The Origins of Both Halloween and Samhain (Sow-en) what are the differences?

Image taken from the video, courtesy of Crecganford

Watch this amazing 21 minute video on the differences and why people conflate the two of them. One of my favorite YouTubers.

Random Links of the Day : The March of the Future Dead on St. Mark’s Eve (And a lot of other weird shit)

On this night, starting at midnight the spirits come out

Boy, whoo! My ass is tired. If you’re an avid reader of my blog, then you know I’ve been writing almost non stop from these last two days. For Saint George’s Eve and also for Saint George’s Day. I’m too tired to write an in-depth expose on Saint Mark. But I can do the next best thing. I can do a random links of the day!

I haven’t done one of those in a long time. Essentially, sometimes I would get random information on strange things. The paranormal, or weird history. And I thought to myself that I bet my readers would love it. So what happened is I ended up inventing this type of blog post specifically to share articles.

Or even videos etc..

So today I’m making a random links of the day. All will be about St. Mark’s Eve and it’s Folklore. The main thing to know about Saint Mark’s Eve is that churches will have a parade of future dead people. You will see the Doppelgängers of people still alive marching to the doors of a church. And whoever you recognize from that march will die this year.

Sadly I can tell you this is true. I have observed the vigil myself. In 2020 I couldn’t actually go to a physical church due to COVID. But I performed a divination by casting the bones. And the person I knew who was going to die was my grandfather. And a few days after the divination he died.

So this is very real. The whole thing shocked me to my core. I wasn’t expecting it. The reason I tell you this story is 1) Be careful when doing this. Prepare yourself for the possibility it will be someone you know.

Beware of just sitting anywhere on the Eve of Saint Mark. You might see something you don’t want to see. From DeviantArt

And 2) There is an alternate way to find out who is at the procession. Moving on let’s start with my former articles on St. Mark’s Eve :

The Occult connections of Saint Mark and Saint George

My Divination on St. Mark’s Eve, the one in which I discovered my Grandfather would die

Now for the other links

The Mystery of St. Mark’s Eve | The Book of Days

St. Mark’s Eve by Robert D. Carter

St. Mark’s Eve and the Future Dead

St. Mark’s Eve Article from the Smell of Water WordPress blog!

English Folklore of St. Mark’s Eve

Spells for St. Mark’s Eve

The Wikipedia page of St. Mark’s Eve

Halloween in Spring : St. Mark’s Eve

St. Mark’s Eve – Tudor’s Society

The Legends and Mysteries of St. Mark’s Eve

The Doppelgängers of the future dead arise during this time

April 24, 2020 – St. Mark’s Eve

St. Mark’s Eve – Stephen Morris, Author

St. Mark’s Eve – Mysterious Britain & Ireland

Folklore : Divining Love & Death on St. Mark’s Eve

The Spooky Traditions behind St. Mark’s Eve

Does Saint Mark’s Eve rival Halloween as the Spookiest Day of the Year?

St. Mark’s Eve – Oxford Reference

When the Soon to be Dead Walk

Why did people spy on Future Ghosts on St. Mark’s Eve?

Watching for the nearly departed on St. Mark’s Eve

St. Mark’s Eve I missed it this year

The Saint Mark’s Eve Archives of the Tudor Society

It’s Saint Mark’s Eve! Fabulous Folklore with Icy Sedgwick Podcast!

From Den of the Geek

English Residents prepare for the Spookiest Night of the Year

Diving who will die next

PDF’s on Saint Mark’s Eve

Confessions of a Teenage GhostHunter: Keeping the St Marks Eve Vigil and Looking for the Ghost of Sir Walter Calverley

St. Mark’s Eve – Faeries and all that stuff

Happy Saint Mark’s Eve everyone!

– M

Michaelmas : The Christianized Harvest Festival

Michael casting Satan out of Heaven, with a banner above that reads “Who is like El (God)?” in Latin. The battle cry of the loyal Angels during the War in Heaven.

Fun fact, Mikael (Me-Kah-yel) in Hebrew means “Who is like God?”. So the battle cry in Heaven was also the Archangel Michael’s name. It was meant as a double insult and a taunt to his fallen brother Samael (“The Poison of God”). This day is closely related to the Harvest Festivals. In fact it’s sort of a Christian Harvest Festival.

It’s a Christianized version of Alban Elfed. (1) The theory is that the medieval church, assigned the cross quarter days to the Archangels and to the four writers of the gospels. In an attempt to convert worshippers of the Old Gods i.e. Pagans. Or at least that was the belief.

Michaelmas is close to Alban Elfed. So people began assigning almost the same types of rituals or ways of celebration to Saint Michael. And out of that curious Amalgamation of religions, a fascinating new tradition was born. For instance, this is believed to be the day Satan was cast out of Heaven. And that he fell into a patch of blackberries and cursed, spat, and urinated on them (2).

So that they can only be eaten before the harvest and never after. This is also why blackberry pie is one of the traditional foods to eat on Michaelmas. The flower of Michaelmas became the Aster. (3) Which is believed to have some power of resurrection (at least in this tradition). It was renamed, the Michaelmas Daisy.

A Michaelmas Sylph among the Asters, the flower sacred to St. Michael, also called the Michaelmas Daisy

Faeries also came be to be identified with Michaelmas. Especially the butterfly winged Sylphs. Possibly because being an aerial spirit made it easy to identify them with Angels. But that’s just speculation at this point.

The visiting of holy wells and drinking holy water from those wells was also prominent. And that’s important to note, because this was done in a lot of traditions in the United Kingdom. (4) In Western Scotland, Struan which is a type of toast was made for St. Michael and blessed in a mass. Straun was also blessed in a special mass in memory of the dead and given to the poor (5).

Michaelmas, a great recipe for Christo Paganism

On the left we see St. Michael defeating Satan in the form of a Dragon. On the right we see him as a Heavenly Warrior Prince clothed in royal garbs

While I am aware that this is the Christianization of a Celtic Polytheist holiday, I do also worship Jesus. What I am is sort of hard to put into one single label. I suppose you would call me a Gnostic Pagan. Of course I don’t entirely agree with other Gnostic Christians. But this mystical sect of Christianity acknowledges all Gods.

And the Priests in their churches often worship many other Gods and practice magic from many traditions. They don’t call themselves Christo-Pagans because they believe all Gods are part of the same family. And that there is not one, but many Supreme Gods out there. That even the Christian God has parents. And so they are the closest to my theology that there is.

They believe all religions come from the same source. That in the beginning there was no religion, just occult knowledge or gnosis from the Gods. Later humans created religion and it all went to shit from there. That’s why they are called Gnostics. From Greek gnōstikós (“those who know”).

Those who remember the true origins of the Universe. Before humans divided ourselves into different factions. Before we forgot the sacred knowledge of our Gods. So I celebrate the traditional Alban Elfed as best as I can. I read up on some of the traditions and I try not to replicate them.

But to use the knowledge of how they were celebrated to sort of make a more modern version. I don’t eat the same foods. But I do make sure I have a nice dinner with family and give thanks. And then a few days later Michaelmas comes. And I honor St. Michael with harvest type foods.

Things that remind me of a harvest. I lay it on an altar outside for him and the spirits of the land to feast. I also pour libations for him. Burn candles and incense, and also do my own Gnostic Mass for him. The Altar is a stone that looks like a table.

It’s my outside version of a St. Joseph’s Table. I pay St. Joseph three pennies under his stone table for him to send my prayers to Michael. And then I continue until the next day. Michaelmas is celebrated first in the Eve (September 29th) then it continues until the next day. I also break curses for clients on this day.

And I spend the day making specialized holy waters. I also make and bless charms. And I meditate with the Angels and with the Saints. I ask for guidance, perform divinations, and a bunch of other things. I also spend a lot time doing blessings.

In the center of Heaven, we see Jesus with St. Michael in front of him commanding the Angels to enter battle with Satan. The loyal Angels rejoice having defeated Lucifer and the Fallen Angels

I also use this festival as a time to protect myself from the wild spirits that come out during winter. Many believe that Winter is the time of the dead and of darker or wilder spirits that are set free. That doesn’t always mean “evil”. But even spirits we see as friendly might not understand they are hurting you or causing some kind of harm. Rituals were done to placate the spirits and get them to calm down.

I use this holiday as a way to ward myself and my loved ones before the winter times come. And before anyone says anything yes I know. Samhain as a feast for the dead is a modern custom. But my intuition tells me that it’s still a time to be careful. That dark things still roam the cities at night during this time.

Much of the articles out there mention the same things I have here. I am just giving you a condensed version that’s easier to read here. The only thing I left out is that goose is traditionally eaten at Michaelmas. But that’s a tradition that is quickly dying out. Also, poor geese!

Sorry everyone, I’m trying to become a vegetarian. Not only for my own health but for the animal’s sake. All I can say is that it’s harder than it looks. Especially because I don’t have a coach to help me do this. But anyways, happy feast of Michael and the Guardian Angels!

Sources

(1)

September Lore by Shirley Two Feathers

(2)

St. Michael September 29

(3)

Michaelmas Explained

(4)

Struan for Michaelmas

(5)

Peter Reinhart’s Struan: The Harvest Bread of Michaelmas

Thanks to Isis Davis-Marks for this fascinating article from the Smithsonian.

A Bronze Age Sarcophagus was found at the bottom of a Pond at a Golf Course in England. A coffin of oak, presumably of a chieftain. Nothing like a dead body from the Bronze Age to usher us into Halloween! Enjoy the article.

Hollowed-Out, 4,000-Year-Old Tree Trunk Coffin Discovered in Golf Course Pond

The Green Dead

Abandoned Farm House Under the Milky Way (Reddit Group “Abandoned Porn”)

I’ve always wanted to write about this subject. It’s something I have only ever shared with one or two people. One of them being my Shaman. But yesterday I had a fascinating discussion with a Folklorist from England. On twitter he shared with all of us an image of a gothic cemetery from the Isle of Wight.

 

And then

 

So I posited this question

 

This turned into an interesting discussion where I shared some of my knowledge with him. And that led to an even greater sharing of knowledge.

What are the Green Dead?

In almost every culture, it was believed when you died, you didn’t go to a Heaven or Hell. What you went to was an alternate version of Earth. An Earth were the formless spirits on the other side of the veil dwelled. Now this is an almost Universal belief shared by cultures, most of which hadn’t always had contact with each other. Let me give you some examples.

In the folk religion of Japan’s Ryukyuan islands (interesting religion, especially for women). The Ancestors in that religion, the really Ancient Ancestors do live with the Kami (Gods) in either Heaven, Earth, or the Ocean. They specifically live in the “Ancient Age”. Let me stop right there. This also something common to many religions.

There was once a mystical era where the human and spirit world were the same dimension. The same multiverse. And for some reason it split into the physical multiverse and the spiritual multiverse. It’s believed humans back then were as divine as the Angels. Even Christians refer to this era as the Edenic Era.

They believe that Adam and Eve were immortal once. Similarly, the Aboriginal Nations in Australia speak of the Dreamtime, the era when the human and spirit worlds were one. But this era is so far away from our time that it’s become it’s own dimension. In Alaska that time is called the Taimmani by the Inuit people. It’s an interesting concept, but basically it isn’t just a time or era.

It’s a part of the human and spiritual world at the same time. A type of dimensional bridge or realm. Who knows what it is. But it is believed it’s a place so deep in both worlds that very few magic users ever reach it. I just wanted to take a small break to address that.

It’s fascinating that this period of time is talked about at length in many religions. Even if not specifically named. Some may even refer to it as mythic time. A time even more prehistoric than the dinosaur period (if it could be proven). Ancestors who aren’t primordial, but are still ancient live in the “Middle Age”.

All other relatives live in the “Present Age,” the Ages as you can see are also considered dimensions. Time and space is odd both here and on the other side. But basically, with the exception of the Primordial Ancestors, most ancestors and other relatives live on Earth and in nature. Present Age ancestors actually even live as house spirits for their relatives. House Spirits are normally nature entities.

But in many cultures, the dead co-habitat with the living as protectors. Or as spirits of the hearth and home. Such as (some) of the Lares of the Household in Roman religion. We see other examples. In African religions from the traditional Yoruba and Vodoun Faiths, the dead are a part of nature.

When I mentioned in my post “preparing for death” the Itutu Ceremony, I had mentioned that initiated Santeros or Yoruba practitioners always opt to be buried. Never cremated, because the body is food to nourish the Earth. Even in death, Nature plays a part. Even in Native American cultures, the dead were connected to nature. In fact in many faiths on Turtle Island, there is sometimes very little distinction between a non human entity and one who is human.

The Aztecs for example, believed dead warriors reincarnated as Hummingbirds. So the connection between nature and the dead is there. In fact, it was the prevalent world view for centuries. Only with the coming of Christianity did we see a spirit world that was mostly dark and gloomy. With everything being a fiery dark Hell or a fiery dark Purgatory.

And only in some occasions did we see a Heaven for ‘good’ souls. The Yoruba of Nigeria believe that the realm of humans is Earth. And that it is natural for our souls to be here and to want to reincarnate here. So it makes sense that the Dead are at least in some way connected to nature. Even in monotheistic religions, Adam and Eve were made from the dirt of the Earth.

In a sense we are all related to the fae. So perhaps our souls go back to it’s original form prior to whatever made us mortal in the first place. But then why are so many ghosts messed up then? Why do some go to a Hell and others to a Purgatory? And yet more to a Heaven?

I do have some theories, but nothing conclusive. But anyways I have introduced you to the general concept of the Green Dead. Or at least my personal concept of them. So now I am going to tell all of you a story. A story about a haunted house in the woods of a Southern State.

The Green House

I think it was an investigation that took place in Georgia or Alabama. But the truth is, it’s been so long that I no longer remember. This isn’t a creepy story at all. It’s a beautiful one. It’s what started my interest in studying the Green Dead. Once, I was part of a paranormal organization.

An alliance or coalition of various groups, known as the NPS. We used to have this facebook group. I have no idea if it’s still up. And different groups would share posts of evidence on there. They would post images of locations and information on them.

Well, this one group, decided to investigate a series of abandoned homes out in the sticks somewhere. Places overrun by nature in some cases. And there was this old house in the woods somewhere. And it had a green fungus in some parts. But there was something else about it.

Even in images, it exuded a powerful spiritual aura. It felt……Green. That’s the only way I can explain it. The energy was alive with earthly power. The power it radiated was alive and warm. There were dead people yes.

But goddamn, that power felt more alive than anything I ever felt before in my life. As a necromancer I am used to the dead. I feel their energy like nobody’s business. It’s usually cool or cold or damp. But I’m telling you that ghosts had never felt so alive before.

They seemed to be ghosts who radiated nature energy. And they had powers over nature too. I could feel that they had gifts, things that aid them to rule or control nature. There were other beings there too. Faeries and other Earth based entities.

But they seemed to be a mishmash of various groups living in concert with one another. And yes I use that word un-ironically : they Lived with one another. Now, because of this, different mediums and psychics had various opinions of what types of entities were living there. And the investigators themselves had said the presences they felt and experienced seemed off. And they asked a bunch of us psychically gifted people to look into the evidence they found.

I hadn’t expected to find too much more than had already been explained by others. Still, they decided to sequester us in various individual chats. They asked us to not talk to one another to keep it professional. And not to share our opinions on the forum. To try and stamp out cross contamination.

We all agreed on the terms. I don’t know how many were actually called on to do the remote viewing sessions or divinations. I have no idea the specifics of what the others said. I will only speak of what I saw myself. I saw that many spirits had inhabited that place.

Among them were ghosts, and various species of fae. They were all living in what appeared to be a commune made up of the spirits. It seemed that since the property was so long abandoned, entities of the land took over the house. And they shared it amongst each other. It was truly a beautiful sight to behold.

After telling them what I saw and felt, they had told me it made sense. Apparently half of the sensitives had said these were ghosts and the other half said they were fae. As far as I know I’m the only one who said both. But for the very first time (but certainly not the last) my concept of the spiritual world changed and was challenged. And from then on, I began to learn all that I could about the Green Dead.

And whether or not this had been explored before in ancient cultures. Later as I learned from such Folklorists as this man on twitter, it turns out that yes. The ancients have talked about this. That for instance the Celtic word Sidhe (pronounced “she”) a word for both faeries and the hills they often inhabit, is used in reference to the dead. Banshee for example, are women who died in child birth.

They arise from their graves to warn others of death. The word shee here is the same as the word Sidhe. In cases such as this, the dead are identified with a type of faerie or spirit of nature. Maybe another time I will revisit this. But for now, I think I shared more than enough of my theories and the folklore and experiences that shape them.

For you to get why I believe in and experience this type of dead. But remember, will-O’-the-wisps are supposedly a type of Faerie in the form of a ball of light. They’re called Ghost Lights. Maybe it’s for a reason. 

 

 

What is a Witch? (Anglo Saxon Witchery)

The above is a typical depiction of a British Cunning Man. A person who is Cunning or Wise (witch) to the world of the spirits. Many cultures have their own versions of what a witch is. So I am going to make a series every once in a while for people who want to learn. I am posting Simon Roper’s video on Anglo-Saxon Witchery.

What it meant to be a witch in England among the Anglo-Saxon peoples. What they actually did versus Church propaganda. And the important role they had in their communities. You’ll find a common thread amongst all witches. So without further adieu, Simon.

Be sure to follow him on YouTube.

 

Continue reading What is a Witch? (Anglo Saxon Witchery)