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OldBigOak

I was a good thought, planted with love and nurtured, many years ago. I have grown and seen many things in my lifetime; the sunshine, the rain, families come and go, the changing of history. I have seen many storms, but have also heard birds sing. I have seen war and peace, love and hate. I remember when the skies were clearer with less noise. I could see the mountains and smell water. I continued to grow, learn and love, think and share. I have a purpose. I am not sure how long I have lived, perhaps hundreds of years. I have been home to wildlife and shade for others. I can no longer smell fresh air, see the mountains and there is so much noise all around me. No one stops to just sit by me and talk anymore. I continue to do what I came here to do and do it with love and a watchful eye. I have so many stories to tell. I am a beautiful old wise oak tree and today, I died. I was cut down to build a house in my place, or yet another road or city, instead of being left to continue my life, sharing clean air, shade, beauty and loving energy. My roots went deep and my branches reached out to the sun; a child of Mother Earth. Even trees can die naturally once they have lived a good long, happy life filled with memories. I had a purpose and each seedling after me will have a purpose too. Please remember the trees and let them live. Thank you.

Written and shared with love, Fran Mystiblu Hafey~

Blog & Writings Copyright¬©A Moment with Mysti~Mystickblue~Fran Mystiblu Hafey~2000-2015~All Rights Reserved. Beliefs and thoughts of the Author are my own and may not be the same as yours. To each his own, harm none and Namaste~ ūüôā ‚̧

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Spiritual Pathways for Thursday~9-22-11: The Autumn Equinox is almost upon us. Take some time to walk outside and enjoy the changes in nature. Sit under a tree, enjoy, breathe in the wonderful energy and know that just like the seasons, we also go through changes and cycles in our lives. Enjoy the cooler days and take time to appreciate nature’s beauty. 

For those on the other side of the world, Happy Spring! May we all feel the wonderful energy surging through Mother Earth as she turns once again and the days begin to change. It’s amazing how she keeps the balance and life can be what we believe and what we make it. We are all creators. Blessings and light.~

~Joy~Mysti-Fran 

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 firemoon

Earth Magic and Druid Lore Part II~A Series for the Season~Hearth, Home and Samhain

 By Fran Hafey/Mystiblu at Mystickblue.com 

By the warmth of the hearth, we gather round, for inspiration and ceremony. It brings to us, a sense of spiritual kinship and values of home. Storyteller’s faces glow by the light of the fire blazing beneath the cauldron filled with spicy aromas. Music floats and soothes the soul and heals the heart. The turning of the wheel once again, reminds us of a New Year dawning. Our love and respect for the earth told in tales of the past and once again brought forth by Druids and kin alike. On Hallow’s eve, the jack-o-lanterns glow in the windows to ward off evil spirits. The moon shines brightly on those conversing with loved ones and our ancestors passed on. The veil is thin between worlds at this time, and sitting by the fire brings light to many things in our home and hearth.

October 31 is when many pagans, druids and most witches celebrate the greater Sabbat commonly called Halloween or Samhain, pronounced sowen or soween. Some other names for Samhain include Hallowe’en, Halloween, Hallowtide, Shadow Fest, Harvest Home, Day of the Dead, Feast of the Dead, Spirit Night, November Eve, Ancestor Night, Apple Fest, All Hallow’s Eve, Old Hallomas, Hallowmass, Martinmass, Shadowfest, and All Soul’s Day.

This was the time the Celtic people came to terms with death and pondered on their own destinies. This day is considered the highest holy days. Samhain (Summer’s End), is the most widely used Celtic name for this holiday. Rituals on this night include remembering and honoring our loved ones and our ancestors.

One tradition is called the “dumb supper.” This is a feast with all the wonderful foods from the last harvest. A place is set for our departed family members. You might set photos or other mementos upon the table and tell stories remembering times shared with those who have passed over.

During this time many will ask their ancestors’ spirits to assist in whichever form of divination they choose. Some common and oldest forms used are tarot, fire, the pendulum and mirror. You might also try a dark bowl or cauldron filled with liquid, crystals, runes, or reading tea leaves. Guided meditations or astral travel for the purpose of past life regression and/or for the purpose of knowing or learning something specific from one’s ancestors, are very successful on this night.

In many parts of England, it was believed that the ghosts of all persons who were destined to die in the coming year could be seen walking through the graveyards at midnight on Samhain. Many of the ghosts that people thought they saw were said to be evil. For protection, jack-o-lanterns with horrible candle-lit faces were carved out of pumpkins and carried as lanterns to scare away the evil spirits.

This is the time in the Celtic year the gods drew near to Earth. Many sacrifices and gifts were offered up in thanksgiving for the harvest. Personal prayers were lifted up and trinkets representing wishes and ills were thrown into the fires. At the end of the ceremonies, brands were lit from the great fire of Tara to re-kindle all the home fires of the tribe. As they received the flame that marked this time of beginnings, the people felt a sense of the kindling of new dreams, projects and hopes for the year to come.

After the bonfires had burned out the ashes were sprinkled over the fields to protect them during the winter months and this also made the soil rich for the next years harvest to grow.

It is said that lighting a new orange candle at midnight on Samhain and allowing it to burn until sunrise will bring one good luck.

The apple is the Celtic tree of regeneration and eternal life also representing the sun, the source of all life, love, healing and immortality. Apple orchards were especially protected as sacred ground and apples were offered to the dead and buried at Samhain as food for those waiting to be reborn. Burning apple blossoms can be used for incense pleasing the spirits.

Brighid or Bridget is the Patroness of the Hearth and Goddess of the household fire. In the evening the woman of the household would “smoor” or ¬†stoke the fire to keep it going for the night, by adding wood and covering it low to keep it just smoldering until morning. The fires should be kept going and prayers lifted, asking for the protection of Brighid on all who reside there. She is perhaps the most well known of all the Celtic goddesses. Her following was so strong that the Catholic church exalted her as St. Brigit, the foster-mother of Christ, and kept her festival as the feast of St. Brigit. Bridget is sometimes seen as a triple goddess, the maiden, mother and crone that symbolize the cycle of life. She is the goddess of the hearth, fertility, healing, herbalism, the arts, midwifery, agriculture, inspiration, poetry, divination, prophecy, smith craft, animal husbandry, love, and protection. Correspondences for Bridget include the direction north, blackberries, fire, wells, milk, the waxing moon, lambs, and the heart. Other names for Bridget are, “Bright Arrow,” “Bright One,” “Powerful One,” and “High One.” Bridget was a Sun Goddess, and the legend of her birth is that she was born at sunrise, and a tower of bright flame burst from her forehead that reached from Earth to the Otherworld. Her fire is so bright that she survived mass spiritual transformation and lives on today watching over her children all over the world. Imbolc, a festival in her honor is celebrated February first or second, the turning of winter, heralding the coming of spring. Fires are lit at sundown and feasts are shared with her bright presence.

Late October was the nut harvest for the ancient Celts, and also the time for slaughtering animals that would supply meat for the long winter. Druids tallied their livestock and mated their ewes for the coming spring. Fruits, vegetables, and grains were also put away for winter storage.

The Celts put all their fires out on Samhain so that the tribes could relight them from the Druidic fires that were kept burning in the Middle of Ireland, at Usinach. In Ireland and Scotland, the custom of dousing the home fire and relighting it from the festival bonfire has been carried into modern times.

The Druids believed that the Lord of Death gathered all the spirits of the dead who had been made to enter the bodies of animals as punishment for their sins and redistributed them, on Hallowe ‘en, the last day of the Celtic year. It was also believed that the spirits of the dead came back to their old haunts at this time. Fires were lit to guide them home and to frighten away evil spirits. A farmer sometimes accompanied by his herds would circle the boundaries of each field to ensure prosperity for the New Year. This was a reversion to the calendar of the Druids who considered that Samhain was the first day of the New Year.

On Samhain, an old custom was to light a fire on the household hearth which would burn continuously until the first day of the following spring.

It is said that if you go to a crossroads at Halloween and listen to the wind, you will learn all the most important things that will befall you during the next year.

Cerridwen is often portrayed as a hag stirring a cauldron, the typical image of Halloween. Cerridwen is one of the goddesses most associated with shape shifting. She is often seen as a sow, for her attribute of fertility and as the Moon and grain goddess who possesses the great cauldron of knowledge. Cerridwen is the goddess of death, fertility, regeneration, inspiration, enchantment, divination, herbs, science, poetry, knowledge, and shapeshifting. Correspondences for Cerridwen include the direction west, pigs, hens, cauldrons, wolves, vervain, acorns, and the dark moon.

The cauldron holds the great brew of as yet to come wisdom, which is plainly available to anyone who thirsts after it. It also holds the nourishment of the soul and possesses the property of granting wisdom to any who drink from it. The cauldron remains important in all Celtic and Druidical workings.

The Hazel tree is the Bard or minstrel poets, tree of wisdom, promoting fertility, poetry, and knowledge. It’s a favorite wood of diviners and dowsers. Druid wands are made from hazel wood, planted in nines around sacred wells. The nuts honor all knowledge to whoever eats them and are eaten before using divination. Rain is invoked by beating the earth with hazel branches. The hazel is the most typical Celtic tree because of its legendary position at the heart of the Otherworld, which is where the nine magic hazelnut trees hang over the Well of Wisdom and drop their purple nuts into the water where the Salmon of Knowledge and Inspiration eats them. Irish tales say poets and seers “gain nuts of Wisdom,” a metaphor for a heightened state of consciousness, when they drink a brew made from the hazelnuts that have been said to cause hallucinations. There’s numerous reference in Irish literature to drinking “hazel mead.” Scottish Druids ate the nuts for prophetic power.

Legends say, the hazel, apple, and hawthorn trees are often found at the border of worlds where magic has been said to happen.

Young lovers roasted hazelnuts over the fire at Samhain, called “Nut Crack Night.” If the nut held together, their relationship would stay steady, but if it burst apart, then the love may not last or it could be a “heated” relationship. This connection between hazelnuts and love is very ancient. Country folklore has always linked hazelnuts with fertility. New brides were given the nuts much like the wives tale of rice being thrown after the wedding, to indicate fertility.

There are many tales and stories of old and wise, these are just a few. Remember to cherish your loved ones and those who have passed from this life into another. Reflect on the New Year and count your many blessings.

Copyright: © October, 2002 All rights reserved. Revised Oct.2009 and 2011.

About the Author

Fran Hafey is a Healer, Author, Writer, Spiritual Counselor, teacher, human, earth and animal activist. She provides guidance and inspiration¬†via her Website, groups and blogs¬†on the Internet. To read more of her articles visit the Author’s Website:¬† Mystickblue.com
She’s currently working on publishing even more books about love, inspiration, magic, twinflames, color healing and nature stories for Children of all ages. Find out more about her first book, “A Season of Love,” and find how you can get your copy or ebook!

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