26 October 2012

Spooky Halloween Part Three

As I tried to illustrate in Part One and Two of the "Spooky Halloween" posts there are many famous hauntings and spooky locales where I live. But I haven't told you of any firsthand experiences... 

Aside from some of the more well-known hauntings and stories connected with the area, there are many more undocumented. Pretty much anywhere. Such as that of our own home. I live in a haunted house. The ghost of the woman who had lived here with her family and died young of cancer welcomed us at the door when we came to view it with the realtor. Our child was about 6 months old and looked straight at her and not only smiled but giggled too. 

That was how I "knew" it was our house, she was so happy showing us rooms, and she did really show us the house, we simply wandered where she led us. 

My theory is that she wanted another happy family to live there. You see our house had been under contract, and the buyers pulled out at the last minute. We were the very first to see the house when it came back on the market. She was a bit troublesome at first, wanting attention (I believe that was due to her husband who was, to put it politely, not very friendly) but I sorted that out, and she seems happy now. 

Don't believe I saw (see) dead people? Well this is one story where I have proof. My nephew (who is now 21) went to school with her son, I think in grammar school (maybe 4th grade) perhaps a bit younger. My sister had met his mother many times through various school functions until she became too ill to attend. My sister made me describe what she looked like and kept a poker face the whole time (and let it be said my sister has the worst poker face in the world) When I finished describing what I saw, she had to sit down because I had described her exactly, before the cancer overtook her. She still visits from time to time, and I enjoy having her here, hoping us being here gives her some peace. I expect a visit soon as she usually now visits around Halloween.

My haunted house... doesn't look spooky does it? Actually right now since we've had so much rain, I'm overrun with weeds and its starting to look very Addam's Family, so yeah now it might look a little spooky...
We also have a newer spirit visitor to the house, my beloved cat Jezebel. She died one week after 9/11/01; after that disaster with all the death and grieving, I knew she'd be ready to leave us. She was 21.5 years old, and I rescued her from the Mott Haven train yards in the Bronx when she was just 6 weeks old and fit in the palm of my hand. She had a voice like Lauren Bacall, and was quite vocal as well as extremely clever when it came to goodies (my family dog taught her to beg when the refrigerator opened -- ever see a cat on their hind legs begging? Very funny!) She was so in tuned with me that if I got ill, she would as well. I miss her dearly, and since she makes her presence known, I can't yet get another kitty. She does like our dog Fiona, but always hated other cats (I think she thought she was a dog?) People who wouldn't normally see or hear the spirits have seen and heard Jezebel (Jez-a-Jabber when she was being vocal, Jez-a-Jaws when being a piggy, Jezabella because I thought she was the most beautiful baby!) wandering the house or begging for goodies (very LOUDLY.)

One of my fav pics, she used to cuddle up in the bottom of my armoire if I left the door open. She was still quite young, maybe 4 in this pic. I miss her so much ): she was my first baby, and we were so close it was like loosing my first child.
The Queen -- she was maybe 12 or so in this pic. I used to tell people I had a "North American Shorthaired Tri-Colour Mosaic" cat, they would be very impressed until I cracked up and said "Shes a calico cat!"
See everyone loves my old girl!

At some point in this blog, I disclosed that I am a full-fledged, modern witch. I studied for many years both here and in the UK and received the highest degrees with a lineage dating to the father of modern witchcraft, as well as bestowed the honour of being named an elder of the community (again serendipity and a bit of chaos ruled, great story, but too boring for those who don't know of these things or people.) Okay blah blah, that and a metro card will get me on the subway. None of this makes me more susceptible to being able to see dead people, but it did help me to learn how to deal with it, and how to develop the ability so it is now stronger. Its also helped me to teach others to come to terms with their abilities, learning how to control them and how to deal with what they may see.

So eh yeah I see dead people. So not fun. Not cool like the movies. Its a MAJOR PAIN IN THE ASS!!! Imagine just going out for a walk, enjoying scenery and pow! There's one or five of those dead people bugging you. I can't go into any dwelling without either sensing or seeing former inhabitants. And let me tell you, people do NOT want to know they have spirits floating around their home! Its difficult to turn it off. The worst are the troublesome spirits you have to send "home". Although if I told you some of the ways I've done that, you'd really laugh out loud! Definitely not as difficult or dramatic as the film industry wants us to believe, and yes downright hilarious. But it works! Oh yeah dead people don't always look so great either. Hence my dislike of creepy movies. I see enough weird shit, I don't need to see someone else's vision of it. 

Most children are very psychic and can see what most adults can't. It gets taught out of you. "Don't be foolish, there's no one there" etc. I think we are all born with this ability until its squashed. You can learn to bring it back, and it isn't as hard as you think. If you try to think of it scientifically, think along the lines of quantum psychics. All time is now, all time happens simultaneously. Its simply a matter of being able to "see" into different time periods, or dimensions. Et viola! Dead people! (aren't you so glad you're reading this post? So pleasant.)

There are about 14,813 books on how to become more psychic or see the dead, or whatever you want to call it so I won't bore you, hit your local library or independent bookstore and look some up if you're interested. (Though why you'd want to be saddled with seeing that crap I have no idea.) Most books will say the same things. Allow your mind to be open, don't immediately disregard what you may be feeling or seeing. Oh and one really biggie -- listen to your gut instinct. Ask any successful person, and I can guarantee most will say they listen to their gut instinct to guide them. That my dearest readers, is psychic ability in its most base form.

Last year I wrote about some of the pagan origins of Halloween, and rather than repeat myself, you can read it here. (And also read about our house ghost that had me convinced someone was in the house and I was begging my husband to call 911 -- duh, she was making a racket doing dishes!) Its easy to make contact with the dead at this time of the year, as they can hear us better, and "slip" though easier than at other times. Anyone who has an open mind will have a bit of a leg up on this due to their openness to the possibilities. (Although why Aleister Crowley only shows up to spill my wine, then vanishes before I can ask him anything, is still a mystery. I would think he would've liked to imbibe! Ach, Crowley's on my shit list now.) It was also a time of remembrance and reverence for loved ones who were no longer with us. Many witches keep an ancestral altar during the halloween season for this purpose.

There's a lovely old tradition called "The Dumb Supper", which is a ritual devised specifically to invite those on the other side, as well as revere them. Its so called "The Dumb Supper" because the entire process is carried out in complete silence. Again, owing to the ease of spirit visitation at this time of year, its a ritual during which they are invited to attend a feast specially prepared of their favourite foods. An empty setting at the table is for the deceased, and the entire ritual from cooking to setting the table to eating and cleaning up, is to be done in complete silence. I believe traditionally the ritual is to take place at midnight, but I've done many at various times during the evening. You'll find many versions of the Dumb Super online, and many modern witches do some variation of the ritual as reverence for loved ones (yes even pets.) 

I'd like to leave the last of my Spooky Halloween posts on a positive note. The following was written by me for the book "Halloween" by Silver Ravenwolf. Everyone who has tried the recipe agrees that its a perfect compliment to a Halloween celebration. Plus you have the bonus of bringing prosperity into what is considered the Celtic new year!

*"Prosperity Pumpkin Raisin Muffins

This recipe is from Morgana of Morgana’s Chamber in New York City. The Recipe can be halved and the muffins freeze well, too.
1 1/2 cups honey (riches)
2 Cups canned pumpkin puree` (abundance)
4 eggs (or 8 egg whites if you want low fat) (fertility, abundance)
1 cup evaporated skimmed milk (goddess symbolism)
1 cup water (element of water and the flow of prosperity)
1 tablespoon oil (success and prosperity)
1 tablespoon cinnamon (success)
1 teaspoon nutmeg (anti-hunger)
1 teaspoon ginger (money)
1/3 teaspoon ground cloves (money)
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (abundance)
1 tablespoon baking soda (cleansing, removes negative energy)
1 tablespoon baking powder (same as above)
1 cup black raisins (money)

Mix the first ten ingredients in a large bowl. 

In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. 
Add to wet ingredients all at once, whisking until blended (do not overmix). 
Stir first anticlockwise (widdershins) to banish poverty, then clockwise to pull in abundance and prosperity. 
Stir in Raisins. 
Fill non-stick muffin pans to the top. 
Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. 
Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan. 
Batter can also be baked in two nonstick loaf pans for 60-65 minutes. Makes 12 dozen muffins."

*Please note that I've amended the recipe by adding more correspondences. Since this was written more than a decade ago, I've learned more and have shared it here (there is always more to learn!) Please also note that while I would love for you to share this recipe with friends and loved ones, it is copyrighted material and needs to reflect this. (Don't want publishers pissed at me, I like those royalty checks too much!)

I wish you all a happily eventful Halloween! I'll be back after with pics of our costumes -- you didn't think we'd go without any this year did you? Hint: As Miracle Max in "The Princess Bride" said: "He's just mostly dead." Ah and of course it will be our 22 year anniversary as well!



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