Today's Post ~ U is for Un-Everything
By Sosanna from Confessions of A Modern Witch
When I started this project it was unthinkable that I would be able to actually complete the entire thing. I was concerned about finding enough topics to tackle this unique but understandably unifying event. We've taken the letters of the alphabet and brought them together for an entire year. Not only that; but I have also unknowingly united three separate blog projects into one.
My post today is for The NaBloWriMo, The Pagan Blog Project 2012 and The Samhain’s Sirens Blog Extravaganza. I decided that one word wouldn't be enough to cover all the different blogs so I thought, why not use ALL of the words. I also decided that instead of using “bold” to emphasis the words, underline would be more fitting.
Samhain is the beginning of the New Year for unashamed Pagans around the world. We spend our time preparing for the thinning of the veil so that undoubtedly we can reach out, pay respects and possibly unite with our ancestors. On a personal note, Samhain is when my partner and I uttered a set of vows that tied our lives together as well as our hands in a lovely ceremony. People said it was uncanny and unusual, but we have been together for ten years now.
For me Samhain is quite different than the traditional Halloween. Now I do love the costumes, people walking around as the undead, ugly witches walking the malls, while teenagers dress as sexy Cancan girls or the lovely assistant on the high wire delicately keeping balance with an umbrella certainly providing their parents with ulcers. With umber skin or the grayed out uniform of Ulysses Grant our families march along the parade routes in the US for one lone night allowing our kids to indeed do the unbelievable deed of taking candy from strangers. Samhain opens the divide in the spirit realm and allows us ever so briefly to see those that are gone from us. It allows for happiness and understanding as we pay our respects by setting out apples or lighting a candle for those long gone. Ultimately the way one celebrates is very personal. Those unable to take an offering to the crossroads or to bury your apples at the four corners can take it upon themselves to find a way to pay homage. There are really no unacceptable ways to pay respects to the dead.
A great way to celebrate Samhain is to bring those unaccustomed to real meaning of this time of the year and show them a new way of thinking. We take an unaccepted position and a view of a holiday that is unjustly and unfairly labeled as an unholy day and change it to something utterly amazing.
Use your time here to remember that those that are gone into the spirit world are not unavailable to you. Simply open your mind and your heart. They are not unreachable. They are just unaware of the barrier. Do not unbalance the force but use it to create an unbiased space for your ancestors to unite.
With that, I hope that I've uncovered the point I was unarguably trying to make. I had hoped to unmask the uncertainly and show that this wonderful Samhain holiday needs something that is not unattainable in order to be successful. Just like life, this day requires one thing…..
Namaste and Blessed Be
From Eliora at Elegantly Enchanting
Besom Candle Snuffer
Witch's Besom / Broom Candle Snuffer
Elegant little altar tool - a gift for yourself, or a favorite Witch!
Birch-wood handle and natural bristle mini besom doubles as a candle snuffer. The metal snuffer is made from tightly-coiled steel cording.
The broom bristles are embellished with a pretty, black satin ribbon with iridescent details, and a silver-pewter pentacle charm.
This besom snuffer measures approximately 10.5 inches in length.
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Recipe of the Day
Caramel Apple Monster Munch
From Food Network
Make sure to use stove-popped popcorn for this recipe--not the microwave type--to ensure that your munch will be extra crisp and delicious.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the bowl and spatula
1 cup salted cocktail peanuts
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups lightly crushed red and/or green apple chips
Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottom pot over medium heat until very hot and shimmering. Add the popcorn and immediately cover with a lid. Shake the pot constantly, holding the lid on with a heatproof holder, until the popping starts, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to shake the pot until the popping slows to just a few per 5 seconds, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let stand for another minute to allow any last kernels to pop.
Spray a very large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Put the popcorn in the bowl and remove any unpopped kernels. Add the peanuts. Spray a rubber heatproof spatula with the cooking spray and place next to the bowl.
Combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.
Cook, stirring, until melted and the edges of the mixture begin to bubble. Clip a candy thermometer to the pan so the bottom of the thermometer is resting in the sugar syrup but not touching the bottom of the pan.
Boil, stirring, until the thermometer registers 300 degrees F (the hard-crack stage), about 8 minutes.
Turn off the burner and add the vanilla. Stir briefly--about 5 seconds--being careful not to burn yourself as the mixture bubbles up.
Immediately pour the caramel evenly over the popcorn and quickly stir with the prepared rubber spatula until the pieces are mostly separated, about 3 minutes. Pull apart any larger clumps, being careful because the caramel will still be hot in spots. Stir in the apple chips.
Cook's Note: Lightly spraying the measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring helps prevent the corn syrup from sticking.
Today's Craft Idea
From Martha Stewart
Scare up some Halloween spirit by turning an ordinary wine bottle into a delightfully sinister mummy. A spooky disguise for a wine bottle -- it's a Good Thing!
Tools and Materials
Mad scientist sticker
Bottle of wine
Mummy Spirits How-To
1. Dip paper towel and cheesecloth in cooled coffee. Crumple paper towel and cheesecloth; allow to dry overnight.
2. Make a solution to attach paper towel to bottle: mix together 2 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon corn syrup, and 1 tablespoon coffee (cooled); stir with craft stick. With a foam brush, apply a thin layer of solution to areas of bottle to be covered with paper towel, being sure to do only one area at a time because solution dries quickly. (Glue can be used in place of solution if desired.)
3. Cover bottle with paper towel, leaving an open spot to show name of wine. Cut or rip cheesecloth into strips. Take dried cheesecloth and wrap around bottle to create the look of a mummy. Use some of the paste to make cheesecloth stay put if necessary.
4. Attach mad scientist sticker.
And the Winner Is!
The winner for the October 10th giveaway from Sabrina the InkWitch is Danni Suplicki! Congratulations Danni and be sure to send us your shipping information so our vendor Siren can get this out to you.
The Video for Today as chosen by Kestril Trueseeker
Simply hearing this song gives me the chills, bringing back memories of the Exorcist
Don't forget, the Siren's won't be here tomorrow but Sosanna WILL be and she's got some exciting things to share with you! Look for us on Monday. See you then! ;)