Archive for September, 2018

First of all, blessed Autumn Equinox (or Harvest Home/Mabon/Feast of Avalon/whatever you prefer)! This season is my favorite, often filled with both peaceful moments in nature and joyful moments with friends and family. I hope you all experience the same.

This morning I reshuffled the Halloween Oracle deck in the way that clears patterns out of it, which seems to happen after you’ve used a deck for a while. Much to my surprise, the Forgiveness card came back up front and center – with the Jack-o-Lantern (which represents protection) being equally strong. Personally, I would take this as a reminder that sometimes forgiving someone is for yourself – and forgiving them doesn’t automatically mean you should let them get close again. What’s your take on this duo?

FORGIVENESS – Reducing burden

A wrong is done
Consequences you cannot deny
But to hold a grudge is to drink poison
and think that the other person will die.

Being a cold-season festival, Halloween is the perfect time to pause and think about how things actually are in our lives and what heavy burdens we do not wish to carry through these harder, leaner times. Some of this heavy-heartedness may relate to old relationships or grievances. Some may relate to negative feelings we hold onto tightly about others and even a lack of compassion for the “mistakes” we have ourselves made.

It is said that it takes a “big person to apologize” but in many ways it takes an even bigger person to forgive. When we hold grudges, the negative energy is incredibly toxic. It is like drinking a poison and expecting the “other” unforgiven person to die! Whilst we may even harbor feelings of revenge (and to be honest, that does feel good for a while), it is important that we move those feelings along to forgiveness and release as soon as possible for our own health and wellbeing.

If you have chosen this card, think about who it is that you could be forgiving – and that includes yourself.

JACK-O-LANTERN – Protection

Oh Jack! Oh Jack!
Let me carve my protection
Shine your fire outwards
Evil rejection and reflection

Halloween wouldn’t be the same without the carving of pumpkins into scary jack-o’-lanterns. Glowing menacingly from porches, dinner tables, and porches everywhere, Jacks actually have a rich history and a spiritual bent.

The original for a jack-o’-lantern was a will-o’-the-wisp, and old British term. The will-o’-the-wisp was a small bundle of sticks used as a flame or torch. The Irish and those living in the Scottish Highlands all carved winter vegetables – not just pumpkins but also parsnips, carrots, and beets. The time around Samhain (Halloween) was of course when the fae and goblins were said to be roaming wild and so the lanterns were intended to be both scary (scaring off the undesirable) and to light the way in the dark.

Today, carving pumpkin jack-o’-lanterns has become an art in itself and a true icon of Halloween. Intricate designs both scary and funny can be found in almost every home that celebrates the holiday. Both electric light and candles now illuminate the inside of the lanterns.

Know that you are protected and that you are capable of creating the life that you want and that the universe supports you in this should Jack shine his light upon you. Boundaries are important to teach people how to treat us and drawing this card indicates that you may wish to renew the ones you have or to establish new ones.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Forgiving can be tough – but it definitely beats holding onto a grudge. Shake the old crap away and enjoy your weekend!

FORGIVENESS – Reducing burden

A wrong is done
Consequences you cannot deny
But to hold a grudge is to drink poison
and think that the other person will die.

Being a cold-season festival, Halloween is the perfect time to pause and think about how things actually are in our lives and what heavy burdens we do not wish to carry through these harder, leaner times. Some of this heavy-heartedness may relate to old relationships or grievances. Some may relate to negative feelings we hold onto tightly about others and even a lack of compassion for the “mistakes” we have ourselves made.

It is said that it takes a “big person to apologize” but in many ways it takes an even bigger person to forgive. When we hold grudges, the negative energy is incredibly toxic. It is like drinking a poison and expecting the “other” unforgiven person to die! Whilst we may even harbor feelings of revenge (and to be honest, that does feel good for a while), it is important that we move those feelings along to forgiveness and release as soon as possible for our own health and wellbeing.

If you have chosen this card, think about who it is that you could be forgiving – and that includes yourself.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

Read Full Post »

“Weave and spin, weave and spin,
this is how the work begins.
Mend and heal, mend and heal,
Take the dream and make it real.”

– Pagan chant by Starhawk

We are all weavers and spinners of our lives, whether or not we consider ourselves witches. In our modern world, it’s easy to turn over our power to create our lives to societal norms, family expectations, and more. Don’t forget you have the power to change your life if you choose. Blessings!

THE WITCH – The earthly weaver of the worlds

Earth, Air, Fire, Water
A woman lovely, a woman strange
Weaver of the worlds, moon’s daughter
Witch: The catalyst for change

Witches have had bad PR for a couple of millennia now. Originally the healers or cunning women of the village, the very word “witch” is believed to come from the Celtic word “wicce” meaning weaver or wise.** When the new religion of Christianity spread through the land, the custodians of the old Pagan ways, in part witches, were labeled as evil and – as we know from history – persecuted. They were driven underground (or under the night sky) into the shadows of misunderstanding and darkness.

However, for the purpose of Halloween, let’s look at witches as the weavers of magic and change. Through spells and rituals and even through herbal recipes (yes, often brewed in a cauldron), they weave the powers of this world and the next in synergy to solve problems and heal.

Holding the Witch card means that you can weave your own change throughout life and that magic indeed is afoot! You must understand that you have power and it is real. It may also indicate that others may be threatened by your developing personal power and that they may not appreciate or like the changes in you as you grow. Be prepared for this and do not be discouraged. New friends and better opportunities will be attracted instead.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco

** This is the oracle author’s view. The etymology of the word “witch” is actually much more complicated than this, and debate goes on about it. I suggest looking it up in the Online Etymology Dictionary and historical sources.

Read Full Post »

I can honestly say I don’t have many regrets – even things that didn’t go well often taught me a lesson that I needed. But for those few things that can still haunt our minds, we have to realize that we cannot undo what has been done. Once we have learned our lesson from it, it’s time to let go of guilt and regret and move on. Blessings!

GHOST – Regret

Like smoke rising from the ashes
A mist from the sea
The dead they are watching
They have come to haunt me

The traditional definition of a ghost is the apparition of the spirit or soul of a formerly living being. Ghosts can be both in human form or animal and even occasionally inanimate objects such as ghostly ships have been reported. The belief in spirits and ghosts is extremely widespread across time and cultures and different words such as spirits, wraith, phantom, and shade have been used to refer to them.

Ghosts can be both people that we have known (ancestors, for example) who visit to assist us, or presences that are bound to a particular place because they have found it difficult to let go even after death. The concept of the haunted house or the “cursed” place is the basis for many a creepy ghost story. In fact, the most interesting ghost stories often involve a very angry or destructive spirit coming back to wreak its revenge after death. (The Old Norse word for “ghost” has the same root word as the word “fury”).

It is said that spirits that cannot let go of this world have a reason for this. Sometimes it is to warn the living, to guide them, but generally it is because they haven’t finished their business here on the plane of the living. They have regrets that they wish to resolve.

Should the Ghost come gliding into your life during divination, it may indicate that you have some regrets to let go of. Holding grudges or regrets is burdensome work and it weighs us down eventually. By taking actions to free ourselves of these old burdens, we clear the way for more rightful and wise action for the future. We can begin to live again fully if we let go of what was and step into new possibilities.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

Read Full Post »

As we head toward the Autumn Equinox (AKA: Harvest Home/Mabon/Feast of Avalon), apples play an important role both in this harvest festival as a symbol of abundance and in the upcoming Samhain, where it specifically is used for divination.

But here with this card, we are reminded that the apple has been connected symbolically in other ways: In the story of Adam and Eve (even if that’s not the correct fruit), the poison apple of fairy tales, and more. Consider your risks and rewards, whether you need to take more chances or perhaps be less reckless.

Blessings!

APPLE – Risk and reward

Sweetest icon
Risky red desire
Poison and freedom
Tempting hearts afire

Apples have been a symbol of Samhain for a very long time. Apples, when cut in half, have a seed pattern that looks like a pentagram and so the Celts held the fruit to be sacred. Bobbing for apples, a game traditionally played at Halloween, has its origins in the Samhain festival and is one of the oldest associated with this celebration.

The traditional way to play is to place 3 or 13 apples into a barrel of water and the game is to try and bite an apple whilst it floats and bobs in the water. Hands must not be used and people often compete with each other, bobbing at the same time. It is believed that the Romans brought the custom to Britain and there are quite a few images recorded through art of the activity in both cultures. It was said that unmarried women who placed the apple they had bobbed under their pillow would dream of their future husband. In Newfoundland and some parts of Ireland even today, Halloween is called Snap Apple Night.

Candy apples (apple on a stick covered in toffee), although not quite as popular now as they once were as Halloween fare, are now making a comeback as a fun and simple treat to prepare on this night.

Apples have been an iconic part of mythos from ancient times to modern – the story of the poison apple in Snow White, to the Roman Goddess Pomona’s magical apple tree, to the Christians’ tempting fruit in the Garden of Eden. Should you receive this “Apple” in your reading, it’s time to look at how risk plays out in your life. Are you hedging your bets and not trying anything new? Do you want change but are not willing to change anything? Are you willing to risk to get a greater reward? Or alternatively, are you risking too much, too often?

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

Read Full Post »

I love the balance of this card: An oracle for the future and sustenance and sweetness for the present. Blessings on your new week!

BARMBRACK – Sweetness and synergy

A pea, a cloth, a coin, a ring, and stick
Within a loaf of speckled sweetness
Slice it and eat it
A glimpse of my fate’s completeness

Not quite a cake and not quite a bread, barmbrack is a sweet loaf, larger than a typical bread loaf, baked with flour, sugar, salt, and dried fruits such as raisins. The making of barmbrack is an Irish tradition that still stands around Samhain. The person baking the loaf would be sure to set the intention for love, truth, and synergy whilst preparing. Inside the dough, a number of special objects are hidden and baked into the loath.

The objects are used as a kind or random oracle – each one has a particular meaning which represents the fate of the person who found it in their slice! The traditional objects include a coin, a pea, a stick, a ring, and a small piece of cloth like muslin. Some other additions, made in more modern times, were religious medals.

Should your slice of brack contain a coin, this would indicate prosperity and good luck. The pea unfortunately meant that no marriage would occur for you that year, yet finding the ring meant a marriage was certain. The stick – to be avoided at all costs – indicated disputes and unhappiness and finding the cloth meant bad luck and little money ahead.

When you pull the Barmbrack card, it indicates a curiosity to know what is ahead but it’s important to balance that with the now – after all, we have the tools to change our future should we choose. The sweet synergy of barmbrack – all the ingredients including the objects are more complete and powerful together, than they are individually, should encourage you to seek your own “sweet spot.”

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

 

Read Full Post »

Pay attention to your energy, and who might be draining it more than they have the right to. Sometimes, we have to learn to put up stronger boundaries for our own emotional and physical health. Now, I am off to raise my energy with some cornmeal rye waffles. 😉 Happy Sunday!

VAMPIRE – Emotional Intelligence

The deepest, the coldest
The evening of the blood
The hole never filled
The longing like a flood

While there are almost uncountable examples of vampires in literature, movies, and games, somehow the archetype of the blood-hunting, night-stalking, and somewhat elegant creature keeps being reinvented to seduce yet another generation.

Although the beautiful and somewhat desirable vampire form doesn’t really begin to enter the public consciousness until the mid-1800s, the idea of a human feeding upon the very stuff of life is much older. The Egyptians, Sumerians, Indians and the Balkan people all have mythos containing vampire-like creatures.

The vampire is an interesting figure because it is both horrifying and desirable. Having someone want us so much that they desire to be that closely linked with us does feel good – until we realize there is nothing much left of us to give.

Most of us have heard of the concept of emotional vampirism – the idea that people feed off our energy and our goodwill and take advantage of us through manipulation and their incessant neediness.

Should the Vampire card appear in your reading, it may indicate that you are being drained in this way and the time has come for stronger boundaries. We need to be very aware of what gives us energy in our lives and what takes it away. We should be aware of needing people to need us and why we invite people like this into our homes, workplaces, and lives, if indeed we have them around us. Developing the emotional intelligence without ourselves helps us defend against this kind of emotional and psychic attack and enables us to foster healthy equal relationships of all kinds.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: