Tag Archives: Samhain

Blessed Samhain

The wheel has turned and the dark times are here. The veil is thin and our loved ones are near.

Wishing you all a Blessed Samhain and a Happy Halloween!

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Witchy Interview Requests

Often, as October comes around, there is an increase in requests for interviews from a variety or media resources. It’s “Witch Season” and therefore we’re a hot commodity for sensationalistic media. Of course, they’re gearing up to utilize Halloween and love promoting having a Real Witch on their show or in their article. I do understand they want to use Halloween, but they, as often happens, tend to fail to realize that Samhain (Halloween – All Hallows Eve) is a particularly sacred night for many Pagans and more often than not, we’re going to be busy celebrating our most sacred holiday of the year.

However, many are still entirely unaware to the religious aspect. They’re still looking at Witches like fictional and fantasy characters and not as real people practicing a real religion. It can be ever so frustrating for those of us who are actively “out of the broom closet” and willing to speak with those in the media to find they really haven’t done much, if any, research ahead of time.

You know, during the 7 years I was a staff writer for a music magazine, I would never dream of interviewing someone without having a basic understanding of who they were and what genre of music they played. If they were a larger name, (such as Brian May from Queen) I was able to do a lot of research, but if they were a local band I’d at least have a basic press kit to look over and not necessarily walk into it cold.

I get the impression it just doesn’t work that way with many in today’s media. I understand it can be difficult to get a lot of background info prior to a breaking news story, but when you have an interest in “interviewing a witch” for a Halloween themed story it’s likely planned ahead of time and therefore you should do the research. For gosh sakes at least TRY a little! And if you’re interested in interviewing me, just Google my name… I’m all over the internet. It wouldn’t be too difficult to gather some background on me prior to the interview.

Ok, so today… October 30th, I got a request for an interview on a radio show. The show will air in the evening tomorrow night. On Halloween. You know, Samhain… that super big holiday for me. The only other day it would have been equally impossible to conduct an interview with me was on my wedding day and based on the email it seemed like they wanted me to be interviewed Friday evening.

Clearly, it was a last minute idea.

I realize not everyone will be in ritual that evening, but many will, and I’m a bit surprised this fact never seemed to dawn on the person requesting the interview. Would you request to interview a Catholic priest on Christmas eve when he’d likely be conducting or attending mass, how about a rabbi during Yom Kippur? My whole point is that as a member of the media you are requesting to speak with a member of a particular religious community, a person who is an ordained clergy member of their religious community. Would it not cross your mind to consider they might be busy with a religious observance on that one holiday of the year that all non-Pagans associate with witches?

I find that often it wouldn’t cross their mind and the reason being is that many still lack the understanding to associate witches with religious practices, especially practices that have schedules. But again, if a person looking to conduct an interview with me  just took a few minutes from their day to do some basic background research they’d at least learn I’m clergy. Saying I’m an Elder High Priestess doesn’t seem to click for them. Learning I’m ordained often does seem to help them recognize a certain level of legitimacy from their non-Pagan perspective. Ordainment has legal standing that comes with legal responsibilities and is a term they’re more familiar with. Of course none of it matters if they aren’t bothering to do any research, right?

Another thing I do find is many in the media don’t realize there is no one brand of Wicca or even witchcraft. So frequently I will explain while answering their questions about specific practices and such that I can only speak from my experience and that it is not necessarily the same for all who practice Wicca. That while I do represent the Pagan community, or the Wiccan community, I am not the be all end all voice, we don’t have a single person or book that represents everyone. As many have said, “We’re goats, not sheep! We follow our own paths.”

Ok, that’s enough ranting for today… I hope. I’m going to spend some time cleaning/organizing my ancestor altar and pay some attention to my loved ones who’ve passed on to the next realm. If I get a chance, I’ll post photos later.

Blessed Samhain!

Song: Samhain Song
Artist: Lisa Thiel
Album: Circle Of The Seasons
# song: 09

Lyrics

Samhain, Samhain, let the ritual begin,
We call upon our sacred ancestors to come in
Samhain, Samhain, we call upon our kin,
We call upon our dear departed loved ones to come in

The Veil between the worlds is thin
Our hearts reach cross the sea of time
To bring our loved ones in
Samhain, Samhain we honor all our kin
We honor those whove gone before
As the Great Wheel turns again

Samhain, Samhain we call upon our kin
We call upon our Sacred Ancestors to come in
Samhain, Samhain we call them to come in
We call upon our dear departed loved ones to come in

The Veil between the worlds is thin
Our hearts reach cross the sea of time
To bring our loved ones in
Samhain, Samhain we honor all our kin
We honor those whove gone before
As the Great Wheel turns again

Samhain, Samhain we call upon our kin
We call upon our Sacred Ancestors to come in
Samhain, Samhain we call them to come in
We call upon our dear departed loved ones to come in

The Veil between the worlds is thin
Our hearts reach cross the sea of time
To bring our loved ones in
Samhain, Samhain we honor all our kin
We honor those whove gone before
As the Great Wheel turns again

Samhain – Remembering Our Loved Ones

For as long as I can remember this day has been my favorite day of the year. I remember being a wee little one, doing my best to finish dinner, and my mother insisting on my finishing a few pages in a book as I was just learning to read. I think I was about 4 years old. Not yet started school. I seem to recall it was a book about Pat and his pet pig.

The sun had begun to set and I could already hear other kids wandering the neighborhood with shouts of “Trick or treat!”

I was desperate to finish my meal, chewing was an option. I just wanted to get ready and head out to go join all the fun.

The neighborhood I grew up in had tons of kids and most of the neighborhood participated in one of the best nights of the year. There was usually at least one elaborate “haunted house” on each of the streets within our housing tract. Parents were out with their kids drinking coffee while watching their young ones gleefully knocking on doors and shouting the universal holiday greeting. Trick or treat… hmmm, to be honest, I don’t recall ever doing any tricks to folks that didn’t participate.

Life was grand back then.

For the last 23 years I have lived in the same place and have never once received a trick or treater. Granted, I live in a gated community, and there aren’t many children here. I will also admit, during that time my perspective has shifted as well. I spend it with the more spiritual side of the holiday and its ancient roots.

In my home I keep a large ancestor altar, right in the middle of my living room. You simply can’t miss it! On it are photos of family and friends who have passed on, as well as a large collection of crystal skulls and various mementos. Each year more photos get added as more loved ones pass on. This is also a working altar, so if spells or energy work is needed to be done, this is where I am most likely to do it.

I feel a need to explain that this is not necessarily a typical practice of Wicca. The altar I keep is simply something I’ve always felt a need to do. And the skulls are used mainly for their energy, but I personally enjoy their shape.

At some point I seem to recall hearing something about there being 3 kinds of death. 1) physical death, 2) death of the spirit, and 3) the day when no one remembers you. Being remembered, long after your death, brings a type of immortality. The idea that after you die and no one remembers you seems so sad to me. So I do my best not to forget my friends and family who’ve passed on and by keeping the altar in the main living space they are remembered and included in our day to day lives.

Despite this day being my favorite of the year it’s tinged with sadness as it’s also the 2 year anniversary of the day I lost my only pregnancy. I spent the entire afternoon in the ER. It was an awful day. It was a bit early to tell, but we had the impression we were expecting a son. We had already decided on the name “Henry” for him. So in memory of him, I placed a pair of baby socks we’d purchased just weeks before on the altar. They were little Frankenstein socks; seasonal as well as a connection to his father who has an affinity to Frankenstein and old Hollywood monsters.

Adding to that misfortune, this year is a bit less bright as I had to put my “first-born son”, BigBoy kitty, to sleep, after a long battle with medical ailments, just over a month ago. BBk was born in my bathroom; I actually assisted in his birth – hence the “first-born son” title. He was my best bud, and he made quite an impression on anyone whoever met him. They knew him well at the vets and spoke quite lovingly of him whenever we came in. One of the hospitals even made a donation in his name to an organization that helps injured animals.

This year things feel a bit off, and my mood is far more somber than celebratory. Today I chose to stay home alone. I lit candles and incense on the altar, sang to my mother and children, and tonight I’m spending time with my loved ones… while The Addams Family movie plays on tv for our entertainment. Well… at least two of my cats are watching right now. Not sure about everyone else.

So as the wheel turns, bringing the dark times of the year to us once again, and the veil thins so our loved ones are just a bit closer, I wish each of you a Blessed Samhain and a Happy Halloween!

RANDOM MUSIC

This is a classic American spiritual folk song that may have originated in the early 19th century and I have heard many artists cover, but I really enjoy Ed Sheeran’s version. He’s changed the lyrics a bit and the entire song is just his voice, music and all.

Ed Sheeran – Wayfaring Stranger