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Our family enjoyed an autumn retreat at a state park in the Ozark area this weekend. We were long overdue for a getaway like this, and I’m feeling refreshed and stronger than I have in a long time after a couple good hikes. It was definitely a change of pace that we needed!

Speaking of change (yes, horrid segue), we saw this card suggesting change less than a month ago, but perhaps some of us didn’t get the message?

MUMMY – “Change”

The sand in his mouth
The bandage wound
Jealous of the living
Eternal life bound

The ancient Egyptians took death very seriously. Death was not seen as many of us see it – a finality to be dreaded – but as just the beginning of a new life and often eternal life, in a better place, the “afterlife.”

The practice of honoring and preserving the body through a complex process of mummification was central to ancient Egyptian culture. This was not just a physical embalming process but a carefully enacted ritual process that ensured preservation in the next world. Many other cultures also mummified their dead including the Incas, the Argentineans, the Maori, and many cultures of the Torres Straight Islands.

In our modern horror genres, the mummy has become an icon. From early horror writing at the turn of the century to the very popular films The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, the plot normally revolves around the mummy returning to life and cursing and hunting down the living. The discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tombs and other long-hidden Egyptian treasures in the 1920s in particular sparked an explosion in mummy-related films and literature.

Should you pull the moaning Mummy card from the deck, know that change is inevitable and that no matter how hard you try, things will not be preserved exactly the same way. The card also indicates that this change will be for the better. The endings, the closed doors, the barriers? This is just a healthy pause and and an indication that a change of tactics is needed. You are not cursed – you have just developed a pattern. You can take control and change.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artists Jimmy Manton

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This isn’t the most exciting card in the Halloween Oracle deck, but it’s an excellent reminder. Don’t let temporary darkness lead you to your lesser self – a new beginning is coming.

DAWN – The light after the darkness

After the darkest times
The sun will always rise
The dawn will always come
This can be no surprise

While midnight is often thought of a magical hour, throughout time dawn has also had its share of the mystical. All manner of magical beings had to return to their true forms by dawn (werewolves, for example) and vampires could only be active while the rays of the sun did not pierce the sky.

Dawn and deities of dawn heralded both hope and new life. Goddesses such as Eostre and Gods like Helios and Apollo were those who brought new life and dawn’s light to the world. The journey from the darkest night of the soul to a bright and hopeful dawn is one of the deepest and most power heroes’ paths repeated over and over in mythology.

Should you receive the Dawn card, you are being reminded that there is always a fresh start and a new beginning to be had. Change is unstoppable and even the most difficult times will pass, no matter how devastating they may seem. Hope is one of the most powerful motivating forces in the Universe and it’s being indicated here.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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What do you fear? Sometimes things we are taught to fear don’t make sense, and this card shows us that. There’s nothing in a graveyard to fear, but many do because it makes them consider their own mortality. Many of us fear change. We fear our neighbors. But should we? Maybe the change is for the better or the neighbor you think is so different is actually a caring person. Consider the rationale behind your fears.

Blessings!

GRAVEYARD – Unnecessary fear

The stones they mark
The eternal resting place
Yet the spirits they are walking
And they are ready for the chase!

Today’s modern graveyards are restful places – normally highly manicured and very well set out. While they can be places of profound sadness, few are the creepy gothic places of old, yet they still hold an undercurrent of fear and seem frightening places.

Due to countless stories of haunted graveyards, the thought of walking through cemeteries evokes fear in many of us – we imagine zombies and ghosts rising from the graves and bad spirits hiding out, waiting to harm an unsuspecting living person walking by. The idea of being at a graveyard after dark, or worse, at midnight, is the stuff of dares and nightmares.

But this isn’t the way with every culture. On the Mexican Day of the Dead, whole families picnic on the graves of their loved ones who have passed. Children play upon the graves, people play music, drink wine and share food all in the “company of the dead.” Graveyard dust is used as an ingredient in protective spells, not in curses.

Pull this card and know that you fear unnecessarily. Things are not as they seem and you can overcome your obstacles. The anxieties you have, although real, should be put aside before they haunt you long term. Instead, trust that you know the correct next steps and that you will act upon them.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist by Jimmy Manton

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Thank you for being patient with me on the daily card. Yesterday, I had an early appointment in Kansas City, and I simply didn’t get up in time to pul the card.

As for today, now is the time to consider future actions and goals. The Veil thins as we near Samhain (and Beltaine), which makes divination more fruitful. However, you don’t have to wait 3 weeks to consider things and to plan.

Blessings!

THE VEIL – The Future

There is a misty curtain
That divides us all
The veil that this night thins
Transparent the weave becomes
And the future no longer dims

The ancient Celts used to call the time of the longest night of the year, Samhain (pronounced SOW-en). They believed that there was a misty veil that separated the world of the dead and the living, but on two nights of the year, Samhain and Beltaine (the shortest night), that the veil would thin.

The fineness of the veil meant the ancestors were closer than ever and even gods would be close. This would mean that communications from the dead were more likely to occur and that divination (where the Divine speaks through something) would be more effective.

So while using this oracle, as the veil lifts, know that the other worlds are close. Listen in particular to what messages may come forth about your future. Look to what you want to happen: plan, set intentions, think big!

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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As we head into the weekend, this is a card to remind us to enjoy the sweetness of what’s in our life now while looking to future things. Balance. 🙂
Have a great weekend, everyone!

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 author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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This queen is always a supportive one to see. She is here to help you achieve your potential.

Blessings!

QUEEN OF BOWS – HARE

MEANING: Hares have been linked to the spring (eostre, the Saxon hare goddess) and sexuality since Celtic times, when it was considered taboo to kill them. Prolific breeders, they represent fertility and potential. The Hare is also famous for the “boxing” ritual that takes place during March.

READING POINTS: A companion through life, sympathetic and understanding, leading you to a deeper awareness of what is needed to bring success to your every enterprise. Wise and witty, gentle and kindly, the Queen supports you and strengthens your resolve.

TRACKS & PATHWAYS: Kindness and responsibility; an offering of peace and love; helpfulness, courtesy, and understanding; enchantment; and success in business

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

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What a fantastic card – and notice that little dandelion in front of the wheat? That’s the nomad and the wheat is the settled farmer. Read to the bottom and note that we both can be incorporated if we are having issues picking a settled or traveled life. Blessings and happy Friday, y’all!

Wheat – Harvest, Nourishment, Abundance (Restlessness, Seeking Roots)

Meaning: The time of the harvest is a time of abundance – of appreciation for all that Nature has given us. It is also a time for celebrating the results of your hard work, and choosing this card could indicate that it is time to stop working for a while, to take some time to appreciate your achievements and give thanks for the harvest of your life. It may be that you spend a great deal of energy sowing seeds and caring for your plants – working for the future and caring for your family – but it is vital that you also give yourself time to savor life in the moment and to enjoy the family as a community, a tribe, too.

This card may also suggest that you are entering a phase of abundance, bringing you riches in your relationships and in your spiritual, creative, and material lives. This is a card that symbolizes generosity: when your needs at a material and emotional level are satisfied, you are then free to focus on the gifts you can give to the world.

On the flip side, this card could indicate that you are having trouble settling in one place. You may long to go traveling, or to have a more flexible lifestyle. Or you could be experiencing quite the opposite feeling – you may have been moving often in recent times and now you feel that you need to settle and put down roots. Alternatively, perhaps you are torn between the nomad life, with all the excitement that movement and traveling can bring, and the settled, rooted life, which offers comfort and familiarity. It may help to remember that both the hunter-gatherer and the settled farmer live within us as ancestral archetypes, and that we can honor both at different times of our lives.

The Druid Plant Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

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This is a hard one for many of us (or is that just me?). The question is: patient with yourself, with an outcome or project, or with someone else?

Be Patient

Now is not the time to act. Now is a time to show self-restraint, to be patient and wait. Do not let your desire for an outcome or resolution result in one that is not to your liking because you forced it to manifest before it was time. Trust that all will be as it is meant to be, when it is meant to be. Be still. Let go of all frustration and impatience, and remember that good things come to those who wait.

Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan

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How often do we consider our ancestors of blood, spirit, and place? Better connection with the human past can only help us understand how to live a live of harmony rather than one of destruction and abuse of our fellow humans and of our resources. The ancient ones can show us what is important if we listen.

Blessings and peace.

Hear the Ancient Ones

The indigenous people of thew world are those who have lived in harmony with the land for countless generations. Among them are the elders whose knowledge and wisdom can teach us of our relationships with nature, of living a life of empathetic awareness, and to better understand our role as caretakers of the earth. They can teach us the wisdom of taking only what we need, of wasting little, and of honoring all sacrifices made so that you may live and grow. Hear the wisdom of the Ancient Ones; learn from their knowledge, lore, and traditions.

Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan

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For those of us who follow a Welsh-influenced spiritual tradition, this plant is meaningful. Who remembers which goddess figure from the Mabinogion is made of three blooms, including that of Meadowsweet (plus Oak and Broom)? Blodeuwedd, AKA Flower Face. Her tale may seem grim and unflattering, but look deeper. Is she betraying Lleu? Or is she honoring herself and her own sovereignty?

Also note that Meadowsweet was used to help create aspirin by the Bayer company and that it has been used as an anti-inflammatory, for upset stomachs, colds, and heartburn. It was also the popular strewing herb at weddings as well as in homes.

Blessings!

Druid Plant Oracle Meadowsweet.jpg

Meadowsweet – Transition, Blessing, Celebration (also Transience, The Familiar, Routine)

Meaning: Traces of Meadowsweet, Heather, and Royal Fern have been found on Neolithic drinking vessels in Scotland – leading archeologists to speculate that these plants were used to brew ale. Later, Meadowsweet was used marriage celebrations. This card may indicate that a time of celebration or transition is due. Meadowsweet’s creamy flowers and summery smell are a reminder that change is one of the greatest features of being alive in this world, and the best way to accept change is to celebrate it. Whether you are leaving job, relationship, or familiar surroundings or are joining forces with colleagues or a partner, this is a time to truly celebrate the change that is occurring – offering flowers to the God or Goddess and accepting the transformations this transition will bring.

The card may also be urging you to formally mark and celebrate a transition or major event in your life, or that of your family, that you’ve been tempted to ignore, such as moving or leaving home, reaching puberty, succeeding in a creative project, achieving a significant age, separating, or divorcing.

This card could also refer to the need to slow down and acknowledge change. In the old times, change was considered significant and was often celebrated or marked ritually. Today we are so used to change that we barely give it a thought – we change cars and computers, houses, partners and jobs – with a speed that would have amazed our ancestors. Although our potential for learning and freedom has expanded, we have suffered as a result. Hurtling furiously toward the future, we have forgotten how to live in the moment and how to enjoy both change and the stability that comes from the familiar.

Choosing this card may indicate that it is time to celebrate the familiar and to take time to enjoy the contstants in your life that don’t often change. Routine and sameness can be stultifying, but they can also provide the ground through which you can deepen your character and soul.

The Druid Plant Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, art by Will Worthington

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