Friday, October 31, 2014

The Feast of Samhain 2014

I'm getting ready for my annual "Feast of Samhain", and having fun decorating the altar with Marigolds, a precious bottle of honey Mead, a remembrance of all the good things we are so generously given in life, and most of all, a remembrance of all those who came before us to bring us here, and give us the Gift of Life.  
 Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of  thousands.

-Linda Hogan*

As always, being in full glorious irritable  Cronehood now, as the stores abound with ghouls, vampires, and witch silhouettes on brooms, I grouse at the loss of this important holiday for most people, the sanctity of "Hallowed Eve" replaced with scary ghosts - although, costume balls and trick or treating is something truly worth doing, and I'm sure the visiting Beloved Dead enjoy it all as well!

Witches on brooms!  Hah!  The meaning of the broom was an ancient folk tradition of "sweeping away the Bad", sweeping out of the house the bad energies, illness, and spirits that weren't "welcome to the Feast".

And the ghosts...........well, that's what the Feast, like Dia de los Muertos, is all about:  inviting the Beloved Dead to the party, setting the place of honor at the head of the table for them, drinking their favorite wine and preparing their favorite dishes, and lovingly telling their stories, jokes, and singing their songs. 

 Among those who we've lost this year, my brother Glenn, and my friend Jeff Rosenbaum, a prime creator of the Starwood Festival and A.C.E.  Jeff, I am somehow certain you're visiting a whole lot of Feasts, and all of them raising a glass to you.   And Margo Adler, author of Drawing Down The Moon, and my friend Sandy Wentz........

And there are those who have left, and are leaving, this World who also, most urgently, must not be forgotten.  

"The Sixth Extinction"

My wise friend Joyce sent me a lovely blurb today from an astrologer in NYC which I take the liberty of reprinting here.  I especially like her use of the Rumi poem, and her mention of Persephone, the Goddess of both Spring and Death, eternally moving in a Circle.  

I always leave Pomegranates for Persephone on my Alter.  For some reason, words are not with me these days, and the well of poetry left me years ago.......but every year this time I remember a poem I wrote for Persephone that I still love, and enjoy sharing that here once again as well.


When all the names are gone
when there is nothing left
for memory to feed upon
November hides
an unborn  promise.

All the wastes of love and time
Become, at last, alchemy.
To ferment their healing, here
in these nigrado depths,
becoming  albedo,
the medicine.

    I offer now bread, red fruit, red wine.
    To life.

To the harvest that was,
the  kisses of summer past
fragrant  as  petals on the wind,
 to the poet and the bard, the mother  and husband,
laughter of children, the confidence
of  bountiful fortune.

And to those outcast as well -
the inarticulate, the lost,  the hungry  and fallen.
To every transparent lover
wandering these bardos in their solitude.

To age and youth, light and dark,
Tenderly entwined in their embrace:

Come to the table, all.

Here is a rich conversation
harvested from the last living garden.
A dappled pear, an apple, a ripe pomegranate
A butterfly in its chrysalis, sleeping.

The slow rebirth of color
    deep in the depths of this dream.

The sundial will circle once more,
The wheat has new life in it yet.

    The blessing will be given.


Fall Astrology CafĂ©   
by Virginia Bell

 Halloween October 31  "The Season of the Crone"

Called Samhain (summer's end) Halloween is the Celtic New Year and one of the
four cross-quarter holidays (the others are Imbolc, Beltane and Lammas). It is
said to be a time when the veil of the astral world is lifted, the psyche is
unfettered, and anything is possible. The pagan idea used to be that the crucial
joints between the seasons opened cracks in the fabric of space-time, allowing
contact between the ghost world and the mortal world.

This is the time of the Crone, the witch, and the weaver; the time of year to
honor our ancestors and to connect with them for guidance on the year ahead.
Decorate your altar with photographs of friends, family who have passed over as
well as your heroes and heroines. The last day of October is the beginning of
the year's dark season. Traditionally, it is the time Persephone returns to the
underworld to take her place with Pluto her husband and her consort. Like
Persephone we now begin to turn inward, to go deep and connect with what is
real. At this time we can access the unknown and the unseen. What is it you
desire to bring to consciousness? Remember, what is freed at Halloween is
conquered and integrated. Open to the deep rivers of your wisdom and intuition.
Surrender to the space between the worlds.

It is your turn now.
You waited, you were patient.
The time has come,
for us to polish you.
We will transform your inner peal
into a house of fire.
You're a gold mine.
Did you know that,
hidden in the dirt of the earth?
It is your turn now,
To be placed in fire.
Let us cremate your impurities. 


*Thanks to Virginia Bell Astrology

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1 comment:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Looks fabulous! The art pieces are stunning. Happy Samhain to you, Lauren!