Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Truth About Witches

In honor of Samhain, I thought I would post this article written by my human friend. Perhaps it will clear up some of the misunderstandings surrounding witches. Happy Samhaim! I am off to visit the earthly realm while the barriers are thin. If you see me I might bring you back with me where you will have to stay at least until Beltaine when the barriers are thin again. By then you might be an old man or woman. Approach me if you dare. Just kidding. A faery joke (really).

By Kelley Heckart

As the shadows deepen and the days grow shorter, thoughts of the darker half of the year come to my mind. Halloween, as we know it today, is my favorite time of the year. There is something magical about it—the wood smoke-scented air chilled with the hint of winter, and the full harvest moon bathing the earth in a luminous light.

I still enjoy going to Halloween parties—dressing up in a costume and assuming the role of a character on Halloween. It is the only time of the year when you can be someone or something else for the night—a truly enchanting time.

While looking at all the Halloween decorations out in the stores, my eyes were drawn to the witch decorations that are usually of old, ugly women wearing a pointed hat and riding on a broomstick. I realized how misunderstood this Halloween icon was so I decided to do some investigating to shed some light on the mystery surrounding the witch.

The word ‘witch’ has evolved over the centuries and has different meanings in different cultures. In old Anglo-Saxon, ‘wicca’ and ‘wicce’ (masculine and feminine) refer to a seer or one who can divine information by way of magic. The word Wicca is a term many witches use to refer to their beliefs and practices. ‘Wych’ in Saxon and ‘wicce’ in Old English mean to ‘turn, bend, shape.’ An earlier Indo-European word ‘wic’ or ‘weik’ also means to ‘bend or shape.’ Witches bend the energies of nature and humanity to promote healing, growth and life. The word ‘witch’ can also be traced back to the old German root ‘wit’—to know. A witch is a person of knowledge, a person knowledgeable in both scientific and spiritual truths.

Their beliefs evolved from the Old Religion, the religion of the Goddess and the cycles of nature, cycles that were very important to the ancient people. Halloween or Samhain (Sow-in) is an important time of the year for witches because it is a celebration of the eternal cycle of reincarnation. It is a time to remember the dead, it is a powerful time when the veil is thinnest between the world of the living and that of the dead, and it is a time of endings and hope for new beginnings. In European traditions, Halloween is the time when the old God dies and the Crone Goddess mourns him for six weeks (winter).

Here are some interesting facts about witches:

A witch’s pointed hat is a spiritual point to channel magic—to help them center and focus.

The broom was used to sweep away evil—they sweep east to west, the path of the sun, to sweep evil away.

Witches wear black because it is a color that draws in energy and light. This allows a witch to tap into the universal wisdom.

There are male and female witches and both are called ‘witches.’

There are laws in witchcraft. I cannot go into all of them here, but one important law is the three-fold law, which means that whatever you send out into the universe (spell) will come back to you three times. For every cause there is an effect.

Witches do not worship the Devil. In fact, they do not even believe in the Devil.

So, why were they persecuted from about 1050 until the 17th century in Europe? Fear. A witch’s life is a walk of wisdom. Wisdom equals power and this was frightening to those who did not understand their ways.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Copyright 2006 by Kelley Heckart

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Samhain (Halloween)

It is quiet today here in the hollow. Did everyone notice the beautiful harvest moon on Saturday? I was compelled to strip and bathe in the brilliant moon glow. It is so relaxing to float in the water under the full moon. There is something so serene about the moon glow as it washes over you like a protective light.

This is my favorite time of the year and Samhain (Halloween) draws near—the time when the veil is thin between the world of the dead and that of the living. To the ancient Celts, it was the most important time of the year when the harvest was behind them and they prepared for the coming winter. It was also a time of feasting and important meetings between tribal chieftains. To the ancients it was a time when the Crone Goddess mourned the death of her consort (the sun god) until winter ended and he would be reborn again. Samhain (pronounced Sow-in) is a celebration of the eternal cycle of reincarnation—something the Celtic Druids believed in.

Humans will be in contact with more of the Fae folk on Samhain and I want to warn you that not all of the Fae are good-natured. Some can be hurtful to humans.

To protect yourself from these evil natured faeries, carry a piece of iron with you. It can be something as simple as a pin. Iron weakens faeries because it represents the coming of the Iron Age and the end of the time (Bronze Age) when faeries were free to roam the earthly realm.

You may even see me roaming about on Samhain.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Who is Nemu?

I will tell all of you mortals a little about myself. I am what you would call a water faery or an Ashray. Ashrays are found under water around Scotland. Ashrays are both male and female, and look to be about twenty years old when in fact they are rather ancient. They have white wings sort of like a swan's wings. I prefer the dark lochs to the sea, but the rest of my kind reside under the northern sea and cannot remain on land. Since I am half-human, I am able to stay on land, but sunlight is my enemy. A full-blooded Ashray will melt into a pool of rainbow colored water if touched by the sun's rays. I am fortunate that I will not melt, but I will get a nasty sunburn. Our skin is very white, almost translucent. Some mortals refer to us as sea ghosts. We are not evil beings, but anger me and see what will happen. I jest with you. Really. :)

My father was human and he caught my mother in his fishing net. She had to return to the sea, but I stayed with my father. Though I chose to stay on land, I still love water and cannot resist swimming naked in the moonlight in a dark loch.

Ashrays are not like other faeries. They were once human and cursed for a misdeed to live under the sea. For many centuries I did not know what this misdeed what or who cursed my kind.

What really happened is still too painful for me to talk about.

I have allowed one mortal to speak for me and tell my stories. Of Water and Dragons is the first book about me and my mortal lover, Ambiorix. Ravenwolf is the second book, which goes deeper into my past. From time to time, I will talk about these books and my experiences living among the Celts as a druid and my time before that when I was a goddess of vengeance.

I have knowledge of magic and herbs, which I will share with you from time to time. And I will also share with you my experiences throughout history and the fascinating people ( and creatures) that I have met on my journey through life.

Below is a link to a web page with a list of different faeries.

Vive Ut Vivas
'live that you may live forever'