Freaky Friday: Samhain's Sirens October 20, 2017

Our favorite day of the week has arrived! So much promise on Friday. We're here to celebrate with you, so get your party hats on!

Before we get our dancing shoes on, let's find out who won the Baublesmith giveaway yesterday! And, the winner is...

Kellyanne Swensen!!!

Congratulations! Be sure you send your mailing address to Kallan so Renee and Eli can get your prize to you!

Now, on to the day's festivities!

Today's Music: The Raven by Omnia

If you haven't seen this hauntingly beautiful rendition of Edgar Allan Poe's poem, take a minute and soak it in.. it's amazing!

by Dawn Leith-Dougherty

Smudging with sacred herbs and resins is a tradition as old as time, utilized by peoples of most  cultures and spiritual traditions. Herbs and resins have individual healing properties, known to our ancient ancestors, and used and appreciated in modern times, as well. There are many ways to clear, cleanse, and bless you and your home, including herbal smoke, herbal strewing, smudging and blessing sprays, bells, singing bowls, salt lamps, etc. For the purposes of this article, we shall be focusing on herbal smoke bowl traditions. 

Indigenous peoples of the Americas, as well as those following a Western New Age spiritual or neo-pagan path will sometimes use the term "sacred smoke bowl blessing" for this practice, which is an important clearing and cleansing technique for your body, hearth, and home. Smudging is a recommended and welcome practice on a frequent basis to clear negative or stagnant energy, clear energies from your body and mind after a hard day's work, and to purify the air during and after illnesses of all kinds. Also a wonderful tool to cleanse new items entering your home, or after visitors exit, to neutralize unwanted energies, charge and bless the space with positive energy, and welcome uplifting and positive vibrations and beings. Smudging can, and should, be done before and/or during ritual of any tradition, to create sacred space, and charge ritual tools. There are a myriad of healing herbs, weeds, flowers, and tree resins that all have individual physical healing as well as energetic healing properties, and can be added to your daily practices, some of which can be easily obtained or wild harvested by you.

All spiritual paths are compatible with the addition of an herbal smudging practice. Many magical folk already incorporate the burning of special or sacred herbs upon your altar or sacred space during rituals. As the wheel of the year turns and many of us observe spiritual holidays, celebrations, and historical observances such as Samhain, these occasions are perfect for doing an energetic cleansing of yourself, loved ones, and your home. You can use this practice to clear chaotic energy from your home, after rearranging and changing decor to fit the seasons and special occasions, and is most welcome after doing a house cleaning. Cleanse your space with fragrant, herbal smoke after doing the hard work, to “lay the dust” and neutralize chaotic energies, and invoke blessings, beneficial spirits, and high vibrations into your home. 

Many of our favorite deities in the vast pantheon of gods and goddesses, and earth elementals,  have sacred plants and herbs of which they are fond, and many of us use some of these (not all are suitable for burning) in our special observances, or keep them on our altars. Consider using an herb or resin for smudging that is special to them and can help you connect to their energy, and create a pathway to communication with them.  Days of the week, moon phases, and celestial happenings as well may influence what you decide to place on an altar, or burn in a censer, and all lend themselves well to a refreshing smudge bath. On an ancestor and family altar, for example, I keep rosemary (for remembrance), as well as a dish filled with my own special blend of sage, lavender, cedar, juniper, sweetgrass, and yerba santa to burn as an offering to my family. Sacred smoke is more than just clearing, many see smoke as a messenger to the divine upon which prayers, petitions, and blessings can be carried. Be sure to pay attention to the path smudge smoke creates, it’s swirls and eddies around objects, and how it behaves during smudging a home. Interesting smoke patterns and quantity of smoke can be indicators of the presence of an entity or simply a deep need for a clearing of someone or something’s energy field. 

Don’t be afraid to try new herb and resin combinations in your smudging practice. Many stick with the tried and true California white sage, but if you want to change it up for a more powerful session or a different type of energetic, you may want to pair it with a resin such as dragon’s blood or copal. Palo Santo wood sticks or powder is powerful and beautifully sweet scented, perfect for extra high vibration cleansing, blessing, as well as pain relief. Dragon’s blood works amazing by itself to completely neutralize energy, whether coming down from a party or energetic house guests, or clearing space after ritual, sickness, or argument. Dragon’s blood paired with another herb or resin acts as an amplifier for that herb’s properties. Copal is a sweet citrus-scented resin that you will want to use to create a light and uplifting energy in your home (you may not want to burn it at night, or you may not sleep well). Frankincense and myrrh are wonderful to use during and after any kind of illness and was burned frequently in ancient times for this purpose, as well as general smudging purposes, they smell amazing! You may be familiar with these, as they are used in many religious observances, including the Catholic church, for centuries, and are also great for meditation practices. Benzoin is also used in churches in combination with frankincense and myrrh. This smells reminiscent of vanilla, great for clearing, and is sometimes used in success or power raising ritual. Soothing pinion pine resin is used by many Native Americans in the desert southwest, and is so wonderful to burn at Yule, we just love it! Tobacco, sweetgrass, cedar, mugwort (artemisia), lavender, and rosemary are used frequently as well, or blended with other herbs for a multi-faceted clearing and blessing blend. All of these have individual and special properties, I highly encourage you to investigate them, find what works for you and your practices, and have fun! 

To smudge yourself or another, light the tip of a sage wand or palo santo stick and blow out the flame, or light a charcoal disk and when it ashes over, place herbs or resins directly on the charcoal. Direct the smoke (this is typically done with a feather) toward the heart, then over the head, down the arms and the front of the body. Some start at the feet and work their way up the body. There is no right or wrong, just what resonates with you. To smudge a home, open windows if possible when completed to allow the room to clear. Walk room to room wafting smoke as you go, say a personal blessing, prayer, or invocation if needed. Pay attention to corners and closets. For objects, waft smoke over object or pass object through the smoke if possible. 

In our modern times, humans have strayed far away from knowledge and reverence of the natural gifts of our planet. Many of us have noticed a bit of a shift in regard to people having a great interest, as well as a need, for natural foods and medicines, and a search for spirituality. This also includes a back to nature approach for many and a yearning for that which has been lost by so many over the years of "progress." Even science is coming to terms with what so many indigenous peoples, empaths and sensitives, as well as those on a New Age path, witches, and neo-pagans already understand about energy and how it works, in the study of quantum physics. We now know that everything is made of vibrating energy, surrounded by a field of energy (what is sometimes termed as "auras") and that energy cannot be destroyed. 

When an organic being dies, their energy does not die with them, it simply takes another form. One does not need to have but a basic understanding of this to know that energy fields can be affected by outside influences, whether "positive" or "negative." Energy really isn't positive, negative, dark, light, etc. It just IS. The basic difference is simply vibration. Low vibration energy is considered by some to be "bad," "heavy," or "dark," whereas high vibration energy can be considered by some to be "good," or "light." It always feels better to vibrate at a higher frequency of positivity and light, of course, rather than to dwell at the low end of the spectrum. It is good to remember, however, that we are having a human experience here and that we have a need to experience ALL the expressions of frequency that we are able. It is natural, normal, and human to do so, and if one is having a "low energy day," it is OK and should be acknowledged. Energy is cyclical. 

I consider my sacred space to be my home and surroundings, and create mini “sacred spaces” as the need occurs. As a proponent of a daily energetic smudging practice, I can honestly tell you how it has changed my life in many ways. From eliminating some dark entities and energetics to raising the vibration of my entire property with sacred smoke and loving, healing intentions, I have created a warm, inviting, and soothing atmosphere in my world, and allow nothing less to enter my sacred space. 

Dawn lives in rural North Carolina with her menagerie of stray fur children, dogs Bubbles and Smokey Bear, and a tiny black tailless (most likely lost during an epic battle) warrior kitty named Spooky. She also gave a forever home to a magnificently mustachioed human named Greybeard, who is a flute maker, a wand and pendulum maker, and magical being in his own right. She is a pagan who wears many eclectic hats depending upon her mood at the moment; a green, hedge, hippie, goth, love and lighter, Reiki Master-Teacher, and probable elf, with a large dollop of sarcasm and shenanigans. Dawn is a writer and gardener, who owns her own natural healing business, Tree Of Life Apothecary. She specializes in healing oils, balms, salves, as well as energetic smudging supplies, a topic about which she wrote a book, ‘Sage Advice, a subject about which is near and dear to her heart. She and her husband hand-craft their very own energetic herbal healing blend, Everyday Hearth & Home Smudge Blend. Dawn and Greybeard also love to cook up a bit of vegetarian kitchen witchery in the cauldrons at their affectionately-named castle, Lair of the Dude and Duddess, sprinkling love, healing, and magick into everything they conjure! They can also occasionally be found working hard at their favorite music and pagan festivals making happy mischief!

Find her online at:

Today's Recipe: Maple Autumn Squash Soup
Autumn Earthsong

In Autumn, there is nothing more wonderful than good, hot, homemade soup.  I love putting soup ingredients into a slow cooker in the morning, and letting the scent permeate the house all day long.  Then along with a salad, and crusty bread, enjoying a bowl full on a dark, cold evening. This soup is delicious! 

Maple Autumn Squash Soup
1 lb butternut squash, peeled, cubed and boiled
½ cup butter, divided
¼ cup maple syrup
3 Tb brown sugar, packed
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
3 Tb all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups light cream
Salt and pepper to taste

 Combine squash with 4 Tb butter, syrup, brown sugar and spices; mash well and set aside.  Melt remaining butter in a large pot over medium heat; add flour and cook for 3 mins, stirring constantly.  Blend in broth and cook until soup thickens.  Stir in squash mixture, applesauce and apples.  Cook over medium heat until warmed through, stirring often.  Add cream and heat just until soup begins to bubble around the edges.  At his point, you can place in a slow cooker.  Leftovers can be cooled and refrigerate overnight.  Reheat over medium heat until warmed through.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Enjoy, Autumn Earthsong
Autumn Earthsong is a wife, mother, grandmother and a Witch! She’s been the Kitchen and Herb Witch for Samhain’s Sirens, The Sunday Stew and Imramma magazine for a few years now. Her Craft revolves around the kitchen, garden, hearth, altar, Mother Earth and Grandmother Moon. She feels Goddess blessed every day.   Autumn is also a healer as a Master Reiki practitioner and she’s knowledgeable in herbalism and crystals for healing as well. Autumn is the founder of her Coven and you can find her blogging at  Autumn is her favorite time of year as you may guess by her name,  and she especially loves sharing her favorite seasonal recipes!  She hopes you add them to your own  recipe files and enjoy them!  Blessed Samhain to all!

Cocktails with CL

Autumn Comfort


3 ounces Caramel Liquor (I used Caramel Comfort)
3 ounces Cinnamon Whiskey (I used good old Fireball!)
Cream Soda
Whipped Cream


Combine the two alcohols in the glass, fill to the top with the cream soda, and top with whipped cream.
Out of habit I made the whipped cream from scratch but really canned whipped cream will work and will look prettier in the presentation if you are going for the perfectly crafted cream topper. If you are more interested in flavor I personally feel home made whipped cream is superior but if you don’t have the time or inclination go with the canned. 

This drink is delicious! Out of all the cocktails I have offered this year this one is my favorite as far as flavor goes. It is really easy to make and can easily be concocted in a punch bowl for larger gatherings, just increase the amount/ratio as needed. 

It can be served hot or cold; this was made cold with Ouija Planchette ice cubes which, unfortunately, were not visible for the picture. Ultimately I believe this would be better hot (definitely has more of a “comfort” feel when hot) but it is a matter of personal preference. 

Use the straw to mix the whipped cream into the drink and enjoy!

Side Note: I was cheekily informed that this mixture was not “autumny enough” given the use of caramel liquor. If you prefer something more obviously Autumn-esque the Caramel Liquor can easily be substituted with Pumpkin Liquor. I personally prefer the caramel but either way it works!

C.L. (Ciel) Luciole spent a big portion of her childhood trying to understand why the Catholics of her community kept telling her magic was evil when such wonders could only be a gift from God, right? As a young teenager she picked up a copy of The Spiral Dance by Starhawk and knew instantly that she had found what she was looking for. She has walked the path of the Witch ever since. She spent two decades studying various traditions of paganism and witchcraft and, finding none that truly spoke to her heart, finally decided to take her accumulated knowledge and start her own tradition and the Covenant of the Starspun Grove and The Starspun Path was born. She is now the Priestess of a thriving coven and community group in her area of Northeast Ohio and is committed to serving her community to the very best of her ability. That typically comes with a healthy dose of brutal honesty and plenty of sass and is known in her community for her irreverent nature.
Visit C.L. and the others of her tribe at; The Coven of Misfit Witches 

Today's Giveaway from Lapis Dragon

Protective Rune Chain – Hung at the front door, or entryway to the home.  Is a combination of runes placed to bring protection, happiness, and prosperity to those who dwell inside.  Made from fallen woods and blessed with moon water. Explanation of runes will be included.

Total Retail Value: $40.00

Here's how to enter: (Full details listed on the "Official Rules and Prizes" page on this site)

US Residents

First entry:  Like The Lapis Dragon Facebook page. Leave a comment on her Facebook page telling her you're visiting from Samhain's Sirens. Come back here, and let us know you did.

Second entry: Share this giveaway on your Facebook page (note: Facebook in no way endorses our giveaways). Come back, tell us you did in the comments (share the link, please).

Third entry: Share this giveaway on Twitter or Instagram (your choice). Come back, post the link to your share in the comments.

Fourth entry: Like the Samhain's Sirens Facebook page. Leave us a comment below letting us know you're a follower (hint: this is going to be a gimme if you do it now or if you've done it in the past. It'll be one of the entries for all of our giveaways).

Canadian Residents
For 4 entries, please correctly answer the following question in the comments section:

 Of Canada's 3 largest cities, which one is on an island?

You have until 11:59pm EDT Sunday to enter this giveaway. Winner will be announced in Monday's post.

Entries submitted without email addresses or past the deadlines will be considered invalid. Canadian residents: you must answer the question correctly to be entered.

Good luck!

That's it for today. See you tomorrow for Craftacular Saturday!

Happy Samhaining!


  1. Many thanks & have a beautiful weekend, Sirens!!! xxx

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  5. I already follow the Lapis Dragon but I sent love from me and the Sirens!

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  16. Of course I like the Samhain's Sirens page! One of my most favoritest things ever!

  17. Vancouver
    Maple Autumn Squash Soup! Yummy

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  21. What a beautiful wreath! I saw something similar in a catalog and they wanted over $200 for it. Also, thank you for the Pat and Buckle meet Jim story. That was adorable and it made my Monday morning much sweeter.


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