Welcome once again to my Hallows Everyday series of postings. I believe this is the third year I am indulging in this wonderful countdown to that most sacred of days, Hallows, Hallowmas, or Samhain, whatever your tradition may call it. I consider the entire time from the Autumn Equinox to about the 13th of November to be the Hallowtide season.
This year, along with the poetry, historical tidbits, humor, or whatever I feel like posting, I will include a small devotional practice to add to your own devotions, be they daily, weekly, or haphazard. Join me if you will and leave a note about your experience if you are so inclined, I'd love to hear about it. So, let us begin with some autumn poetry.
The leaves of red, bright gold, and brown,
To Mother Earth come tumbling down,
The breezy nights, the ghostly sights,
The eerie, spooky, far off sounds
Are signs that it's October.
from It Must Be October by Pearl N. Sorrels
I live in South Florida where we have no Autumn, no turning leaves, no discernible change in weather. Oh, how I miss the Autumn! And so, I make Autumn inside Toadstool Condo - the scent of simmering spices touched by the kiss of apple; pomanders drying in bowls of spices add to the warm and comforting aromas. Apple cake bakes, spiced tea brews, a fire in the hearth, autumn and Halloween theme stitching add to the atmosphere made merry by the Hallows decorations.
The shrine for the goddesses I am devoted to has been decorated as well; branches, acorns, sheaves of wheat, candles of orange, gold, red, brown, and black. My Ancestor altar has been cleaned and rededicated, and decorated for the season. After all, this is the time They are most active.
Devotional activity: Dedicate an orange candle, preferably scented with spices of the season, to your Ancestors. Light it each night, or just once a week, letting Them know They are welcome. Leave a little offering of cake or cookie, bread or a bit of your dinner. Let it stand on the altar until you extinguish your candle, then take the offering outside and leave it in some special place: the base of a favorite tree, a hedge, garden.
Blessings dark and deep!