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October 2021 Newsletter

October 04, 2021

Asheville Pagan Supply


The first of October Raven and Crone opens the shop altar to the community. We invite you to take a card and place the names of your dead on the altar and to hold a space for our collective grief.

At noon on October 31 st, you gather with us in front of the shop, and as a community we remember and honor our beloved dead and all those who have crossed over since last Samhain. We say their names aloud and place them in the cauldron fire, to honor the sacred cycle of life, death, rebirth, and regeneration.

We feel their love and to tell their stories. This year, to keep our community safe, we will again not gather at the shop. We chose to share the ritual with our community through this newsletter. We hope to see you in person next year.

~What is remembered lives.~

We are part of the Earth and Stars
And we shall return to them
We are part of the Sky and Water
And we shall return to them
We are part of the fire and storm
And we shall return to them

Samhain Ancestor Prayer
This is the time when the gateway between our world and the spirit world is the thinnest.
This is the time to call out those who came before.
This is the time I honor my ancestors, spirits of my father and mothers, I call to you,
And welcome you to join me for this time.
You watch over me always, protecting and guiding me and I thank you.
Your blood runs in my veins, your spirit is in my heart, your memories are in my soul.
With the gift of remembrance, I will remember all of you.
You are dead but not forgotten and you live on within me and within those yet to come.

Credit Patti Wittington

Prayer to the Deities of Death

The harvest has ended, and the fields are bare.
The earth has grown cold, and the land is empty.
The gods of death are lingering over us,
Keeping a watchful eye upon the living.
They wait, patiently, for eternity is theirs.
Hail to you Anubis! O jackal headed one,
Guardian of the realm of the dead.
When my time comes, I hope you may deem me worthy.
Hail to you Demeter! O mother of darkness,
May your grief be abated
When your daughter returns once more.
Hail to you Hecate! O keeper of the gate,
Between this world and the underworld.
I ask that when I cross over, you may guide me with wisdom.
Hail to you Freya! O mistress of Folkvangr,
Guardian of those who fall in battle.
Keep the souls of my ancestors with you.
Hail to you, O gods and goddesses,
Those of you who guard the underworld
And guide the dead on their final journey.
At this time of cold and dark,
I honor you, and ask that you watch over me,
And protect me when the day arrives that I take my final journey.

~Credit Patti Wittington~

Calling of the names and placing into the cauldron.

“It would not be possible to talk of the ancestors without spending a moment on the forgotten dead. Millions of people have died that no one remembers. Millions. There are more forgotten dead than remembered dead. Giving a nod to those that have been forgotten feeds the deep ancestral well that we are all connected to. There are also the forgotten dead of the Craft. The Witches, teachers, midwives, herbalists, wortcunners, root doctors, and priestesses that hid their practices in the dark.

Those Witches that were brave enough to teach what they knew to at least one other person. There are those Mighty Dead that did the work of lineage building and torch bearing when no one knew what they were doing. It is to these forgotten dead that we owe more than we can ever fully comprehend. It is to these dead that we owe gratitude and love, those whose names are gone and whose lineages have been lost to the sands of time. We mourn them in order to avoid losing any more.”

Excerpt What is Remembered Lives Phoenix Lafae

The leaves are leaving the branch cold are the days
Winter is coming…Fly Fly Fly
The leaves are leaving the branch cold are the days
Winter is coming

Walking. I am listening to a deeper way.
Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say.
Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.

~Linda Hogan~

Divination for October – a one-card draw and interpretation

Deck: The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, artwork by Jimmy Manton, published by Blue Angel Publishing.

Card: Winter: The sacredness of pausing

This month is likely to be challenging in a number of ways* and require a bit more introspection and discernment than it usually does. Look to take stock and plan to release those things which no longer serve, especially if they are unduly burdensome with little or no reward. It is not the time for hasty decisions but rather slow and deep contemplation that outlines a careful course for the months to come. Whether cleaning out a physical space or sorting emotional entanglements, the best path forward is to set aside what is to potentially be discarded and reserve final decisions for the following month. *Mercury is retrograde for the first half of the month but even once it moves direct on October 18th, the lingering effect of inaction will last until the end of the month and likely feel like an eternity.

Click here to check out our Magical Monthly Boxes
Click here to check out our Kitchen Witch Box


Q: Why are beginning readers told to start with the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) tarot deck? There are other decks that I find much more interesting!

A: I hear you. With an increasing abundance of decks out there, why limit yourself to vanilla? There is a reason. But fortunately, you can have it both ways. I call RWS the “training wheels deck”, because most books and classes reference this deck structure. As a beginner, consistency is your friend. Eventually you learn to translate the
names of the suits and the court cards into all the variations in modern decks. Many decks even change names of the Major Arcana. But at first, just learning 78 cards is overwhelming. Translating names from RWS to all the modern variations can feel like studying French and Spanish at the same time. So keep it simple. There are even RWS decks with the meanings printed right on the cards. Yet tarot is also a sacred path of connecting with your deck physically, emotionally and spiritually. So you need a deck that inspires you to stay on the Fool’s journey long enough to gain a solid inner compass. One option is to make RWS your study deck, and a deck that makes your heart sing for intuitive practice. Draw a card a day from that deck and meditate just on the artwork. Then find the same RWS card and compare the traditional meaning with your personal meaning. You will be pleasantly surprised. This is richer and deeper if you stick with one card for each day. Complex spreads can come later. The website has a feature called “See All Cards”, where you can view every card in every deck published. Use this website to make sure the WHOLE deck is to your taste. But I recommend buying the deck at a physical store, so you can touch the box and feel the energy.
Have fun and trust your process!

Pamela Shook has been reading Tarot professionally for over 30 years. She reads at Asheville Raven & Crone on Sundays from 1-6+, and serves an international clientele online through Etsy

Scents-ibility for October: Aromatherapy by Star

In the northern hemisphere and particularly in Appalachia, October ushers in cooler temperatures and nature adorns itself with a vibrant array of colours that seem as though they could’ve come directly from an artist’s palate. In my mind’s eye, I see the Goddess painting the trees with her brush while most of the world is asleep only to awaken the next morning to discover Her handiwork.

It is also a month of great change. The light continues to diminish each day, and eventually the winds strip the leaves from the trees, leaving them bare and in stark relief.

Canadian author, Joy Fielding wrote of the month, “October was always the least dependable of months ... full of ghosts and shadows.”

Perhaps the most sacred of sabbats found in the Witches’ calendar falls in October, Samhain. It is the time of veneration of our ancestors and remembrance of those close to us who have crossed the boundary from the land of the living to that of the dead within the current cycle.

From the perspective of scent, Autumn and October offer unique combinations that do not exist any other time of the year. Many of the aromas of the season are sharp and crisp—the scent of the freshly fallen and drying foliage, newly harvested apples and fresh-pressed cider, and the slightly pungent and sweet scent of the chrysanthemum.

Then there are other smells, more muted and subtle. Those of distant woodsmoke interlaced with a hint of spice from fireplaces and wood stoves. The complexity of the dusty, musty smell that lingers like a dry-out note from feed corn, its stalks, and straw bales used for decoration.

All of these scents combined can often trigger a nostalgia of sorts, guiding us to a place of contemplation and remembrance. Samhain at first glance can seem conflicted. It is both reverent and solemn, joyous and at times even a tad raucous. But when examined from the viewpoint of family and community, it reflects the deep needs that unite us.

We remember our dead, those both long past and those whose passing is so fresh it literally takes our breath away. And yet, the undercurrent of loss is frequently what inspires us to live fully, to create, to rejoice, and to celebrate.

So how do we capture the essence of October and Samhain in a scent?How can we possibly hope to reflect such a complex range of emotion and sensory expression in an aroma? The short answer is that we cannot, at least not one that will appeal to everyone. We can, however, create one that suits us personally.

Rosemary is often dubbed as the herb and scent of remembrance. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a native plant of the Mediterranean. Its Latin name translates to sea (marinus) dew (ros) and is likely it was named as such because it often grows near the coast in that region of the world. While it has a long history as use as a funerary herb, it also has been used as an offering for both new life and love, protection, safety, and maintaining focus. I’ve thought long on what a blend of remembrance could or should contain. The best approach seems to be one that offers a framework that can be built upon and custom-tailored to the individual.

For the main base of the blend and middle notes, I chose rosemary and lavender. Both share some of the same constituents and complement each other without their scents being too overwhelmed by each other. For a top note, I selected bergamot for its muted brightness, like late autumn sunshine and added petitgrain for a slightly floral and herbaceous-woody aroma. And finally, vetiver and clove as anchors to provide a rich, deep and spicy base note.

The key in crafting any aroma blend is one of balance. Whether you opt to use the blend formula as I have presented it, modify it, or create something completely different is up to you.

The essence of the blend I created incorporates the following characteristics: a top note that offers a light citrus, floral-herbaceous scent; a middle note that incorporates pungent and sharp but also is soothing; and something heavy enough to act as solid base note. Be mindful that using too many different scents can result in canceling one or another out and result in a muddy palate of scents.

Blend for Remembrance:
1 drop of Clove
3 drops of Bergamot essential oil
3 drops of Petitgrain oil
5 drops of Lavender essential oil
5 drops of Rosemary essential oil
2 drops of Vetiver essential oil

To apply topically:
Blend with 1-2 oz of Sweet Almond
Shake well before each use

To use as a spray:
12 oz of distilled or filtered water
1⁄2 oz of witch hazel or alcohol
Add witch hazel to spray bottle, then drops of oil, and finally water.
Shake well before each use
To use in an oil burning diffuser:
Fill the bowl of the burner 3⁄4 full with water and then add 4-5 drops of the blend.

A note on safety and how to conduct a skin patch test As with all essential oil blends, a skin patch test should be done before topically applying. Simply apply a small amount of the blend to the inside of the upper arm. If no irritation develops after 24 hours, then it is safe to use. If at any point during a skin patch test if irritation develops, the application area should be immediately treated with either a dairy-based product like milk or yogurt to halt the irritation. Then the testing area should be and thoroughly washed with mild soap and water and cleaned of the substance applied. Please note that no matter how safe and natural you believe essential oils to be, they are not recommended to be applied straight or “neat” directly on the skin. There are a few exceptions for regular use, but even those should only be used that way under the advice of a certified or registered aromatherapist. Young children, the elderly, anyone with a comprised immune system, and those who are pregnant may require a formula that is much reduced in active ingredients. Essential oils of any variety should always be cautiously used around pets, and never used on cats or in any way that would allow them to ingest it—like breathing in vaporized spray or licking it off of their fur.

Asheville Pagan Supply

555 Merrimon Ave
Suite 100
Asheville NC 28804
United States

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