I find it appropriate, somehow. The ancient Celts saw Samhain as the end of the light half of the year - the summer months - and the beginning of the dark half of the year - the winter. Although Samhain comes with the promise of new life, it is full of death. The leaves are dying. The creatures that cannot find shelter, hibernate, or migrate are dying. Our ancestral spirits wander the Earth. The pooka is about, waiting for his share of the harvest. Anything left on the vine tomorrow will be his. They will assume the shape of death and no longer be good for humans to eat. The snow is the final touch. To me, it is the Earth Mother snuffing out the flame of summer for good. It burned brightly this year, but now it is time for the green world excepting (of course, the strong and magical evergreens) to rest until next year.
The wheel of life turns.
My Samhain plans?
I used a rotting pumpkin to create ZOMBIE PUMPKIN! The nails just make it for me. :)
On a more serious note, I moved my altar - including my ancestor shrine. I hung photos of various ancestors on the wall (Weretoad's grandfather was wobbly until Weretoad himself fixed the frame). I included a wall sconce on which I can light candles and leave small offerings. I would like to make or find a small shelf on which I could place larger offerings. I will probably move items on my main altar to create a dumb supper for our ancestral spirits tonight.
Last night I attended Muin Mound Grove's celebration. We cleaned the nemeton, put our jack-o-lanterns around the hedges, and honored the ancestors, as well as Dagda and the Morigan, through fire, song, libation, and sacrifice. The omens were good. They spoke of building community and protection from the spirits.
Inside we had a wonderful feast of corn and black bean salad, red beans and rice, lasagna, pumpkin bread, cranberry and orange bread, carrots, pumpkin seeds, and apple pie. A portion of each was given to the ancestors first.
Blessed Samhain to you and yours!
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