The day started out as cold and damp. October 2009 has been a wet and cold month (the 4th wettest and coldest on record).
My lovely Spouse and I carved pumpkins during the week before the Samhain ritual and bought some good bread from the Food Cooperative in Viroqua for the Samhain feast. By noon on Samahain the weather cleared but the high was in the mid 40’s.
We place our Jack O’ Lanterns along the path to the circle and so did others as they arrived. I built a very hot white oak fire in the circle, filled the cauldron with spring water, brought yarrow for the honoring of the ancestors and filled the torches.
With clear skies we had a beautiful sunset shining through leafless trees and owls hooting in the woods around us. The ritual began about a half an hour after sunset. The circle was cast and words of the season were spoken, of the Immortal Ones who became mortal so that the Mortal Ones – the Good Folk may become Immortal and so forming the rainbow bridge between Heaven and Earth and giving meaning to the seasons.
Then the mediation on the ancestors began with the remembering of loved ones and folk who have pass onto the Otherworld. Each time the yarrow was cast into the flames until all we finished.
We sent off our memories with a dance and a chant. All danced around the fire and chanted “Hoof and Horn…Corn and Grain…” and ended with a great shout and howl that was sent forth into the night.
Then the priestess invoked the Horned God who spoke of his promise. He reminded everyone that with his death and of his Lady they brought spring to the Otherworld and created the Summerland and though their love brought life, death and rebirth for all human souls. He promised there would be reunion with loved ones in the Summerland and another spring and rebirth for all.
The Lord, Horned God, went to the priestess and invoked the Lady, Winter sun, the holy one, the Hag, the Crone to come and be with those who have gathered to honored the ancestors. She came and spoke about the season and about the veil between this world and the Otherworld being thin at this time. She offered to give an omen to guide those who would come and ask for the coming year. So those gathered around the fire came one by one to her throne and drew a card, some times with out a word and sometimes with words of wisdom.
After all was done the Lord bid the Lady farewell to the Otherworld and then he in turn was bid farewell to the Otherworld.
The Priestess and the Priest then took charged water off the altar and passed around cups and filled them with this water. With this water we shared water and these words “ Water Shared is Life Shared, Is love Shared, Thou Art God, Thou Art Goddess, May you Never Thirst! The good folk were invited to make toasts or libations and speak their hearts at this time. The cups had to be filled a several times and when all was said that wanted to be said the time came to take down the circle and feast.
The circle was released and the words All from Air into Air…was spoken and we ended with Merry Meet and Merry Part and Merry Meet Again…The Circle is open but never broken". Hugs and kisses were shared and the feast did begin.
The stars shined down through the leafless trees ever so bright, the near Full Moon light up the night and the hot oak fire warmed all who sat by it. So the Good Folk who gathered for Samhain talked into the night with good food, drink and conversation and so made merry.