Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 29 ~ Dia de los Muertos

Kiriko Moth
Happy Monday, everyone! This is the last week of our Samhain's Sirens Extravaganza and we're kicking it off with a great blog post by Kourney Leaf, a fabulous giveaway from Twisted Thystle. As always, we have a terrific song from Kestril Trueseeker; craft and recipe for you to try. This is the week of our Grand Prize Giveaway, and our lovely Magaly Guerrero will wrap it all up for you in true Siren fashion! Be sure to enter all week for the prizes, because each entry you've made this month will count toward the grand prize (valued at over 400.00). For those of you in the path of Hurricane Sandy, we're keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. And we're wishing you the very best of Halloween and Samhain blessings!

Dia de los Muertos

By Kourtney Leaf

I love this time of year. The crispness in the air, the way the light filters in differently, the beautiful colors of autumn. But what I really and truly love about this time of year is that you get to welcome home your loved ones. Samhain isn't like any other normal holiday where you get the family together for a big meal and somewhat interesting conversation… Nope. You get to invite those that you haven’t seen since… well… since they left this world behind. Your dearly departed grandmother, your great aunt and that branch of the family tree you’re most proud of; be it Jesse James or Abe Lincoln.

Don’t get the wrong idea though… they’re not going to be hauling around chains or be cloaked in your best linens. And unless you have a special talent… you’re not going to actually see them sitting at the dinner table, looking at their dinner plate and wondering what the hell they are supposed to do with that. Chances are you probably won’t notice them at all.

It’s remembering them that is important though. So instead of rehashing grandpa’s last trip to the doctor, or hearing about your brother’s workplace drama, take the time to remember. Tell stories and pull out pictures. Allow yourself to laugh at old memories, even let a few tears through.

And it’s because this is the time of year where the veil between this world and the next is the thinnest, that it’s a great time to actually reach out and contact those loved ones.  I use Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead celebrations, as a sort of guide for my celebrations. It’s primarily a Spanish holiday that shows respect to the dead. It’s extremely festive and very much full of love. It takes place November 1st and 2nd to coincide with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Soul’s Day.

My family actually begins the festivities on Samhain night though. We have a Silent Supper to invite Spirits to our home and to show our love and respect for them. Patti Wigington over at About.com has a wonderful explanation of a Silent Supper. But with two children in residence, we aren't able to follow the rules of a Silent Supper to a T. We do however, incorporate several elements. We aren't silent the whole time, usually just dessert. We don’t have a candle for each spirit, we light one for all. I do smudge before the dinner takes place, but I don’t typically cast a circle. I set a plate for Spirit, but I don’t actually serve them. I do burn our notes before we begin dessert, but there isn't a full on prayer. But the idea is the same, and I don’t think the Spirits really mind.

I also set up a Dead Altar in memory of my departed loved ones. It includes several elements like pictures of the departed, incense to guide them home, flowers to remind us how fragile life is, a glass of water to represent purity and to satisfy their thirst (though sometimes I wonder if a shot of whiskey or tequila would be better suited!). I also include two candles, one for those who have passed and one for the lost soul which can also represent faith and hope.  The purpose of the altar is to guide those who have crossed the veil back home. I usually have it up the entire month of October and through the first of November. As a family we take a few moments to reflect on our time with our departed loved ones, we may say a few words, share a few memories, and maybe burn a few more thoughts or prayers before breaking it down on the second.
Plus, I love the sugar skulls and I can’t write about Dia de los Muertos without including this amazing imagery. Sugar skulls are the skulls embellished with flowers, spiderwebs, hearts or swirls. They began as sugary sweets you could use to adorn your altar with. They have morphed into something so much more though. The image of the sugar skull has become a representation of the Day of the Dead and really has become more art than candy. I love the images of people decked out with their faces painted, the skulls that are adorned with the bright flowers and beautiful colors. For me it is a beautiful thing to accept death, to respect it, so readily that you can see it so full of life.

Samhain, or Dia de los Muertos, is a holy day that lives deep within my heart. It is by far the most important Sabbat for me. It’s rather selfish of me to hate that I've lost so many people that I love. Maybe I’m just a little jealous that they are in a place of perfect peace, and we can’t so much as visit. So it’s an amazing thing, an amazing experience to have them visit us. I won’t ever take that for granted.



Today's Giveaway: 


Our giveaway comes from Deb Garnett of Twysted Thystle
Included is: 1 Cinnamon Skin Sugar Scrub, 1 Cinnamon Skin Body Oil, and 1 Cinnamon Lip Balm.


Remember:
Your first entry is to follow us here. (Make sure you comment and tell us that you're following) 

Also remember that each entry must be separate to count.

Bonus entries:

Go visit Twysted Thystle, come back and tell us which product you like best on the page.

Blog about this giveaway. Come back and share the link to your blog post.

Tweet about this giveaway. Come back and share the link to your tweet.

Like Samhain's Sirens on Facebook (post a comment that you did)
Follow us on Twitter (post a comment that you did)

If you already like/follow us on either or both, just post comments that you've already done so.

You have until 8pm EDT Tuesday evening (October 30) to enter this giveaway. Winner will be announced on Wednesday :)  Good luck!


Today's Recipe: Sugar Skulls for Dia De Los Muertos


Ingredients:

2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 Tbs. corn syrup
1/2 Tsp.  vanilla
1/3 cup cornstarch
food coloring
1 fine paintbrush


Directions:

Sift powdered sugar.

Mix the egg white, corn syrup, and vanilla in a clean bowl without a trace of grease.

Add the powdered sugar with a wooden spoon. When almost completely mixed, start kneading with the tip of your fingers until you can form a small ball.

Dust with cornstarch on board.

Keep on kneading until smooth

Put dough into a plastic bag and chill. It can be left there for several months. Mold into skulls.

Paint the figures when they are dry. You can use colored icing.


Today's Craft: Pasta Skeleton Craft


Supplies:
A few different types of pasta and dried beans, like spaghetti, macaroni, tiny tube pasta, long tube pasta, wagon wheels, long spirals, tiny shells, wagon wheels
A piece of black construction paper
White glue
A white crayon to write your name (or label the bones)

Glue the pasta to the black paper using white glue. Have the kids arrange the pasta on the paper before gluing (to make sure that they have room for the whole body on the piece of paper).
You can use just about any type of pasta (or dried beans) for the bones. A wagon wheel is nice for the head. Spaghetti makes good fingers and toes. Tiny tubes or dried lentils are good as vertebrae in the spine. Long tubes make collar bones. Longer tubes or long spirals make good arm and leg bones. Small shells or dried white beans are nice for the kneecaps, wrists and ankles. Two dried lima beans make good hips.
(craft courtesy of Enchanted Learning.com)


And the Winners Are....


October 25- Saga's Cottage "The Thinning Veil" Print: Jonquil Alexa (petoskystone)
October 26- Eliora's Charm Giveaway- Amanda Morris
October 27- Sosanna's Craftacular Crystal Spider Giveaway- Loren Morris

Congratulations to our winners!! Please be sure to send in your shipping information to samhainsirens@gmail.com so we can get your prizes to you! (note: Due to Hurricane Sandy, some shipping may be delayed. Bear with us.)


Song of the Week with Kestril Trueseeker


We’re down to the last few songs and really the only common thread among them is I really, really love the hell out of them and couldn’t imagine a Halloween playlist without them. The first is a classic from 1976, Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper:





There will be a special musical treat for all of you Siren-followers after the season is over. Stay tuned to find out more.

Have a Maniacal Monday, and we'll see you tomorrow for more Samhain fun!

55 comments:

  1. Love love Twysted Thystle followed on FB

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  2. The Ginger Body oil is my favorite on the site

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  3. I love, love , LOVE the Sweet Ginger body oil. I bet that smells delish! ( And yes, if I get lucky enough to have my name pulled, I would love to have the prize lol )

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  4. I follow the Sirens of FB & on the blog. Yea! I won :)

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  5. Frostbyte Herbal Tea is my fave. Especially as Peppermint is said to be good for sinus issues, &, thanks to a lazy soninlaw (& his young happy large dog) I couldn't grow my own this year! Plus, the graphics are *gorgeous* on all of their packaging!

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  6. I Tweeted!

    https://twitter.com/TheWitchWriter/status/262912266125582339

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. what a great post! can't wait to make sugar skulls, and I love the noodle skeleton. Adorable! also, huzzah, I'm a winner! thank you thank you thank you! <3

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  9. I blogged!

    http://bellafoxglove.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-beginning-of-end.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. I shared on G+

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/118387146872120229014/posts

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  11. Liked Twysted Thystle on FB, checked out their site. Love Beach Baby 'Bee' Balm item.
    Follow here. Follow on FB. Shared here. Shared on FB and google+.
    Thanks!

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  12. I'm a follower of this blog. Name: Wendy S.

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  13. I love all of the Twisted. T's body oils!

    http://twystedthystle.com/body-oil.html

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  14. Another great post!
    I've been following here all month--great job Sirens!

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  15. Deb has so many wonderful products! I'll be ordering some candles for sure (cool scent combos!), the body butters are calling my name too...and maybe some Harvest Moon tea:)

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  16. I tweeted the giveaway: https://twitter.com/kleaf19/status/262943955413524481

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  17. I follow the Sirens on Twitter :)

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  18. I've been following all month. :)

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  19. I've also updated my blog post today to include the giveaway!

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  20. I Tweeted at https://twitter.com/RCchrps/status/262946409773420544

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  21. Tweeted about blog give away.

    https://twitter.com/MorrigansWitch

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  22. Already liked the Facebook ages ago and still do! :D

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  23. There are a lot of tantalizing products over at Twysted Thystle, but the Harvest Moon Tea and the Sleepy Nighttime caught my eye. I'm an absolute nut for quality and tasty tea blends! Mmmm!

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  24. I love everything at Twysted Thystle! But their fab herbal teas really caught my eye, mainly Frostbyte and Chick Weeds!

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  25. Still following on Twitter @MissMaryApple!

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  26. I blogged! http://sweetmaplelife.blogspot.ca/2012/10/dios-de-los-muertos-and-another.html

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  27. Tweeted! https://twitter.com/MissMaryApple/status/262979831422152704

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  28. Loved everything but my favorite are the soya candles...especially Tree Hugger

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  29. http://peppylady.blogspot.com/2012/10/not-sure-about-bridge.html

    I thought the sugar skull would of been hard to do. Both of my sons done them and actual they don't look hard at all today.

    I blogged about the give away and I think I would be interested in the teas. I even liked her face book page.

    I still like SS on facebook.

    Coffee is on.

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  30. I've been following you on Twitter =D

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  31. I'm totally drooling over the teas at Twisted Thystle. Especially Frostbyte herbal tea, Love Your Mother herbal tea, and Twilight herbal tea. Yummy!

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  32. Love that song!!!! Am a Siren's follower :D XXX

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  33. I also follow the Siren's on FBook :D XXX

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  34. Visited Twisted Thystle, and my fav iten has got to be the Garlic Balm...especially at this time of year :D XXX

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  35. I tweeted about Samhains's Sirens! twitter.com/rhiannonrowan

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  36. I follow Samhain's Sirens on facebook!

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  37. I follow Samhain's Sirens on Twitter! twitter.com/rhiannonrowan

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  38. I like the Frost Byte candle on Twysted Thystle

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  39. I follow Samhain's Sirens here on blogspot!

    ReplyDelete