Friday, October 31, 2014

October 31: A Blessed Samhain and Happy Halloween

Kallan and her daughter, Nichole
It is time for us to say Farewell. This month has certainly flown by, hasn't it? As the sponsor of this project, and on behalf of all of the Sirens, I want to take this opportunity to thank you, our community, for your loving support and participation in this sacred celebratory project.

As we Sirens prepare to return to our lair for another year, we leave you with the winner of our grand prize giveaway, our final blog. song, and forget-me-nots.

We wish you, your ancestors and loved ones (both living and dead) a most Blessed Samhain. To our tricky trick-or-treaters, may your bags be filled with safe and sugary abundance!

See you next year!







The Winner of our Grand Prize Giveaway from Lapulia Studio Inc is:



Star Firewitch!!!





Samhain Memories

We're celebrating our ancestors tonight, so our Sirens are sharing their own past Samhain and Halloween celebration photos, poems and children's artwork:

Sosanna's Altars photos


Autumn Earthsong's Altar 2013


Melissa Cassick's 2011 Altar

Autumn Earthsong's 2011 Samhain table


Snow Moon's Samhain Altar


Johanna Lawson 1974 :)

Amy Blackthorn



Amy Blackthorn







Samhain Song

It’s a dark and windy evening,
And the pumpkins are alight;
Keeping watch on steps and porches,
They guard households through the night.
Though the doors may all hide mysteries,
And the windows seem to leer,
You’re protected, my sweet darling,
There is nothing you need fear.

On the streets are throngs of children
dressed in costumes bold and bright;
Witches, wizards, beasts and heroes,
Slipping through the pools of light.
Though their makeup may be frightening,
And the villains wear a sneer,
You’re protected, my sweet darling,
There is nothing you need fear.

Far beyond the realms of living,
There’s a place where dwell the dead;
And tonight they gather round you,
But you must not feel dread.
Those who loved you will be near you,
They will whisper in your ear:
“You’re protected, my sweet darling,
There is nothing you need fear.”
~Melissa Cassick, 2014

















"Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them."
~George Eliot 


From Johanna Lawson:
Today I honor my mom, Joan Lapetina Grillo, who passed beyond the veil peacefully at home with her daughters at her side on April 17, 2003, and my dad, Paul Grillo, who floated beyond the veil on the music of Van Morrison and with a daughter holding each hand on August 28, 2013.  I carry them both with me, in my veins, my heart, and my soul as I continue on this journey through life. They are in the books I read, among the flowers I plant, in the music to which I dance, blended in the foods I cook, in the earth I walk, and forever part of me. I am honored to be their daughter and will love them until the end of time.




From Snow Moon

RICHARD O’CONNOR
FEBRUARY 14, 1937- OCTOBER 23, 2007

Richard was like an uncle to me. He was the youngest of 13 children, he was highly creative. He worked as a caregiver for physically & mentally disabled individuals, and was one of the kindest, most ‘gentle souls’ that I have ever had the honor of knowing.

Richard was gifted at bringing “happy” into everyone’s lives that he encountered. He is survived by his dear partner of 43 years; David Hardwick. I miss him always...


Louis Herman

OCTOBER 7, 1932 – APRIL 24, 2000

Louis was my dad. The day he passed, a part of me died inside; we were very close. He taught me to be strong, loyal, kind, & to always use my ‘gifts’ for good. His presence was “larger than life”, and that is the way he had lived; to experience as much & accomplish as much as he could, & wanted to. He had encouraged me to aim for the stars, never give up, & have faith. I have learned there is no time limit on “loss”, when we love & bond with someone it becomes “forever”. So on this Samhain and always, FOREVER LOVE Dad, I miss you always...



From Jennifer Andrist Rasmussen:



Pearl Hazel Andrist (nee Lytle) b. June 28, 1936 d. October 25, 2009

My Grammy was a beautiful, incredible, loving, and feisty woman. She crossed the Veil at 73 years old from Alzheimer's disease. The day she left this world is a day I will always remember. I was at her feet telling her it was okay to go as she took her last breath and felt a part of me die with her. She left a hole in my heart that can never be filled until I cross the Veil and am reunited with her again.




From Nichole Brunk:



The first is my grandfather, Everett "Mike" Keesee. He passed this spring at the age of 90.  I spent a large portion of my childhood living with him and was hugely blessed to have him in my life. Whenever I'm being clever or particularly witty, I know I'm reflecting his love and influence (also when I'm being stubborn or hot tempered - but that's a different story!) and it makes me feel so proud.

My grandfather was a pilot for the U.S. Army Air Corp in World War II. He was shot down three times and taken as a prisoner of war.  The final downing also took the life of his best friend - who also happened to be the pilot on the B-17 Flying Fortress they were flying, Lewis Lennartson.

On the return flight from a mission, they were strafed by enemy fire. Lewis and my grandfather were both hit by and grievously wounded. The plane caught fire and was going down - fast - and the two pilots were too badly injured to bail out on their own.  Another crew member, the bombardier, pulled my grandfather out of the cockpit, against his protests.  He strapped my grandfather into a parachute and pushed him out of the plane.  Lewis refused the same treatment, and stayed in the cockpit to keep the plan level so the rest of the crew could safely bail out - and all but one other crew member did (though all were captured and taken prisoner).

Because of Lewis' sacrifice, my grandfather survived that incident. He eventually returned home to his wife and infant daughter - my mother.  He was an incredible and inspiring man and I am so grateful that I was able to have him in my life for so many years.  Those years are a gift to me from Lewis.

When going through my grandfather's things after his death, I learned about Lewis. His best friend and his brother in arms. The papers I found said that Lewis, a very young man, was unmarried and had no children. Some poking around on the Internet lead me to the conclusion he has no defendants - the closest family being second and third cousins. So I've adopted him as my ancestor and hope to keep his memory alive, with thanks and love.

So please, remember Everett and Lewis, two brave and good men.

Cattle die,
And kinsmen die.
And so one dies oneself.
One thing now that never dies:
The fame of a dead man's deeds.



From Kallan Kennedy:

I choose to honor my ancestors today. All who have passed before me and whose genetic memories I carry.

Most of all, I honor Millie Kennedy, who, although she was my grandmother, was the closest thing to a mother I ever had. She loved me unconditionally, listened to all of my problems and my dreams, and encouraged me in every way possible. She died on my last night of bootcamp in 1983. She was one of the great loves of my life, and I miss her terribly to this day.

I also honor my grandfather, John Kennedy. He was my hero, my idol and my father figure. He taught me that 'your word is your bond', and to always read the road signs on the highway- literally, as well as figuratively. He died in 1985, and my world has been dimmer ever since.

The Sum of My Ancestors
by Kallan Kennedy (originally published in the Samhain Anthology by Pagan Writers Press)

I am you and yet me-
Bound, and yet, free-
Your wisdom within
Seen through my vision....

You are all a part of me. I feel you every day. I see where I've come from and you point the way to my future, my past, the spiral, the dance... lead, guide, and direct me each moment, each day.

I am you and yet me-
Bound, and yet, free-
Your wisdom within
Seen through my vision...

I honor each one of you, father and son, mother, grandmother, grandfather, the sum
of my ancestors, each one am I.. Earth, Sun and Moon... the Ocean, the Sky...

I am you and yet me-
Bound, and yet, free-
Your wisdom within
Seen through my vision...

When the veil has grown thin, camaraderie begins. Dance with me under the moon of Samhain. The feast: to honor and lavish your praise... keeping your light alive in my ways.

I am you and yet me-
Bound, and yet, free-
Your wisdom within
Seen through my vision...

And when my time comes to walk the blue way, brought to your counsel-fire by the Queen of the Fae; I'll take my place in the circle-round, and walk with our children as they abound
upon the earth and know that they too, are the sum of their ancestors- me, and you.

I am you and yet me-
Bound, and yet, free-
Your wisdom within
Seen through my vision...


From Amy Blackthorn:


Today we honor Maj. Robert J. Marchanti II. Killed in action, February 2012 in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Our tears fell like the flower petals littering the grounds of Arlington when we laid him to rest.  We honor the work you gave to your country in decades of service including "Soldier of the Year" in 1989. From avid football fan to dedicated soldier and loving father of four and grandfather of one, we hold you in our hearts and Remembrances.  I'll keep the last words we spoke together in my heart as I strive to make this world a better place than I left it in both my personal and professional lives.  With love and honor we remember you.



From Elijah Olson:


His name was Thomas John Kowalski Sr. He was known as "Ski" most of his life from his friends and family. He served for his country, family and friends all through his journey here. My greatest memory with him was when we would go fishing. We would sit not five feet from each other, lines in the water, hours would pass and not a single word would be spoken. We were not that lucky at catching anything but peace. Peace and serenity in the company of someone who loved unconditionally. He was wise in my eyes, he had little to say unless you asked. He was insightful. He would never push his beliefs on anyone, rather he would inquire your thoughts and share his own about a subject. He was my father, friend and mentor. If there is another plane of existence I truly hope to fish with him again.















TODAY’S THE DAY! TODAY’S THE DAY! Oh, darling Witches, we made it! This was my first year as your Music Siren, so I do hope you enjoyed our time together. I would love to get your feedback on my selections. Also, please feel free to leave suggestions for songs you would like to see next year. Having said that, I see no better way to end our time than with this song. Have a blessed and wonderful Samhain!




Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 30: Samhain's Sirens Thriller Thursday!

Hello to all you threatening thrill-riders!

It's our final Thriller Thursday and the last full celebration day. Tomorrow, we'll be posting Forget-Me-Nots and announcing our Grand Prize Winner, so today is your last day to get in on the Grand Prize from LaPulia Studio!

We'll also be saying our farewells and traveling back to the Siren's lair for another year.

So, let's have a really great time on our last celebration day!





The winner of the Leave Them in Stitches Giveaway is ...

Debra Nehring!



The winner of the giveaway from Katie McBrien is...

Snow Moon!






Today's blog is dedicated to our children. We are highlighting artwork from several of our Sirens' family members. We hope you enjoy!




The Halloween Tree by Christopher Lawson

Samhain by Connor Mullins
Halloween Art by Cupquake Danger Smith














You didn't think I'd forget this one, did you?





The Witches’ Kitchen by Autumn Earthsong

For me, the scents of the kitchen when good things are cooking is pure Bliss!  Fall cooking especially.  I think for me, it’s not only that I cook so many recipes using apples, pumpkin and spices etc, but that I have cooked outside all Summer, more than I’ve cooked in and it just makes me happy to have my kitchen so busy again.  This recipe will smell divine..cooking all day long!  Serve with a vegetable or salad and crusty bread!


Apple-Glazed Pork Roast
*slow cooker recipe
3-4 lb pork loin roast
Salt and pepper to taste
4-6 apples, cored and quartered
1/4 cup apple juice
3 TB brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground ginger

Rub roast with salt and pepper.  Brown briefly under a broiler to remove excess fat; drain well.  Arrange apples in bottom of slow cooker; place roast on top.
Combine remaining ingredients and spoon over roast.
Cover and cook on low setting for 10-12 hours
*Serves 6
** You can slice the pork or shred it to serve it

ENJOY, Autumn

Read my blog at www.autumnearthsong.com
Visit my herbal shop at www.etsy.com/shop/verbenalaneshoppe 






The Grand Prize Giveaway comes from LaPulia Studio Inc. It is worth $504.98


The color will be green.
We're giving you one last chance to get in your entries for this giveaway!

Rules: (READ CAREFULLY)

YOU MUST PROVIDE A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS. If you choose not to share it in the comments, please use the contact form at the top of the page to provide your email address. You must provide your email address once per giveaway.

Drawing is held by random number generation and winner will be notified in email (that's why you have to have an email address listed). Announcement will be made in tomorrow's post.

Note: These giveaways are open to the U.S., Canada and where allowable. Void where prohibited.
Canadian residents, please pay close attention as by law, you have to use a different set of rules. Not to worry, we have you covered :)


CANADIANS READ HERE: You will be given X number of entries for answering the following (remember, we STILL NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS):

What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?




U.S. Citizens, and others- READ HERE:

1. Go to the Lapulia Studios site .  Look over the site and tell us which product you like best.



EXTRA ENTRIES: (USE SEPARATE COMMENTS. If you throw them all into one comment, it counts as one entry only)


2. Like the Lapulia Studio Inc. Facebook Page. Come back, and tell us that you did.

 3. Be a follower of this blog. Comment that you are following us.

4. Like the Sirens FB page (come let us know you did in comments)

5. Blog about this giveaway (comment with the url for your blog entry).

6. Tweet about this giveaway (come back and give us the url for your tweet).

So, all in all, you get 6 entries for this giveaway! The deadline for entries is midnight eastern time (11 Central, 10 Mountain, 9 Pacific) tonight.

The announcement will be in our final Samhain blog post tomorrow morning at 9am EDT.

See you then!



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29: Samhain's Sirens Wrong-turn Wednesday

Welcome, all you Wicked Witches!

It's our final Wrong-Turn Wednesday, and we're a little woeful that we'll be leaving you soon. But, we aren't finished yet, so we won't dwell on that.

We have another Two-For Giveaway today! Be sure you specify in your comments which giveaway you are entering. Remember, every one of your entries is an entry into the big Grand Prize Giveaway from LaPulia Studio worth $504.98!

Just two more days until the main event! Do you celebrate Halloween and Samhain as one holiday or do you split them up? Tell us about it in the comments section!

And now, on to the fun...










The Winner of the Magical Garden Giveaway from Johanna Lawson is....

Hex Parker!!


The Winner of the Sosanna's Closet Giveaway is....

Engie Willow!!



Last Harvest with the Old Kitchen Witch
By Sharon Grimshaw

One thing you can never accuse me of is being ‘normal’.  While I may, to the cursory inspection, seem to be VERY ordinary indeed – I have a husband, two children (one of each variety), two cats, work in a school, volunteer and am on speaking terms with the local vicar – I don’t really do much the same way as other people.  This includes my particular brand of paganism!  So I thought I’d let you into some of my Last Harvest routines and rituals, as they have evolved so far.

I don’t refer to this time as Samhain.  To me, it is both Hallowe’en and Last Harvest. And it’s not just one day, either – it’s the beginning of a helter-skelter run of activity that spans thirteen weeks.  Yes, I’m not one to do things by half!

Hallowe’en is the secular part of my celebration.  It normally falls in the week-long half-term holiday that separates the two halves of the first term of the school year here in the UK, so celebrations begin as the schools finish. For Hallowe’en, we decorate the house and garden with orange and black displays, carved pumpkins, daft signs, and even the Witchlets’ teddy bears get into the action as they dress them up in old costumes they have grown out of.  I take the Witchlets trick-or-treating on the evening of Hallowe’en, all dressed up as ghosts, ghouls, zombies or witches.  Unlike our American friends, children in the UK tend to dress up in ‘scary’ costumes, or Hallowe’en themed ones (both Witchlets were dressed up as pumpkins in their first year!).  Then it’s back to the house to await trick-or-treaters arriving at our door, and handing out sweets.  I also throw a Hallowe’en themed party on the weekend nearest Hallowe’en night for the Witchlets, their friends and our family.  We have been lucky every year so far that it tends to be quite warm and they can run around the garden!

Last Harvest is my spiritual celebration.  It marks the last of the ‘outside’ portion of my spiritual work for the year.  I do not follow the calendar; my timing is set by the local landscape around me.  When the time is right, when the smell of winter just tickles my nose as I step outside – that is when my Last Harvest routines begin by one last walk to ‘my’ woods to whisper lullabies in the ears of deciduous trees, say prayers with the old Yews that act as guardians for this place.  Elderberry wine, made the previous year, is poured at the feet of these old guardians with thanks for their centuries of service.  The vegetable plot is put to bed, leaving the green compost to rot down in places, spreading my compost over the bare areas, leaving garlic cloves sleeping underground to poke through in spring.  The last of the leeks and swedes are left to store in the earth they grew in.  My neighbour leans over the fence and hands me the last of his unwanted apples from his small but incredibly productive apple tree.  I pass back a couple of bottles of hard cider made from the previous year’s crop, and a home-made apple and blackberry pie.  One evening, after my neighbour is fast asleep, I lean over that very same fence and whisper thank you to the tree, pouring more cider into the ground near its roots.

While it is the end of my outside year (more or less!), it is the start of the most frantic inside part of my year.  It starts now, and my backside doesn’t seem to hit a chair again until after Twelfth Night in January!  Every year I pull out my Tarot cards and do a reading for the thirteen moons ahead, and promise myself I will work with my cards far more in the coming year (a promise I have failed miserably to keep so far) and look over last year’s reading (if I can find it; again, something that has failed miserably on several occasions).  I begin by calling back my Beloved Dead – those who were close to me who are no longer living in this plane.  They are invited back with a solitary ritual, but celebrated and welcomed with a family meal, where The Hubster and I tell their stories to wild-eyed Witchlets.  Some of these stories are now over a hundred years old – they are stories that my Great-Grandmother told.  They are a tiny oral tradition, not written down, but told and embellished (because aren’t all great stories living things that evolve and grow?) slowly over time. 


A portion of this meal is left for all the Beloved Dead, those that we loved, those that they loved and those that loved them.  Some of this meal is left outside, for those Dead we don’t know who may pass our way.  Wards and boundaries are renewed for the Winter months ahead.

Our Beloved Dead though, are invited to stay from now until Twelfth Night.  It becomes a crowded house, wherever I go I catch a phrase or two just behind me or in the next room.  We smell lavender, roses, hand-soap and cigars.  I buy Babycham and Ginger Wine for our guests.  Family recipe books are brought out, favourite foods are made.  Preserves are labelled with fancy labels and decorated for the gift baskets I will put together for Christmas and Yule presents.  The freezer is raided for frozen berries – haws, hips, blackberries, elderberries – to make wine, mead and cordials.  I live in my kitchen, shooing out visitors with a wave of my wooden spoon when it all gets too chattery and I can’t concentrate!

So what do you do at this time, my Samhain friends?  What recipes do you dig out this time of year?  What do you make, who do you see, and what do you FEEL?  Do tell this Old Kitchen Witch!








Only two more days! That requires joyful dancing! Let’s do the time warp again! This was the group dance at our wedding. No “Chicken Dance”, “Electric Slide”, or “Cha-Cha Slide” for us!




The Witches’ Kitchen by Autumn Earthsong

Pumpkins are everywhere this time of year.  I have such a fondness for them.  I decorate my home with them in the Autumn, I take the grandkids to the pumpkin patch, we have pumpkin carving parties and of course I cook with pumpkin a LOT!!  This yummy bundt cake made with pumpkin would be wonderful to have while watching  “Its the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”, or “HalloweenTown” or “Hocus Pocus”.  Add some fresh whipped cream to it and you will be in a state of sweet bliss! 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps baking soda
2 tsps ground cinnamon
12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil and sugar.  Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  Stir in half the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan.  Sprinkle remaining chips over batter.

Bake at 350* for one hour, or until golden brown and inserted toothpick tests clean. Cool then remove from pan.  Top with fresh whipped cream to serve if you wish. 

*Makes 12-16 servings. 

ENJOY, Autumn


To read my blog visit www.autumnearthsong.com
To check out my herbal products visit www.etsy.com/shop/verbenalaneshoppe




Giveaway from Leave Them in Stitches




This giveaway consists of a dress in 9-12 mos. size
Diaper cover that can be adjusted slightly. Should fit 9-12 mos.
Also, includes an adorable little headband with flower.
All in the colors of the Morrighan.




Value: $50.00



Rules: (READ CAREFULLY)

YOU MUST PROVIDE A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS. If you choose not to share it in the comments, please use the contact form at the top of the page to provide your email address. You must provide your email address once per giveaway.

Drawing is held by random number generation and winner will be notified in email (that's why you have to have an email address listed). Announcement will be made in tomorrow's post.

Note: These giveaways are open to the U.S., Canada and where allowable. Void where prohibited.
Canadian residents, please pay close attention as by law, you have to use a different set of rules. Not to worry, we have you covered :)


CANADIANS READ HERE: You will be given X number of entries for answering the following (remember, we STILL NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS):

What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?

U.S. Citizens, and others- READ HERE:

1. Go to the Leave Them in Stitches Site .  Look over the site and tell us which product you like best.

EXTRA ENTRIES: (USE SEPARATE COMMENTS. If you throw them all into one comment, it counts as one entry only)

2. Be a follower of this blog. Comment that you are following us.

3. Like the Sirens FB page (come let us know you did in comments)

4. Like/Get Notifications for the Leave Them in Stitches Facebook Page. Let us know you did.

5. Blog about this giveaway (comment with the url for your blog entry)

6. Tweet about this giveaway (come back and give us the url for your tweet)

So, all in all, you get 6 entries for this giveaway! The deadline for entries is midnight eastern time (11 Central, 10 Mountain, 9 Pacific) tonight. Announcement tomorrow, same time, same bat channel ;)



Two Question Tarot/Lenormand Reading (Value$45.00)

In this special reading I use two popular systems of divination the Tarot and the Lenormand. The lenormand cards are a set of 36 cards that contain basic symbols such as: house, key, boat, and fox to name a few. I will answer two of your questions using a mixture of Tarot + lenormand to get an in-depth look at the current situation surrounding your areas of concern.

This reading does not utilize a consistent spread but rather the best one I believe will answer your individualized questions at the time. I may use lots of cards or just a few. My most favorite spread is the nine card box spread which focuses on the central card as the issue and gives advice radiating out from the center.

This reading will be typed and contain a picture of your cards. I have also been known to use some oracle cards as well depending on the issue(s) at hand. If you are the winner please check your inbox as I will e-mail you asap to find out your specific two question of concern. I prefer for specific questions with this give away. Good luck!

Katie McBrien

www.katiemcbrien.com 




Rules: (READ CAREFULLY)

YOU MUST PROVIDE A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS. If you choose not to share it in the comments, please use the contact form at the top of the page to provide your email address. You must provide your email address once per giveaway.

Drawing is held by random number generation and winner will be notified in email (that's why you have to have an email address listed). Announcement will be made in tomorrow's post.

Note: These giveaways are open to the U.S., Canada and where allowable. Void where prohibited.
Canadian residents, please pay close attention as by law, you have to use a different set of rules. Not to worry, we have you covered :)


CANADIANS READ HERE: You will be given X number of entries for answering the following (remember, we STILL NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS):

What does 42 answer?



U.S. Citizens, and others- READ HERE:

1. Go to Katie's Site .  Sign up for the free week of magic e-book and let us know you did in the comments.

EXTRA ENTRIES: (USE SEPARATE COMMENTS. If you throw them all into one comment, it counts as one entry only)

2. Be a follower of this blog. Comment that you are following us.

3. Like the Sirens FB page (come let us know you did in comments)

4. Follow Katie on Twitter. Let us know you did in the comments.

5. Blog about this giveaway (comment with the url for your blog entry)

6. Tweet about this giveaway (come back and give us the url for your tweet)


So, all in all, you get 6 entries for this giveaway! The deadline for entries is midnight eastern time (11 Central, 10 Mountain, 9 Pacific) tonight. Announcement tomorrow, same time, same bat channel ;)