18th Samhain: "A Two-Day cycle of simple rituals in honor of our Ancestors:
REMEMBERING FRIENDS & LOVED ONES"
of the Other Gods performed two Samhain rituals, led a pumpkin parade
down Easton Ave., and kept a vigil until dawn. 41 people total attended.
31 attended the Saturday evening rite, 19 stayed until dawn on the vigil,
and 19 attended the Sunday afternoon rite. Both rituals were intense
and emotional as the community tried to honor and remember those friends
and family that we've lost in the past year and in years past. These
were difficult rituals. The main invocation for both rituals was a reading
from the grove's memorial book. A large Ancestors altar was set up outside
and was filled with reminders of our beloved dead. There were smaller
altars as well, for Psychopomps, Gods and Goddesses, Nature Spirits
and Spirits of Place, Goddess Brigid, Manannan Mac Lir, the Earth Mother,
Outsiders, and Sitala, Goddess of Diseases and Healing. Norma led both
rituals, and there were powerful invocations by grove members. The similarity
between the two Ancestors invocations (by Maria on Saturday and Maggie
on Sunday) on the two days was uncanny.
ritual omens (from the Graven Image Oracle--click
here) are thus--
Saturday: (Deb) Sentinel (looking forward), (Hillary) Gate (light;
its easier for the dead than for us), (Nora) Reflection and Sacrifice
(reflection is a sacrifice but it keeps them alive and us alive), (Belladonna)
The Vault (we mustn't lock up our emotions; hold them in memory in the
vault of our hearts), (Mike) The Lily (in life there's death; in death,
life...every loss is a gain), (Patty) Promise (this ties it all together:
no matter how alone you feel, they are there; they promis us they are
Sunday: (Tricia) Sleeper, (Jen) Whear and Anchor, (Patty) Book, (Blue)
Serenity. One overall interpretation: peaceful growing, keeping things close,
peace and being comforted, record your memories, we're doing a good thing
with the memory book.
vigil was a busy one: our 4th annual pumpkin parade (thanks again, Maria!)
a Kali pooja, a Spiritualist-style seance out of time in the hour that
we turned back the clocks to Standard Time (thanks to all the dear departed
who joined us at the seance.), a night-long bone-fire, fresh-baked bread,
Turkish coffee (thanks Alex!) and pilgrimages to the altars, which disappeared
at dawn quite like Brigadoon. After the Sunday ritual, a small fire
was ignited from the bone-fire coals to burn a small Holly King in a
ritual led by Pat and Maggie.
to Alex and Maria, our Kitchen Witches, and everyone who performed difficult
invocations on both days, set up altars, brought food, helped clean
up, and kept us all going all through the night. We are indeed blessed
as a grove!