Dumb Supper

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Although Samhain is celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere on the 1st of May, in the Northern Hemisphere its celebrated on the 31st of October, and some here chose to connect to those energies.  Therefore, I thought I would post something I wrote a few years back on Samhain and the practice of the Dumb Supper .

Samhain is also known as the last harvest.  It’s the time of year when the land’s fertility withdraws in preparation for the dormancy of winter.  Since Samhain is when the veil between the living world and that of the spirit world is the thinnest, I use this occasion to make offerings in the form of a Dumb Supper to my ancestors in thanks for the connections to my blood history.  Samhain is also a time of endings and beginnings for the witch, as its the start of the witch’s new year.   Along with ancestor veneration, acknowledging and honoring the Gods of this time – the turning of the seasonal wheel is also of importance.

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A Dumb Supper is a meal, which can include drink created in honor of the dead.  This supper cannot only be for your ancestors but also for friends who have passed or those whom you have a connection to and are no longer in the realm of the living.  Dumb Suppers are a time of silent remembrance so when offering a meal to them, it is traditional to commune with them silently or you can write a note to them and leave it with the meal.  Dumb Suppers can be offered in sacred space, like part of a Samhain ritual or they can be offered at a place at the set table of your Samhain meal you prepare (usually at the head of the table and served first).  Dumb Suppers can be covered in a shroud to symbolize its for the blessed dead, have a candle lit before it so its easy for them to find it on the astral, as well as saying a silent prayer in honor of them.

I like to create a Dumb Supper with things my blessed dead liked to eat in life. I personally include my supper as part of my Samhain ritual, which I use to communicate with them and thank them for their blessings of giving me life. Since candles were used to help spirits find their way home, I place a candle with images of my ancestors, a personal item of theirs and a plate consisting of their food in the North West of my cast circle.  I place a note I have written to them underneath the offering plate ensuring this plate is never used by the living (lest death take those who partake of it).  During my Samhain ritual I also burn the note of correspondence I wrote for them in a cauldron or fire pit so its released to the ether of spirit.

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Whatever you decide to create for your Dumb Supper, ensure you use what’s in season, and connect to the energies of Samhain.  Foodstuff in season can consisting of apples, pumpkins, corn, mushrooms, turnips, pomegranates, garlic, onions, potatoes, wine/mead, meat, nuts, within your meal offering for the ancestors.  Herbs which can be infused in your food and drink which resonate with the energies of Samhain are rosemary, mugwort, rue, tarragon, sage, wormwood, bay, nettle, mandrake, nutmeg, fennel (please note some of these herbs can be toxic with overuse or be incompatible with pregnant women so please refer to a material medica for further detailed information on the herbs you use).

If you would like some recipes check out my food blog:

https://madammagick.wordpress.com/recipes/

(c) T. Georgitsis 2014

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Spirit of Place: My Back Garden

The wheel turns as we head into winter with Samhain just days away (5th of May at 11.34am EST Southern Hemisphere) and yet my garden is showing signs of life not dormancy as expected…got to love nature!

 

All images (c) T. Georgitsis

 

Seasonal Changes (A View From My Garden)

On the last day of April I share with you this poem I wrote about my garden last year…

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Seasonal Changes (A View From My Garden)

When the trees show their fruits heavy on the bough 
I feel its Lugh, 
When the leaves and acorns turn and fall
I feel its Autumn Equinox, 
When the earth sleeps and it turns dark
I feel its Samhain, 
When the hearth is full and the bulbs sprout
I feel its Yule, 
When the trees blossom and the light creeps in
I feel its Imbolc 
When the seedlings come up and the air is fresh
I feel its Spring Equinox
When the bees kiss the flowers and plants
I feel its Beltaine
When the insects chatter and the sun shines bright
I feel its Summer solstice

© T. Georgitsis 2015

Spirit of Place: Mummymania Exhibit

The Ian Potter Museum currently has a “Mummymania” Exhibition happening right now until the 17th of April in Melbourne for free…taken from the exhibit website:

Mummymania focuses on the figure of the Egyptian mummy and its role within the themes of life, death, resurrection and immortality. Ranging from the mummy’s original role in ancient Egyptian funerary practices to its importance in early scientific investigations into ancient disease and medicine, and its popular reception as a malevolent Hollywood monster-figure, the exhibition looks at the changing perception of the mummy over time.

Mummymania includes a small number of mummified objects that reveal the mummification process in ancient Egypt and its relationship to Egyptian afterlife beliefs. The history of the exploration of Egypt by Europeans and the export of ancient Egyptian antiquities including mummies also features, including the public mummy-unrolling spectacles that were popular in the nineteenth century. The pivotal use of mummies in medicine, and the scientific analysis of tissue including the use of CAT scanning in order to understand ancient disease, is an important aspect of the legacy that is not widely known. This lesser known history is explored alongside the mummy’s well-known role as a Hollywood horror film star.

I have taken some images I would like to share with you from the exhibition which were my favourite items displayed (no images of remains were taken due to the nature of the images being something I personally don’t feel comfortable with):

 

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Ptah holding a Was Sceptre Ptolemaic period

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Sekhmet statue in bronze Ptolemaic period

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Limestone Stela of Female Late Roman Period

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Sandstone T shaped offering Table Late Period

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Faïence pendants of New to Late Period

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Limestone Stela Ptolemaic Period

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Ushabti Late Period

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Terracotta lamps Coptic period

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Death mask of a woman Roman Period

 

All images (C) T. Georgitsis 2016

 

 

 

Organic Chinese Tea Appreciation: Glenferrie Tea House

Last year I found out the Glenferrie Tea House started to offer organic chinese tea appreciation sessions so I booked myself in as I have an obsession with tea.

The appreciation session lasted for about 2 hours and was set in the master tea makers home complete with traditional tea table and chairs.

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The different types of teas we tried were white tea (top near the small tea cups) and in order from left to right (bottom near prosperity pigs) were oolong also known as red tea, green tea and black tea.

My favourite was the Green tea which was the Green Puerh and the Oolong tea known as Red Puerh was perfect for my constitution (love it when my natural medicine knowledge can be used).  I found the Black Tea known as Hei Cha was the longest fermented we had at 10 years old which had an interesting flavour, since I’d never had black tea before.  All teas were from the same region in China – Yunnan Province and other than the loose non fermented White and Green were packed as disks.

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I learned so much about Traditional Chinese Tea I never knew before.  The things which stood out for me was the first brew of any tea is the tea wash to remove any impurities from the processing of the herbs and should not be drunk.  Also white tea and green teas only make about 5 good brews whilst red and black can make up to 10-15 and the notes change drastically with each brew.  Lastly White and Green tea shouldn’t be kept past 1 year after its been exposed to the air as its worthless unlike black or red tea which can last longer due to the fermentation (similar to wine).

The great thing is I have confirmation that my palette is still delicate as I could definitely taste the notes in the various teas (flowers in the green, chocolate in the black etc) and asked about them which impressed the tea master even though that was not my intention – just wanted to make sure I was tasting it right.

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All images (C) T. Georgitsis 2016

 

 

 

Spirit of Place: Bali

I’ve been to Bali quite a few times in my life due to the beauty I’ve witnessed. Most times there I havent taken images but others have and here are some of my favorite memories.

The stunning sunset view from the Potato Head beach:

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The lush rice fields seen all through rural Bali:

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The active volcano Mount Batur:

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Temple of Death in Monkey Forest:

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This temple was dedicated to Rangda – the witch in Balinese Hinduism  who is the one whom presides over the temple of death which is also known as the destruction temple.  She is shown in the pillars above with big curves, long hair and petruding tongue. Apparently she is a very beautiful woman when she is in a good mood and turns into an ugly bitch when pissed off. This temple was near the end of the complex and was fairly deserted but it resonated with so much power and I felt Hekate there too.

Sari Restaurant Temple overlooking active volcano:

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The shrine above was attached to a restaurant that sat on one of the edges/tops of another volcano across from the active one.  We were so high up the views were spectacular.  There was nothing much else to see this high up except for the farm land on the way up and down the volcano but you could definitely feel the power of the place.

Local village temple:

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This is the first temple we visited in a local village not frequented by tourists at all.  Its their creation temple and in the Balinese Hindu traditions each village has 3 temples.  A creation temple (birth presided over by Brahma) and a protection temple ( to preserve existance/life presided over by Vishnu) which are localed on the NE corner of the village and then a death temple (destruction presided over by Shiva or Rangda) which is located outside the village and also serves as a cemetary as villages have a cremation ceremony once every 15 years due to cost.

Coolman (our driver and guide) was a practising Hindu so he told us in depth about his practice and what the symbolism of certain things meant and answered all my questions.  He was surprised about how much I knew about his faith but I explained that I’d grown up with a Hindu friend  and I’d been to Bali several times before as well as researching the Hindu faith out of curiosity.

The minute we crossed over the thresshold to the temple above Coolman said that we were in a place of power and said that he knew that as his hair stood on his arms and he had goosebumps (its his sign that he is in a liminal place).  My finace and I both felt it as well and it was quite magickal.

After that we ended up having a quite interesting coversation on Kharma and the rest of the day which followed was probably the best tour I’ve done in Bali 😀

All images (C) S. Altman 2011

 

Orphic Hymn to Hekate in Greek

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Αρχαία Ελληνική Ορφικό Ύμνο Εκάτη

Εἰνοδίην Ἑκάτην κλῄζω, τριοδῖτιν, ἐραννήν,

οὐρανίην χθονίην τε καὶ εἰναλίην, κροκόπεπλον,

τυμβιδίην, ψυχαῖς νεκύων μέτα βακχεύουσαν,

Περσείαν, φιλέρημον, ἀγαλλομένην ἐλάφοισιν,

νυκτερίην, σκυλακῖτιν, ἀμαιμάκετον βασίλειαν,

θηρόβρομον, ἄζωστον, ἀπρόσμαχον εἶδος ἔχουσαν,

ταυροπόλον, παντὸς κόσμου κληιδοῦχον ἄνασσαν,

ἡγεμόνην, νύμφην, κουροτρόφον, οὐρεσιφοῖτιν,

λισσομένοις κούρην τελεταῖς ὁσίῃσι παρεῖναι

βουκόλῳ εὐμενέουσαν ἀεὶ κεχαρηότι θυμῷ.

The Land Of The Long White Cloud: Doubtful Sound Highlights

 

 

The landscape of the Doubtful Sound is that of the Jurassic Era:

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Some interesting waterfalls carve themselves through the mountains:

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Some of the small islands found within the sound are quite isolated yet full of natural beauty:

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Amazing rock formations jutting out of the Doubtful Sound looks spectacular:

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Then you have the amazing ecosystem created when the freshwater lakes meet the Tasman Sea – this is a pod of wild seals:

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All photos taken by a canon powershot-  end of 2015 beginning of 2016 (C) T. Georgitsis.