This year’s Samhain and ‘Celtic new year’ activities included rituals for protection and good fortune, the obligatory pumpkin carving, and feasting. With everything going on, I thought it would be a good year to write it all up as examples for anyone who might enjoy reading and seeing how others celebrate.
10-29-12 – Full Moon
Hurricane Sandy Prayers
Before my regular monthly full moon offerings, I set up an altar to Yemaya asking for mercy for women, children and others in path of Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast United States. Yemaya’s offerings were molasses, 7 nickels, 7 dimes, and 7 quarters. (I will give these coins to the ocean when I get there in the future). The altar candle was left to burn out.
Full Moon Offerings & Prayers
Left monthly offerings for my spirits, guides, and helpers and then joined in on the monthly OBOD prayer for peace.
October 30, 2012
Ritual Saining of our Property
With gun deer and turkey season starting in four days, I checked and re-marked our no hunting/trespassing signs. (Including some at the adjoining lots where the owner asked us to put up signs before.)
I prayed for protection from evil influence and trespassers while walking along and using kosher (blessed) salt at all property corners, property lines, property line stakes, no trespassing signs, utility runs , dirt mounds, and around the house, cars, and RV. (It took some hours, as we have 8 corners and about 20 stakes as markers for the 17 acres.)
In the evening drove to the nearby college town to an outdoor club for pizza, beer, and a Halloween belly dance show. (‘Time Warp’ included!)
10-31-12 – Samhain
Ritual Cleansing of House
I did a spiritual wash of the house (first with a ‘wash’ of myself) and then with a solution of steeped agrimony, rue, & white sage tea, Florida Water, kosher salt, lemon pine sol, and water.
Starting from the back of the house going to the front through each room cleansing by – washing down side trim of windows & doors, handles, flat surfaces, top of opening window frames, and window sills; and mopping or sweeping the floor with the wash solution.
I said a blessing and cleansing prayer, and used a candle with sigil in each room while doing the washing. (The candle was left to finish burning out in the living room.) I sprinkled the remaining wash water out 500+ feet to the front gate and threw the wash against a tree- without looking at it- and walked back to the house.
Put out plates of food for spirits on an altar, along with spices, tobacco & rolling paper, whiskey, milk, and wine, with a candle burning for ancestors. Invited ancestors in, specifically mentioning my maternal grandmother and grandfather. The altar was cleared, and the wine, whiskey, and tobacco left outside for spirits (by pumpkin).
This year’s pumpkin had a pentagram shape on top of it where the stem came out. I put protective agrimony, angelica, rue, and sage in my ‘thunderbird’ design jack-o-lantern, lit it out on the front porch, and let it burn all night.
November 1, 2012
On this first day of the ‘year’ I made a protecting, fortune drawing wash with cinnamon, ginger, vervain, goldenseal, vetivert & peppermint. It was used from the first step into the house, washing up the front door and threshold, and then the landing. Then a blackberry branch was used to sprinkle wash going towards back of the house, along with vetivert incense and prayer (‘protection, wealth, love, wisdom, courage).
The remaining wash in bowl was put onto my altar until the end of the day, when it was poured into all drains. (As the surface water on the property is gone right now, with no recent rains.)
Though I was reasonably well prepared to do all of these activities, it was a lot for 4 days. I only got a little baking in, and didn’t finish with my normal tarot reading. (Which I am postponing to the next full moon instead.) With a smaller property and more people it would be easier. But just having an ancestor’s feast, and sitting and remembering them is enough for most years.
[A good resource on Rootwork style floor washes is Lucky Mojo.]