The Samhain Vow
On the Wheel of the Year does the Winter begin;
the world is austere and we all turn within.
I vow there to face the shadows I find
and work to unlace their powers that bind.
I vow to invoke my Ancestors relief
and release in the smoke all my fear and my grief.
This task I do claim as I mark this Samhain,
and swear by the flame behind Jack's cheery grin.
Celebrations for the Seasons of Life: Samhain To Ostara
At this time of year, when death is very much a theme of the season, so to speak, it can be easy to forget the joy of this season, the fun stuff: carving pumpkins, costumes and Halloween parties, harvest feasts, and autumn foods like big pots of hot soup waiting for us at home, oh... and all the other good Halloween fun rituals. The remembrances can be sad, but we can focus on the joy in remembering, the happiness and excitement that we experience at this time. Don't forget that part of it too - the fun.
I read an article about how to keep your carved pumpkin from getting moldy so I'll share it here. Cut the the top or bottom off, which ever you do, clean out the seeds and stingy fiber, then wipe away any dirt. Soak the pumpkin in a bleach solution - a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water - for about 5 minutes, stirring it around and keeping it submerged. Invert on a cloth to drain, wipe dry completely and allow to air dry for an hour. When completely dry, coat the inside with a thin layer of petroleum jelly and wipe the excess. This seals the pumpkin, but I would only use a tea light in a glass container in my pumpkin if I did this, I would worry about it possibly catching fire, so WARNING!
Here is the link for instructions using a spray bottle of bleach water and the petroleum jelly.
Click here for some instructions, a bit different, by the Clorox bleach company.
Devotional activity: take a walk outside and pick up some fallen branches, leaves, stones, pine cones, twigs, whatever you find, and add these as decorations to your altar. Remember to leave some sunflower or pumpkins seeds, or bird seed, as an offering and a way to give thanks for the treasures you are given.
Blessings dark and deep!