Saturday, October 31, 2009

Things That Crack Me Up!

Merry Meet Again, Family and Friends!

So, if you read my last entry, then you know that when I'd lit the black pillar candle on my altar in honor of my ancestors, the glass surrounding the candle cracked.

My husband, will almost always look for a plausible explanation for the unexplainable! It's very frustrating!

"Tracy, the temperature in the room where the candle was kept the was cold, so when you lit the candle, the heat made the glass expand and it cracked", he said. Ok, well, the room is a bit chiller than the rest of the house, but we really haven't had any cold weather yet. Still what he said made sense and left me slightly disappointed, doubting whether something supernatural had occurred at all.

I left the candles burning on my altar and later in the morning, as I passed by, I noticed that the cracked candle looked strange, as if the glass itself was beginning to melt! "That's not possible", I thought! It's a candle flame, not a friggin' blow torch!!! When I knelt down to take a closer look, I noticed that the wax was beginning to seep through the cracks in the glass and had formed what resembled...

a pair of lips with a knowing little smirk!

I called Ray and the kids to come look and they agreed! Later, as we were making lunch, I told Ray, "You know, that was my sister, right?" Without a moment of hesitation, he said, "Yeah, I know. She always did have a twisted sense of humor." So much for reasonable explanations!

Happy Halloween!


The Doorway

Photo courtesy of Tracy Frasche

The Doorway the 11:11

This can presently be perceived

as a crack between two worlds.

It is like a bridge

which has the inherent potential

of linking together

two very different spirals of energy.

As we unite together as One,

bringing together our fragments of the key,

we not only create the key,

but we make visible the Doorway.

Thus this bridge functions

as an invisible door

or a doorway into the Invisible realm.

The 11:11 is the bridge

To an entirely different spiral of evolution.

Merry Meet Family and Friends!

Have I mentioned that this is my all time favorite holiday?

Today, October 31st, doesn't only represent the traditional celebration of Halloween, but one of the eight major Wiccan Sabbats. Today, we celebrate, Samhain.

Samhain lore tells us that this is the time when the veil between the living and the dead is most thin. This morning, as I do every Samhain morning, I set up an altar to my ancestors, those loved one's who have crossed the veil.

It's a simple altar. I use a black altar cloth embossed with a silver pentacle, two black glass enclosed pillar candles, Samhain incense and photos of my ancestors and pets who have crossed.

This morning, I had an epiphany! I just knew I needed to light the altar candles at exactly 11:11 a.m. I know there are many interpretations of those numbers. I'm not sure which of those I agree with, I just knew that it was important that I acknowledge my beloved dead at exactly that time.

I patiently watched the clock and then lit both black pillars at exactly the right moment. A second or two into this process as I struggled with a particularly uncooperative incense, I heard a resounding snap coming from one of the candles. If you know anything about or have used 7 day pillar candles, they can be left burning, for ya know, 7 days, so obviously they are made to withstand the heat of the flame. At closer inspection of the candle, I realized that the glass enclosing the pillar had cracked! The incense, which I've used before, then began filling the room with the most beautifully ethereal swirls of smoke I've ever seen.

Today, we honor those loved ones who have gone before us, remembering that only our love for them is strong enough to pierce the veil.

Blessed Samhain!


P.S. After this writing, I did some further research on the numbers 11:11 and found the verse listed above, along with this very interesting accompanying website:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

5th Annual NJ Witches' Ball

Devyn Joseph Michael Barat and I will be officiating as High Priest and High Priestess for this ritual.

Please click on the Image for full poster!

November 6th, 8PM - 12 Midnight
Halloween Masquerade Dinner and Dance Fundraiser To Benefit PAWS of Montclair
Presented by Mystic Spirit Metaphysical Shoppe and Everything Akasha
At the Church Street Kitchen, 12 Church Street, Montclair, NJ

$50 includes Samhain ritual, DJ music, appetizers, buffet dinner, dessert, coffee, beer and wine.
Samhain ritual performed by The Northern NJ Pagan Fellowship.
Tarot reading $20 for 15 minutes.
Tricky Tray (Raffle tickets $3 each or 5 for $10)
You don't have to dress up but it is highly recommended. Costume prizes.
Must be 21 to drink.

November 6th is the actual cross quarter day of Samhain this year.

Tickets must be bought in advance at Mystic Spirit
Buy your tickets now!

Last year we raised $2,115 to benefit PAWS Animal Shelter.
Check out the pictures from our 4th Annual Witches Ball

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

True Tales For The Season of the Veil...

Merry Meet and Most Blessed Samhain Family and Friends!

Recently, I saw the movie, "Paranormal Activity" and while I won't spoil the fun for those who have yet to see it, I can't say I found it, as promised, the "scariest movie of the decade". Actually, I haven't seen a really scary movie in a very, very long time. Or perhaps I'm just...paranormally challenged.

I will explain by saying that I lived in our family home from birth, until I married at 26 years of age. I can tell you, with absolute honesty, that there was never a moment in those 26 years when I felt comfortable being there alone. I will also admit, that to this day, I can not sleep without some kind of light coming into the bedroom.

I would often listen with a mixture of rapt terror and morbid fascination as my family shared tales of "unexplained phenomenon". My sister took great pleasure, as older siblings often do, in describing the vivid details of her own ghostly encounters. Even more frightening however, was when I'd go to my parents hoping to have them dismiss her stories as fabrication, I'd be met with uncomfortable silences or vague mumblings about there being "no such thing as ghosts". Yet, their own discomfort was palpable. Still, I did my best to convince myself that my sister was just trying to scare me. After all, I'd never seen or experienced any of these things for myself. Yet.

I recall my sister telling me a story of waking in the middle of the night to see a woman, dressed in white, passing by foot of her bed, carrying a candle.

I remember my Aunt telling us of waking to see her sister kneeling at her bedside praying, only to realize a moment later, that her sister was sleeping soundly in her own bed.

One of my first experiences came while I was walking past my parent's bedroom and heard a growling coming from beneath their bed. It was one of the rare occasions that I can remember not having any pets and no one else was in the room at the time. I convinced myself that I was...hearing things.

I would occasionally sense a shadowy presence in the corner just outside my bedroom door. When I told my mother, instead of reassuring me that I was, Oh, I don't know, losing my mind, she hung a small crucifix in the spot where I felt the presence. I never saw it again.

One evening, long after I'd gone to bed, I awoke to hear my sister calling my name. She had just been showering, so I couldn't imagine why she'd be calling. A moment later we were all jolted from our beds by a blood curdling scream. My father, who was very modest around his daughters, was standing in the middle of the kitchen in his boxers. My mother and I rushed in to find my terrified sister, a whiter shade of pale. She said that when she attempted to leave the bathroom, she couldn't open the door. She said she'd felt someone (or something) holding it from the other side. She thought it was me! It wasn't.

I remember one night during a particularly violent thunderstorm, we lost power. Well, with one small exception. The radio we had in the bedroom turned itself on and was blaring at full volume. While my mother went to get a flashlight, I fumbled my way through the darkness to find the radio and turn it off. I found the radio, but despite pressing the button, it continued to play. I felt for the power cord and was about to pull it from the wall when I realized...ooops, it wasn't plugged in.

On another occasion, my Mother had been washing her hair in the bathroom sink when she felt someone tap her on the back. "Gina?", she called, presuming it was her grand-daughter. No reply. Her hair was covered in lather, so she was unable to open her eyes without getting shampoo in them. A moment later, she felt another tap, this time a little more insistent. "What do you want, Gina?", she said, as she felt for around for a towel. Again, no response. This time, the tap was even harder and she spun around, water streaming down her face, only to find that she was alone in the room. She said it was one of the few times she was truly frightened.

The memory of my sister's "bathroom incident" had become a distant one. Then late one evening, after I'd finished getting ready for bed, I attempted to leave the bathroom, only to find that the door wouldn't open. Suspecting that I had just forgotten to unlock it, I turned latch, but the door knob wouldn't turn. I looked down at the lock to realize that the door had already been unlocked! I stood there, my body paralyzed with the shock of white hot fear. I couldn't move, I couldn't breath. When I finally found the courage, I grabbed the doorknob and pushed the door open as hard as I could! I went sailing out into the kitchen and found myself alone. Afterwards, I left the door slightly ajar any time I was by myself in the house.

Shortly before we married and I moved from my childhood home, I woke up in the middle of the night to get a drink. There was door just outside my bedroom which led to the stairwell to my Aunts' apartment on the floor below. It was about 3 a.m. I sleepily shuffled past by the door and as I did, I heard three short, but very distinct...knocks. "Who would be knocking at this hour?", I wondered. Surely it wasn't one of the Aunts. They never knocked! A few steps from the door was my parent's bedroom, with a window that looked out onto the stairwell. I cautiously peered around the corner into their room, praying that I would see a light shining through the window and one of the Aunts standing in the hallway. It was pitch black. There was no way anyone (or at least, ya know, anyone human) could find their way up those stairs in the darkness, so there was no friggin' way I was going to look out the window to see who or what, was knocking! I hauled my ass back to my room so fast I swear my feet never touched the floor, bolting the lock on the door as I flew by!

Despite the supernatural drama, leaving the home I grew up in proved to be bittersweet. After we married, Ray and I rented an apartment on the first floor of an older two family home. It was a lovely place with gleaming hardwood floors and a beautiful working fireplace. The rent was surprisingly affordable and we were thrilled to have found our "perfect" first home.

One night after we'd moved in, I awoke to hear him calling my name from another room. Before I could respond, he came back to bed asking, "what were you doing up?" "What was he talking about", I wondered. I hadn't been up, I told him. He said that he thought he'd heard me in the kitchen. By the following morning, the incident had been forgotten.

A short time later, I woke up during the night to use the bathroom, when I heard what sounded like all the kitchen cabinets and drawers being opened. I suspected it was Ray rummaging for chocolate. "Ray", I called. The house was suddenly quiet. "Ray", I called again. I walked out of the bathroom, to find the cabinets were closed, the kitchen was dark and eerily silent and Ray, was just where I'd left him, sound asleep.

A month or so after we'd moved in, our landlady came by to see how we were enjoying our new home. I casually mentioned what had happened, curious to see how she'd react. I saw her eyes soften and a small, sad smile came over her face. It was then she told us how we came to rent our lovely little place.

Up until recently, the apartment had been occupied by her father, who had just passed away.

As I share these tales, I can still sense the ghosts of my childhood that linger in the dark corners of my mind. Let it suffice to say that I'll be leaving the lights on tonight and the bathroom door slightly ajar.

In Darkness, Light!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Playing With Matches...

"Do not lay your personal power at the feet of another".

Merry Meet and Happy Morning Family and Friends!

So, occasionally I will cross reference my rune castings with an online divination tool called Graven Image Oracle. It's an interesting site in which you meditate on a card before receiving the answer to your query. And while I take all online forms of divination with a grain of salt, I like this one because inputting your question is not required, which means the outcome isn't being generated by a specific question, word or phase.

Very often, I am warned of laying my personal power at the feet of another. What does that mean exactly?

I think there are many ways that this might be interpreted. Something as simple as agreeing with someone to a avoid conflict, not standing up for yourself or allowing someone to pressure you into doing something out of sense of obligation are some things that come to mind. In my humble opinion, any time you knowingly allow yourself to be taken advantage of, for whatever reason and to varying degrees, you are laying your personal power at the feet of another. That doesn't necessarily mean that there is always malice afoot. At times, we lay our personal power aside simply for the sake of friendship.

There are however, some people who will knowingly try to tap into your personal power. They believe they know you well enough to have insight or control over the outcome of a particular situation, especially if they tend to benefit from that outcome. Not so much.

"With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend".

There is a simple way to avoid's called, common sense. People who are intentionally looking to take advantage of your good nature or personal power will almost always slip up. Why? Because no matter how adept they consider themselves to be, dependent upon the degree of their personal interest in the outcome, without realizing it, their own impatience will often give them away. Alternatively, at times, they are so convinced of their abilities that they simply fail to keep in mind one of the basic tenets of "Keep Silent".

"Light of eye and soft of touch, speak ye little, listen much"

These are not just nice pieces of poetic literature, folks. They are from the Rede of the Wiccae and probably one of the first things that we learn as Wiccans. Certainly, there are some that would argue that as a result of how much Wicca has evolved over the past 60 years, the Rede has outgrown it's usefulness. Not so much. One of the first things we learn as children is not to play with matches. We may have since learned the way to safely handle the flame, but if we become careless or arrogant, convincing ourselves that we can predict it's reaction, getting burned becomes a reality. Seriously.

I must confess that, at times, I have failed miserably at adhering to the lessons of the Rede of the Wiccae. As the Oracle suggests, I have, indeed, knowingly lain my personal power at the feet of others. That said, I'm a work in progress and like a child playing with matches, I've learned never to under estimate the "personal power" of the flame.

Played with any matches lately?

In Darkness, Light!