Saturday, October 31, 2009

happy halloween and blessed samhain!

The holiday that we know as Halloween today bares little resemblance to it's origins. While many of the traditions of making jack 'o' lanterns, and giving out treats do come from the old European holiday known as Samhain, (pronounced SOW-ain), the origins of Halloween are very different from what we celebrate today. First, to give an understanding to the reader of these old "pagan" holidays, one must understand the meaning of some of the old language and culture of the times. The term 'pagan', while having come to mean rudely and wrongly something like "devil worshipper" by the Christian mythology standards merely meant "country people" in the language of the times. It was used as a sort of derogatory term by the ruling class in reference to those they ruled over meaning something like 'country bumpkin'.

Samhain was one of four "fire" festivals of the Celtic calendar year. It marked the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. In the old Manx New Year festival was called Laa Houney or Hollantides Day. In the Welsh, a language still used today; it was called Nos Galen-Gaeaf or Night of the Winter Calends. In the Old World the old day ended and the new day began at sun set. The day before Samhain was considered the last day of Summer, or in the old Irish Celtic language, Samradh, (pronounced sow-rawth), and was the day that marked the end of the old year, or the Light half of the year. Just as Samhain marked the end of the old year it also marked the beginning of the new year, or Geimredh, (pronounced geim-reth), otherwise known as the Winter or dark half of the year. The Autumn part of the year, or Foghamhar, (pronounced foth-am-ar), was considered to be part of the light half of the year. Spring, or Earrach, (pronounced air-rock), was considered to be part of the dark half of the year.

Samhain was, and still is, considered to be a very mystical and magical time that was 'between' the seasons and the years. It was considered to be the time that the spirits of those who have passed on could walk among those still on the corporeal plane and the time for doing divination. The veil between the worlds was and still is considered to be the thinnest at this time of year, and therefore the perfect time to find out what the new year would bring, as well as the time to delve into the past to help solve any unresolved issues.

Samhain lasted for three days in the old times and these three days were considered the time of "no time". It was during the days of 'no time' that people were allowed to do things that normally was frowned upon by the highly structured society of the Celts. This was where the tradition of 'trick or treat' came from. The children would go from dwelling to dwelling knocking on the doors asking for food or treats of some kind, and if the those who dwelt within did not oblige, they just might find themselves at the receiving end of a possibly rather nasty trick. Adults would indulge in shenanigans like taking someone's livestock and moving them to a different field without telling the owner of the livestock, or tearing down the gates to the corral that held a particular farmer's horses, cows, or pigs and allowing the animals to get away. There would be bon-fires and dancing and, of course, plenty of mead.

While it would seem to be a holiday that promoted a form of lunacy, it had a much deeper and serious meaning. These days were very special days and seemed to have a very mystical and magical quality about them. It was this quality that was used by the druidic priests of the Celts to their best advantage. These were the days in which to contact the spirits of the ancestors on the 'other side' of the veil between the worlds.

Unlike the view that most people share today about loved ones who have passed on, the Celts viewed their ancestors not as ghosts or spirits of the dead, but believed their loved ones on the 'other side' were very much living spirits and that death had been purely on a physical level. Ancestors were viewed as guides and helpers for their family still in the mortal world and not as something evil to be feared.

By the year 43 A.D. the Romans had conquered much of the Celtic lands an over the next 400 years two Roman festivals became combined with Samhain. Feralia, celebrated in late October was a commemoration of the passing of the dead. The second Roman festival was a celebration in honor of Pomona the goddess of trees and fruit. Pomona's symbol was the apple and this may explain the origins of "bobbing for apples" in our celebrations of Halloween today.

With the rise of Christianity, the Catholic church tried its best to stop this "heathen" festival, but as one can see they were rather unsuccessful in their attempts. So the church took the three days of Samhain and named them All Hallows Eve, All Hallows or All Saints Day, and All Soul's Day. These are, respectively, October 31, November 1, and November 2. Later the name was changed to Halloween.

It was not until Christianity came to the Isles that the Christian devil ever became associated with Halloween. There was no concept of a devil or Satan in the Earth-based religions, nor was there anything even remotely evil about Samhain, or as it is now called, Halloween.

Today, for most people, Halloween is the time for masquerade parties, and having the kiddies dress up in Halloween costumes and roam about the neighborhood for trick or treat getting all the tooth decaying sweeties they can stand; and for the older kids to run amok pulling, (hopefully), harmless pranks.

So as one can well see there is nothing inherently evil or "satanic" about Samhain, or Halloween. It's the a time to celebrate the cycle of the seasons and to have good friends over for a feast and merry making. So, "Merry we meet, and merry we part and a magical Samhain and Happy Halloween to all!"



Friday, October 30, 2009

salem pictures!

we spent sunday morning exploring salem. because it was such a nice day and so close to halloween it was insanely crowded, but we had a lot of fun :)

the trees were absolutely beautiful


witch trials memorial: giles corey

witch trials memorial: bridget bishop

the old cemetery next to the witch trials memorial. it was extremely crowded, but i could tell how peaceful it normally is

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Double, double, toil and trouble...

tomorrow i am flying to massachusetts to see a friend. well be spending a good part of the weekend exploring salem, home of all things witchy ^_^ im so excited! i promise you lots of pictures :)


Saturday, October 17, 2009

wedding bands!!! ^_^

heres mine


heres mitchs

mitchs ring is on special order because they didnt have his size, it wont be in until end of november. im wearing mine now and it makes me a happy kitty ^_^

well its about damn time!!

i FINALLY got my settlement check from skybus! it has been deposited in our account and has cleared, and i plan on dragging mitch to the mall (if he ever decides to wake up; i might have to bribe him with waffle house) so we can buy our wedding bands! only over a year late lol. oh well, better late than never right?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

know what pisses me off?

ignorant close-minded super-conservative holier-than-thou christian extremists!!! pick an article off this site, any article. im particularly fond of the beyonce one and the lightning bolt one *rolls eyes*. and yes, im 99% certain this site is NOT a joke.

i never really found older men sexy

until i first saw leroy jethro gibbs XD
oh he is just beautiful...those eyes...*swoons* lol


Friday, October 9, 2009

nutella pound cake: epic deliciousness

i Stumbled on this recipe a few weeks ago and ever since then my mouth has been watering at the thought of it. so this morning i gave in and bought nutella (of course i bought 2 jars - one for the cake and one for me ;) enjoy!

the fixins: youll need flour, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar and of course, nutella


hell yea nutella! a jar full of chocolate-hazelnutty orgasmic yummyness ^_^

beat the eggs and vanilla together; in a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. look at that fluffiness ^_^

add the egg mixture and flour mixture and beat until combined. pour 1/3 of the batter in a greased loaf pan and spread with half a jar of nutella (i found it was a lot easier to spread the nutella if i popped it in the microwave for about 15 seconds.) layer another 1/3 of the batter, the rest of the nutella (leaving a little bit left in the jar for consumption ^_^), and top off with the last of the batter. swirl with a butter knife. bake, let cool, and enjoy the swirly tastiness :)

Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake
taken from
Makes one 9-by-5 inch loaf

1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
One 13-ounce jar Nutella

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour. In a glass measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt.

2. Using either a handheld or standing mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed utnil fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.

3. Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not overmix.

4. Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut the cake into slices and serve.

Monday, October 5, 2009

61* and raining

its the perfect weather for snuggling under a cozy blanket, reading, drinking tea and listening to the perfect music. which of course is what im doing (minus the tea, i cant bring myself to get out from under my blanket just yet lol). my perfect music for this weather = asobi seksu. havent heard of them? im not surprised. theyre not very well-known, despite recently releasing their 3rd album. i havent heard it yet, but their second album, citrus, is one of my favorite cds of all time. you must go buy it. theyre amazing. heres my favorite track off citrus: thursday

Sunday, October 4, 2009


my amazing friend phoenix (who has been bellydancing for 10 years) just told me about this:

What: Winter Solstice Workshop with Ariellah: Cary
When: Sat Feb 6 1pm – Sat Feb 6, 2010 4pm
Where: Academy for the Performing Arts 115 Commerce St. Apex NC
Created By: Heather for Workshops Calendar
Description: Winter Solstice with ~Ariellah~

Hosted by Mara and The Moorish Gypsy Tribe

Experience the Dark Side of Winter

Ariellah’s style infuses her personal interpretation of Middle Eastern Belly Dance with a modern dark flavor. She is widely known for her strong stage presence and unrivaled technique. Her performance is designed to mesmerize and evoke emotions of the darker more passionate side of dance. Ariellah believes her style emanates from the contentment bellydance has brought to her life, as well as her infusion of her lifelong involvement in the gothic subculture, allowing her to express herself in a unique and beautifully dark way……

i am SO excited for this!!! ariellah is AMAZING and i can not wait for this opportunity ^_^

Saturday, October 3, 2009


i just made what are quite possible THE best cinnamon rolls ive ever had. actually theyre orange cinnamon rolls. and they. are. DELICIOUS. im very proud of myself because this was also the first time ive made a yeast dough, and i must say it turned out quite splendidly :) so if you have the time, i definitely recommend making these. trust me, you wont be sorry :)

orange-cinnamon rolls, adapted from

1/4 oz package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk (the recipe calls for scalded milk, but i didnt scald mine and it turned out fine)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1 egg
3 1/2-4 cups flour

4 tbs butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
zest from one orange
cinnamon to taste

2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tbs melted butter
2 tbs orange juice

in a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. in a large bowl mix milk, sugar, butter, salt and egg. add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. add yeast mixture. mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5-10 minutes. place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

heat oven to 350*.

when doubled in size, punch down dough. roll out on a floured surface into a 15x9 inch rectangle. mix filling ingredients together and spread on dough. beginning at the 15-inch side, roll up dough and pinch edge together to seal. cut into 12-15 slices.

after the rolls are filled and cut, place them in a pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. bake for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

when the rolls have a few minutes left in the oven, whisk your glaze ingredients together. when the rolls are done cooking, let them cool for 5 minutes. spread glaze on and serve warm.

look at this deliciousness. LOOK AT IT!!! XD