Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hey Ho for Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite time of year. For years when I wrestled with questions of religion and spirituality and sought clarity on what made meaning for me, Halloween stood out as a holiday I could fully and whole heartedly embrace with no uncertainty or feelings of discomfort. Halloween does not invoke the sort of stress that other holidays seem to call forth for me.

Halloween is all fun. Dress up and go out and play with the crunch of leaves underfoot and darkness everywhere.

I had the good fortune of living in San Francisco's Mission District for four years in my young and carefree days and experienced the celebration of the dead, with The Day of the Dead celebrations, procession and rooms. This deepened my passion for Halloween and created a bridge from my Catholic upbringing to the beliefs and values I embraced. It was empowering and awakening for me along with Z. Budapest's Spiral Dances for women at Halloween.  

Twenty years later as a parent, I bring aspects of these celebrations to my children whose ages span from seven to fifteen.

Some favorite songs:


Who are the witches? Where do they come from?
Maybe your great, great grandmother was one.
Witches are wise, wise, women, they say,
There's a little witch in every woman today, 
There's a little witch in every woman today, 

Witches knew all about flowers and trees
How to use the bark and the roots and the leaves,
When people grew weary from hardworking days,
Witches made them feel better in so many ways

Repeat chorus

Women had babies and witches were there,
To help and to feed them and give them some care,
And witches knew stories of how life began,
Don't you wish you could be one, well maybe you can......

Repeat chorus

Some people thought that the witches were bad,
Some people were scared of the power they had,
The power to give and to heal and to care,
Is not something to fear, it's a treasure to share.

Repeat chorus

A fingerplay:
Five little witches sitting on the gate,
The first one said, " oh my it's getting late,"
The second one said, "Halloween is in the air,"
The third one said, "let us take to the air"
The fourth one said,  "when I finish my brew,"
The fifth one said, "my black cat comes too "

The night wind whispered whooooo, whoooo
So they put on the hats
And flew into the air, 
Singing all together, 
Hall-o-ween is here!

A Song:
Hey ho for Halloween!
When all the witches are to be seen.
Some in black and some in green,
Hey ho for Halloween!

Hey ho for Halloween!

In 1973, Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English wrote Women, Witches and Nurses: A History of Women Healers , online and at Amazon. It is well worth the read, still timely and sheds light on healing, medicine, the role of women and the divine feminine.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Storytelling ~ Sources of inspiration

My sources of inspiration:
Other people telling stories especially at Waldorf schools: kindergarten, parent child group, play groups, nursery programs, Joan Almon, Connia Manson, Suznne Down, workshops, trainings, performances

Storytelling with Children by Nancy Mellon (do it as a group if possible)
Suzanne Down's Autumn Tales are inspiring simple nature stories
Susan Perrow's Healing Stories for Challenging Behavior

Stories from childhood What stories do you remember hearing as a child? What stories did you tell or act out? What were your favorites?

Nature What is happening in nature now? What is the inner mood or feeling of the season we are in? In autumn, I feel the wind and the leaves, whirling, twirling, falling, pulling in, storing up, reckoning with the need to fan the flame within, light withdrawing, dark increasing, what are the elemental beings doing now?

What is the story line best suited for a child's perspective?
(blog post in the works on what stories for what age and why)

What does my child need? therapeutic stories? What is the picture I wish to make? What will feed him or her developmentally to see the picture I wish the story to carry?

At bedtime Ask for help from the spiritual world. We adults have a guardian angel who will respond to us when we ask for help and guidance. Bring the questions into sleep and pay attention upon wakening and during the day to the answers that just seem to arrive. Also ask our guardian angel to communicate with the child's angel and support us in our desire to meet and nourish the child.

Take a quiet moment and do a meditation. Close your eyes. Picture the child in a situation that you find really challenging and hold that picture while you breathe into your heart, breath love into the picture in your mind and ask for a story to address the challenge.

Most of all play with it, make it fun, not too serious!


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