Samhain Blessings to You All!
I don't know about you but these long, dark nights really intensify the thinning veil at this time of year for me. The brooding dark skies with their fiery colours of Samhain streaked with dark swirls make me think of restless spirits waiting to cross back over, seeking loved ones. Hopefully some of mine are drawing near! This year as always they have been around me throughout the year, not merely lingering patiently in some celestial waiting room for just one night of visiting.
What I have noticed is their quiet presence throughout the year; with it building and becoming more apparent at certain times, depending on where I am, whose company I am in and what we are doing - including the evening when my wonderful, gifted friend Naomi asked me who the old man was in my front room during a Moon Circle and my equally fabulous and gifted friend Shirley agreed and said how much he looked like me. This came just days after the realisation that shortly after we met my Dad's half brothers for the first time and we had started building relationships, their deceased father and my Grandfather found me, something which I wasn't prepared for, neither was Lola the cat when there was sudden bright flash of light by her, I kid you not! Bit of a shock to the system. I don't think he was very impressed at my surprised language or my fervent smudging either. He came so effortlessly, unannounced and to be fair unwanted, despite me being desperate for my much loved cousin Kev, who we lost 3 years ago to put in appearance and not a peep from him.
I had another odd thing happen the other week too (what a surprise!) I was making a vegetarian haggis, much yummier than it sounds, when I realised I hadn't bought any chestnuts. It seemed the most natural thing to do was put my coat and shoes on, grab a bowl and march down to the fields to collect some. So before I know it, there I am gormlessly gawping at my empty bowl wondering what on earth I was doing, I'd never picked/gathered them before or cooked them from raw. Laughing, I collected the ones I liked the look of, fat ones that were just starting to burst, filled my bowl and trotted home with my spiky little treasures. Someone else's hands took over as I effortless popped them from their husks and guided my knife as I slit them with a knife to remove the shell! Goddess alone knows where that knowledge came from, but hey I'm grateful and that veggie haggis was delicious as always! I use this recipe and substitute quinoa in or more lentils if I'm doing a gluten free version, for those of you who are feeling inspired, brave or just plain crazy!
|Ta- Dah!! Give it a Go!|
To celebrate Samhain this weekend, our local pagan group braved the forecast of heavy rain and went on our final walk of the year, up on The North Downs to visit some of the Medway Megaliths as they are collectively called - a swathe of neolithic tombs, long barrows and stones, some of which are known to pre-date Stonehenge. We started at The White Horse Stone, which has seen some darker energy over the years, something a lot of us picked up on.
|The White Horse Stone|
After that we headed down through an ancient track way to Little Kits Coty House, also known as the Countless Stones or the Devils Stones locally on account of it being almost impossible to count them more than once and make it the same every time, as they lay over each other, use chalk as a marker is my tip - there's loads of it lying around on these hills! Following that we harrumphed and grumphed our way up the hill, another ancient track way, a beautiful avenue of trees that our ancestors ancient and more recent must have trodden countless times. It's worth the travail and the red faces for the stunning vast panorama across our town and the surrounding countryside.
|Kits Coty and The View Over Town|
Once we'd got our breath back, we held a simple ritual calling in the elements, the Goddess and Gods, Ancestors and Spirits of Place, before remembering and honouring our ancestors and sharing a little about people we had loved and lost. We made an offering to the ancestors at the stones and blessed our circle with some soul cakes - a traditional cake recipe I had found for All Hallows Eve, which were a little dry - thankfully washed down with the last of some Sloe Gin that my lovely friend Janine had gifted me last Yule! A song and a poem finished of our ritual and we'd managed to pretty much dodge the rain apart form a heavy 5 minute downpour which we braved, proper Pagans we are!
|Offerings For The Ancestors|
My poem I read was called:
In My Blood
Double helix eternally twisting,
through countless millennia of time,
Ancient memories and forgotten knowledge
Are carried through my Motherline.
Whispered voices tell their stories,
In turn of phrase or smiling quirk
Through skin and bone, through blood and sinew;
Ghosts of ancient loved ones lurk.
In half remembered gifts or talents,
Their quiet presence gentle shows;
Nanny's hand for craft and drawing,
My taller Nanny's height and nose.
Their quiet love and reassurance,
Through my familiar veins they flood,
So close right now, I see and feel them,
Unafraid and joyful, they are in my blood.
Have a Blessed Samhain x x
So that's what I've been up to apart from finally collating my Walking With My Goddess calendar for 2019 - Hurrah!!
It's filled with photos from my journey and available from my Etsy shop: WalkingWithMyGoddess if anyone is interested! £10 plus postage - which varies dependant on where you live. Please feel free to contact me there or on my email firstname.lastname@example.org
More photos are on my Walking With My Goddess Facebook page x x x