The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Monday, October 31, 2016

How to Celebrate Your Loved Ones Who Have Passed on Samhain



Happy Samhain,

My Muse  is motivating me yet again, and I wish to tell you about an aspect of this holiday (Holy Day) of Samhain also known as Halloween that some are not aware of. It is our Day of the Dead. Our Memorial day, November 1st, Samhain. It is also our first day of our Pagan new year.

With all the spooky, scary decorations, spooky to sexy costumes, parties for young and adult, and the required trick or treating, there is still time and, for me,  a strong focus on remembering those who have passed on.

I  always serve party foods during the night of October 31st. One, it's easier to have appetizers and finger foods when going to the door every few moments to dole out the expected treats for the little monsters who come calling.

I also, seldom, if ever, have an actual party.  I primarily have the party for the spirits. I put pictures  of loved ones around the table, and  always put a plate of their favorite foods on the table, that no living person eats or touches. You can put a glass of juice, wine or  punch for the spirits also.  It is also appropriate to have a chair, that no one is allowed to sit in,  kept empty during this "spirit party" for the spirits to use if they choose.

These aspects of recognizing the spirits as being present, is a concept that is found in ancient cultures with vestiges still showing up in modern cultures like Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico  and other South American cultures, Italy, Spain as well as others. Many times, things the loved ones who have passed enjoyed from music, flowers, perfumes, a special item or jewelry is placed on the celebratory table in memory, love and respect.

In some cultures today, entire families will  bring the party to the cemetery, and have a picnic by the graveside of the deceased and sing songs, tell stories of the person's life and feast as if the person they are honoring is there amongst them. There are those of us who believe they are.

In many modern cultures like in the United States and in some religious practices, the death anniversary is a time for solemn mourning,  Masses are held in church, and the family members remember their loved one but with a sense of grief and sadness. Many of the Day of the Dead celebrations are just that, celebrations as those who are there feel as if they are being reunited again with their loved one and are together again. For many it is a time of joy as they know their loved one is with them again in a state of peace and love with no pain, illness or grief.

How ever you choose to remember your loved ones who have passed over, know that how ever you feel, however you choose to remember, that is the right way for you. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no right or wrong way to honor them, or remember them. The way you choose is the right way for you.

I am presenting, another way of viewing a situation everyone of us has to go through in this lifetime. We will all lose someone we love, and we will  all grieve and feel loss and sadness. After many years, I find it therapeutic and cathartic for me, although I still feel sadness, to feel  peace and happiness knowing they can be here with me, because love is a bond even death cannot breach.

Simply thinking of a loved one who has passed, brings them to you. They cannot do otherwise. If you have words you wish to share with them, talk to them. Look at a picture of them,  or see them in your mind's eye and talk. They will hear you. They may not be able to communicate with you in a way you can hear or understand, but know they hear you.

The veil between the worlds grows very thin this Samhain eve night, and the worlds I speak of are the physical world of  reality we inhabit and the world of the absolute that spirits inhabit. Also once the spirits have been on the other side for a time, they burn off the restrictions, judgments, the control they felt they needed in the physical world and will send only love and acceptance. They no longer  look at the world as they once did. They come from a place that only knows love. Fights are forgiven, misunderstandings are no longer,  grudges are forgotten, and love remains.

I like to burn a candle on my altar with a picture of a loved one who has passed and I know they are with me and I with them. It brings me peace and comfort.That is all I can ask for.

May you be with your loved ones who have passed this Blessed Samhain season, in love and in peace. Blessed Be



Peace and Happiness








© 2010-2016 Faith M. McCann. 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. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 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 26, 2016

The Witch With Her Tools Of Magick



Good Afternoon My Witchy Readers,

Today we will touch briefly on some of the Witches tools, that she or he uses in ritual and  magickal  practice. To start,  to quote the  "Invocation of the Elements", the author, I believe, was Scott Cunningham, for this appears in his book "Wicca - A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" a portion of the poem which states "By wand, blade, cup and pentacle."which are considered the four traditional Witches tools.

Now, we do use many additional tools, such as the besom or broom, the boline, some use cords, as well as candles. There are many tools a witch could choose to use. But all tools, supplies, ingredients and objects the witch uses are simply to enhance and access her inner magickal power.

Our wands are made from wood, traditionally, and are always harvested from living trees. To pick up dead wood from the ground, may be simpler, but there is no living energy left in the wood, unless it has just been broken and blown from the tree tops.  We harvest the wands by cutting them from the tree and then using our finger or athame to cut the air between the actual tree and wand. First cut the wand from the tree with a saw or pruners. Then we 'cut' the etheric body to keep the energy within the wand.

Our blade, as mentioned in Mr. Cunningham's poem, is our athame. This is one of the modern witches most important and special tools. It is used to cast the magick circle, and the metal in the blade is used to seal the circle from harmful energies. The athame is never used to cut anything physical, except for one thing, in it's entire lifetime. That is the one cut, when the athame is held by the hands of both the bride and groom as they cut the wedding cake. After that initial cut, it is carefully wiped off and brought home to bring protection to the house, and of course to be used in rituals, when needed.


The above picture is Ms. Doreen Valiente considered to be the Mother of modern Wicca. She worked with Gerald Gardner as his High Priestess.

The cup mentioned in the poem, refers to our chalice. The chalice is an old name for a cup or drinking vessel. Our juice, or water or wine, whatever is being used in ritual, is drunk from this container. It is part of the Witches Cakes and Ale ceremony, from which the Catholic practice known as Holy Communion comes from. Whereas the Catholics believe in transfiguration, and believe the wine and wafer actually transforms into the body and blood of their Christ, the practice of it, historically comes from the Pagan rite of cakes and ale.

In the cakes and ale ceremony, we also drink wine or juice from a chalice and eat bread. But we understand that the wine represents the essence of the Goddess as found in the vineyards and orchards, and we consume it while reciting "May you never thirst my sister or brother, or Lady" if it is being presented to the High Priestess. When we consume a small piece of bread or cake, we understand that it represents the sustenance of the God as He is found in the grains and food stuffs from the fields. We hand out small pieces during ritual while saying "May you never hunger my sister or brother, Lady or Lord" as the case may be. Pagans do not believe in transfiguration as we know the bread and wine are merely symbolic.

The pentacle, also known to many as the pentagram is used for protection. Now the pentagram is a five pointed star geometric shape. A pentacle is when that shape is made from some material, such s metal or wood,  making it three dimensional and with a circle surrounding it. This is used in the center of the altar as an altar pentacle and is the focus point on the altar. It represents both the Goddess and God,  all the elements, divine energy and it brings protection and by placing an object upon it, it will charge or empower the object with no further actions necessary. The altar pentacle can be as simple or as fancy as you desire.

The besom or broom, has ancient historical significance, and was first used as a tool of domestication of the woman. She would use it to keep the cottage clean, and to sweep away vermin and debris. The broom became associated with the witch in reference to flying centuries ago, when the first witch hunters started to interrogate suspected witches. We will get back to the broom in a moment, but let me say the following:

It was curious how all across Europe, that suspected witches, under torture and duress would all come out with the same stories of flying to Witches Sabbats, to dance with a tall, dark man, with a tall hat and sign his book. They all had the same stories of doing evil deeds and harming others. But to modern scholars this is no mystery, as the witch hunters, sent forth by the Catholic church in Rome all used the same book "The Malleus Maleficarum"  also  known as "The Witches Hammer" written by two Dominican Monks, which was a tutorial used by every witch hunter and detailed the procedures used to arrest, torture, interrogate and eventually kill suspected witches.

In this manual of horrors, it details very clearly the questions the witch hunters were to ask and the torture techniques to employ until the witch confessed. So of course the stories are the same. The manual used was the same all over Europe. Eventually these 'beliefs' written down in this book by the two Dominican Monks became the basis for almost all of the rumors, lies and legends that still surround witches today.

The broom was thought to be used as a mode of transport by witches from these early witch hunters and so they made the stories become "true" by confession under the most awful torture. As a side note, today we have a term "3rd degree" mostly in reference to burns. This term originated during the witch hunts and persecutions of the Medieval Era, from the 3 levels  of torture inflicted on a suspected witch. The 3rd degree was the most advanced, as it is reported that no one could survive this level of torture. Confession, during this era, never saved a witch but only ended her torture by often equally cruel and barbarous methods of execution.

The broom or besom we use today, is not used in ritual to sweep the floor but to sweep the air around the circle. We start low, about a foot above the ground and using a sweeping motion go around the circle once, then go around again, this time with the broom at mid or waist level. Then a third time we go around with the broom at head height or a bit higher. This helps cleanse the area of stagnant, stale energy and prepares the area for ritual work.

We are free to openly use and display our tools today, in our modern society.  We have laws which protect our religious practice and gives us religious freedoms. But in ancient times, a  witches tools  would be hidden amongst ordinary kitchen tools, so they would not stand out during a witch hunters search of the suspected witches home. Also in ancient days, although the pentagram was an ancient magickal symbol for many studying the Eastern religions, it was not found in the country witches cupboard of tools. She used what was practical, more than what was decorous.

 For instance the boline, was a simple herb knife. It was a small sickle, that could hang on a cord  from the waist and was readily used in the garden to cut herbs, as well as in the home to carve symbols in candles, or other necessary jobs requiring a blade. It is believed, with little historical evidence to back it up, that the boline had a white handle, while the athame had a black handle to differentiate between the two blades for ritual purposes. Again, this is more magickal, witchy lore as I have yet to find any firm historical documentation. But as always, I continue to research and look for more of our magickal ways in the faded mists of history.

As Samhain comes near, the Witches Sabbat of the end of the year, the last harvest and the first day of our New Year, all occurring on November 1st, please remember it is also our Day of the Dead. Our Memorial day if you will. A day to remember the souls of loved ones lost, but for myself, I also always remember the souls of those persecuted, tortured and murdered, many times for crimes they never committed, but whose torment eventually led to our ability to practice today the ancient ways of the wise ones. The Craft of the Wise, The Wise Women of the Village, The Cunning man's magick, and to learn the knowledge of the Old Crone.  This Samhain, if you wish to remember and honor those who have gone before us, take a moment on Samhain Eve, October 31st,  after dark and light a candle and give thanks.

There is so much legend and lore, magick and mayhem that I am so lucky to be able to share with you all.

I would like to thank a very dear, true friend (M.K.) for first suggesting this blog, many, many moons ago  and for continuing to give me the encouragement and support to allow me to present my words to you every week and I hope to be able to do so for many moons to come.


Peace and Happiness - Ms.Faith









© 2010-2016 Faith M. McCann. 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. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 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 16, 2016

Rare Super Moon in Aries this Sunday October 16, 2016




Good Morning My Witchy Readers,

Well today is a special day for moon lovers.  Today, October 16, 2016, is the day of the Super Full Moon in Aries. Many call it a power moon. It is colloquially known as the Hunter's Moon also the Blood Moon and the Harvest Moon. It's interesting how many groups of people over the centuries have given the moons, throughout the year, special names. From The Native Americans, the Colonists, the Old Farmer's Almanac etc. This moon is given it's folk names of Hunter and Blood Moons, due to the time of the year where hunters go out into the woods and forests and start hunting wild game, as well as The Harvest Moon, which recognizes that it is the harvest season before winter sets in.

But the Super  Moon designation is more scientific and is attributed to this moon by Astronomers, those scientists who spend their time gazing into the night skies to see what the space around our planet holds. The scientific explanation of the super moon is when the moon is in it's closest proximity to the earth as it orbits around the earth, while being in a full  moon state. This can also happen while the moon is new, but as we cannot see the new moon, it seldom gets the same attention.

Also, just as a reminder from fifth grade science class, the sun is a star that though it rotates it seems to stay stationary, while the  planets orbit around the sun, which gives us our seasons. The earth rotates on it's axis every 24 hours, which gives us our day light hours and night time hours, while our moon orbits around the earth every 28, plus a little more, days, which gives us our waxing to full moon and then waning to new moon phases. Of course, for an Astronomer, there is more to all of this, but in a nutshell this is what you need to know.

Now, for the witchy aspect of this Super moon, it is over-all positive energy. A very strong, positive energy which will affect everyone on the planet to some respect. It is a full moon, so primarily, it is an excellent time for eliminating the harmful, unwanted, stagnant energies from your life. You can also push to the peripheral, those toxic people that seek to bring you down, to control you, who seek to judge you, and who simply do not see you for the wonderful person you are. You will also see that relationships that have come to their natural and reasonable conclusion, will end and become a part of your past. This is not a bad thing, though it may be upsetting.

Every relationship has a birth, a life and a death. Sometimes it is the five minutes you spend with the cashier, in line checking out of the market, never to see her/him again. It could be a long term relationship with family or close friends. Many times those who divorce go through such angst, anger and stress because they truly believe they are meant to be together "till death do you part." when they simply needed to come together, perhaps from a past life, to continue and then finish off the relationship, so they can move ahead. Relationships may have bumps along the road, but if they become intolerable, it may be that they are nearing their natural end.

This Super moon will also highlight many hidden things. Dishonesty, illusion, lies, deception will all  come to light in the next 28 days.  The moon's energy is effective for the typical 7 days, which is the three days before, day of, and three days afterwards for magickal workings. But the highlighting of things in the dark will continue to be illuminated for the 28 day lunar cycle,due this moon being a super moon.

Procrastination, projects that need  to be completed can be easily accomplished now. Broken relationships that you wish to repair, people you have hurt or those who have hurt you or in some way you have fallen out with, that you wish to keep in your life, can easily be remedied and those  relationships will then step up and continue on a higher, better level than before. You see, this moon can banish as well as bring in. It is powerful in both areas.

Aspects that can be brought in are healing, forgiveness, acceptance and understanding, which are all very close in vibrational energy. If you wish to heal emotional, spiritual wounds, first of  all forgive yourself, then look around you and look at those who have hurt you.  Accept them for who they are.  I do NOT mean accept their hurtful actions and the things they may have done or said to you, but accept who they are, because we can't change them. If you can forgive them fine, if not forgive yourself for any hurtful feelings you may be holding inside against them and allow yourself to move on with a clear mind and an open heart.

Allow healing of spirit, soul, body and mind and most especially, healing of your heart, is the energy of this super moon. Allow yourself to live, love and laugh.

One additional aspect of this moon, is to be aware of your ego. The Aries influence of this moon makes one cocky, so you maybe feeling a bit entitled,  a little full of oneself, but being aware of this you have options. You can tweak it and make it confidence, self assurance, discipline, and pride in you and all you do. If you do feel yourself getting a bit cocky, simply dial it down and realize we are all on this path, experiencing, laughing, loving and interacting with one another.

If this super moon can teach you anything, it is we are each where we are supposed  to be, right now. We have the total control of where we will  go and where we will  find ourselves tomorrow, next week  and next month. Truly, no one else controls our lives, but us.

Allow yourself to open up to the healing, the spirituality, the  love, the happiness and the fresh path that winds before you. Taking one step at a time, be sure to slow down for a moment to notice the beauty that is all around you and always take a moment and look at the full moon and feel the magick within.

So spend a moment looking at the moon this evening, and ask for all it's magickal  powers to come into your life and bring it's positive energies to you. And it will!


Peace and Happiness, Ms. Faith






© 2010-2016 Faith M. McCann. 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. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 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 10, 2016

Recognizing and Dealing with your Shadow Self


Good Evening,

Tonight I wish to discuss with you your 'shadow self'.  Carl Jung spoke of the shadow part  of the human psyche and suggested it was the unknown aspect. I agree we all have a shadow self, but I disagree that it is unknown. If we look carefully enough, we can see and recognize our shadow self.

We, each of us, are products of light and love and all of the beautiful aspects of the divine soul. But once we enter a physical body, we are also  given the opposite side of the coin, the darker side. Everyone has a shadow side, everyone. Even those who after death were deified, such as Jesus or Ghandi or the Dalai Lama. If you are in a physical body you have a shadow side. Knowing this, is the first step to  dealing with it and learning to  control it, rather than it controlling you.

We,  many of us, wish to personify the love and light and beauty of our higher, spiritual side. But as humans, we often struggle with the side of our personalities that exhibit guilt, jealousy, anger, bitterness, deception, hate, judgment, pettiness, or any emotion or behavior that is not of the highest and purest of our soul.

Understanding we have this side of us, is the first step. Many choose to deny it, thinking "I'm a good person, so this doesn't apply." But the very best person has a shadow side, and denial will only delay the work you need to do, to get to a higher, more beautiful level of human understanding and interaction with others.

The work of dealing with your shadow side, is first to recognize your issues. Perhaps you tend towards passive aggressiveness, or you might try to manipulate others in your life. You might tend towards anger and fighting to get your way. Maybe, you tend toward avoidance and simply turning your back and hoping it will all go away. Look closely into your heart and soul and see what your shadow self is in relation to you.

The first step is listing some of the qualities of your shadow self. Sit down, get a piece of paper or your computer and start a list. A list of some of the 'darker' qualities of you. Maybe qualities you wouldn't be so proud of sharing with others. These are your shadow qualities. Once you have identified them, then you can sit back and think about these qualities.

Do not jump to the conclusion that because you have recognized these qualities, and now know you have them, that you must work on eliminating them. Not at all! No, these qualities can assist you in your day to day life, but you must go through them one by one and see if you allow them to assist you or if you allow them to get in the way of your happiness and your interactions with others.


The shadow self does not at all mean, bad or undesirable. All aspects are divine, but how does it serve you? Perhaps as a rule you are timid and shy. You can dig deep and pull up another aspect that might be anger, but which gives you strength. It might not benefit you to interact with people on a regular basis with anger, but if confronted or threatened it can come out and protect you and give you the strength needed in an emergency situation.

Perhaps you wish to have more interactions with friends and loved ones, but you avoid people and focus totally on work or business, ending your week tired, exhausted, resentful and unhappy. You just want to hide away and not be around others. By digging deep, and pulling out the qualities you desire, to go out and spend time with friends and you end up having a great time.

Oh, is the shadow self  in these above examples hard to pick out? Could the shadow self be on one side or the other? Exactly.  Living in the light, which brings you happiness, strength, courage and confidence is the opposite of the shadow self. The more introspective you get, the more you might realize that you awake with your shadow self and walk with him/her for your entire day or week. Allowing the light within to peek out only occasionally.

Yes, that's right. The shadow self may be your normal persona, the place where you feel most comfortable. I see this in people who are automatically on the defensive, as soon as anything slightly controversial is presented. The people who pride themselves on getting in people's faces, being loud, obnoxious, rude, insulting, demeaning and offensive. They are proud to give people the finger in traffic, they will start screaming and yelling before even considering having a civil conversation. They attack easily, criticize as if it were expected of them and simply do not care  if it affects others or not. This is the shadow self on a power trip!

The one thing Jung did not touch on, at least to my knowledge, is a concept I have noticed and continue to marvel at. The shadow self likes company and looks for and seeks to engage the shadow self of others in their sphere.  This explains groups that form and become an entity of hate and exclusion, such as gangs and hate groups.  Many times when someone gives their shadow self full reign, they often find others who are attracted to the shadow and they become close friends feeding off each other's darker energies.

When this happens and you recognize this, you have a choice to make. You can either stay away completely from those whose shadow selves are  given full reign, but if you live with or work with people like this, it is your work to work on your bright side, your blessed side, and try not to be drawn into the darkness, if you can help it. And if you do not succeed today, tomorrow is another day to do the right thing for you. Whatever that may be.

Working with your shadow self can be a life time endeavor, but it helps make your life more fulfilling and rewarding to have all the aspects in play and choosing which aspects to use rather than letting them use you.

Those that wish to do serious work  with their shadow selves, may choose to have a dhadow self book or journal, where you can record and journal your feelings, experiences and interactions with your shadow self. Over time, this unique magickal tool can be very useful in understanding you and the path you walk.



Peace and Happiness













© 2010-2016 Faith M. McCann. 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. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 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.