than #Caturday in October?
With only eleven days and counting,
than #Caturday in October?
With only eleven days and counting,
like orange lights on an evergreen tree!
Only twenty one days until the big event.
“Deck the halls with boughs of pumpkins.”
“October had tremendous possibility. The summer’s oppressive heat was a distant memory, and the golden leaves promised a world full of beautiful adventures. They made me believe in miracles.”
“October proved a riot to the senses and climaxed those giddy last weeks before Halloween.”
As we welcome in big, bold October, today we find ourselves with twenty-nine days until Halloween. Are you prepared?
Twenty-nine can be considered a sacred number, because of its reduction to eleven. Its core value is two. Numerology always reduces numbers to the lowest value. Thus: 2 +9 = 11, and 1 +1 = 2. Eleven is a mystical number, representing the “doorway” or the pillars to enlightenment. Eleven itself even looks like a doorway!
Therefore, today (also a 2, October 2nd) is the perfect time to welcome in our new month.
The intrinsic meaning of the number 29 is a combination of 2 and 9. The number 2 represents duality, opposites, teamwork, collaboration and cooperation. The number 9 — which is the last before 10, or 1 — represents the “end of things”. It is care in the final stages that lead to completion and perfection. It also represents health, humanitarian interests and care for our fellow beings. Both numbers deal with esoteric knowledge — in two, as exploring the nature of duality, and in nine as the striving for completed perfection.
Twenty nine is a combination of these two.
The essence of the number 29 is relationships, and working together as we strive to create a better world for all involved. Imagine all magick channeled into a beautiful coexistence, with its source used as the primary requirement to maintain its own existence. That, in a nutshell, is 29.
It might look something like this.
Happy October, and Blessed be!
In just thirty-three days, the ghostly and ghoulish festivities of Halloween will be upon us! Are you prepared? In honor of Halloween I will be posting Halloween countdowns to help get you in the mood. Stay tuned for all things Halloween — the macabre, the mystical and the mythical, as well as the silly, the satirical and the sadistic!
I thought a countdown of 33 days would be a good place to start. Why 33? Well… The number 33 has a sacred and spooky history. According to some numerologists, 33 is the most significant of all esoteric numbers. It is an important part of many spiritual, occult and religious practices.
First of all, three is a magical number. In Faerie tales, we get three wishes.
We are given three tasks, and the “third time is a charm.” Baseball gives a chance for three strikes before you are “out”. Mother, father, and baby makes three, thus ensuring the continuation of humanity. Three is part and parcel of our culture. In Tarot, three is the Empress, who gives birth to all human creativity.
Three is also significant to many religions. Christianity uses the Trinity of three — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Pagan faith involves the veneration of the Maiden, Mother and Crone, as attuned to a woman’s life cycles and the phases of the Moon. Three is great on its own, but two threes put together is considered extremely powerful. Two threes facing each other make a mirror-image design that is said to represent the ancient Hermetic maxim “as above, so below.” The heavens mirror the earth; the spirit world reflects the human world. This maxim is often shown as the Tree of Life. (Note the outline, 3 and inverted 3.)
Thirty-three was also important in English literature. The number is often hidden within significant texts. Take Shakespeare, for example. In Julius Caesar, Caesar himself is stabbed 33 times. The ghost of Caesar visits Brutus in a passage that starts with a 33-character sentence: “That shapes this monstrous apparition.” Brutus recovers from the shock and addresses the ghost in a 33-word sentence: “It comes upon me. Art thou any thing? Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil, that makest my blood cold and my hair to stare? Speak to me what thou art.”
In Hamlet, Horatio first questions the Ghost in a 33 word sentence: “What art thou that usurp’st this time of night, together with that fair and war like form, in which the majesty of buried Denmark did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!” Horatio also addresses the ghost in a 33 word sentence as he leaves: “O, speak! Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life, extorted treasure in the womb of earth, for which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,speak of it: stay, and speak!” The number here is used to represent the link between normal, waking life and the ghostly realms.
Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queen is full of allegory and characters ranging from King Arthur to Gloriana (Queen Elizabeth I). In Book 3 Canto 3 (3 + 3 = 33) the opening line begins with a 33-letter sentence: “Most sacred fyre, that burnest mightily.” Spenser linked the number 33 with the concept of a human spirit and at the same time a mirror image in the celestial realm.
Pretty cool stuff, huh? I bet you’ll never think of 33 in a mundane way again! Enjoy this day as a “sacred countdown” to the sacred festival of Halloween 🙂
With grace and gratitude, wishing you a hallowed Halloween and sanctified Samhain.
In honor of the season, I put together this video, featuring the ever-fabulous Mediaeval Baebes. Hope you like it! Have a safe and fun day 🙂
“A soul! a soul! a soul-cake!
Please good Mistress, a soul-cake!
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us merry.” — Soul Cake Song
Long before trick-or-treaters donned masks and Halloween became an international franchise, our Medieval ancestors had a different (and much more solemn) way of celebrating. During these festivities, poor children went door to door, begging for cakes or bread in a tradition called ‘Souling’.
The basic idea was, you give the kid a cake and he or she says a prayer for one of your dead relatives. It was a win/win situation: a charitable donation for accumulated prayers.
Although Halloween/Samhain was originally a Pagan festival, when the Roman Church grew to power in the 4th century, it (like so many other Pagan celebrations) was hijacked and morphed to fit church traditions.
Hallowtide festivities in the Middle Ages took place over a period of three days, beginning on October 31 and ending on November 2. Three different holidays were celebrated during this time.
All Hallows Eve (October 31st) was a day to honor deceased relatives. It was customary to go to the graveyard, bring offerings of ‘soul cakes’ and wine, and commune with the dead, as veils to the otherworld were lifted. Visitors would light candles or bonfires and ring bells to help attract surreal entities.
All Saints Day (November 1st) was a day to honor saints, while All Souls Day (November 2nd) paid tribute to ALL the souls of the departed. On All Souls day, children would go door to door hoping to receive soul cakes. Whenever you gave a child a cake, he or she then had an obligation to say a prayer or sing a song for one of your deceased relatives — who just might be doing time in Purgatory, waiting to enter heaven.
By giving out soul cakes, you could get extra prayers for your loved ones, thus keeping them from the clutches of Satan.
First recorded in the 5th century, the tradition of giving soul cakes continued on in some parts of England as late as the 1890’s.
So, what exactly was a soul cake?
Soul cakes took many different shapes and sizes. In some areas, they were simple shortbread, and in others they were baked as fruit-filled tarts. Some were an early form of French toast, making use of stale or day old bread to be given to the poor. Ingredients, of course, were used according to what was most available in the community.
If you’d like to try your own hand a whipping up some soul cakes for Halloween, here are a few recipes.
This one dates all the way back to 1350!
TRADITIONAL SOUL BREAD
6 large dinner rolls
2 eggs, beaten
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup currants
1 tsp. ground ginger and cinnamon combined
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of saffron
Grind saffron, mix with butter and set aside. Cut centers out of rolls to make a little bowl, reserving removed breadcrumbs. Mix eggs, currants, butter mixture, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Pour over breadcrumbs (which preferably has been dried out first) and stir carefully until all bread is evenly coated. Stuff rolls with mixture. Put about an inch of water in the bottom of a large pan and bring it to boil. Then put in the rolls, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes with the pan tightly covered. Remove immediately from water with a slotted spoon and serve hot.
Source: Curye on Inglish. Middle English recipes
Oxford University Press.
If you’d like a more modern recipe, try these:
PIE CRUST SOUL CAKES
Roll out the pie crust and cut it into circles. Use the circles to line a tin of muffin cups. Mix the butter, fruit and honey together. Scoop the fruit mixture into the pastry shells, and then bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Allow to cool for about ten minutes before eating.
Source: Recipes for Halloween
Your trick or treaters will no doubt be delighted!
On the other hand, parents will be suspicious of anything hand made and not wrapped… so you may want to keep your soul treats all to yourself 🙂
And finally! For your listening pleasure, here is a lovely version of the Soul Cake Song, performed in Medieval ballad style by Kristen Lawrence. Hope you enjoy it!
Masquerades reveal hidden identities. Choose wisely.
Our final Friday the 13th of this year happens to fall in October, the same month as Halloween. Supernatural vibes are high for the entire month. This Friday the 13th will be particularly sacred and special for a number of reasons, and we should celebrate accordingly!
Interestingly, the numbers 13 and Halloween’s date of 31 share a numeric root of 4. The number 4 symbolizes structure, stability, logic, reason, power and control. The number 13, which is the inverted, or ‘flip side’ of 4, symbolizes change, transformation, mystery, mysticism and upheaval. As such, this Friday the 13th is a great time to establish control of the supernatural, and seek the type of transformation that will lead to power and stability.
In honor of this day, I am offering 13 suggestions for some interesting, other-worldly and transformative things you could do to celebrate.
1. Visit a haunted house!
‘Tis the season, and haunted houses are in full swing all around the country. They offer fun and exhilaration, plus the added bonus — great fear leads to great release of tension. (Ever notice how everyone is always laughing when they come out?) If you are near Chicago, this video will help you choose one to attend.
2. Invite the gang over for a séance!
If you have some adventurous friends who are open minded, this night is particularly good for contacting the otherworld, before the BIG lifting of the veils on Halloween.
If your friends are not game, you can always do your own private séance. Light a candle for your loved ones. Find your breath in the darkness and silence. Invite spirits of the dearly departed to help and guide you.
3. Watch a Hitchcock movie!
Believe it or not, the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, was actually born on a Friday the 13th! Honor him by watching one of his cinematic gems. I recommend The Birds, but there are a bunch of great ones to choose from.
4. Adopt a black cat.
Contrary to popular belief, black cats can be very lucky, and they make great companions! Support your local shelter by giving a home to one of these black beauties. For more information about lucky black cats CLICK HERE.
5. Do a 13 card tarot reading.
For Tarot aficionados, this will be easy. Use the traditional Celtic cross spread of ten cards, but at the end add three more cards. Interpret these three as aspects of transformation, stability and luck. If you do not read Tarot personally, consider visiting your local soothsayer, or contact one via internet.
6. Bake a batch of 13 cupcakes.
A group of 13 is also known as a ‘Baker’s dozen’. Interestingly, the phrase ‘Baker’s dozen’ originated in Medieval England. Bakers had a practice of throwing in one extra loaf of bread when selling a dozen, in order to avoid being penalized for shortchanging their customers. Weird as it sounds, the bakers could actually be fined, sent to the pillory or whipped for cheating their customers!
(Sounds like one Medieval practice we should bring back, as portions mysteriously ‘shrink’ at the supermarket, and fraudulent practices abound…) At any rate, your 13 cupcakes will be great to serve your friends if they do come over for the séance.
7. Honor the goddess Freya. Today is truly her day!
The word Friday is derived from Freya, the Norse goddess of love, sex and fertility. She is worshipped on every Friday, but Friday the 13th holds special meaning. Legend tells us the witches of the North would observe their sabbat by gathering in the woods by the light of the moon. On one such occasion Freya herself came down from her sanctuary in the mountaintops and appeared before the group.
The witches numbered only 12 at the time. Freya joined the circle, making the number 13, after which the witches’ coven — and every properly-formed coven since then — comprised exactly 13. You can make a personal homage to Freya by lighting a pink candle and offering her an apple, the traditional fruit of love.
8. Contact 13 people you have been out of touch with lately.
Wish them a happy Friday the 13. You could call them, contact them on social media or send an old fashioned Halloween card. By doing this you will send 13 love vibrations into the universe. They will come back to you threefold. Plus you will get back in touch with your long lost buddies, old friends, maybe an old flame? Who knows what will happen…
9. Carve a Jack o’ Lantern!
Pumpkins are a traditional fruit of the fall harvest. A Jack o’ Lantern helps guide spirits from the Otherworld who wish to visit us on Halloween. Carving your Jack o’ Lantern on Friday the 13th will imbue it with the sacred energy of this day.
Save the pumpkin seeds and bake them on a flat, salted cookie sheet. Eat exactly 13 seeds each day between now and Halloween. This will serve to remind you of the magical number 13 and increase your spiritual focus as you wait in anticipation of Halloween. Besides that, pumpkin seeds are full of zinc, magnesium and protein. They are great for your immune system and heart health.
10. Make, sew or shop for your Halloween costume!
Your costume will also be imbued with special energy, having been created on this day. When Halloween rolls around you will truly dazzle everyone with your unique style!
11. Make a crystal grid consisting of 13 stones.
Position the stones however you like. Use your grid for specific wishes and intentions. Meditate on your crystal grid each day from now until Halloween. Even if you do not have special crystals, any type of stone can be used for this – even those you find in the garden or in the street. All rocks hold sacred energy!
12. Read, like and comment on 13 WordPress blogs that you do not normally follow.
By doing this you will raise energy, learn new things, make new friends and create good vibes in cyberspace!
13. Read 13 Edgar Allen Poe stories by candlelight.
Not only was Poe an exceptional poet and Master of the Macabre, but he actually invented the short story form. Nothing like a good old Murder in the Rue Morgue or Masque of Red Death, read by flickering candlelight, to set a Friday the 13th mood! And if you are looking for more scary short stories, be sure to check out our anthology The Box Under The Bed , aimed to delight and thrill you!
Most of all, have a safe, fun and fantastic Friday the 13th!
Are you tempted by terror, hungry for hauntings and scintillated by the supernatural? Are you a surveyor of cemeteries, giddy for ghosts, enticed by the eerie?
If you are a regular reader of this blog, I suspect you have a penchant for the Dark Side. As such, I have an offer for you! (Okay, a shameless plug. But you will like it, I promise!)
A while back, bestselling author and WordPress blogger Dan Alatorre requested submissions for an anthology of scary stories he was putting together, to be available around Halloween. Naturally, the minute I heard ‘scary’ and ‘Halloween’, I was IN!!
I submitted a story about Jack the Ripper. (Teaser HERE) To my delight, Dan accepted it!
Our anthology, called The Box Under The Bed contains a collection of twenty spine tingling stories. Expect psychotic killers, psychological horror and recreations of Yesteryear, as well as friendly ghosts and a plethora of all things weird, wild and wonderful. Contributors include bestselling authors Allison Maruska and Jenifer Ruff. The anthology is due for release on October 1.
Now here’s the best part! You can pre-order a Kindle download for only 99 cents! Pre-orders will also include a bonus story written by Dan Alatorre which will not be included after the release date. Paperbacks will be available later.
If interested please click HERE. Hours of thrilling enchantment await, as we prepare for Halloween…