“Hello Darkness, my old friend…”
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 ends the Wheel of Life’s cycle for this year. The Goddess is now in her Crone-phase, old and wise. Lady Moon is, fittingly, in the third quarter of Cancer, a gibbous waning moon. The year is coming to a close. Nights are ever-longer. We gather around bonfires, croodling* together as shadows spread. The central theme of Samhain is one of transformation and growth. The soul is entering the “time of no time”, between October 31 and, in 2007, December 22. As it is good for land to lie fallow between sowing of seeds, so is it good for the soul to have this time of contemplation and evaluation that leads to rejuvenation for the coming year.
Choose from the colors black, orange, white, silver, gold, and red for your festive dress and encourage your guests to do likewise. Use black, orange, and white candles on your altar, also silver and gold if you like. Your decorations, whether for table or house or both, should include pumpkins or other gourds, carved or left plain; cauldrons; brooms; black cat cutouts; apples; pomegranates; masks, which can also be party favors; representations of the waning moon. Serve your guests roast meats, root veggies (potatoes, sweet potatoes, peanuts, carrots, onions, garlic, and leeks), corn, pumpkin, apples, mulled wine and/or cider.
As at Beltane, the opposite spoke on the Wheel of Life, Samhain is a time when the veil between worlds is thinnest. This is a time to remember and celebrate our ancestors. Encourage your guests to share favorite stories of and about their parents, grandparents, the lore of their families. If each guest brings a token representing one who has passed over, the gathering can create a lovely Altar of Remembrance.
If weather permits, celebrate out doors and build a fire. Be sure to throw some bones from your meal into the fire as this ritual ensures healthy animals in the coming year. Other rituals associated with this 8th spoke of the Wheel of Life include: bobbing for apples, scrying**, and serving a Dumb Supper***. There are many rituals associated with Samhain, more than can be completed in one evening. Pick several that please you this year and reserve others for future celebrations.
*croodle: to snuggle close to someone, as kittens croodling to their mother.
** scrying: to look into the future using either a black mirror, a pane of glass placed over a black cloth, a candle flame viewed in a dark room . To scry, relax the mind, focus the eyes on nothing while facing the scrying tool; first you will see a gray mist, then, through the mist, images will come; note them, as they may prove to be of importance in the coming year.
*** Dumb Supper: Saying nothing and making no sound, lay out 2 place settings on a table: plate, glass, knife, fork, spoon. Candles are appropriate, as is a photo of the deceased person you are inviting to your table Serve dinner as you would if you had one favored guest.. As you eat, concentrate your thoughts on your invited guest. Remember other dinners spent together, other conversations. But Make No Sound. When you go to sleep, the person you have recalled this way may come to you on the dream plane with information of value to you.
Reminders: October 28, 2007 is Ancient Mysteries’ mini-psychic fair in the parking lot of First Oak Place, 4315 S. 1st St. For more information phone 373-4411.
November 3 &n 4, 2007 is Celtic Fest, from 10 am to dusk at Fiesta Gardens. Look for Kate in the blue tent.
November 17 & 18, 2007 is the final Metaphysical Fair of 2007, at the Radisson Hotel on Middle Fiskville Road between Highland Mall and Lincoln Village.