Archive for November 2017

Samhain ’17   Leave a comment


I was pretty worried about the ritual feast this year. Well, I was actually really excited in the days leading up to it as well, but I was also afraid that the grief over Nik would overwhelm me when I invited in my Dead, and just blanket the entire evening.

There were moments of intense grief. There were tears. But it wasn’t a sad evening, it was a lovely one, and the sad moments were appropriate and not ghastly.

You’d think I’d know after lo these many years that they never go the way I anticipate for good or ill. But it seems as if I’m hardwired to anticipate and project and be wrong.

It was super busy in the days leading up to the ritual, good busy but still busy, and I’m a scattered disorganized girl and that made it more difficult. I enjoyed reading Tarot at Inn BoonsBoro for two days before Samhain, but I should have taken my boss up on her offer to let me have the 31st off. Now, when she made the offer I didn’t know about the Tarot clients so didn’t realize I’d lose those days of prep, but not getting started until the feast prep until mid-afternoon made for a late start.

It had been made pretty clear to me that this year homemade bread (which I love to make but don’t very often any more) was expected, and homemade bread is time-consuming even though I Kitchen-Aid my dough instead of hand-kneading.

But it was also fun.

When I got home from work I put on my ritual clothes (read Halloween stuff) and my awesome Halloween apron, made for me by my beloved Aunt Lindy, cranked up the Spotify Halloween playlist and dove in.

Got the bread going first, and as it sat on the woodstove to rise, I sauteed the veggies for Veggie Annie’s Velvety Pumpkin Chowder and chopped more veggies for the Roasted Root Veggies (which ended up having more than root veggies in it, but the kthonic intent was there, I think.)

And while I’d tried to wiggle out of dessert, that wasn’t permitted either. I didn’t have the devil’s food cake mix I thought I did so the cupcakes were a rather pedestrian yellow cake, but filled with blood orange cream and topped with homemade marshmallow buttercream frosting.

I had Halloween sprinkles but didn’t use them because sprinkles annoy me. My guests seemed okay with that much of me trying to assert myself a little in the midst of all the must-dos.

The food didn’t actually take as long as I feared, although it was certainly long enough. But by the time the ol’ man and I had dinner together and I cleaned up, and then began to prepare for the feast and the ritual, the evening got away from me.

In the sadness over losing Tramp I somehow never got around to putting a photo of him in the folder. So I lost a lot of time poking around trying to find some good ones, as well as one off FB of my high school friend Butch Marlow who left this past year. And my printer didn’t want to work. And the computer is dying a slow death.

And aaaaaaaaaaaallll the candles I light during the ritual. And the Tarot cards. Brewing the strong coffee the ancestors wanted (which I totally get- I think coffee will be one of the things I miss most when I cross over.)

It was a beautiful almost-full moon, and while the sky wasn’t clear, the dancing in and out of the clouds in the chilly breeze was about as perfect as one could want. I’d also washed my acres of crystals and planned to set ’em out in the Samhain moonlight, but granted myself the grace to put that task off for a day or two.

As it was, it was after 11 by the time I set the table with all the pictures and the feast and the beer and the cider and coffee, and got all the freakin’ candles lit, and the incense going, and could finally go out to the Gates and invite everyone in.

While I didn’t get either the spooked feeling or the intense presence of the throng that I’ve experienced in the past, the rending of the veil was pretty palpable. The mood was cheerful and somewhat excited as we all made our way up the driveway. Nik and Tramp both appeared about halfway to the house, but it was a warm friendly sweet greeting, not a huge wave or sadness.

The litany did have a few surprises. Austin was hard, although his spirit is so light and full of laughter and brightness. I think that’s what was hard. He was very present this year.

My old cat from Bermuda, Katkat, provoked a strong response in me this year. She was such a gracious, lovely being, and hasn’t been front and center in a long, long time. It was sweet and very sad to remember her so very vividly.

The Moms didn’t really feel individually forceful this year, although one of the only actual messages I got came from a group that identified as the Mothers. Mom, Little Mumsie, Grandma Allred are the ones I know, along with David’s Aunt Jean who has muscled herself in there. There are others too, ones back along the Line but I don’t know their names. They just said to remember to sit with them when I’m wrestling with issues, that the Mother Wisdom is only available if I consciously avail myself of it.

Good to know.

Sam was very present too. He usually is. I’m so grateful for that. Seeing him is one of the things I look forward to most.

Michael seemed easier this year, and indicated that he’s doing fine, but that until everyone who was wrecked by his actions have stopped experiencing the repercussions of them, he won’t really be released. Which makes sense, I think, I just hadn’t had it put so baldly before. What was really interesting was that my Grandpa Allred and beloved Uncle Mart indicated the same thing. I guess some issues don’t work out until everyone crosses over and it gets sorted out over there?

Or maybe until the descendants do some Work to make it happen.

I know a good few folks who believe this strongly, and the Gods know I’ve been trying to open myself to understanding what my ancestors might need me to do on their behalf. I don’t really get it yet.

But I’m trying.

Rather to my surprise the cats and Jasmine didn’t seem particularly interested or aware of the throng. Usually my animals are way into the Samhain feast, but they were pretty chill this year. I especially thought the cats would be excited about Tramp, and Jazz to see Nik, but if they were they didn’t really indicate it to me.

One rather nice thing that happened was when I wandered out to the yard, which was still and brightly moonlit in that moment, but as I stood looking out over the front pasture to the trees it felt totally empty to me. My heart sank. The feast was going in inside the house, and there were certainly groups of spirits chatting and hanging out, but the yard was so quiet and barren.

And you know, I so wanted my Nik.

And then she was there, at my shoulder, lipping at me. And slowly the other seven horses who came this year appeared nearby, not having anything much to with me, just grazing and doing groomies in the moonlight.

Oh, I was so grateful.

My reading wasn’t memorable. At least it wasn’t the dire frickin’ OMG type reading it’s been for the last few.

And that’s it. Pretty quiet, pretty lovely, pretty full of love, with some needed tears sprinkled in.



Posted November 7, 2017 by suzmuse in Uncategorized