Poems of Death for All Hallows Eve

Ghede Skull Altar

This All Hallows Eve or Samhain I am posting some poems and invocations about Death and the Dark God of Death from various poets Christian and Pagan. Blessed Be to our dear departed witches, family members and pets.

I have also published at my other blog the Rite of Passage from the Coven of the Catta Books of Shadows.

Poems of Death for All Hallows Eve;

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The Sonnets

By William Shakespeare

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

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A Better Resurrection

By Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

I have no wit, no words, no tears;

My heart within me like a stone

Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;

Look right, look left, I dwell alone;

I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief

No everlasting hills I see;

My life is in the falling leaf:

O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a faded leaf,

My harvest dwindled to a husk:

Truly my life is void and brief

And tedious in the barren dusk;

My life is like a frozen thing,

No bud nor greenness can I see:

Yet rise it shall–the sap of Spring;

O Jesus, rise in me.

My life is like a broken bowl,

A broken bowl that cannot hold

One drop of water for my soul

Or cordial in the searching cold;

Cast in the fire the perish’d thing;

Melt and remould it, till it be

A royal cup for Him, my King:

O Jesus, drink of me.

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Remember

By Christina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more, day by day,

You tell me of our future that you planned:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

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The Witch’s Farewell

By Victor Anderson

The Mighty One approaches, yet I have no fear

Save only that which nature dignifies.

To cling to life is good, and honorable the tear

By which I bless the ruin that about me lies.

An awesome presence fills the room and Lo,

The Might One is here!

There is a blood-red glory pulsing darkly bright

Where on His forehead gleams the jewel of power.

His great, black wings cast shadows

where there is no light.

Yet in His hand He holds a lovely snow-white flower

Plucked where immortal golden apples grow,

In Mari’s silver bower.

Farewell, dear friends and loved ones.

I must take my leave to wander

through the Summerland a while.

Think not of me as dead when you have ceased to grieve;

I shall grow young again beneath Her radiant smile

That floods all Heaven with a moon-day glow

Where age cannot defile.

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The Death Blessing

Translated from the Carmina Gadelica by Mike Nichols

(The one who chants the blessing is called the ‘soul-friend’, and is held is special affection by the friends of the dying person ever after.)

Goddess, initiate this woman (man) into thy Grand Coven, Remember the many blessings which she (he) in the body cast,

That we cannot this night enumerate.

The many blessings that she (he) in the body cast,

That we cannot this night enumerate.

Be this spirit to thy hand, O Lady,

Thou Queen of the realm of Faery,

So mote it be.

Since thou it was, O Lady, who did birth this spirit,

Be its peace in thine own keeping.

So mote it be.

And be the strong Nuada, high king of the Tuatha,

Preparing the path before this spirit, O Goddess.

So mote it be.

And be the strong Lugh coming to meet the spirit,

And leading it home, to the Land of the Ever-Living Ones.

So mote it be.

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Invocation of the God

By Gerald Gardner

Dread Lord of Shadows,

God of Life,

And Giver of Life –

Yet is the knowledge of thee,

The knowledge of Death.

Open wide, I pray thee,

The Gates through which all must pass.

Let our dear ones who have gone before

Return this night to make merry with us.

And when our time comes, as it must,

O thou the Comforter,

The Consoler,

The Giver of Peace and Rest,

We will enter thy realms gladly and unafraid;

For we know that when rested and refreshed

among our dear ones

We will be reborn again by thy grace,

And the grace of the Great Mother.

Let it be in the same place and the same time

as our beloved ones,

And may we meet, and know, and remember,

And love them again.

Descend, we pray thee, in thy servant and priest.

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God and Goddess of Death Chant

By Lois Bourne

I am the God who waits. In the end of the year, in the dark of life, at the end of the lane where no birds sing, there will you rest again in my hand. Be fearless to look upon my death’s head, for I have other face’s and another hand to give again that which I take. Come gladly when I call, The Great Mother holds my promise and no thieves shall steal from you, nor evil ones harm you as you sleep…in my hand. Remember  you trusted me in the Spring-green child places…finding enchantment,  found me merry in Summer attendance when you wed, feared not to meet me in the Autumn forest hunt. Shrink not from me in the Winter snow. Have you not seen the return of Life to the earth, safe from my keeping? Will I do less for you? I am the great Lord of Death who waits for you. Have faith in life and trust in me.

Hear thou the words of Annis the Great One; for it is I, and none but I, that is Queen of all living, and it is through my will that all live or die. I am the Laughing Maiden, the Loving Mother, and the Black Hag of Death. I am the Three and the One. Listen to my words. For it is I, and none but I, that wakens that desire which uses all of a man and a woman and so wastes nothing, even though it leave the flavored like wan ashes in the sunlight. I smile, and the radiance of moonlight is everywhere. For there is no power like My power, and no living thing can withstand My power, and those who deride Me are but dead dry husks that the wind moves with hissing noises. For I am the anticipation, I am the fulfillment, I am the pain, I am the pleasure, I am all love, I am all life, and I am all death. Hear My words, My children, worship and be glad, for if you seek Me I am with you always. I was with you in the beginning, and I shall be with you at the end.

 

My Take: God not in whirlwinds of Sandy, presidential race – from the CNN Belief Blog

NASA Photo of Hurricane Sandy

I woke up this morning having gotten off pretty easy from the worst of the passing of Hurricane Sandy yesterday though last night though our central Appalachian mountains. Luckily I only got about 3 inches of rain instead of the 5-8 predicted, so the deep run behind the house which drains about 25 square miles of mountain only came up about a quarter full. The power went out once last night, but then blessedly came back on, so the electricity remained on to my sump pump in my leaking cellar. And since I live in a well protected valley the winds were not that bad. But having been raised a Boy Scout, always prepared, I had my gasoline powered generator and power cords ready on the front porch, hand cranked disaster radio in hand, flashlights and kerosene lamps and candles ready to go, just in case. Of course others to the south and east of us did not fare so well.

The run behind the house one quarter full

I found this interesting article on the CNN Belief blog this morning, entitled My Take: God not in whirlwinds of Sandy, presidential race by Stephen Prothero. He goes into that eternal dilemma question “If God is good then why does he allow bad things to happen?” and all the other whacky questions and statements that Christians and political leaders make claiming to know the who what when and why of God. I swear most right wing Christian’s view of God is more like a vengeful Archon you can woo or cower from.

Here is a short quote from the article, and click the link above for the full story:

“I am riding out Sandy on Cape Cod and wondering whether this, too, is God’s will.

As this storm has carved its path through the Caribbean and up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, it has taken 67 lives and (so far) spared the rest of us. Was it the will of the Almighty that so many should perish?

Is God angry with Cuba, where 11 died last week? More angry with Haiti, where 51 perished? Relatively unperturbed with Jamaica, where the death toll was only two? If a tree falls on my house today, will that be an Act of God, too?”….

By Stephen Prothero

All Hallows Eve – Back in the Good Ole Days

(Pictures do contain artistic nudity)

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Ah All Hallows Eve, back in the Good Ole Days, back in France in the late 1700s! Back when we had a Horned Man In Black, lots of defrocked fallen Catholic Priests, a nubile altar, lots of depraved Nuns, lots of wild and crazy Witches, and Baphomet showing up in person in our Old Time Religion! Those were the good ole days, no politically correct “Wicca”, no need for a designated ox cart driver, no lawyers with non-litigation contracts. But then they were the bad old days too, and I barely got out of Paris with my head during the Revolution,

Well I am sure your, and my, All Hallows Eve rituals will be a little more sedate in these modern times. And I hope my readers realize this post is very tongue in cheek. Blessed Be!

Surreslist Art of Clovis Trouille

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I found the artist Clovis Trouille  the other day, and enjoy his surrealist paintings, especially on religious subjects. He lived in France at the turn of the last century, and was a fervent anti-Catholic in his whimsical and dark portrayals of nuns and such. Here is another link to his art at The Nude in Art History website, and links to tons of other artists. There is tasteful nudity in these paintings. Enjoy.

Nazi Buddha From Space

Photo Credit Elmar Buchner

Got your attention? I was perusing through the scientific Archeology News Network blog when to my surprise I came upon this story entitled Nazi Buddha From Space Might Be A Fake. On further research I also found a BBC story Ancient Statue Discovered by Nazis is Made From Meteorite.

To summarize both stories it seems this carving of a Buddha is carved from a rare ataxite type of meteorite, possibly the Chinga one which fell about 15000 years ago on the border of Eastern Siberia and Mongolia. It may have been brought back to Europe in 1938 by German scientist and explorer Ernst Schafer but does not appear on his well documented list of finds. The two articles give positive and negative views of its origin so his on the links above to read them in full.

Now I am no expert in iconography, but the swastika of course is a pre-Nazi symbol used in the Bon religion and in Hinduism back thousands of years, and the left turning one is Bon. And if this was carved in China or Mongolia what is the issue about him being seated (like Maitreya Buddha) and having pants and a beard? Haven’t all cultures mostly represented the Buddha with their own racial characteristics? And aren’t Caucasians found buried all along the Silk Road?

Either way I think this is one cool meteorite carved Buddha statue! Enjoy.

The Gospel According to Obama – from CNN’s Belief Blog

I usually do not post anything political, but I enjoy reading the various articles in CNN’s Belief Blog, especially this recent post The Gospel According to Obama by CNN writer John Blake who below is quoting author Stephen Mansfield:

“Mansfield called Obama’s boyhood a “religious swirl.  He was exposed to Catholicism, Islam, and strains of Hinduism and Buddhism while growing up in Indonesia during the 1960s.

“In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology,” Obama said in Mansfield’s book. “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”

I know some people in the US and around the world are sometimes confused by his religious beliefs, and this article puts some of the facts straight and gives various opinions from the liberal left to the fundamentalist right, and more importantly from his own words and actions. Click on the link above for the full article. Enjoy.

Happy Halloween with Wednesday Addams aka Christina Ricci

I was pretty bored the other night so watched the Addams Family movies for the umpteenth time, and still enjoy them. I found this short clip of Wednesday Addams most famous and laughable, or scary, quotes.

Of course in real life, and films, she is Christina Ricci who has done some nice films, my favourite so far being Sleepy Hollow. But then I found this creepy film she starred in with Liam Neeson called After.Life. Like I said, it is one creepy film, most of which takes place in a mortician’s prep room, and you never really know whether she is alive or dead the whole time. This is a good Halloween movie for sure. Enjoy!

 

How to Make a Witches Scourge

Lady Triumphant – drawing by Lady Phoebe

Copyright 2012 Coven of the Catta

I tried to post this at my Coven of the Catta blog but that one only allows me limited image uploads and my webmaster is lost in space somewhere.

A student who had completed all his tools for his First Degree asked me about the witches scourge. I told him it was not necessary for that degree or even need be a personal item but could be owned by the coven since it is usually only used in the Coven of the Catta for Initiations. But I also told him to go ahead and make one since it is also used in some ritual poses by the Priestess and Priest when they do the “Osiris” pose with their arms crossed in front of their chests holding the athame and the scourge.

There are no instructions per se in our Books of Shadows about the scourge. But this past summer I was blessed to be gifted by the present owner of the Covenstead building with the original scourge of the Coven used by Lady Phoebe, my teacher and initiator, which was most likely used at my initiations. So I took a closer look at it and came up with this fairly simple method to make one. I remember decades ago making a simple one myself, but then opted out and bought a nicer one at a local fetish shop. But in our Coven if you Can make a tool you Should make a tool.

I have read in the Gardnerian system that his scourge was of 8 strands with 5 knots on each strand which would equal the number 40 which is sacred in our system, so I decided to go with that construction.

Here are pictures of Lady Phoebe’s scourge, showing more detail with each one.

And here are my crudely drawn and chicken scratch (from working all my life in the medical field) handwritten instructions. You will probably have to download these to read them in detail.

I also found this YT video which is not Wiccan but I was fascinated how he starts out weaving it from a pentagram layout! It looks complicated but is probably relatively simple in the execution thereof.

If anyone has any other ideas or experience please feel free to comment below.

The Forgotten Tools of Wicca – by Blue Star Owl

I recently found this informative post from Blue Star Owl’s blog entitled The Forgotten Tools of Wicca which I found to be of interest to all witches who like to get their hands dirty and don’t mind a few blisters (No, not blisters on your fingertips from being a “Keyboard Witch” as I like to call them, lol), so I am re-blogging it here. She is a student of the Blue Star Wicca tradition and writes from their perspective. I recently posted a similar article at my Coven’s blog. And hey, bollines are great for carving pumpkin jack-o-lanterns too! Enjoy!

Note – the image of the lovely and practical bolline above is from her site and she got it from http://www.etsy.com/listing/80519447/ancestor-pruning-knife-or-boline