Samhain–A Pagan Blog Prompt

Samhain – (pronounced sow-win) is the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the winter.  It is also known as the third harvest.

What does Samhain mean to you?

Well I can say that before I began to study and read on my current path I didn’t even know there was a thing as Samhain.  I always knew the day, October 31st as “Halloween”.  Even growing up in a Lutheran home we were allowed to celebrate it by dressing up and going trick-or-treating.

TrickRTreat

We were even able to celebrate it in school which no that I think about it was strange.  I still see the time of the year as Halloween from the perspective of the retail side and the kids coming by for Trick R Treating.  But now I also see it as the time to remember those who have passed beyond the thin veil.  To let go of things past and look toward the future.

How did/will you honor it?

Unfortunately this year I was not able to honor the Samhain part of the day.  Economic limits and time constraints didn’t lend to getting candy and decorating the house.  All of this also prevented me from attending any sort of organized gathering or ritual. 

Maybe next year.

Do you separate your Pagan rituals from your modern Halloween traditions?

Yes and No.  Yes the performing of the Samhain ritual is separated but I incorporate decorating the house into all of it.  It is so hard to tell what is for ritual and what is for decorating for the sake of Halloween.  I don’t bother to separate that part out.

 

Thank you Sunfire for this quick prompt from Pagan Blog Prompts.  It is nice to get to writing again.

The Broom Closet

Getting back to the Pagan Blog Prompts with this topic.

WITCH HAZEL BLACK 2

In or Out?

I would have to say that I am both.  My broom closet has a revolving door.  I stepped out of the broom closet as far as my friends are concerned about 3 years ago; about a year after I started to follow this path.  My family is the other side.  At least to everyone but my mom.  I don’t discuss much of my beliefs with them.

Do I have to hide my ‘pagan-nature’?

Not in public I do not.  I am very open about my beliefs and spirituality in public.  I wear a pentagram and the triple goddess symbol every day.  At work everyone knows my beliefs and they are very interested in things and how I celebrate different times of the year and some have even gone as far as saying things like “Have a great Summer Solstice or Autumn Equinox”.

Besides this I also co-own and operate an online pagan store as well as a brick and mortar store here in Denver.  So in those two areas I am quite out of the closet.

I hope to some day remove the revolving door and forever remain out of the broom closet until then, let it spin.

Bloodroot – A plant whose roots ‘bleed’.

Botanical Name:  Sanguinaria Candensis
Family: N.O. Papaveraceae
Folkname: Indian Paint, Tetterwort, Red Pucoon, Red Root, Paucon, Coon Root, Snakebite, & Sweet Slumber.
BLOODROOT
Bloodroot is a perennial plant that grows low to the ground.  Its habitat ranges from Prairie Provinces of Canada, as far south as Florida and west to Arkansas and Nebraska, in the United States.  Bloodroot favors open woods.  The plant produces flowers in spring of white with golden stamens.  After the bloom fades the leaves grow larger and die down in the fall.  The autumn is when the roots of the plant are harvested.  The roots are actually rhizomes and when harvested they need to be stored in a dry place to prevent deterioration.   The seeds are spread by ants who take the seed pods to their colonies, eat the flesh of the pod, and take the seed to the ‘garbage pile’ where the seeds then germinate.
Historical Uses
The rhizome of the Bloodroot plant exudes a bright red sap when the root is cut or broke.  This red sap was used by Native Americans as a dye for clothing and for body paint.  The use of the sap for body paint is dangerous because of the damaged the sap can cause if applied directly.  It is thought that the sap was mixed with some there ingredient to prevent this from happening.
We DO NOT endorse the use of this herb for internal use as it can be very harmful even fatal if too much is ingested.  The following is for historical purposes only and is from Botanical.com.
Emetic cathartic expectorant and emmenagogue, and of great value in atonic dyspepsia, asthma, bronchitis and croup. (The taste is so nauseating, that it may cause expectorant action.) Of value in pulmonary consumption, nervous irritation and helpful in lowering high pulse, and in heart disease and weakness and palpitation of heart of great use. For ringworm apply the fluid extract. Also good for torpid liver, scrofula, dysentery. It is applied to fungoid growths, ulcers fleshy excrescences, cancerous affections and as an escharotic. Sanguinaria root is chiefly used as an expectorant for chronic bronchitis and as a local application in chronic eczema, specially when secondary to varicose ulcers. In toxic doses, it causes burning in the stomach, intense thirst, vomiting, faintness vertigo, intense prostration with dimness of eyesight.”
Magickal Uses and Correspondences
Bloodroot is a popular herb used in VooDoo as a protective ‘hex-breaker’.  Bloodroot is also popular for use in rituals and spell pertaining to relationships and marriage.  There are two kinds of Bloodroot used in these cases, the darker ‘King’ root for the male aspect and the lighter ‘Queen’ root for the female aspect.  The root would be placed in a red sachet and then placed within the bed of the couple to ensure a healthy marriage.
Bloodroot is also excellent as a protective charm for one’s home.  Placing a root within the home, out of reach of pet and children (remember it is poisonous) is said to protect from negative energies and spells.  Burning of the root as a powder is said to have the same effect.  (use caution when burning a known poisonous herb, burn in a well ventilated area or outside)
Bloodroot can be substituted for actual blood in spells that require such an ingredient.  Of course this should only be done if the spell or rituals DOES NOT require the ingestion of whatever the bloodroot was used in.  Again, it is a poisonous herb.
Bloodroots are primarily masculine but as stated before the lighter roots can be used in the feminine aspect.
Bloodroot’s planetary relation is to Mars with the elemental relation being Fire.  Bloodroot has no specific deity association.  Previous experience lends that if you are working with a deity who corresponds to Mars and Fire then the use of Bloodroot in spells and rituals is acceptable.
Of Special Interest
Sanguinarine is a part of the sap from the Bloodroot.   This was widely used in toothpaste to help destroy plaque.  While this use was approved by the FDA, it has been recently shown that the continued use of the toothpastes with this ingredient caused cancers of the mouth.  Sanguinarine is still used by some companies in their formulas.
In the End
Bloodroot is a very interesting plant.  It has been around for thousands of years and has made it mark through the use of its red ‘blood’ as a dye and through the use of one of its chemicals as a dental product.  Bloodroot is very poisonous and should not be used internally or topically.  It should be used for your magick workings as desired. 
As always, do your research!  Never use an herb before doing your due diligence and know what you are doing.
Now for those who don’t listen.
For educational purposes only.   This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.