Still, we have some amazing offerings for you today!
And the winner of the Hemlock and Garnet Giveaway is:
Today's Blogger: Wendy Callahan
As all of us who are Pagan know, one of our most important holidays is Samhain aka Halloween and All Hallows Eve. Our modern Pagan traditions carry on the ancient Celtic belief that the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest on this day, that the spirits of the deceased may freely roam the earth, and that this is a good day to connect with those spirits and honor them.
For me, a love of genealogy makes it an even more profound day. It's simple enough for a modern Pagan to say, "I'm going to honor my ancestors on the night of Samhain." But how many people can even name their grandparents completely, let alone distant ancestors?
I think it's wonderful that a genealogist or somebody who truly cares about their family history can rattle off at least 4 generations or more without even referring to a book or pedigree chart. I know that, if challenged, I can sit down and write out a 5-generation pedigree chart from memory.
Why is that? Because those of us who are genealogists and family historians have taken the time to get to know our ancestors. Why should that matter? Because genealogy isn't just about names, dates, and places. It's about who these people are or once were.
These are the people who helped give us life today. Therefore, this Samhain, I invite you to take the time to connect – truly connect – with one of your ancestors.
Do you have grandparents still living? Then visit with them and spend some time learning more about them. What were their childhoods like? What did they do as young adults starting out in the world, away from their parents? Did they fight in a war? Did they marry young? Did they have a career? How did they feel about the lives they lived?
Is there a particular person who was in their lives – a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent – they talk about extensively or are fascinated by? When my grandmother was alive, she spoke fondly of her grandmother, Emma Murphy. Emma was born in Nova Scotia and came to Boston as a very young adult, possibly newly married. Details of Emma’s youth are sketchy, but my grandmother loved talking about the store her grandmother ran in the Boston area. Grandma admired her grandmother, who was quite tall and regal in bearing, and took no crap from anyone.
The way grandma talked about Emma passed that fascination on to me, and I was inspired to learn as much about Emma’s life as I could. Every Samhain, the ancestor I desire most to connect with is great-great grandma Emma. This is just one of the people who keeps me ever-interested in genealogy and knowing more about those who came before me, who had the descendants that ultimately resulted in me being here today.
If my musings about family history have piqued your curiosity about your family even a little, then visit with your older relatives to learn more! They will no doubt be thrilled to talk to you about where you come from and perhaps you will find an ancestor who makes you want to dig a little deeper, to learn more about them, and delve into the task of knowing the person they once were.
You can learn more about genealogy at Wendy’s blog, www.newenglandgenealogy.blogspot.com or in her forthcoming book, Genealogy for Simpletons (2016).
The Siren's Song with Jennifer Rasmussen
Must be the season!
Today's Recipe with Autumn Earthsong
Autumn Spiced Orange Cider
1/2 gallon apple cider
2 cups orange juice (fresh is best!)
3 (3”) cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
Zest of one orange
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Bring all ingredients to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. Strain out spices using fine mesh. Serve hot. For a party, I keep this warm in a crock pot. You will want to double it for a bigger gathering!
*I use more like 1/2 tsp of the nutmeg and allspice….but try it this way first to see what you think. Also great with a little caramel sauce stirred in! Serve with a cinnamon stick and a slice of orange.
Into each coffee mug: 1 oz brandy
1 oz kahlua
Fill with hot coffee and top with whipped cream and a bit of shaved chocolate or chocolate sprinkles!
Cranberry Rum Drink
1/2 cup spiced rum
1 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup triple sec
Shake first 3 ingredients with crushed ice. Strain into 2 martini glasses and throw in cherries!
Harvest Moon Drink
1/2 cup sweet and sour mix
1/2 cup carbonated water
1/4 cup apricot brandy
4 tsps pomegranate juice
Put first 3 ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into martini glasses. Pour 2 tsp pomegranate juice into each glass, do not stir it!
There is a time in your life when any of these drinks would be just what you need! Enjoy!!
Blessings and Love,
Autumn Earthsong is back for the 3rd year as our resident Kitchen Witch. You may have seen her recipes in Imramma Magazine and The Sunday Stew as well. Autumn has been a practicing Witch for 17 years and hails from Ohio. She is a wife, mother of two, and Nana to three busy little grandchildren. Samhain is a favorite time of year for her….with her name indicating what Season she loves! Cooking for family and friends this time of year is also a joy…..Especially this time of year! Hearth, Fire, love of family and good food is how she brings Magick to her home. You can also find her blogging at www.autumnearthsong.com. She looks forward to sharing her recipes with you all and hopes that you have a very Blessed Samhain Season!
Stones and Crystals with Jennifer Hodgson
Sapphire is known as the wisdom stone. Sapphire helps to focus and calm the mind. Sapphire not only aligns the physical, mental but also spiritual planes.
Sapphire releases depression and stimulates concentration.
Blue Sapphire is associated with love and purity. Sapphire is used in shamanic ceremonies. Sapphire will also open and heal the throat chakra.
Sapphire comes in the following colors: Blue, yellow, green, black and purple.
Today's Giveaway from Visions by Volante
Healing salve for minor scrapes and Burns and handcrafted lemon vanilla lip balm gift basket. Includes a chevron amethyst. Value $15
This healing salve has many uses beyond scrapes and Burns. It works on many skin irritations, including insect bites and psoriasis. It’s also been used to heal delicate skin around the eyes after makeup removal for healing.
Salve and lip balm are crafted from organic and natural ingredients.
Here's how to enter: (Canadians, skip this part and go to your section)
Like/Get Notifications on the Visions By Volante Facebook page . Come back, comment on this blog post and tell us that you did.
Remember to add your email address to the page (if you don't want to post it publicly, simply send it via the contact form at the top of the page).
Want extra entries??
1. Visit the Visions By Volante etsy shop. Come back, and tell us in the comments about your favorite item.
2. Tweet about this giveaway. Comment with the link to your tweet.
3. Blog about this giveaway. Comment with the link to your blog post.
4. Follow Samhain's Sirens on Facebook. Comment, and let us know you did (if you're already following, just comment and say so!)
5. Follow this blog so you'll be in on all of the fabulous fun throughout October! Comment here that you did.
That gives you 6 chances to win this fabulous prize!
CANADIANS: LOOK HERE!
Canadians, your country requires that you answer questions instead of participating the American way ;) So, we're bringing you some good old-fashioned trivia about your country this year. Answer the question correctly in comments (don't forget to put your email address in the comment!) and you'll be given 6 entries in the giveaway!
Here's your question:
In response to the temperance movement, Toronto pharmacist John J. McLaughlin invented this drink in 1907 as a popular alternative to alcohol.
This giveaway is open until 9pm PDT tonight. Winner will be announced tomorrow at 9am EDT. Remember, we have to notify the winner in email first, so those email addresses are critical for you to qualify for the giveaway!
Good luck everyone!