Thursday, October 25, 2012

Samhain approaches- a perfect storm

Samhain card

With the coming of the first frost, the harvest is ended.
In this ending is our New Year’s beginning.
We see our future rooted in our past,
as life grows out of death.
Our reverence for life brings us to honor the dead as we enter the dark half of the year.

Come celebrate summer’s end, the season of Samhain, passings and our dead.

After the storms, after the parties, before the elections
we will gather on Sunday November 4th 11am
to put a close to the holiday
to share our harvest
to offer our gratitude
and to begin our New Year.

potluck to follow ritual
please RSVP for more info & directions

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


egg on omphalos

Egg dripping dripping dripping

No longer are there sounds at night- birds, bugs are silent. only the winds, the winter winds begin.
We wake and it is barely light. The long night beckons.

Setting up all day on the actual equinox, at the exact time balancing our egg and doing a small family gathering- just the 3 of us (and Max the cat)- balanced first in the kitchen and then together just going to the nemeton, just to look and to be and to offer and feel our balance together.

lighting equinox   Max watcheshand, flame, egg & Max    dripping flame

the sound of a single raven flying.

all day setting up, clearing the way, gathering sacrifice. burning candles of gratitude and prosperity all day.

and when the rains came just before dark they still burned.
walking outside just in time to see the last flash of flaring flame of gratitude before it extinguished as a leaf slowly drifted down. the money flame, protected by glass, rose and fell for a long time in the drenching storm.
I watched protected by our new entranceway, art crafted as is the rest of our home from branches and reclaimed wood and stones and graced with an ancient horseshoe gifted by our friend.
This candle fought the rain and the pool of wax, opening like a flower or our hearts, fed it with splashes of fuel. Finally the flame went but glowed like an ember beyond me moving inside.

flame of gratitudeflame of prosperity

Equinox as opening and closing doors. Allowing all that you need.

On the morning of our ritual I woke rested for the first time in a while, put the oven on, did yoga, and vacuumed. Cleaned the bathroom even before coffee.
Hosting ritual is so much more than our intent, than our sacrifices for the Kindreds. Sometimes more than the time we spend the day before and after. Sometimes the hosting is a daily practice or a yearning or a constant worry.
But always it is the cleaning, sweeping the threshold so all who arrive feel welcome and honored.

basket of stuff  gathered

Carrying baskets of stuff out through the woods to the nemeton. The iris reeds grabbed by the birch branches and scattered. Shaking the seeds of flowers everywhere.

“Thanks, this is my purpose.”

inside and outside
the warmth of the sun pulling that in.

What does the harvest mean?
A gathering of friends? of community?
Being able to go to your neighbor’s garden, when she is not even there, to pick vegetables to fill out a salad?
Making pesto off the cuff in a group?
Expanding kitchen.

Our group came at extended times- first Kevin, who often seems like a spirit gifted directly from the gods; then Susan, herself a goddess of calm, healing and joy; then phone calls of ‘we are on our way’ from Jill and Raf, friends of both generations of our family and each with an intensity of creative spirit; and Mj, our brother from another mother. The day was fine as was the pumpkin bread which lasted throughout the fine discussion of the season which lasted until all arrived.

Why are we here and now?
Bryan brought out paintings as illustrations of our discussion- the feedback loops. What do we choose? How do we define our balance?
When is positive just another negative?

Talking and hearing, listening to what is around us.
Taking time to tour the gardens or what is left of them, tasting the last fruits, admiring autumn blooming.

late blooming suzies

We are here to honor the gods, gods who give meaning to life.

ringing the gong from both sides.

processing in a vague meandering line to the woods.

blue jays and crows caw.

nemeton autumn equinox 2012

gifted feathers for our directions.
motherwort vinegar for our Earth mother
turkey neck, skin hanging in strips for the Outsiders
garlic for our healing Bridget
wine and food for our Kindred,
with the ‘pope’s nose’ prize fat for the Gods

sacred fire  glow within us


Sitting on a rock
balancing on 2 warm rocks
feel yourself here now.

balancing rocks

the cat going right through the portals, checking out the fire, the waters, the sacrifice
fearless and open

fulcrum of fire

A balancing point, the stillness of just about.
The fulcrum of now and the simple noise of not yet winter but no longer summer.

autumn equinox omens

Joy from our Ancestors
Hail from the spirits-destruction for something new
Self from the Gods & Goddesses-feeling the Gods inside us
The Sun from the season
Straif –the Black Thorn as our Ogham. the traditional Shillelagh wood- defense or protection or force 

Cascading water as final sacrifice in case there was any forgotten

feel your ability to draw up from the earth and to draw down from the sun.
feel the air on your skin, feel the earth against your body, in your body.


the Hospitality of the Body
the Fertility of the Mind
the Moderation of the Spirit

moss path   thru the woods

Processing back through the dappled light of the woods. 
Linda showing up just in time for feasting.
Intermingling of people already friends without knowing it. Lots of apple pies.
Yoga on the land.

warming fire

And at the end, sitting by the warming fire with the turtle eggs while Bryan was in the nemeton burning everything that was left.


Friday, October 5, 2012


autumn leaves

The leaves started to fall the day after the equinox. Not only here, but several friends mentioned it as well. At times furiously coming down in great haste, other times imperceptibly drifting down like dandelion heads.
Now when it is not warm or you are not in the sun it is Cold and we have already used the woodstove.
The garden is, as always, not yet put to bed (though we did get to plant and mulch garlic) but, other than kale, some herbs and vines, the harvest is over.

end of season garden

It is impossible to catch this autumn light in the lens of a camera, the orange cast in the air disappears. Today is the first day of sun in a week- some days were raining hard, some pleasant grey and some shrouded in mist.
The sun moves ever more due South.
We need to collect branches and sticks.


Samhain approaches fast. The spirits of Wyrrd gather. Last night the moon, already North of the equinox sunrise, hung strangely in the trees looking like a light bulb or eyeball. Pools of condensation everywhere.

rocks and morning glories