Apples and Pumpkins

All-Hallowe's Eve is coming. It's a time, traditionally, when the veil between the world of the living and the dead, the body and the spirit is lifted. There are many traditional activities, but my favorites are these:
  • Bury apples to honor the ancestors on their journey and give lost spirits a meal.
  • Set an extra place at the table for any visitors on this night.
  • Light candles in your windows, either to guide good spirits to your door, or to keep bad spirits away-- your choice. (These are often placed in pumpkins-- an offering of peace.)
I even found a few great poems from the Book of Pagan Prayer. Some are specific to All-Hallowe's (Samhain), some to death or Fall or the year's end. In many traditions, October 31st signifies the end of the year, and the beginning. I believe the new year doesn't start until February. For me, this is the quiet contemplative time, the Crone time, the time between the years. I honor my ancestors, welcome wisdom to my home, and enjoy the season. The in between spaces are important, magickal, and transformative. But back to the prayers:

I invite the Holy Ones to my table.
Come, sit with me, eat and drink with me.
I offer you the hospitality of my home.
You are always welcome here.
I pray to all the gods of death,
of darkness, of sorrow.
Though I do not love you, I respect you.
Though I do not welcome you, I honor you.
Though I do not invite you into my life,
I know you are already there.
Eat with us, Ancestors,
on this night of the dead.
Share our meal with us
and then go on your way.
At the end of my life, I put my trust in the gods of my people.
Ancient Wise Woman, cover me with your cloak
as I walk the last path that leads to your land.
Lock up carefully, Earth's guardians,
and keep life safe until spring.
It is only fair to thank you, blessed ones:
You have given me so much;
I give to you from my little.
Enter my home, and find your own,
for the old ways are kept here
and hospitality is a law all are proud to honor.

All-Hallowe's Eve is also a great (but dangerous) time for divination, for communing with your dead loved ones, for thanking those who came before and letting go of those who travel the paths before us. Thresholds, offerings, honor and respect. Is not all life and death contained in these words? Offer what you have. If it is your concentration and thanks for a few minutes, give that. If it is a sprig of juniper or an oak branch in your hearth fire, offer that. Bread and milk are always welcome feasts, and laughter is beautiful.

Blessings Be.


I Do It Better Myself

And while that could be a statement about segx, it's not.

I've heard this quote over and over in the past few years--
"If it is to be, it is up to me."
No idea where the quote came from, but I finally had a good long sit-down conversation with myself about what exactly that means, and how I apply it to my life. I came to a few conclusions, too.

I realized that I've been living with the Cinderella Complex (if this is a real thing, and not a name I just came up with, my apologies) for a very long time. And it is time to stop waiting for someone else to come along and make everything better. Save me from the evil whatever in my life-- everything from not completing my Masters Thesis on time to not going for health walks because no one is here to go with me to not doing the dishes.

And I realized that I am responsible for my own success. I take care of me, and I do it better than anyone else can or should. Because I know what I need and who I am better than anyone else. My success story and my happy ending are within me. I keep my own budget. I wash my own dishes. I manage my own health. I do my own work. If it is to be, it is up to me.

So then I took that one step further, and made it spiritual and personal. I formed a new picture and a new plan for living out my happy ending:

Unstop the cork and let my Spirit flow. I am an unending stream. I take my shape from the earth and the rocks in my path. I use the sun to clear my waters for action and the fires of courage to light my way and protect MY best interests. I am my own best advocate, best friend, best judge. I am my own self-- and no one else can or should direct me on the path I know to take.

The air brings new ideas and oxygen to my waters so the ideas I have planted within can grow, can bloom, can spawn. I am the tide of change, and the Moon is my Guide.

Who can rescue the water? Who can contain it, direct it or inspire it to change its course? No. I am the water, and I make my own path. Ever moving, ever changing. Ever inspiring, ever beautiful. I do it better myself.

'Tis the season to reflect on your past, your present, and who you want to be in your future. It is time to finish projects and store away lessons and resources for the winter months ahead. It is time to let go of negative self-image, negative patterns of behavior, negative emotions. It is time to decide that no one can live your life but you. It is time to join the water as it streams down our windows, puddles in our yards, rushes in torrents down the mountains and dry stream beds of the summer. It is time to quench our thirst for change. It is time to recognize that you know what you need to do-- and that only you can do it.


Colors of the Season

Ornamental chili peppers are purple, red, orange and yellow-- all on the same branch. The leaves on the trees are doing the same thing, and the colors are beautiful. Orange and yellow and green pumpkins-- and hey, the leaves are doing that, too! Yummy squash, ornamental corn, warm soups and bonfires. It is a beautiful time of year!