Saturday, October 31, 2015

It's Samhain, and...

It's Samhain and...

no pumpkins were carved
no food was prepared
no candles were lit
no costumes were donned
no gravestones were cleaned
no candy was doled out

It's Samhain, and...

I am just horribly, awfully, miserably depressed.

I should've known it would happen. I should've expected the big, black dog. I should've known it would come and sit on my chest and not leave for days. I should've expected to be the failure that I am.

Gee, my ancestors would be so proud. Ha.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Pre-Samhain Scrubfest

I can't believe Saturday is the day. Goodness, what a weekend we had here! We're trying to get this place in shape for guests, both living and otherwise. We made a pretty good dent over Saturday and Sunday, but we still have some bits to finish. Fortunately, my boyfriend is off on Friday and can do a few last-minute things while I'm at work. Oh, how I wish I could have Friday off as well! I just have too many things to do on Fridays for that to work out, however.

Cleaning is a very important step in preparing for Samhain. I know I wouldn't want my ancestors to see me living in squalor! A contractor is coming to fix the bathroom floor on Tuesday. The roof has been repaired. After the floor has been taken care of, we have to wait for the new windows for the living room to arrive and be installed. I'll be ready for winter, too, at least!

Physical cleaning is one thing, but what about spiritual cleansing? Many of you most likely have your own tried-and-true methods for doing this, and I'd love to hear from you. I'm using the last of my little packet of frankincense and myrrh to cleanse some things. I've cleansed and consecrated the spirit board I made in case anyone wants to use it. I have mixed feelings on those, so I don't know if I will participate, but it's made.

Other things that you can use:

Patchouli incense or patchouli oil and water in a wax warmer - some say the spirits respond very well to patchouli.

Sage - Some say that sage will drive spirits away, and that could mean the ones you want as well as the ones you don't. Use your discretion.

Rosemary - Either burn dried rosemary or use incense or the oil/water mixture. You can also mix the essential oil of your choice in with some (salted) water and spray that around.

I mixed up some bay, ginger, clove, and citrus oils in a bottle of water and used that to clean my door and freshen things up a bit. I used that mixture for purification, protection, and awareness. I don't want any skunky-funky mischievous spirits hanging around, but I would like to invite a few special people to drop by.

Also: Sweep, sweep, sweep. Use your regular broom on the dirt, and if you have a besom, sweep some of that negative crap out the door as well.

Use the oil(s) of your choice to anoint doors and windows for extra protection. I always polish a protective symbol into my door when I clean it, for example. Citrus oils purify spiritually AND cut grease physically. Bonus!

I am going to try to get some photos and maybe video of the set up once everyone gets here on Saturday and things get underway. The altar will most likely be set up outside due to a lack of space, so we're having kind of an indoor-outdoor Mute Supper and ritual. As always, we'll see.

The final countdown is here! Happy Monday before Halloween/Samhain, everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Making Preparations

So this is post 667. Not quite as exciting, huh? Well, I'm freakin' excited! Samhain is almost here, and for the first time in a long time, I have what may turn into actual plans!

I've been chatting with one of my friends and making plans in our spare time. I hope to get some good pictures of everything to document it. I hope it all works out. So far, everything feels good.

The tentative schedule:

Friday, Oct. 30 will be the night we make our rosemary remembrance cookies. I may tell the story of the first jack o'lantern to my friends' daughter (I'll make sure it isn't too spooky because she is a fabulous five years old), or we might wait until Saturday. I want to work in some pumpkin pretzels at some point, too. I might have to get up early for that.

Saturday, Oct. 31 will be the day we celebrate. Now, if you look at the actual cross-quarter days, you'll see that Samhain is November 7. Why not celebrate both days? I might!

The cemeteries around here close at 2:00 on Saturdays, so we will have to get our butts up and moving early. The plan is to go clean up any areas that could use some TLC, give the kiddo some more information on what we're doing and why, and leave some offerings. We're also planning a little bit of a picnic, hence the pretzels.

After we have cleaned up a bit and discussed the significance of the day, we can get ready for the evening plans. Food will need to be prepared for the ancestors' potluck/dumb supper.

The evening ritual will be an opportunity to remember not only our deceased loved ones, but also to remember those who don't have anyone else to honor them. Some people are forgotten in sickness and at death. They are alone. I will be one of those people, so it's especially important to show some love, I think. They will all be invited to the supper.

As is traditional, divination will happen later on. I'd like to do some tarot, and I (badly) painted a spirit board:

Those are our tentative plans. It will require a healthy dose of organization, so I'm glad I have help. I wouldn't want to do this alone! Fingers crossed that all goes well, even if it isn't 100% according to plan. 

What are your plans? 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

This Samhain, I am trying to organize something with my boyfriend and some friends of ours. I hope it works out because I have already started making plans. I'm really excited, but if it doesn't work out, I know I will just feel depressed and do hardly anything at all. Fall asleep on the couch watching horror movies. Eat Reese's til I puke. Who knows.

Anywaayyy... I have some ideas that I thought I would share.

Food (of course): Ancestors' Potluck - The guests and I will supply one or two dishes that loved ones particularly enjoyed or would have enjoyed.

I am going to make fried catfish in honor of my friend Bill, a beef, mushroom, and Guinness pie for some of Martin's relatives, and a lemon ricotta cake that my grandmother and everyone else would have liked.

I am going to make a punch for the little chickpea who is attending. We may have to let her sleep here for a while if we stay up late. She's my friends' kiddo and she is five. She rocks. I will make an apple cider-cranberry juice-ginger ale-orange sorbet punch for her.

Adults get a twist on my hot buttered rum recipe. I might put some caramel in it, and I plan to use some pumpkin pie spice. *gasp* I know! A pumpkin spice hot buttered rum! Do to me what you will. I think it will be delishuz.

If I get a chance, I will make rosemary remembrance cookies with the kiddo and her parental units. I also want to try pumpkin soft pretzels.


I think I will ask my guests to bring some cheap dollar store decorations like bats, skulls, spiders, witches, etc. I am after a decent-sized plastic skeleton. I want to adorn it with flowers and some "jewels". It will represent the beloved dead and have a spot somewhere. I can set up a table outside and put some food out there.

Ritual-y Stuff:

I don't know about that yet. I don't want to make that decision completely on my own.I'm not that kind of person, usually. I'd rather it be a collection of ideas and traditions. I'd like to toast to the ancestors and share stories. I'll probably cry a lot because that's what I do, but that's okay.

Divination/Tarot, etc. can take place later. We'll figure out what to do with the kiddo later.

If I end up on my own, there is a Tarot thing I plan on doing either way. I will go out by the fire if I can. I'll still make the food, too.

My friend also wants to go to a cemetery and clean some graves out of respect for those who don't have anyone left to do it. I like that idea, and I hope we get to do it. Again, we'll see.

I want to hear about your plans. What are you doing? What are you making? Who are you honoring? Let's get excited about Samhain! The veil is thinning! Hail the beloved dead. :)

EDIT: This is post 666 on this blog. Hehehehehe.