying, the woman in labor, the injured became punishable under law, the help of one human to another did not just stop. It went underground. The women who had the medicinal knowledge, it has been suggested, started plying their trade after dark, hiding in the shadows and wearing of black to keep out of sight.  Black or dark colors were commonly worn by the elderly in many cultures so for the elderly woman it was most likely typical dress.



The witch hovering over her cauldron is the most misunderstood image of this Halloween season.  All ancient women unless high born, would have been found stirring the cauldron on a typical day in a typical home. The hearth was the center stage of the medieval home and the cauldron was the star of the stage. Every home had one, (everyone had to eat!) and the woman by gender, culture, tradition and societal expectations was the one who stirred and tended to the cauldron, and thus to the house and home.  All women, regardless of how pious they be, would be a cauldron stirring woman in ancient times.


The witch is always a favorite symbol for me.  I have witch figures, typically found around Halloween, gracing my home year round.  Some are hook nosed, ancient crones (though I like to find ones who are smiling!) and some even have a device inside allowing them to cackle.  The cats sometimes race around the house and bumping into the witches set them off on a laughing fit.  Loud noises will also set them off.  I never fail to smile when one starts to cackle as if to a private joke.

This year in honor of the witch I am undertaking a creative project at Enchantments. I am replicating the black, silhouette witch that graces the front of Enchantments.  They will be available this week and are personally witch-crafted by me.  I have made two so far and I find it curious that the faces of each are different. The template is the same, but each seems to have an identity of its own. Made out of high grade, exterior plywood I have cut out each figure,  painted her with several coats of semi-glass black paint and each comes with her own broom and jack-o-lantern lantern. Each lovely lady is equipped with a metal stake that allows you to have her stand out on her own in your yard.  I'm not planning on becoming a folk art artist full time any time soon. Being a public witch who owns and operates her own witch shop as well as a school for the magickal arts keeps me plenty busy, but I'm having fun honoring the ancient visage of the witch, the wise crone in this way.  Here are some additional pictures of my witch project.  Please stop by Enchantments if interested in purchasing one of the witches. They retail for $129.95.  I hope you like them!



Peace and Happiness





© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website.  

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.