We’re counting down, by the hour now, to Saturday and Samhain. If I wasn’t such a ‘hit n’ miss’ housekeeper the rest of the time, it might not take us so long to get ready for a party! I’ll be baking pies today– pumpkin, apple, and cherry. We have to finish up the back porch, getting the tables ready to lay out ouija boards, pendulums, candles, and runes. Outdoor decorations will be finished up tomorrow, since we’re expecting a windy day today, and the garage needs to be swept out so we can set up a long buffet table, just in case this drizzly rain continues. We’re all on an adrenalin rush at our house.
Below you’ll find correspondences for this fabulous holiday, courtesy of Crystal Forest– if you thought I had time to correlate all this material now, you’d be mistaken. You’ll find a link to her site below, and she has compiled *so much* wonderful information, bless her soul.
Activities and Rituals:
End of summer, honoring of the dead,scrying, divination, last harvest, meat harvest
Copal, sandalwood, mastic resin, benzoin, sweetgrass, wormwood, mugwort, sage, myrrh or patchouli
besom, cauldron, tarot, obsidian ball, pendulum, runes, oghams, Ouija boards, black cauldron or bowl filled with black ink or water, or magick mirror
Ideas and Activities:
Leave milk and honey for the fae folk
Make resolutions, write them on a small piece of parchment, and burn in a candle flame, preferably a black votive candle within a cauldron on the altar.
Wear costumes that reflect what you hope or wish for in the upcoming year.
Carve a jack-o-lantern and place a candle in it.
Choose and enthrone a Winter Queen and King the counterparts of the May Queen and
Make masks and costumes representing the different aspects of the God and Goddess andwear them to ritual or used to decorate your altar or temple area
Have each covener bring a carved pumpkin and carry it, lit, above their head in procession to your ritual site in memory of all those who perished during the burning times or your own dearly departed.
Symbolically extinguish the "hearthfire" of your home and then re-light it from the Samhain Sabbat Fire or cauldron.
Read or act out the "Descent of Inanna" or the story of Demeter and Persephone.
During ritual invite departed friends and family into the circle and tell them of all that had happened in your life since their departure. You may wish to set a place for them at your dinner table and use this time to contact them. This is a good time to talk to them of any unresolved issues that you may have had with them and to let them go.
Slice an apple on the altar displaying the star within and say, "this is the fruit of life- which is death " and then slice a pomegranate and display the seeds saying, " this is the fruit of death- which is life."
Enjoy the trick or treating of the season.
Drink apple cider spiced with cinnamon to honor the dead. *see recipe section*
Bury an apple or pomegranate in the garden for spirits passing by on their way to being reborn.
Leave food outside as an offering to the dead
Do divination for the next year using whatever form of divination appeals to you.
Set out a mute or dumb supper.
Make a besom, or witches broom. *see instructions in craft section*
Make a witches ladder for protection or as an expression of what you hope to manifest in the year ahead. *see craft section*
Find a magick wand of oak, holly, ash, rowan, birch, hazel, elm, Hawthorne or willow.
Let this be the traditional time that you make candles for the coming year, infusing them
with color, power, herbs, and scent depending on the magickal purpose.
At Samhain, witches once gave one another acorns as gifts. During the Burning Times,
giving someone an acorn was a secret means of telling that person you were a witch.
Acorns are fruits of the oak, one of the most sacred trees to the ancient Celts. They are symbols of protection, fertility, growth, values, and friendship. Perhaps you would like to continue this tradition and give acorns as gifts this season. You might like to paint them gold as a God symbol and decoration.
Have a New Year’s Party-it is, after all, the Celtic New Year!
Look at old family photo albums or scrapbooks. Try to tell stories about each person in the pictures
Honor the dead, remember those you loved who have passed on-perhaps by putting their pictures or something they gave you on your altar during your ritual.
Carve faces in apples and pumpkins
Mix up some hot mugwort tea
Make a pumpkin pie *see recipe section*
Dry meat or make jerky-this is the traditional meat harvest- *see recipe section*
Samhain Oil and Incense:
1 dram olive oil
1 dram Patchouli oil
1 tsp. broken pieces of Mandrake Root
1 dram Cinnamon Oil
3 heaping tsp. coarse sea salt ground very fine
1 dram Myrrh Oil
In a clean metal bowl, mix the olive oil, sea salt, and mandrake root. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Transfer the mixture to a clean sterilized jar. Using a dropper, add the essential oils. Swirl the essential oils into the base oil/salt/mandrake mixture, don’t stir. Gently rotate the oil clockwise. Store the oil away from heat, light and moisture in an airtight glass bottle.
2 drops Cinnamon Oil
Place ingredients in a bowl . The Cinnamon Oil is a resin used to bond the ingredients and retain scent. Burn in a safe dish or other burner on an instant light charcoal briquette.
1 Part Powdered Allspice
1 Part Ground Black Pepper
2 Parts Clove Powder
1 Part Myrrh (small resin chunks)
12 Parts lightly crushed Rose Petals
1 Part crushed Mugwort Leaves
1 Part Frankincense Tears (small resin chunks)
1 Part Myrrh Resin (small chunks)
2 Parts crushed Rosemary Leaves
Black obsidian, jasper, carnelian, onyx, smoky quartz, jet, bloodstone
Black, orange, red
Symbols & Decorations:
apples, autumn flowers, acorns, bat, black cat, bones, corn stalks, colored leaves, crows, death/dying, divination and the tools associated with it, ghosts, gourds, Indian corn, jack-o-lantern, nuts , oak leaves, pomegranates, pumpkins, scarecrows, scythes, waning moon
apples, apple dishes, cider, meat (traditionally this is the meat harvest) especially pork, mulled cider with spices, nuts-representing resurrection and rebirth, nuts, pomegranates, potatoes, pumpkins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds, squash.
Anubis, Arianrhod, Astarte, Baba Yaga Beansidhe (Banshee), Belili, Bran, Cailleach Beara, Cernunnos, Cerridwen, Crone , Dark Lord & Lady, Demeter, Hathor, Hecate, Hel, Horned God, Inanna, Ishtar, Isis, Kali, Kore, Lakshmi, Lilith, the Morrigan, Nephthys, Odin, Osiris, Oya, Persephone, Pomona, Rhiannon, Tlazoteotl
Herbs and Flowers:
almond, apple leaf , autumn joy sedum, bay leaf, calendula, Cinnamon, Cloves cosmos, garlic, ginger , hazelnut, hemlock cones, mandrake root, marigold, mums, mugwort (to aid in divination), mullein seeds , nettle, passionflower, pine needles, pumpkin seeds, rosemary (for remembrance of our ancestors), rue, sage, sunflower petals and seeds, tarragon, wild ginseng, wormwood
stag, cat, bat, owl, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion, heron, crow, robin.
sex magick, release of bad habits, banishing, fairy magick, divination of any kind, candle magick, astral projection, past life work, dark moon mysteries, mirror spells (reflection), casting protection , inner work, propitiation, clearing obstacles, uncrossing, inspiration, workings of transition or culmination, manifesting transformation,creative visualization, contacting those who have departed this plane
You can thank Crystal Forest for this fantastic list of correspondences and ideas, and you’ll find more wonderful things at her site:
from our house to yours
Lady Amythyst Raine