We are half-way through our celebration. Why does October always go by so quickly?
Must be because we're having fun with you! Come on in!
And the winner of The Touch of the Goddess giveaway is....
Today's Blogger: Author Sally Dubats
Samhain, for me, is a time of opposites; it is darkness and light, reaching out to community and turning inward, a time of sharing and a time of solitude, the turn towards Winter, staying in the present, and letting go of Autumn or even Summer. But these are when choice is at its best. Sometimes we find ourselves alone or without a Pagan community during Samhain, and we have no choice regarding how we wish to worship and celebrate – or we think we don’t have a choice which can be even worse. At these times, we cast circles alone and sometimes celebrate amongst the larger tribe with mundane candy-filled games and costumes. The feelings and emotions around this issue can be strong.
I’ve been there.
I am grounded now, living in Portland amongst a beautiful community that I love; however, I’ve traveled and moved a lot, a Gypsy moving at the whims of the Goddess. Because of this, I had not grounded into a sacred community and have preferred the solitary path, occasionally celebrating full moons and sabbats with others who are on a similar journey.
One Samhain several years ago I felt particularly lonely while completely surrounded by friends. I had told some non-Wiccan, close friends who were spiritually inclined that I wanted to celebrate Samhain with them and have a feast afterward. They happily accepted my invitation and were looking forward to learning about ritual and Samhain. I had planned a lovely event with eight of us, followed by an intimate feast with special wines.
My partner at the time was not particularly spiritual, but occasionally celebrated with me and agreed to the event I was planning. He then began to invite more and more people without asking, and I was increasingly feeling less “Samhain” and more “Eat, Drink and Be Merry”. At the last minute, literally an hour before guests were to arrive, four more guests were added, and I had to open more of the very special wines I had selected that were originally intended for cakes and ale and to share afterward.
These last four were friends, but more interested in wine tasting than Samhain and had heard about the wines I was opening. They were road-weary from traveling, and had no clue what Samhain was. I enjoyed them as friends, but had no desire to do circle with them. The focus became the meal and the wine.
I felt bamboozled. My sacred event had been usurped.
The table was set beautifully with an array of crystals, stones, ornamental gourds, and it was a gorgeous Samhain feasting table. The meal was in four courses.
There was no ritual.
It was the most pointless, hollow, and lonely Samhain I have ever experienced. If you have ever experienced a death, and life goes on, people you love chatter, but in the background of your heart and mind you feel the loss and are not present to the living -- that is how I felt. It was a fun night, but I kept thinking, “It’s Samhain. It’s Samhain.” I could feel it in the air, but no one else did. It was a night of feasting with friends, and it was a night of nothing.
Late that night, after the guests had gone and my then “partner” was asleep, I wrapped my naked body in a heavy blanket and went outside into the cold autumnal air, sat in the silence of Nature, and stared up at the moon as clouds danced around Her. It was an intimate and beautiful moment with the Goddess. She knew that my heart was full. I spoke to her with my thoughts of the gratitude for having time here with friends and with the people who have passed, I enjoyed Her silence and presence. I had to let go of my longing for a Pagan community at the time. And I did celebrate several days later, alone. I call it “second Samhain” at 15 degrees Scorpio, the actual midpoint between the Autumnal equinox and Winter Solstice.
It took this present time, moving a couple more times, bringing me to this present place, to remember that long ago conversation with the Goddess who brought me to the perfect place now. I know that my boundaries were severely violated, and wouldn’t hesitate to speak up and un-invite people today. Of course, I wouldn’t be with a “partner” like that today! My personal tradition now is to seek out or create Samhain events on October 31st that speak to my need for sacred community, and Second Samhain is for my personal reflection, my solo spiritual questing. It is the solo questing that has brought me to the deepest spiritual understandings and wisdom of the Goddess, and to the deep and sacred connection with my Self.
So, if you are lonely, or feel alone, wishing you had a Pagan community, know that we are here, the Goddess is in your heart, and She has reasons we cannot begin to understand for the path of our lives. Go speak with Her. She will guide you. Blessed be.
The Siren's Song with Jennifer Rasmussen
Today's Recipe with Autumn Earthsong
Slow Cooked Autumn Pork Chops
*Makes 4 servings
4 pork chops
1 acorn squash, cut into 4 to 6 slices, seeds removed
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbs butter, melted
3/4 tsp browning and seasoning sauce
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 tsp orange juice
Arrange 2 pork chops in a slow cooker. Place squash and carrots on top. Add the other two pork chops on top of that.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients; spoon over chops. Cover and cook on low setting for 4-6 hours, until chops are no longer pink in the center.
Here’s another Pork recipe in the slow cooker….this one for cheese and potato lovers!
Slow Cooked Cheesy Pork and Potatoes
*Makes 4-6 servings
4-6 thick-cut pork chops
2 tsp dried thyme, divided
4 Yukon gold potatoes, sliced
1 onion, sliced
12 mushrooms, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
6 slices American cheese
1 (10 ¾ oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, brown chops on both sides. In the slow cooker, layer chops, potatoes, onion and mushrooms. Arrange cheese slices on top.
Mix together soup and milk in a bowl and spoon over cheese. Cover and cook on high setting for 4 hours or on low setting for 6 hours.
I know not everybody eats meat of course, but I was compelled to share these yummy recipes for those who do. Enjoy!
Blessings and Love,
Autumn Earthsong is back for the 3rd year as our resident Kitchen Witch. You may have seen her recipes in Imramma Magazine and The Sunday Stew as well. Autumn has been a practicing Witch for 17 years and hails from Ohio. She is a wife, mother of two, and Nana to three busy little grandchildren. Samhain is a favorite time of year for her….with her name indicating what Season she loves! Cooking for family and friends this time of year is also a joy…..Especially this time of year! Hearth, Fire, love of family and good food is how she brings Magick to her home. You can also find her blogging at www.autumnearthsong.com. She looks forward to sharing her recipes with you all and hopes that you have a very Blessed Samhain Season!
Stones and Crystals with Jennifer Hodgson
Celestite is great for jump starting your spiritual development. Helpful to stimulate clairvoyant communication, dream recall and astral travel. This stone will also help heal the aura, bring balance and reveal the truth.
Placed on the 3rd eye this stone can open a connection to the energies of the universe. Helps in promoting mental health.
Celestite can also be used for scrying and for meditation.
This stone will fade if in direct sunlight.
Celestite comes in 4 colors, Blue, yellow, red and white
Today's Giveaway from Sosanna's Closet!
Sosanna's Closet original Samhain Altar Candle
The glass measures a hefty 5 inches x 4 inches and is elegantly etched with the following message:
"Lighting the way for Samhain Blessings" with a stunning Pentacle emblazoned on the back.
Includes our choice of decorative gravel and 3 tealights.
This lovely piece retails for 55.00 plus 12.65 for priority shipping and insurance.
Here's how to enter: (Canadians, skip this part and go to your section)
Like/Get Notifications on the Sosanna's Closet Facebook page. Come back, comment on this blog post and tell us that you did.
Remember to add your email address to the page (if you don't want to post it publicly, simply send it via the contact form at the top of the page).
Want extra entries??
1. Follow Sosanna's Closet on Twitter. Come back and comment that you did.
2. Tweet about this giveaway. Comment with the link to your tweet.
3. Blog about this giveaway. Comment with the link to your blog post.
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5. Follow this blog so you'll be in on all of the fabulous fun throughout October! Comment here that you did.
That gives you 6 chances to win this fabulous prize!
CANADIANS LOOK HERE!
Here's your question:
How many jails does Canada have?
This giveaway is open until 9pm PDT tonight (midnight east coast time). Winner will be announced tomorrow at 9am EDT. Remember, we have to notify the winner in email first, so those email addresses are critical for you to qualify for the giveaway!
Good luck everyone!