The Samhain Altar

  This weekend we set up our Samhain altar/ nature table. Chris and I had planned on having two  separate tables. One ancestors altar, honoring our friends and family that have died, and one nature table that the children could play with and add on to as treasures were found. While Chris suited up to winterize the bees, I dug through the alter cupboard, choosing appropriate items: old photographs, acorns, gnomes, tarot cards, etc.
  Just as the children began to gather around, excited to help, Chris gave a holler from the yard and I hurried off. (Don’t worry – only a question about where to place the bee escape.)

  We returned together, ready to begin the altar building. To our surprise, the children had already finished and were very proud of themselves! They even put an incense burner in the cauldron for a foggy effect. And so, the Samhain season begins at Many Hands House.



Full Moon and Ritual

The last full Moon, She was huge and full and beautiful a few days past.  I called to Wolfie, I said, “Hey, Wolfie, wanna go give the Moon a drink?”  He nods, and we fill our offering horn with milk and head out to the patio.  The grass, the trees, the trampoline, shine silver.  Morgan decides this is a perfect gig for him and his new guitar, and joins us, strumming quietly.  Miraculously, he is followed by Rhianon, Archer, and Rowan (Rowan!) who cradles Maeve in his arms.  We stand together, watching Her for long moments.  I ask Rowan to hold Maeve up to the Moon, and I say, “This is Maeve, o Moon.”  As I pour out the horn of milk onto the grass, I say my favorite libation line from Sparky, “Drink long, drink deep, be with us, be well.”  It’s over as quickly as it started, and we file back into the house.

This, in our family, is ritual.  We have, over the years, stripped away almost every last bit of ceremonial magic (circle casting, quarter calling, pentagram drawing, etc.) from our religious practice.  I don’t judge any of those things; they are part of any Pagan’s religious inheritance.  For us, however, these simple rituals are a veryhonest and heartfelt way to creatively express our values and understanding of what it means to be Pagans.

Did you see the last full Moon? Wasn’t She beautiful?

Night-time blessings

Melanie’s blessing:

Mother Night,

Let (him/her) run in your fields of darkness,

drink from the cup of your milky moon,

cradle (him/her) in a blanket of stars,

and, when you depart,

may the rising Sun kiss their waking brow.

Chris’ blessing:

Night has fallen,

Day has flown,

Holy Hammer guard this home.

From trolls and giants,

Thor, do keep our family safe,

so we can sleep.

First Fire

A Charm for Fire in Winter

Loudly she roars, Lung-Spear,

screaming wind, spitting ice.

Rise up, o Fire,

shield us from Her rage.

Come, o spark,

rise up from your bed,

made from the Green God’s hair.

Come, o flame,

rise up from your bench,

made from the Green God’s bones.

Come, o fire,

rise out of your hall,

made from the Green God’s limbs.

Roar, o blaze!

Answer her wrath,

and keep us ’til Sun’s return.