Current News

I am currently in the process of migrating the content shared here to a series of new websites hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com.

As you explore this site, you may find links to a "page not found" instead of something cool and magickal. For this I apologize. I am very working hard behind the scenes to restore those pages along with a link to their homes on my new website where they can be viewed in full.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Food of the Dead


Although it's customary in many traditions to spend time at the grave site, cleaning, caring, and sometimes bringing offerings of food and drink, particularly during Day of the Dead celebrations, a more direct method was used in ancient Greece....

... I'm so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com and can be found in it's entirety here: Nourishing the Dead

The Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico and other countries can be traced back to the indigenous peoples such as the Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Mexican, Aztec, Maya, P'urhépecha, and Totonac. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2500–3000 years. In the pre-Hispanic era, it was common to keep skulls as trophies and display them during the rituals to symbolize death and rebirth.

day of the dead

The festival that became the modern Day of the Dead fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. ...

I'm so sorry to do this to you,but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar and can be viewed in it's entirety here: The Day of the Dead

Five Ways to Celebrate Samhain

Magick is in the air, and it's important to just let things happen.

Keep good fun thoughts in your mind, with hope for the future. These positive thoughts will turn into Magick energy and be released... that is the power of Samhain!

Here are 5 ways to celebrate Samhain....

I'm so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved and can be found on my new website, The Pagan Calendar, along with more info about Samhain. Here's the link: Samhain.


A Witch's Brew


Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

(
Macbeth by W. Shakespeare; Act IV, Scene 1)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Old Stories About the Devil


When the devil appeared to Cuvier, the great man looked at him nonchalantly and asked curtly: "What do you wish of me?" "I've come to eat youl" said the devil. But the great anatomist's shrewd eye had already examined him. "Horns and hoofs !" he retorted, "granivorous. You can't do it!" Whereupon, outfaced by science, Satan departed.

Plinius Secundus remembers a house at Athens which Athenodorus, the philosopher, hired, and which no man durst inhabit, for fear of the haunting devils. Hesperius, the tribune's house, at Zubeda, near the city of Hippos, was also thus haunted; and he was so much vexed with these demons and ghosts that he could not rest....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Widdershins, hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com, and can be found in its entirety here: Old Stories About The Devil

Some Devilish Lore


A black dog keeps the devil away. (Russia.)

In Crete, basil is placed on windowsills to charm away the devil.

Never look in the looking-glass at night, unless you wish to see the devil. (Russia.)

The devil often takes the form of a black dog.

The Scotch believed that the devil had two crows sitting on his shoulders, who told him everything that goes on in the world.

As long as the people of Europe represented the devil in human form, they made him black; but the Australians and Africans make him as white as possible. Perhaps that suggested the saying that the devil is not so black as he is painted.

The Jews believed that by sounding a consecrated horn, the devil was made to take to his heels.

In Yorkshire, if you walk three times around a room at midnight in perfect darkness, and then look in the glass, you will see the devil's face.

There is a superstition that the devil always appears with a cloven foot, horns, and a tail. He disguises himself in many ways, but sooner or later one or the other of these will be sure to be seen.

The satan of superstition used to be thought to be the builder of all castles, bridges, monuments and works of art beyond man's strength, and he was also the moulder of the mountains and valleys.

The Australian aborigines believe that the devil is a night-bird, which they call Kvingan. The explorer frequently hears the strange, unearthly cry of this bird, but when he attempts to shoot a specimen, the natives refuse to accompany him on these occasions, and he will always be unsuccessful

The devil is betokened to be standing behind a person who makes faces in the looking-glass.

To raise the devil, the Scotch people made a circle with chalk, put a hat on it and said the Lord's Prayer backwards.

If, in conjuring the devil, you have a light, your words will have power.

The devil's grandmother is, as the Magyars say, 777 years old.

To say the word "devil" and not cross yourself, will bring him near.

If you wish the devil and his angels to flee from your dwelling, always bless your candle before you light it.

In conjuring the devil, it is necessary to have a light; words spoken in the dark having no power.

The Welsh have a custom of whitening all their houses, as they think the devil cannot come through white doors.

An English superstition is to the effect that you can call the devil to sight by saying the Lord's Prayer backwards.

In Russia, the devil prefers places with a great deal of water near them, therefore it is unlucky to live near a pond or river.

At Cape Coast Town, the natives arm themselves with sticks and other weapons, and prepare with much ceremony to drive out the devil. This takes place once a year toward the close of August.

There was a very tall, leafless, and black tree that stood many years ago at the end of the village of Biggar, in Scotland, which was generally believed to be possessed by the devil. No boy would pass that tree after dark on any account, as it was sure ill luck to do so.

Many conflagrations, in Bulgaria, are attributed solely to the power of Satan, who, when angry, can send all sorts of evil on men. Some did bloody penances of propitiation to ward off the ill influence.

If something is missing from its usual place and you cannot find it, it is a sign that the devil is holding his hand over it.

Many old traditions of Western Norway report a "black book," by means of which the devil could be let loose to do the service of the owner. He also could tie him up again when he so desired.

The Gold Coast people believe that the devil is always on hand to do mischief, and for that reason, slaves are made to slip into the seats of their masters as soon as they rise, to prevent the devil from sitting in the master's seat.

In the "Customs of the Welsh," by the Rev. W. Bingley, it is stated that it was usual in some parts of North Wales, whenever the name of the devil occurred, for the congregation to spit on the floor, and when the name of Judas was mentioned, for them to express their abhorrence of him by striking their breasts.

In New England, the devil was called, in the old days of witchcraft, "the black man," a soubriquet probably borrowed from English superstition. In "The Golden Legend," there is a story representing the evil spirit as a man clad in black, of great height, and mounted on a superb black horse.

Perfume made of the gall of a black dog, and a black dog's blood smeared on the walls and posts of the house, were believed by the Scotch to drive out both devils and witches.

In New Brunswick, it is believed that the devil and a select company come upon the draw of the bridge and dance a hornpipe there, it is therefore very unlucky to cross the fatal draw after ten o'clock at night

Amaymon was a mythical king of the East, one of the principal devils who might be bound or restrained from doing harm from the third hour till noon, and from the ninth hour till evening. He is alluded to in Shakespeare's "Henry IV.," and in the "Merry Wives of Windsor." According to Holme, he was the chief of the dominion of the north part of the infernal gulf.

If anyone wishes to know whether a deceased person ever had intercourse with the devil during his life, let him peep through the hames of the horses that carry the hearse, when, if such has been the case, he will see a black dog sitting behind the carriage.

An old French recipe for raising the devil is the following: Take a black cock under your left arm, and go at midnight to where four crossroads meet, then utter "Robert!" nine times and the devil will appear, take the cock, and leave you a handful of money.

The devil hates dried peas in Japan, and flees from them; they are therefore thrown about the houses to drive the devils out. Devils are also very much afraid of a holly leaf and the head of a sardine-like fish, called the iwashi. If you nail these to the entrance of your house, no devil will dare to enter in.

The Chinese believe that those who eat of the plant called Shuimong will die immediately after and become shui-mong devils; such devils are incapable of being born again, unless they can find someone else who has eaten the same plant, and is willing to take their place.

In North Wales, it used to be the custom to spit at the name of the devil and strike the breast three times at the name of Judas, to ward off evil influences. This was especially done in church.

If a man in Denmark wishes to have any communication with the devil, he must walk around the church three times, and on the third, stop and either whistle or cry, "Come out!" through the keyhole.

Persons who enter into a compact with Satan can raise wind and storms by calling him up, and these disturbances cannot be stilled save by the death of a black cock, a black dog, or an unchristened child.

In Scotland, the devil was supposed to appear often as a goat with rough hair, as the devil in the Scriptures is represented as such an animal. Sometimes he is seen riding on a goat with fire between its horns, to join in the Sabbath dance of the witches. He has a long curling tail, horns on his head from which sparks fly out, cloven hoofs, and a terrible smell of brimstone.

The following three proverbs, now applied metaphorically, are based on ancient superstition about the devil:
  • "Talk of the devil and he is sure to appear."
  • "Talk of the devil and he will show his horns."
  • "Think of the devil and he is sure to be back of you."
Jason Pratensis wrote that "the devil being a slender, incomprehensible spirit, can easily insinuate and wind himself into human bodies and, cunningly couched in our bowels, vitiate our healths, terrify our souls with fearful dreams, and shake our minds with furies. These evil spirits go in and out of our bodies as bees do in a hive, and so provoke and tempt us as they see we are inclined by our humors to it, or are most apt to be deluded." But, "Whether by obsession or possession these things are done, I cannot determine."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What is Samhain?

The celebrations on the eve of All Souls Day, called Halloween, stem from the Celtic New Year celebration called Samhain. When the Sun goes down on this eve, there is a time between the old year and the creation of the new. Specifically, this occurs at sunrise.


In this twilight of the years, the veil between this world and the world of the spirit is thin. It is a time when ghosts and spirits can interact with the living, and a time when divination is most effective. This is a sacred time when all warriors were to keep their swords sheathed....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website The Pagan Calendar hosted on shirleytwofeathers.com and can be found in it's entirety here: Samhain

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Hunter's Moon

The Hunter's Moon is so named because plenty of moonlight is ideal for hunters shooting migrating birds in Northern Europe. The name is also said to have been used by Native Americans as they tracked and killed their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter ahead....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found in its entirety here: The Hunter's Moon

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Moon Names


According to the Farmers Almanac full moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred.

This means that the name given to each moon applies to the whole cycle of the moon, from its dark beginning to its dark ending. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.

European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year.

What follows is a list of links to each Month's moon names based on the month in which the full moon occurs. I find it helpful to know the names of the upcoming moon as this gives me focus and ideas for ways to celebrate Grandmother Moon as she moves through the wheel of the year.

What follows is a list of links to each month's moon names:

Friday, October 01, 2010

October Moon Names

What follows is a list (in alphabetical order) of the names given to the October moon. Also listed is the tradition and/or origin of that moon name:


Blood Moon ~Mediaeval English, Neo-Pagan
Blood Moon Falling ~Janic (full)
Corn Ripe Moon ~Taos Falling Leaves Moon ~Arapaho...

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found in its entirety here: October Moon Names
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