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All Hallows Eve ~ October 31- November 1

“The Dark Mother and Dark Father preside over the Otherworld. She nurtures and protects the fecund Earth as it prepares for its period of rest and regeneration; for only out of this long dark sleep will the light be reborn.”

Samhain (pron. SAO·WEN) is a Gaelic word for “Summers End.” It is generally celebrated on October 31 but the date can also fall upon November 1. This Sabbat is the third and final Harvest after which the dark half of the year takes power over the land and the Veil between the words is lifted.

Originally known as the ‘Feast of the Dead’ this Sabbat was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings for the ‘wandering dead.’ Single candles were lit in windows to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs or plates were set on the table for unseen guests. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost and had no descendants to provide for them.

Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo and were left as offerings to the Nature spirits or Faerie. Hearth fires were lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

For Samhain, take this time to communicate with ancestor spirits or loved ones who have made the journey to the Summerlands. Honor those who have come before by making an ancestor shrine or altar. ❤️

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Kitchen Witchery

Roast Tomato & Capsicum Soup

*Originally cultivated by the Aztecs and Incas back in 700AD

*Tomatoes have long been linked to magic, due to being part of the Deadly Nightshade family. As Deadly Nightshade could cause hallucinations – and death – people associated it with witches.

*A tomato on your mantlepiece was reputed to protect your home. Tomatoes were also used in spells to bring prosperity, as well as love.

*German folklore claimed witches conjured werewolves – leading to the name, ‘wolf peach’for the tomato. It was believed you could drink a potion of nightshade to become a werewolf.

Ref

https://groweatgift.com/2016/09/08/tomato-magic/

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Ritual to Honor the Ancestors at Samhain


For many modern Pagans, there has been a resurgence of interest in our family histories. We want to know where we came from and whose blood runs through our veins. Although ancestor worship has traditionally been found more in Africa and Asia, many Pagans with European heritage are beginning to feel the call of their ancestry. This rite can be performed either by itself, or on the third night of Samhain, following an End of Harvest celebration and a ritual to honor animals.

Decorating Your Altar

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First, decorate your altar table – you may have already gotten it set up during the End of Harvest rite or for the Ritual for Animals. Decorate your altar with family photos and heirlooms. If you have a family tree chart, place that on there as well. Add postcards, flags, and other symbols of the country your ancestors came from. If you’re lucky enough to live near where your family members are buried, make a grave rubbing and add that as well. In this case, a cluttered altar is perfectly acceptable – after all, each of us is a blend of many different people and cultures.

Family Meal

Have a meal standing by to eat with the ritual. Include lots of dark bread, apples, fall vegetables, and a jug of cider or wine. Set your dinner table, with a place for each family member, and one extra plate for the ancestors. You may want to bake some Soul Cakes.

If your family has household guardians, include statues or masks of them on your altar. Finally, if a relative has died this year, place a candle for them on the altar. Light candles for other relatives, and as you do so, say the person’s name aloud. It’s a good idea to use tealights for this, particularly if you have a lot of relatives to honor.

Once all the candles have been lit, the entire family should circle the altar. The oldest adult present leads the ritual. Say:

This is the night when the gateway between

our world and the spirit world is thinnest.

Tonight is a night to call out those who came before us.

Tonight we honor our ancestors.

Spirits of our ancestors, we call to you,

and we welcome you to join us for this night.

We know you watch over us always,

protecting us and guiding us,

and tonight we thank you.

We invite you to join us and share our meal.

The oldest family member then serves everyone else a helping of whatever dishes have been prepared, except for the wine or cider. A serving of each food goes on the ancestors’ plate before the other family members recieve it. During the meal, share stories of ancestors who are no longer among the living – this is the time to remember Grandpa’s war stories he told you as a child, tell about when Aunt Millie used salt instead of sugar in the cake, or reminisce about summers spent at the family homestead in the mountains.

Reciting Your Genealogy

When everyone has finished eating, clear away all the dishes, except for the ancestors’ plate. Pour the cider or wine in a cup, and pass it around the circle (it should end at the ancestor’s place). As each person receives the cup, they recite their genealogy, like so:

I am Susan, daughter of Joyce, the daughter of Malcolm, son of Jonathan…

and so forth. Feel free to add in place names if you like, but be sure to include at least one generation that is deceased. For younger family members, you may wish to have them only recite back to their grandparents, just because otherwise they can get confused.

Go back as many generations as you can, or (in the case of people who have done a lot of genealogy research) as many as you can remember. You may be able to trace your family back to William the Conqueror, but that doesn’t mean you have it memorized. After each person recites their ancestry, they drink from the cider cup and pass it to the next person.

A quick note here – many people are adopted. If you are one them, you are fortunate enough to be able to choose whether you wish to honor your adoptive family, your biological family, or a combination of the two. If you don’t know the names of your birth parents or their ancestry, there’s nothing wrong with saying, “Daughter of a family unknown.” It’s entirely up to you. The spirits of your ancestors know who you are, even if you don’t know them yet.

After the cup has made its way around the table, place it in front of the ancestors’ plate. This time, a younger person in the family takes over, saying:


This is the cup of remembrance.

We remember all of you.

You are dead but never forgotten,

and you live on within us.

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Ritual Honoring the Harvest’s End

Samhain represents, among other things, the end of the harvest season. If you haven’t picked it by Samhain, you probably won’t be eating it! The gardens have died off by now, and where we once saw lush green plants, there is nothing left but dry and dead stalks. The perennials have shut down for the season too, going dormant so that they may return to us in the spring. Animals are brought in from the fields for the winter — and if you’ve ever had a spider come wandering into your living room one chilly October night, you know that even the insects are trying to find a place to stay warm.

If we had lived a few hundreds of years ago, we would not only have brought our cows and sheep in from the pastures. Most likely we’d slaughter a few of them, as well as some pigs and goats, smoking or salting the meat so it would last through the cold months. Our grain that we picked back at Lughnasadh has been baked into bread, and all of our herbs have been gathered, and hang from the rafters in the kitchen. The harvest is over, and now it’s time to settle in for winter with the coziness of a warm fireplace, heavy blankets, and big pots of comfort food on the stovetop.

If you want to celebrate Samhain as the time of harvest’s end, you can do so as a single ritual, or as the first of three days of ceremony. If you don’t have a permanent altar in place, set up a table to leave in place for the three days prior to Samhain. This will act as a your family’s temporary altar for the Sabbat.


Here’s What You’ll Need

Decorate the altar with symbols of late fall, such as:


Skulls, skeletons, grave rubbings, ghosts, and other items symbolic of the dead and the spirit world.

Harvest food such as pumpkins, squash, root vegetables, to mark the end of the growing season.

Nuts and berries, dark breads, representing the darker time of year.

Dried leaves and acorns, symbolizing the shedding of the trees as autumn rolls in.

A cornucopia filled with an abundance of fruit and veggies, to represent the bounty of the fields and gardens.

Mulled cider, wine, or mead, as a way of honoring the blessings of the orchards and vineyards.


Hold Your Ritual

To begin your ceremony, prepare a meal for the family — and this is something that everyone can get involved in. Put emphasis on fruits and vegetables, and wild game meat if available. Also make sure you have a loaf of a dark bread like rye or pumpernickel and a cup of apple cider or wine. Set the dinner table with candles and a fall centerpiece, and put all the food on the table at once. Consider the dinner table a sacred space.

Gather everyone around the table, and say:


Tonight is the first of three nights,

on which we celebrate Samhain.

It is the end of the harvest, the last days of summer,

and the cold nights wait on the other side for us.

The bounty of our labor, the abundance of the harvest,

the success of the hunt, all lies before us.

We thank the earth for all it has given us this season,

and yet we look forward to winter,

a time of sacred darkness.

Take the cup of cider or wine, and lead everyone outside. Make this a ceremonial and formal occasion. If you have a vegetable garden, great! Go there now — otherwise, just find a nice grassy spot in your yard. Each person in the family takes the cup in turn and sprinkles a little bit of cider onto the earth, saying:


Summer is gone, winter is coming.

We have planted and

we have watched the garden grow,

we have weeded,

and we have gathered the harvest.

Now it is at its end.

If you have any late-fall plants still waiting to be picked, gather them up now. Collect a bundle of dead plants and use them to make a straw man or woman. If you follow a more masculine path, he may be your King of Winter, and rule your home until spring returns. If you follow the Goddess in her many forms, make a female figure to represent the Goddess as hag or crone in winter.

Once that is done, go back inside and bring your King of Winter into your home with much pomp and circumstance. Place him on your table and prop him up with a plate of his own, and when you sit down to eat, serve him first. Begin your meal with the breaking of the dark bread, and make sure you toss a few crumbs outside for the birds afterwards. Keep the King of Winter in a place of honor all season long — you can put him back outside in your garden on a pole to watch over next spring’s seedlings, and eventually burn him at your Beltane celebration, six months from now.

When you are finished with your meal, put the leftovers out in the garden. Wrap up the evening by playing games, such as bobbing for apples or telling spooky stories before a bonfire.

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Although traditionally a seance is a good way to communicate with those who have crossed into the spirit world, it’s also perfectly fine to talk to them at other times. You may find yourself walking into a room and suddenly reminded of someone you’ve lost, or catching a whiff of a familiar scent. You don’t need a fancy or formal ritual to speak to the dead. They hear you.


Why on Samhain?


Why hold a Dumb Supper on Samhain? It’s traditionally known as the night when the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its most fragile. It’s the night when we know for sure the dead will hear us speak, and maybe even speak back. It’s a time of death and resurrection, of new beginnings and fond farewells. Please keep in mind that there is no one right way to hold a dumb supper.


Menus and Table Settings


Your menu choices are up to you, but because it’s Samhain, you may wish to make the traditional Soul Cakes, as well as serving dishes with apples, late fall vegetables, and game if available. Set the table with a black cloth, black plates, and cutlery, black napkins. Use candles as your only source of light—black if you can get them.


Realistically, not everyone has black dishware sitting around. In many traditions, it’s perfectly acceptable to use a combination of black and white, although black should be the predominant color.


Host/Hostess Duties


When you’re hosting a Dumb Supper, clearly the point is that no one can speak—and that makes a host’s job very tricky. It means you have the responsibility of anticipating each guest’s needs without them communicating verbally. Depending on the size of your table, you may want to make sure each end has its own salt, pepper, butter, etc. Also, watch your guests to see if anyone needs a drink refill, an extra fork to replace the one they just dropped or more napkins.


The Dumb Supper

In some Pagan traditions, it has become popular to hold a Dumb Supper in honor of the dead. In this case, the word “dumb” refers to being silent. The origins of this tradition have been fairly well debated—some claim it goes back to ancient cultures, others believe it’s a relatively new idea. Regardless, it’s one that’s observed by many people around the world.

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When holding a Dumb Supper, there are a few simple guidelines to follow. First of all, make your dining area sacred, either by casting a circle, smudging, or some other method. Turn off phones and televisions, eliminating outside distractions.

Secondly, remember that this is a solemn and silent occasion, not a carnival. It’s a time of silence, as the name reminds us. You may wish to leave younger children out of this ceremony. Ask each adult guest to bring a note to the dinner. The note’s contents will be kept private and should contain what they wish to say to their deceased friends or relatives.

Set a place at the table for each guest, and reserve the head of the table for the place of the Spirits. Although it’s nice to have a place setting for each individual you wish to honor, sometimes it’s just not feasible. Instead, use a tealight candle at the Spirit setting to represent each of the deceased. Shroud the Spirit chair in black or white cloth.

No one may speak from the time they enter the dining room. As each guest enters the room, they should take a moment to stop at the Spirit chair and offer a silent prayer to the dead. Once everyone is seated, join hands and take a moment to silently bless the meal. The host or hostess, who should be seated directly across from the Spirit chair, serves the meal to guests in order of age, from the oldest to youngest. No one should eat until all guests—including Spirit—are served.

When everyone has finished eating, each guest should get out the note to the dead that they brought. Go to the head of the table where Spirit sits, and find the candle for your deceased loved one. Focus on the note, and then burn it in the candle’s flame (you may wish to have a plate or small cauldron on hand to catch burning bits of paper) and then return to their seat. When everyone has had their turn, join hands once again and offer a silent prayer to the dead.

Everyone leaves the room in silence. Stop at the Spirit chair on your way out the door, and say goodbye one more time.


Other Samhain Rituals


If the idea of a Dumb Supper doesn’t quite appeal to you, or if you know darn well that your family can’t be quiet for that long, you may want to try some of these other Samhain rituals:


* Celebrate the End of the Harvest

* Honor the Ancestors at Samhain

* Hold a Seance at Samhain

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I, at 21 years old, have carved my very first pumpkin🍂🍁🖤

I’m sort of taking a break from witchcraft at the moment. It’s been hard to find the energy to do much. Normally when I feel like this I try to make myself do things that normally make me happy. But right now I feel like I need rest. So I’m giving myself some time to be lazy and and do things that don’t require much effort. It’s nice to remind myself that I’m not in a hurry, and that I’m not failing just because I didn’t manage to do a million things with my free time. It’s okay to just be.

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Things to be Grateful for✨🕊

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Originally posted by essenceevocation

  1. The Sun 🌞
  2. The Moon 🌙
  3. Your favourite beverage ☕️
  4. Yummy food 🥑
  5. A cute wittle mushroom 🍄
  6. Life 🦋
  7. Your favoruite book 📖
  8. Your plants, they’re your babies 🌱
  9. Your favourite song 🎶
  10. Health ❣️
  11. Your craft 🔮
  12. Nature 🌳

be grateful for everything that is present in your life, from the small things to the big things. I wish you love and prosperity, until our paths cross again✨🌙

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Yesterday I had a Little spree. Here’s some of the things I got. Almost a little altar

I pulled Versatility reversed, which confused the hell out of me. But what I think it means is that I need to focus on becoming whole, rather than jumping from identity to identity (work friend daughter). Make all these different people one person again, find that person.

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