Saturday, October 30, 2010



Hark! Hark to the wind! 'Tis the night, they say,When all souls come back from the far away
The dead, forgotten this many a day!

– Virna Sheard, Poet –

Halloween – dress up to the stars  - dress down to the bone, it’s all for amusement, right? 

This time of year was a sacred time for many such as the Celts to honor their elderly, ancestors, and the dead with special rituals and celebrations. Festivities and rituals of these  can be found in Celtic paganism history and later Catholic holy days were a combination of pagan beliefs with a day to honor the saints.

In the Celtic pagan tradition it was thought that the veils between the two worlds - the living and dead - thinned so spirits of the dead could walk the earth to visit their living relatives. Then they crossed back over to the “underworld”.

What if you could spend time with your loved ones who passed - even for a brief moment? 

During the spirits’ visit spooky things happened, as you can imagine. The living would dress-up in hopes that some spirits wouldn’t recognize and haunt them. But if they wanted the spirits to visit they would invite them with a similar ritual below.

To connect with the spirits of your loved ones to say hello and/or ask a question sit quietly indoor or out in nature (under the night sky is lovely) and/or do this beautiful sacred ritual. Reconnect during the most psychic energic time of All Hallows Eve (10/31), All Saint's Day (11/1) to Dead of the Dead (11/2).

• Photo of deceased
• Pen (perhaps a favorite color)
• Paper
• Flower – any kind
• Incense – pleasant plus helps create a mood
• Candles – white, black and orange – white for clear visions, black for spiritual unknown and orange for season and color of renewal
• Burning vessel – ashtray or cauldron and matches to light your incense and candles

• Glass or bowl of water – signifies the other world and also can douse any fire mishaps.
• Sweet beverage in a nice glass – Symbolic gesture for visiting spirit guests
• Table or clothe on floor – lay the above upon.
• Chair - optional

You can do it simply by lighting a white candle, place it in a window along with a treats and add a chair for a spirit to sit and visit.

Light your incense and candles.

Quiet yourself for a few minutes or longer, then say, ‘Only good can enter herein.’ Perhaps add a prayer to the Divine to bring forth healing, loving energies and protect you from negative fearful thoughts and/or energies. After all it is Halloween and negative energies/entities also roam free along with your loved ones’ spirits.

Remember to snuff candle before leaving the room for the night.

Next - make a list of all of those who have passed, and how they affected your life. I write a thank you to my departed loved ones for what they gave me: love and support. To my ancestors I acknowledge the blessings such as the abilities and talents passed down that has help me to live fully.

You can fold the paper, burn it. As the paper burns it turns to smoke rising up and is symbolic for sending your thought to the mental psychic airwaves. Doing either is ‘mailing your message’. Or, fold and keep it overnight to bury or throw it in a moving body of water.

Peer into the water, relax and connect to the psychic mind - perhaps an image will form or a memory will be recalled. After that, invite your spirits to visit by taking your white candle, sweets and beverage to a window so as they walk the earth they will see the light and recognize you (home.)

Stay as long as you like, thinking of your loved ones, talking to her or him. If you hear, think or sense a message was given, take note it for later examination. Or, after your ritual (remember to snuff the candles and incense), you might dream about the spirits. It's easier for for them to communicate in this way.

Spirits often can’t get through to their loved ones because the grief is so strong. To the best of your ability, endeavor to be calm, upbeat and peaceful. You might get a message for another (relative or friend); if you do, share it.

Spirit communication is often stronger when conducted with others so perhaps another might want to do this ritual with you.

Wishing you a merry frolicking good time and a cauldron full of blessings.

For a copy of my ebook (paperback available 2017) go to Smashwords.com
You can listen to me talk about the ritual below Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 9 a - 10 a (PST) on radio live streams.

Learn more about me, my ghosts haunts videos, novels, The Skye in June, City of Redemption and consumer's guide, The Timeless Counselor: The Best Guide to a Successful Psychic Reading.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

From 6/09

Last Saturday at Eureka Valley Recreation Park I was one of three ( Susan Maher & Marie Callaghan on a panel of old residents to discuss life in this famous neighborhood before it became known as "The Castro."

Memories of Most Holy Redeemer school and life with the BVM nuns made for a much lively conversation. Although the other two panelists' memories where of the difficult and often cruel times with the nuns and Catholic church, I remember some positive ones also. The days at EV park was a huge positive memory for all especially for Marie who fondly reminisced about two of the directors, Dody and Clair’s, encouraging influence on her life. We all talked about how the Castro theater filled every Saturday with kids and Susan laughingly referred to Saturday picture day as the “babysitter.”

Memories of the neighborhood stores like Cliff's who put on the annual Halloween parade, costume and ice cream eating contests and the mechanical dinosaur were spoken about as were Mueller’s Swiss deli, Rossi’s meat market, ice cream shop (softies w/birdseed) and mentioned were the nine bars in two block radius. Eureka Valley was mostly Irish, Swiss, Swedes, some Italians and a then us, the Scottish immigrants.

I mentioned that my family's first home in the US was on Market Street, (featured in my novel The Skye in June) is now a center for psychic classes (ESP/Tarot) and readings, a coincidence since one character in my story experiences psychic phenomena lived at that very address. Then I read an excerpt from my novel.

There were many questions and sharing from the audience. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with their headdresses, white faces and colorful dresses and who generously contributed and sponsored the event - Friends of the Library, had questions about life with the nuns and the first signs of the changing of the neighborhood into the gay mecca it was to become. Other in the audience shared historical facts and stories. One saying that Eureka Valley was the heart (center) of San Francisco. It holds a huge part in my heart.

Former owner of Thomas’ Cleaners spoke and had a table with antique irons including one heated by a Coleman gas contraption as well as some cast iron ones and early electric ones.

Author Jim Strange (Strange de Jim) presented a slide show and his book, San Francisco’s Castro.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Married to a Witch

Not once but twice the man committed to the witch. Bound to her through a handfasting ceremony he later signed a legal form pulling the knot tighter. Was it because of his love or the Love Potion Spell the witch cast?

Perhaps bit of both. But, I think he likes being married to a witch. He’s my husband.

I know hubby has taken quite a bit of ribbing being married to a witch. Standing around the barbecue pit with his buddies flipping burgers, I heard him asked, “So, like, does she put spells on you?” followed by a bucket full of manly ho, ho ho’s. Husband just smiled. He knows that indeed I did put a spell on him shortly after we met – with his permission of course. In fact, he supplied me with a snippet of his hair. “Go ahead, put a spell on me,” brave-hearted potential lover said, and then dubiously eyeing the anthame (witch ceremonial knife) added, “A good one.”

I didn’t use all his hair on once. First, using a few strands, I cast a spell that he’d be happy, healthy and play good golf. Then after a while I coveted him (like truly yum yum), so I wrapped the remaining strands of hair around my finger like a ring before carefully slipped it off to soak overnight in Cleopatra oil. When the moon was lustfully plump and bright one Venus night I knelt before my altar and chanted (actually cooed) words of love to him. When I mentioned the love spell he laughed saying , “Cool” whereas a sister witch declared “Oh my goddess alive! You'll never get rid of him." And, to this day, I never do want to get rid of him. That's another spell anyway.

Before marrying legally (muggle way) we had had a handfasting ritual, and although my wedding day was superb, the handfasting was magically beautiful with lots of laughter during the holy affair. It took place in the early crisp winter morning of New Years Day 2001 in a wooded countryside with the wedding party and guests in their sleep attire covered by down jackets and complete with woolen gloves. The bridesmaids were several Barbie dolls dressed up in glittery costumes like Fairy Princesses, which I'm sure they really were.

The deep green winter clothing and earthy scents created a lively energy to the ceremony. The rapid running of the overflowing river was our music. A circle was drawn around the area where our personally written vows would be exchanged. The officiating priestess-witch donned in flannel nightgown and woolen leggings read the vows aloud before binding our hands with a red ribbon signifying we were as one. It was a fun, loving, enchanting event.
As time came passed we had to decide to renew the vows. We did. He likes being married to a witch. He can handle it. That’s what he tells the guys.

Handfasting is an ancient ritual for a couple to agree to live together for a year and a day. During the ceremony the couple's hands or wrists are bound together with a ribbon or cord wrapped snugly in a figure eight hence giving the ceremony its name. Today “tying the knot” comes from the tying of the cord or ribbon. The vows were similar to modern day marriage. If all went well the agreement was renewed. If not, I guess they divided up the furniture, goats and chickens. It was a common practice amongst the ancient Celts for many centuries and remained a legal union in Scotland until 1939. Although there are a few ideas of the purpose of handfasting - an engagement or actual marriage contract - it was a time to decide if they’d make a good life together. There are other handfasting rituals, such as drawing a circle around the ground where the wedding party stands symbolizing a power place where only good can enter there in. And with a marriage that’s all we still hope for.

Handfasting and spells are mentioned in my novel, “The Skye in June.June took up the comb untangling a couple of strands of hair. She tossed them into the ashtray and set them on fire with the red candle. Smoke smoldered up and the smell of burnt hair mingled with the incense.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Religion-Fair & Equal to Women?

Religious people too often condemn me for being a pagan and witch. Even when I hope to soften my spiritual choice by saying, "I'm a Wicca", a title I hope sounds a bit more acceptable, they look skeptically or at times fearfully, at me and draw away.

How could this happen to a nice former Catholic girl such as myself? What demon seduced to me to prance around under the moon naked to the world? What evil spirit took control of my innocent Catholic soul calling me to cast spells? Honestly, it was a progression rather than a possession.

I have heard a lot of bad stories from former Catholics and especially from those who attended Catholic school. I have a few also, along with and funny ones. Most of my thoughts are cherished memories such as about the nuns who taught me. Of course, there was always "that nun" who I found unusually cruel and should not have been around children, but there was also "that nun" who carried me forward, guiding and building into her teachings a love for literature, or once finally my fear of math transformed under kindness.

When I chose to leave my religion I took some reasonable philosophical and spiritual concepts. Catholicism began my connection to a deep caring for, and practice in, spirituality. For this I am forever grateful. Later mixing and matching other teachings, I created a satisfying spiritual practice.

It wasn't the spirituality of Catholicism that turned me from the Church. It was the "ol' boy" attitude that started my exodus. It wasn't the nuns that caused me to fear my beliefs; it was the how females bought into that attitude - men are superior proven by the fact that they decide all-important decisions.

I experienced Catholicism is stuck in a religious dogma that does not allow for progressive social changes. If you are a practicing Catholic and attend Mass regularly look around you. What you more often than not will see are many more females - old, middle-aged and young girls. Yes, there are often male children, a few younger or middle-aged men and senior males. The Catholic Church is supported more by the participation of females than of the opposite sex. Then why don't the females have stronger roles? Don't give me Jesus built his church upon the men story again -that was history - a time when men had the freedom to do that.

That in it self and also being a freethinking and outspoken woman, I turned away from the religion I was born into.

Outside of Wicca I have not found religions to be fair and equal for a female to hold a strong and influential role such as a pope, mullah, or rabbi as religious leaders and not in the role of wives and mothers. I'm opened to learning about religions that support a woman in decision-making roles for the religion's laws and dogmas.