Celebrating the Dark Season…

by Nikiah Seeds

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One of the things I try to pass onto the women that I work with is that ceremony does not need to be elaborate to be deep, powerful and effective. In fact many times it is in the simplest of ceremony that the most powerful things can arise.

It is with this intention that once or twice a year I host a spontaneous gathering of women, usually once in the summer in my Red tent and once in the fall close to Samhain in my home.

The gathering is always small and made up of students and friends, and deliberately kept very casual, or at least that is what those invited think, until they arrive at my door!

There is no pretence, no exclusivity as the invite list usually has no rhythm nor reason, and one may get an invite after meeting me once or after having known me for many years–that is the fun! The only criteria is that women come and gather and the number of us be able to fit in my tent or kitchen.

For the fall gathering we are always working with the ancestral realm, and to this end guests are asked to bring a food dish that their ancestors would have traditionally made for sharing, as well as a small keepsake or item that holds a special memory for them of a family member in their ancestral blood line.

This year I decided to write a small blog post on our celebration in hopes that it may inspire some of your own gatherings. it is my greatest hope that one day I will be able to make this annual evening a larger event open to any that may wish to join us!

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I write this post a few days after the Dark moon of October….

The day dark and it is raining hard outside, but tucked inside my cozy home have a pot of spicy chai going and I am cooking up a feast of foods that my Ukrainian ancestors would have loved.
I know my guests are all doing something similar as they prepare for our evening of sharing food, ancestral stories and witchcrafting.
it always begins with food, because this is at it’s core an intimate act–it is ceremony and love, and in my opinion it is everything to a proper ceremony, as it nourishes and grounds and gives the gathering the proper feeling of celebration that is important after the intensity of holding the container of ceremony.

Our ceremony this evening is simple in form, but also sacred so I will not be sharing what was spoken, but I can say that we gathered to share the stories of why we each choose our specific food dish, and the stories of our small ancestral items that each have been placed lovingly on the altar.
These stories carry the weight of who we are and where we come from, some hold great sadness and some great joy, but all were worthy of hearing and each woman was given the time she needed to speak her ancestral truth.

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We lit candles for loved ones gone and for things in our lives that also have left us feeling bereft or grieving that we are working to let go of…

In between we created a plate of food for the ancestors and placed it lovingly on the altar and then feasted and talked as women do, we shared stories and tears and of course there was much raucous laughter…

Finally somewhere close to 10:00 in the evening, we have settled down at the table, our bellies full, and with cups of tea in hand, and I begin to share some old folklore about gathering and witch crafting.

I have placed small bottles of homemade pomegranate Hawthorn herbal vinegar out for each woman and small red painted altars that hold Rowan berries, black glass beads, and sculls for stringing rowan berry talismans to hang on doorways for protection…

We begin with the vinegar and each woman adds the ingredients she feels she needs now into their bottles. Everything has some small piece of old folk lore or meaning, both for physical health and for spiritual health.
Each herb that is added is a part of the table setting, so sprigs of rosemary, thyme, oregano Hawthorn berries, bay leaves and other nourishing herbals are scattered literally into the table decorations so they are easy to reach, and thus each woman can create something specific for her constitution in the moment. When we are done each holds a healing magical bottle to her heart and blows intention into it so that it is ready for her when she feels she needs a small nip of healing magic to fortify her.

After this I hand out needles and red thread and we all settle into the creation of Rowan berry strings as protection talismans for our homes.
Each woman makes hers a little differently, some are heavy with berries and others ave more of the black beads and sculls, some feel delicate and some heavy and strong in their meaning.

Once done many exclaim at the time for is well past bedtimes and bodies beginning to feel the toll of the week, for it is Friday after all and bodies are yearning for bed.
The circle begins to close down then, and we all wander over to the altar and each woman adds her rowan talisman to it to wait until it is time to finally go..

The evening winds down with many hugs, lots of bustle, and tidying up, the the candles are left lit and the lights are still dim, so as not to detract from the ceremony that is still happening right up until each woman wanders out and into the night on her way home…..
SOUL CAKES:

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This kind of gathering is not complete unless it has soul cakes in my opinion, as this is where the humble origins of Halloween and trick or treating come from, and although I do not ask for a trick or treat, nor blessings for my “sins” in return for sharing soul cakes, it is fun to hand over these sweet little cakes at the end of the evening.

As you can see above, for this gathering I made both small soul cakes and a large ancestral cake, one for eating that night and the small ones for taking home–both from the same recipe.
My recipe has been changed and adapted to my tastes, and what feels seasonal to me, which is to say that although the traditional soul cakes were more like small fruit cakes made with dried currents and fruit, mine carries the flavours of my winter.. which is dark chocolate spicy ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, as well as dark rich molasses and the use of acorn flour to create a nutty rich texture and autumn taste.

Traditionally crosses were added to the top representing “alms” which is a way of representing “giving” as an act of virtue. This is where Christianity and the old pagan ways intersect, as if we go back far enough we see that traditionally they were set out with a small glass of wine as an offering for the dead, which is why I always mark my wee soul cakes with small candy bones and create more of a traditional Celtic cross shape..

Soul Cake origins:
Traditionally poor children would go out into the village asking for soul cakes, at the beginning of the winter season, this was when things were becoming scarce and people still generous from the harvest would have the ingredients to make these cakes with.
What they represented though is far more dreadful, for they originally were cakes laid out for the dead, and if you took a soul cake you were essentially offering to pray for the sins of any soul who had recently passed in that household. This is why the poor children would do it.

When asking they would sing this song, which as you can see here has been changed from the traditional masculine form to a more accurate feminine form….

Oh and it never hurts to hear Sting singing it, as this is by far my most favourite version!

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Video: https://youtu.be/bu8H5rA9HuA

Recipe for Dark Rich Chocolate Soul Cakes:
1 cup acorn flour
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour or Gluten free flour
1 cup dark dutch coca powder
2 eggs- or for a vegan recipe add 1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup milk or almond milk etc.
​1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or other herbal vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp dark molassis
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp cardamom 
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp grated ginger fresh or dried ginger powder
2 tbsp vanilla extract-optional

Mix dry ingredients together first then wet ingredients and mix well–slowly mix the dry into the wet until folded together.
Bake at 350 for about 20 min’s for small cakes or 45 min’s if making in a bundt or cake pan.

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Blessings of the changing season to you!

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I did it!
Some of you may remember my sharing a video of a looooong piece of weaving I took off the loom about a month ago musing on what I might make with it…
Well after weeks of travel I arrived home ready to take the risk and cut into my precious weavings and sew them.
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The thing is I had no pattern and my sewing machine broke before I even had a chance to use it once!
But since I have taken some fabulous classes with my teacher India Flint @prophet_of_bloom where she shares her fearless use of scissors and patternless hand made sewing I decided to go for it and I am thrilled with the result.
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Having said that it helps that I am not even remotely type A, nor do I care about seams showing etc…
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It’s wickedly “handmade” and perfect for the essence I carried all through its creation which was all about this second half of my life, peri-menopause and initiation..
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These things have been messy, creative, hard, and I have learned so much!
Kinda like making oneself a coat from woven fabric without a pattern or sewing machine ha!
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Anyways I am back home now and excited to dive into some summer weavings and drum making, and pairing them together so that you can take them out on your outdoor adventures, stay warm at night and connect to the rhythm of the land..
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Stay tuned!
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Big love
Nikiah
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#weavings #saori #sacredweaving
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I am thrilled to have some of my weaving creations over in Salt Spring Island at @folklore_studio_co .
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@tarynstrong and her partner @sydwoodward_ have created a fabulous store supporting local artists as well as selling their own fabulous jewelry creations.
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I look forward to visiting them later this summer and seeing my weavings in the shop.
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Have a beautiful day everyone.
-#weaving #sacredweavings #folklore #supportart
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This image was taken by @_infinitebody_ a few years ago now and is such a beautiful reflection of the many times we have worked together to create a story within an image within a myth..
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Images have always captured my imagination and I have long loved photography, so to be able to manifest what is in my mind and heart together in sacred collaboration has been a dream.
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If you have been in my website or here on insta with me for awhile you would have seen many of these images taken by Jennie, as we navigated shoots by waterfalls, the ocean, the forest, mountains, rivers and meadows..
All in search of beauty, mythic storytelling, ancestral connection and what it means to create art from our lives,guts and souls..
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For me the fact that I am in the image is not even remotely as important as the feeling or story I hope that you dear ones will experience once you lay eyes on it..
In fact I often wish I had a model instead of myself because it’s really about creating an image that evokes a feeling and a story..
This is the gift that Jennie has..
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Anyways Jennie @_infinitebody_ has some beautiful offerings happening right now if you are feeling called.. go check out her work.
♥️
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In the meantime I am back in beautiful B.C and soaking up the sun home and cherry blossom’s as we visit our daughter and prepare our home here for sale this coming summer.
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What does this image say to you?
What story does it tell or make you think of? I would love to hear your thoughts…
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I will post a bunch more tomorrow, and include some that I have never shared here before..
Perhaps we can create a story together..
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#sacredphotos #stories #unseeen #reddrum
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Every now and then I sit with my website and read through it, because written words tend to become static once written, and I as a person am not.
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I continue to change, my work changes, and how I would even describe my own work changes too..
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So today I sat with my bio page and made some changes, sharing a little more about my own evolution, who I am and why I do what I do…
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I am not completely done with it yet but it feels better to me, kind of like when we outgrow our old skin, shedding needs to happen..
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Over the years my sites have constantly been in a flux of change and evolution, expanding and being fluid with growth as I do the same..
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Right now I am in another time of change, actually it’s been a few years of this, but slowly, ever so slowly my work is expanding, and getting itself ready for new iterations…
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So although all I worked on today was my bio page, I am feeling that there is much more to be added in the next few months..
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What does this kind of change feel for you? And how does it get reflected in your work? I would love to hear how others share change..
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Big love
Nikiah
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#change #evolution #website #animism
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Sometimes I just like to wander around my studio and see what inspires me.
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Some days it’s spinning or weaving, but sometimes I pull out alll my paints and go crazy for a few days, then leave it for what can be months before I get inspired again.
In fact I have a painting I started at the begging of Covid still waiting for completion haha.
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Sometimes I pull out all my beads and make several sacred pieces all at once!
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Last solstice I bought a ton of fabric and sewed like crazy making all sorts of different sized bags to replace the old fabric we had been using for years to wrap gifts..
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Spring inspires to forage especially for wild violets to make syrup with.💜
And the end of summer I forage wild roses for my tinctures.🩷
It really just depends on the muse at the moment…
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How about you? What stokes your creative fires?
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#creativity #beltane #studio #art #weaving #sacredmuse
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The Ways We Witch Summit begins May 5th and is three full days of juicy, deep, Magickal offerings from a variety of incredible contributors!

Our box office is now open and at a very special price. Check it out by visiting the link in bio.
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#wayswewitch #redmoonmysteryschool #nikiahseeds #witchesofinstagram #witches
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This is the longest piece I have woven on my saori loom to date and it’s taken me a few months, but I have loved the process, especially not knowing what the final piece would look like and just trusting the process…
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Next up-sewing it! This is the scary part because it will require cutting etc…
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Also happy New Moon folks!! 🌀⭕️🌀
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#saori #weavingloom #newmoon
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The idea that we all have a wellspring of wisdom within us is a core belief that I carry in my own life and the work I put out into the world. I believe that by connecting with our ancestors, practicing animism, and working in the liminal spaces between, we can tap into a deep source of knowledge and understanding. Whether it’s through meditation, ritual, or simply spending time in nature, there are so many ways to access this inner wisdom and bring it into our daily lives.
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What happens when we take a moment to honour our ancestors, connect with the natural world around us, and embrace the magic of the liminal spaces? For me, there is ease and magic and a sense of feeling held.
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I’m curious to know what happens for you?
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And if you are new to exploring what it means to be in connection with your ancestors, with the land and the spaces in between, is this something that piques your interest and curiosity? 🌿✨🌙
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#AncestralConnection #Animism #LiminalSpaces #WisdomWithin
#Spirituality #Meditationn #Ritual #Nature #Magic #Inspiration
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The doors to the Sacred Path are open. We begin May1st.
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Will you enter?
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The Sacred Path Apprenticeship is an initiatory certification program designed for spiritual seekers, empathic coaches, visionaries, creative leaders and anyone longing to reclaim their own spiritual path by discovering a way of being that is unique to their own life and inner self.
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On this path you are invited to journey into the unseen realms by first finding your own way of accessing and then trusting your own sacred gifts.
In this way you will walk the ancient pathways of the archetypal goddesses, and your ancestors.
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There are nine initiations we work within:
~ Journeying into the unseen realms
~ Archetypal and shadow work
~ Journeying into the forest & developing a sacred relationship to trees
~ Meeting the goddess cross-culturally
~ Creating a sacred archetypal bundle
~ Beginning an animist practice by working with the land spirits
~ Meeting a healing ancestor and beginning to create an ancestral spiritual practise
~ Working with the seasons and cycles of our bodies and the world around us.
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#spiritcommunication #animist #mysteryschool #everythingisalive #everythingisenergy #iching #journeywork #archetypes #dreaminterpretation #precognition #kitchenwitch #ancestorveneration #animism
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I am excited to be opening up the doors to the Sacred Path Apprenticeship this Monday!
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If you have any questions pop me an email I would love to hear from yku!
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Have a great long weekend folks, and enjoy all that chocolate!!
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#mysteryschool #sacredpath #shamanic
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Looking back in my recent trip to Morocco today and seeing alll of the blue door photos I took I thought it might be fun to share a little reel of them.
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Morocco was the most magical place I have ever visited and we are already plotting out trip back.
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It was also so fun to bring back some of the magical things that were in my most recent giveaway, and I am happy to@say that I have a few more tucked up my sleeve for the next one.
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For folks new to my account I love to give things away as much as I love creating and sharing my work so I am often found doing them every few months or so.
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The other thing that I loved learning about was the textiles and about the Majorellle blue that is found everywhere but most in doors.
It is used as an evil eye for protection of sorts and I even brought some back with me in the form of Indigo which I will be sharing more about soon.
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In the meantime enjoy this collection of beauty…
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Big love
Nikiah -
#morocco #doors #majorelleblue #majorellegarden #sacredportals
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The one thing we often do not talk about is all of the little things that go into the creation of intentional pieces.
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Like with these elemental shawls you see me folding here.
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There are many small steps that need to happen before they are ready to find their new homes…
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Things like tying the tassels just so at the bottom of the weaving after its finished, wet washing the pieces so the fibers bind together and make the fabric stronger.
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Then, there is the time spent describing all of the beautiful yarns that I have chosen for each piece with intention, as I like to create a palette of colors before I begin each piece, kind of like painting…
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Because each piece is created with an intention or a theme i like to really work with that aspect as I work on the piece, such as when I was weaving the fire elemental shawl you see here I had lots of candle lit around me, and my water fountain was sending out the most wonderful watery trickling sounds as I wove the water shawl, and well you get the idea….
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Then there are photos to be taken so the uniqueness of each creation can be seen and finally they are all folded up ready for their new homes to find them….
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These elemental pieces were such a joy to make and are now ready to find their new homes….
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#intentionalweaving #intentions #sacredweaving #ancestralweaving #fire #earthgallery #air #water
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