Saturday, October 31, 2015

October 31: The Final Siren Song

It is finally here. What a whirlwind this month has been! Then again, it always goes too fast, no?

No time to lament it's passing, we have preparations to make. For many, we have to get our little trick-or-treaters ready for the Halloween fun. For some, it's about celebrating Samhain. Regardless, there's still a lot to do.

On behalf of our Sirens, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loving support over the past 4 years. It has been so much fun to serve the community with this offering of blogs, recipes, crafts, prizes and homage to those who have gone before us. As we prepare to head back to our lair in the sea, we want you to know you are cherished by us all.

This will be the last year of The Samhain's Sirens project. Everything has a life cycle, and this one has completed. It has been our honor and pleasure to serve you, our Pagan community, in this way. While we'll be moving on to other things, you are always in our hearts.

May the blessings of your ancestors shower you this season, and may you always be remembered.

Thank you!
Kallan Kennedy 


Siren Altar Photos:


Renee Sosanna Olson





Sandi Crawford


Angie Crawford



Danette Wilson:





More Forget-Me-Nots


From Angie C:



Mary Jerlene Montona “Jerri”  
b. April 20, 1943 d. August 7, 2004

My beautiful mother Jerri crossed beyond the veil unexpectedly from a ruptured brain aneurysm. My world took a turn I wasn't planning to take that day and I'm still traveling that road learning to adjust without her.  Today I'd like to say to her ….

Mom, know that I was listening even when you didn't think I was.
I was listening when you taught me not to lie, not to steal and that I was only as good as my word.
I was listening when you taught me to be true to myself, that I was no better than anyone else so don't get above my raisin'
I was listening when you told me when I meet someone to ALWAYS remember everyone loves, everyone cries, everyone has feelings and we ALL put our drawers on the same way.
I was listening when you taught me when I see someone not to see skin color, religion, ethnicity or sexual preference and when it comes to race, the only race is the human race. No more, no less.
I was listening Mama, I was listening.


------








The winner of the LaPulia Studio Grand Prize Book of Shadows is:
Tara Mals!



Friday, October 30, 2015

October 30: Forget-Me-Not Friday

As we close out our Samhain celebration season, we want to turn our thoughts to a more serious note.


Today, we honor our ancestors, friends, family and heroes who have passed through the veil.


May they always be remembered.






The winner of the giveaway is...
Engie Willow!




Final Forget-Me-Nots

From Melissa Cassick:



Doris Flading gave me the best advice I ever received in my life.

Once upon a time, on a beautiful summer day, she wanted to take her daughter - my best friend - Catherine and me somewhere. Maybe to a musical, maybe to a flea market, maybe to a relative’s house for a visit. It didn’t matter to us -- we had no intention of going. We objected to this outing: we would rather play dress-up, or Fisher-Price, or read Peanuts comic books in the attic room. No, no, NO … we did not wish to go.

Doris leaned in close to my face. “Melissa, have you ever seen an old lady who looks mean, and her eyes are small, and her mouth turns down at the sides? That’s because she spent her life saying, ‘No. I don’t want to. No. No.’ But have you ever seen a lovely old lady who always looks happy, and her eyes sparkle, and her wrinkles are all pulled up into smile lines? It’s because she spent her life saying, ‘Why, yes! I’d love to! That would be delightful!’ Now … you need to ask yourself: which face do *you* want?”

Thus Doris became the first person to ever show me that happiness is a choice.

She was equally in her element digging in a garden, singing a cantata, and painting at the top of a ladder, her hair pulled back with a crocheted band. She related funny stories she heard on NPR, bellowed up the stairs to get down here and bring in some firewood, and sang the tenor line of “Messiah” (while Catherine took alto and I faked my way through the soprano line.) She was a warm, night-gowned presence in the darkness, leading us down to the bathroom, and then guiding us carefully back up the stairs to bed. She could speak a few words and leave you wondering for the rest of the afternoon whether you had just been praised or rebuked, until you realized it was both -- and it was apt and deserved. She looked elegant in hat and gloves and red lipstick, and she could make a housecoat look like a royal robe. She could tell you which page of the book contained what you were looking for, recall what movie that actress had been in, name any piece of music if you could warble a bar or two. She could wield a power saw and drill, she could knock down a wall and build a new one, she could strip decades of paint off an antique to bring it back to life. Her hands scrubbed floors, wrote letters, did crosswords, held a cigarette, turned a page of music, and flipped a piece of china over for inspection. She collected costume jewelry, she collected dishes and cookie jars, and she collected friends.

She was intelligent, blunt, canny, determined, gracious, well-read, hilarious, classy.

She is unforgettable.

Doris June (Frey) Flading was born in Akron, N.Y., on June 22, 1931. She passed away on Dec. 9, 2014, at the Niagara County hospice.
------

From Renee "Sosanna" Olson


Julia Eva Loftin Smith 1915-2013

Honoring the memory of my grandmother, Julia Eva Loftin Smith.  She passed away July 1, 2013.  I have started baking more over the last few years.  I make biscuits and cakes sometimes weekly now.  While mixing my flour I can hear her say, “don’t over work the dough” “add a little more milk” As long as I listen everything I make turns out amazing.  She lived a long 98 years.  I miss her terribly.



Robert Lee Smith 1960-2015
Honoring the memory of my cousin who passed away suddenly while I was at an event.  He had a very tough life but in the end found someone who made him happy.  He was diagnosed with liver cancer and passed away shortly thereafter.  

----

From Sandi Crawford



Captain Jack Bigglesworth was 9 years old when he passed earlier this year. He was our biggest baby and my familiar. Jack loved having his chin scratched, laser pointers, flies, and never met a tarot spread he could resist laying on. He loved having people around. We laid him to rest in a spot he would have loved in life in the woods near a creek and we will miss him forever.


----

From Kallan Kennedy


John and Millie Kennedy were my grandparents, but for all intents and purposes, they were my parents. They were a strong presence in my life and shaped so much of the loving memories of my childhood. They passed many decades ago, but I still miss them every day. May they never be forgotten, and may their genetic memory be passed throughout the generations.







The Siren Song with Jennifer Rasmussen


For today’s Forget-Me-Not-Friday, we have another one from Loreena McKennitt. This one is a bit of a tear-jerker, so have tissues ready. 




Today's Recipe with Autumn Earthsong


Harvest Apple Cheesecake

Happy Samhain to you all!  I decided to end my recipes today with a delicious one.  I hope that you all have enjoyed my recipes and give them a try.  Many are good for all winter long and I’m sure if you’re like me, you can eat anything apple or pumpkin any time of the year too!  I’ve enjoyed sharing with you.  Thank you for being a Siren’s reader!

Harvest Apple Cheesecake
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter, melted and divided
1 Tb ground cinnamon
3 apples, cored, peeled and sliced into 12 rings
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 (8 oz) container ricotta cheese
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 (8 oz) container whipping cream

Combine cracker crumbs, brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter and cinnamon.  Press into bottom and partway up sides of an ungreased 9” springform pan.  Saute’ apple slices on both sides in remaining butter in skillet.  Arrange 6 apple slices on prepared crust. Beat eggs, sugar, ricotta cheese, cream cheese and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Add whipping cream and blend well. Pour cheese mixture into pan.  Arrange remaining apple slices on top and press apples slightly under the mixture.


Sprinkle top with cinnamon.  Bake at 450* for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300* and bake for 50 to 55 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate overnight.
Enjoy!!  Blessed Samhain!

Blessings and Love,
Autumn

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!



Cocktails with CL

Vampire's Kiss

1/2 Red Wine (or Port wine if you prefer it sweeter)
1/2 Passoa (Passion fruit liqueur)

Directions: Stir the ingredients together and pour into a small wine glass.
That was the original recipe. But, once again, I didn’t feel that Passionfruit Liquor was appropriate to the Autumn/Samhain theme and went on the hunt for an alternative. What I ended up with was Red Wine (I chose Red Moscato but it is a matter of preference depending on how sweet or dry you like it), Pama Pomegranate Liquor, and a drink I call Persephone’s Descent!

This is the simplest of the cocktails I made this season and is, actually, my favorite of them all. The flavor is amazing, I’ve made it several times for myself now because it is just tasty, but the Pomegranate Liquor gives it that….certain something. This drink tastes like All Hallows, to me, and is why I saved it for last. I have even used it as offerings for my Gods and Ancestors.

Do not let its simplicity fool you. This drink is potent and after a couple of glasses you will strength of this blood red brew right down to your bones. It’s fabulous.



If preparing for a party you can always amp up the dramatic aesthetic by tying a black ribbon around the stem or rimming the glass with black sugar (black food coloring, sugar, zip lock baggie, bam!) though I personally found the ruby red color to be sufficiently dramatic on its own.



Paula's Paleo Recipes with Paula Lupi


My husband is a big fan of sweet potatoes and when I make it for him he savors each bite (he doesn’t get them too often).  This recipe comes from a cookbook called Well Fed Paleo Recipes.  

Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon

6 slices sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon
1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1 tsp Ras el Hanout (recipe included)
½ TBS salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water

Garnish: chopped chives

Cut the bacon crosswise into ¼ inch pieces. Place the chopped bacon in a large, cold soup pot, turn the heat to medium-high, and fry the bacon until it’s crisp, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from the pot and drain on a paper towel. Keep 1 TBS of the fat in the pot and discard the rest.
Reheat the fat over medium-high heat, then add the onions, Ras el Hanout, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Toss in the garlic and stir, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the sweet potatoes, broth, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Working in batches and being careful, puree the soup in a food processor or blender until it’s smooth. Fill the canister only halfway, holding a towel over the lid while you puree. Hot soup expands in the canister and can spurt out if you’re not vigilant. Return to the pot, taste, and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls, then sprinkle with a little bacon and chives. Both the bacon and soup hold up well in the fridge for a few days.



Grand Prize Giveaway from LaPulia Studio!



Book: Triquetra Book of Shadows with blank parchment pages
Cover Size: 9”X12” (fits paper of 8.5”x11” – A4)
Binding: post-bound (pages can be rearranged, add or removed)
Color: Green
Price: $389

If you've been entering our giveaways all season, each one of your entries is counted toward this prize. However, this is your last chance to get one more entry in.. so, go to the LaPulia Studio Facebook page, like the page, comment on the page and say hi to Rita from the Sirens!

Come back here, and comment to let us know you did. We'll draw the winner tonight at 9pm, and will announce tomorrow morning at 9am EDT!

Canadians: Here is your final question-

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

See you tomorrow morning for our final farewell!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

October 29: Throw-it-to-the-zombies Thursday

The apocalypse is nigh! Throw whatever you can to get away!

Our very last Thursday brings you all kinds of fun.. let's do this!










The winner of the giveaway is ......

 

Melissa "ChickynJane" Cassick!!






Today's Blogger: Tiffanie Dovich


Out of touch

Sometimes in our busy bee modern lives it becomes very easy to become disillusioned with things and be disconnected from the earth and even yourself.  This recently happened to me.  I have two children and my youngest was born with a condition called torticollis. It’s not life threatening or anything like that but it’s time consuming.  We have weekly therapy appointments for her. Daily stretches we have do to multiple times a day. Having a high need little one is very draining sometimes. You end up putting things on hold for yourself. Couple that with having other children and a house and business to take care of? Burnout happens really fast. You find yourself trying to find time to take a shower much less time to observe the Sabbaths or even to cast a circle.

Doing ” witchy” things gets shoved to the backburner, As well as doing anything just for yourself.   The household and kids needs become all consuming. What’s even sadder is that when this starts to happen you don’t even realize it.  I didn’t.  It took a good friend of mine asking me what I wanted for my birthday for me to realize that I didn’t even know! I had tons of things I wanted to get for the kids but I could not for the life of me remember or recall something that I saw and said I want that or I want to do that. Hellsfire I couldn’t even a name the last book I had read that was a chapter book! (for those that know me know just how out of character that is).

I wasn’t happy at all and it was crossing over into the way I handled personal relationships. I was grumpy and irritable and taking it out on everyone. I was so far from balanced I couldn’t even remember what that felt like. Which we all know is NOT COOL!............ So once I realized the problem I had no idea how to get my groove back. How do I go about reclaiming me? Who was I now anyways?   This idea of getting things settled stressed me out more than I was to begin with!

Then, at one of my witchlet’s therapy sessions, the therapist said something to me that really struck a cord with me. I was upset because my little was tilting more after a growth spurt  when we worked so hard for months to get rid of it and She said “ Any time you grow things change, and sometimes you might think the growing is bad. But really it’s not,  because babies have to grow and that them actually growing is something to be happy about.”

I mulled over that for a while.  I’ve come to the conclusion that change doesn’t happen overnight and little victories are still worth celebrating.  I’m not saying that everything is peachy keen and fully I’m okay with where I’m at in life but I am starting one little baby step at a time.  Yesterday I reset up my altar and enjoyed the light of the full moon.  I also sang silly songs with the girls and taught my 4 year old how to dance in the rain. I cuddled my other half just because I felt like it and took my dog for a walk under the stars.  The universe loves balance and I had forgotten that for a while.


The Siren's Song with Jennifer Rasmussen


We couldn't let the season go by without paying homage to Salem's official witch, Laurie Cabot, who is featured in this video!






Today's Recipe from Autumn Earthsong


In autumn, I just crave soups!  Chili, chicken noodle, creamy potato, vegetable, bean…so many good ones to choose from.  But my ultimate comfort food has got to be tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  I know that many of you feel the same!  Now don’t get me wrong, tomato soup out of a can works for me too, but a really good homemade soup is so much better!  Try this recipe next time you crave the comfort….

Comforting Tomato Soup

1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tb butter
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper *I use more pepper than this!
2 Tbs minced fresh basil
Shredded parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Saute garlic.  Add tomatoes and all the other ingredients except parmesan cheese.  Simmer 15-20 mins.  Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled over soup.
*Add toppers like sour cream, croutons, or goldfish crackers.


Be sure when you make a grilled cheese sandwich to have the skillet hot before you put the buttered bread down on it…it keeps your sandwich from getting soggy.  I like to use a good white bread and various cheeses like smoked gouda, Colby or baby swiss.  Try pumpernickel bread too..it’s sooo good!

Find comfort in foods that take you back to a peaceful time in your life.  Enjoy!

Blessings and Love,
Autumn

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!   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


Periodot

Peridot is a protective aura stone and a powerful cleanser.

If you have old negative patterns that need to be released this is the crystal to use.

Peridot is also great if you are unsure of your spiritual purpose and is very helpful to healers.

This stone will help to get rid of jealousy, resentment and anger and will help with reducing stress.

Peridot can help you in many areas of your life. This crystal will help to sharpen your mind, boost your confidence, help you to admit mistakes and move on from them.

Peridot comes in the following colors:  Olive green, yellowish-green, honey, red, brownish.




Today's Giveaway from Sandi's Enchanted Garden


Sandi’s Enchanted Garden is giving away items to help you reach through that thinning veil and communicate with those you have lost. One lucky winner will receive a Spirit Communication Crystal Kit as well as 1 tin of Witch’s Power Magick Ointment (The tin with the Pentacle) made to help boost your power during medtation and spell work!



The Spirit Communication Crystal Kit (worth $10) is made with stones that open your spiritual connection to the other side. Use the power of this set to help you communicate with spirits, receive messages, enhance spiritual openness that facilitates the reception of psychic energy. This listing comes with 4 stones and information sheet about the stones.

Quartz: is very useful on the either the crown for clarity of psychic vision, and can be used to communicate with spirits and other worlds.
Selenite: is amazing for connecting to spirit and the other side. Opens the crown chakra and helps messages come through more clearly.
Amethyst: is a stone of pure emotional love. It is great for finding love and can be exchanged between lovers to strengthen their commitment.
Blue Kyanite: is an extraordinary crystal of connection, opening the mind centers, enhancing telepathic and psychic abilities, bridging gaps in all communication efforts, and providing a link for transmitting or receiving healing energy.


Witch’s Power Magickal Salve (worth $15) is made with Amber, Myrrh, and Sandalwood essential oils, amethyst & Kyanite crystal chips, and sprinkled with Sandalwood chips to help you connect with your power and boost it higher than ever before. This salve can be placed on your third eye and at the base of the back of your skull during meditation or energy work. You can also place a small dab on petition papers, mojo bags, poppets, spell envelopes, petition papers, etc. to boost the power of your spells.
Both items are carried in my shop Sandi’s Enchanted Garden on Etsy (link below). Please stop by the Facebook page and give a like! Happy Samhain and Good Luck!


Here's how to enter: (Canadians, skip this part and go to your section)

Like/Get Notifications on the Sandi's Enchanted Gardens 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 Sandi's Enchanted Garden etsy shop. Come back and tell us in the comments about your favorite item there.

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: 

Which province's entry into Confederation had to be moved up a day due to concerns that the original date, April 1, 1949, was April Fool's Day?

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!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October 28: Why-are-we-searching-the-basement Wednesday!

You know you've asked the question... why, if the killer is in the basement, would you go down there?

Let's be stupid daring today! It's our last Wednesday and we're only three days from Samhain! Let's get to the party!









And the winner of the Visions by Volante Giveaway is...


Jonquil Alexia!


Today's Blogger: Danette Wilson


Witch's Night-Samhain

Black crow, turn back, hollow root,
Bare branches shiver like a reedy flute.
Foxes bark as their  night blood hums,
Wild is the darkness that we become.

I lovingly invite them to my house every year. They stay about a month and a half. I start getting their invites back in late June and July, right when the heat and noise of summer are a little too much and I need to just step back. I look forward to their arrival, Bats dancing in the air, Witches cackling at the door. Spiders about with bigger than life webs. The food is always out for them too….candied apples in the kitchen, candy corn in glass.  Devil's Food cake, Deviled Eggs. The Vampire blood lets me know they're happy. The ghosts energetically communicate with breezes and the skeletons hang alongside. I am in my element at last.

The night sky seems to twinkle more now or is it just me? The trees whisper on my walks. Most people say the year will be ending soon, but for me it's just the beginning. It's bigger than life. New Year's Eve for us nonmortals. Death warmed over takes on a whole new meaning when you adore this many candles about the house.

Witches rule at Halloween. The veil is thin and spririts are at play. Cool winds blow as orange and red leaves whirl from trees, crunching under feet. The scent of the Wild Ones about. A time of mystery and resonant with Wild Magic.  Blackbirds fly, companions of Witches.

It's now that a magical person can take the deepest, freest breaths and remember their own magic, and how much joy that brings, how wonderful it feels and how it connects us to that awesome web of life that holds us all.

In the European traditions, Samhain is the night when the old God dies, and the Crone Goddess mourns him deeply for the next six weeks.  The popular image of her as the old Halloween hag menacingly stirring her cauldron comes from the Celtic belief that all dead souls return to her cauldron of  life, death, and rebirth to await reincarnation.

Here is some October Magic.

Grab a scarecrow and put him in the yard or porch with the intent of protection for family as well as house.

Write what you wish to see recede from your life on paper, and hide it in the earth near a tree you like or in it's hollow, to rot down and be swallowed up by the energy of the dying year.

Hillsides are ablaze with flame colored trees, and darkened streets lit by glowing Jack O Lanterns. Carve your pumpkin for whatever you wish now, enchanting it to attract or protect as it's inner candle burns.

Orange candles now available can be lit for what you want to attract, energy, ambition, sales, goals.

Black candles readily available now can be lit for protection, binding, banishing. Hold one and let it take all the stress you have. See it all going away into the candle. Light it and as it burns your troubles are melting. Feel the peace.

Be unafraid of Shadows dark
And to their whispers
Do Not Hark
Unfriendly words
You do Not hear
No worry, trouble
Loss or Fear

The perfect Tarot for this season is The Halloween Tarot by Karin Lee and Kipling West.  The cards are filled with moons, cats, devils, bats and magic. Just the spirit for this season. Kipling West said it best “I wanna live in Halloweentown, too”!  Yes I wish this season could last all year too. It does, in my heart.


Danette Wilson is a 2nd Degree Witch, who loves to study religions from Santeria to Hoodoo to Voodoo and beyond. She attends Festivals, and Workshops when not writing and adores photography. Born on a Wednesday during the witching hour, Celtic Irish and Scottish on her Dad's side, with Mom's side blending a Grandpa Gypsy tarot reader from Budapest, Hungary and a Grandma from Bratislava, Slovakia. A love of exploring, and travel from living with the Masai in Africa, to climbing Tulum in Mexico, to tracing the path of Dracula through the Romanian countryside. Life is a journey.




The Siren's Song with Jennifer Rasmussen


This one goes out to Sam Dambach, our favorite horror Siren




Today's Recipe with Autumn Earthsong


Samhain is upon us.  Are you feeling it?  I sure am.  I especially feel so attuned to my ancestors and the thinning of the veil this time of year.  I think of my grandmother a lot.  She is the reason for so many things in my life….from gardening to cooking and more.  I remember well her pecan pies. They were always perfect and so good!  This pecan pie bars and a simpler way of enjoying that great taste on a smaller scale   I hope you have a lovely visit with YOUR ancestors for Samhain!

Pecan Pie Bars
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 1/3 cup plus 1 Tb butter, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbs whipping cream
3 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350*
Sift together flour and powdered sugar. Cut in 3/4 cup softened butter using a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Pat mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of lightly greased 13” x 9” baking pan.
Bake crust at 350* for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown.  Cool
Bring brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter and whipping cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring so it doesn’t burn.



Stir in pecans and pour into prepared crust.  Return to oven and bake at 350* for 25-30 mins, until golden and bubbly.
Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares

These are so good with caramel sauce poured on them, or blend a little maple syrup into some whipped cream and top with that. Yummy!

Blessings and Love,
Autumn

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


Ruby

Ruby is an excellent stone for energy and balance, however some people who is delicate this stone may over stimulate them. A great motivation stone and for setting goals that is realistic.

Ruby not only balances the heart but is great for to stimulate the heart chakra. If you are experiencing psychic attack this is the stone that you want as a shielding stone.  Ruby will help you with positive dreams and help with abundance, wealth and passion.



Today's Giveaway from Sosanna's Closet


Sosanna's Closet original Samhain Altar Candle
The glass measures a hefty 5 inches x 4 inches and is elegantly etched with the following message:
"Honoring the wisdom of the ancestors" with a stunning Pentacle emblazoned on the back.  Includes our choice of decorative gravel and 3 tealights.




This lovely piece retails for 55.00 plus 12.65 for priority shipping and insurance.

Here's how to enter: (Canadians, skip this part and go to your section)

Like/Get Notifications on the Sosanna's Closet 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 Sosanna's Closet. Come back and tell us what you like best in the comments.

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:

 Canada's most northerly point is this cape in Nunavut.


This giveaway is open until 9pm EDT 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!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 27: Trepidation Tuesday!

It is with some trepidation that we inform you this is our  last Tuesday of the celebration.

Still, we have some amazing offerings for you today!












And the winner of the Hemlock and Garnet Giveaway is: 

NC Dad!




Today's Blogger: Wendy Callahan

A Time for Ancestral Connections 

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




Every October, I go and visit a local apple farm and get my apple cider. I love pretty much every recipe I’ve ever made of spiced cider.  I like it cold, warm….for breakfast or before bed.  It just tastes like all the good things about this season wrapped up in one great cup of drink!  I’m giving you a few recipes here for yummy drinks for the season..including a couple of alcoholic ones   Make some drinks, start a fire, put your feet up and RELAX!

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.

Brandied Coffee
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
*Makes 2
1/2 cup spiced rum
1 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup triple sec
Maraschino cherries
Shake first 3 ingredients with crushed ice.  Strain into 2 martini glasses and throw in cherries!
Harvest Moon Drink
*Makes 2

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


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

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!