Tag Archive | samhain

A Samhain blessing and journey


This weekend was hard, it was beautiful, it was chaotic, it was terrifying, it was so painful and sometimes so loving it’s hard to describe.

Mary is gone now and off to whatever adventures we can’t follow on. She is no longer in pain but we are because she left a huge hole in our hearts.

She smiled at each of us before we sent her on her journey and I will treasure that smile for the rest of my life. I was honoured to spend time with her Friday just holding her hand and being with her. She was going in and out of being present but she knew I was there and that was enough.

Saturday we gathered the family and said our goodbyes. We decorated the altar and her bed. We covered her with her green cloak and the wings of Isis I brought along with BunniHoTep sitting on the end of the bed. It made her smile. We brought her favourite ritual tools and goddess images and the Brighid’s cross from the living room. She was surrounded with love and when we started the rite she was paying attention. Di, S, her step daughter, although I hate to call her step, she was her daughter and I did the rite that Caroline had written for us so beautifully. It was so hard to read it. I’m glad I wasn’t doing to alone. Denise had asked me to do it since she knew she couldn’t and I was supposed to do it alone originally since we had no idea that the others would come but they did.

It’s one thing to priestess for a stranger or someone you don’t know well but for someone you consider your sister, it’s sooo hard. Mary, Denise and I began the Grove together with Laura. We’ve taken every step along the path together from Grove creation to Companion to Bard and then to Druid and finally, Arch Druidess. Along the way we added our sister Diana who is now our Bard and we have Companions in the Grove but for the three of us, it was our dream and we created it together. You don’t get to create many dreams with people you love so much and I’m so lucky that we did.

It was a gift to do the rite and it was a gift to sing her way home to the Summerlands. Talking later after it was over we all saw the same thing but from different angles. I know I saw Laura and Lady Olivia reach out to her and take her hands and then she was gone. It took a small interval that felt like an eternity for her body to stop fighting to breathe but we all knew the instant she was gone and her body was no longer the Mary we loved but an empty vessel.

So on that holiest of days of the Druid calendar, Mary passed from our sight. We will be together again. We’ve all been together many times. We will play together and sing together. We will have ritual together and who knows maybe we will create other Groves together. But the love will always remain and the love will always bind us together. All we need to do is follow the ribbons of love that bind our hearts together. For only love remains.


A Hallows prayer

A Hallows Prayer

I honour my ancestors

Both the ones I know about and those in the far past

I honour my ancestors

The warriors, the bards, the bakers, the wise women

I honour my ancestors

The pagan, the Christians, the earth lovers

I honour my ancestors

The writers, the artists, the explorers

I honour my ancestors

The farmers, the gardeners, the animal tenders

I honour my ancestors

The doctors, the healers, the herbalists

I honour my ancestors

The midwives, the nurses, the apothecaries

I honour my ancestors

Of moor and mountain

Of fjord and sea

Of meadow and fields

Of plains and plateaus

Of hills and vales

And valleys and glens

Of creek and brook

Of river and stream

Of fire and wind

I honour you.

I honour my ancestors

I am the sum of your lives

I am the sum of their loves

I am the end of my line.

I honour my ancestors

In memory, in blood, in the face I bear

I honour my ancestors

In the body I wear

I honour my ancestors

In the day

In the night

And in the between times.

I honour you.

Blessed Samhain

Blessed Samhain, Samhuinn, & Hallows!

Originally a celebration of 3 nights to a week to allow for travel time and the moon to move since this festival was originally determined by the moon. The idea of months is relatively new to the Gaelic peoples. The Gaelic words for the months are a new addition to the Gaelic language. They went by seasonal names and groups of days not a day at a time on the calendar. The word weekend for instance is an American invention from beginning of the last century. In Britain, fortnight and sennight instead a week or two weeks spans. So Samhain is simply the word for Summer’s end. There is no Lord Samhain some nitwit with no knowledge of Gaelic made that up and now Christians use it in tracts to defame pagans. Repeat: THERE IS NO LORD SAMHAIN! And by the way it is not pronounced Sam Hane like some strange man. It’s Sow-in in Ireland and usually Sav- in in Scotland. MH dipthong is pronounced as a “v”. So is BH, by the way although if in the middle of the word they may be silent.

So for the Gaels it was a matter of honouring their family dead and setting a place for them at the feast. It was also a night of fear of the Fae. Not pretty Victorian fairies but full size or bigger and dressed for the Wild Hunt. If you didn’t pay homage to them you were liable to be taken away or hunted by the Wild Hunt and never seen again. Alone on the moors in the Highlands was no place to be on Samhain Night.

So light the bonefires and know that if the crops are not in by now they are the ransom paid to the Fae and no longer belong to you. Farmer, you had best be sure to have the last of the turnips and beets in. This is the harvest of the root vegetable, the harvest of nuts from the woods and the harvest of the animals you can’t feed through the winter. Tonight is the feast to prepare us for tomorrow’s winter. We celebrate the eve because we know that light follows dark as spring follows winter. We know that loss comes before gain and indeed from death comes life.

This is the time now for stories. Summer is for play and for work outside, Now we enter around the fireside and listen to the tales of the Seanchai or Fili. Listen to the tales of your tribe, the tales of the wise Druids, the tales of the heroes and heroines, listen to the words of your ancestors. Listen to the wind outside for their tales too. Roast the nuts and watch the women waulk the cloth. Listen to the songs of the people who came before you and rest. Your heavy work is done.

Listen to the piper, listen to the Bodran and the whistle. Come bring the bairns and watch the smoke rise from the peat. It’s Samhain night, It’s Samhain Night, IT’S SAMHAIN NIGHT!

What is remembered lives

What is remembered lives

Help me always to remember

What is remembered lives

Let me see their shining faces

What is remembered lives

Let me hear their loving voices

What is remembered lives

Let me hear their laughter

What is remembered lives

Let me catch their unique scent on the wind

What is remembered lives

Let me see their shadow pass by

What is remembered lives

Let me hear their footsteps

What is remembered lives

Let me feel their touch

What is remembered lives

Let them always be in my heart

What is remembered lives

Let them always be in my memory

What is remembered lives

Let me know that someday I will join their shades

What is remembered lives

What is remembered lives

What is remembered lives

Kat 2015


A prayer

Hallows winds blow ’round me
Hallows winds protect me
Hallows winds go with me
I take this journey out of love
Be with me as we do difficult things
We travel in love
Carrying with us the blessings
Of sisterhood
We are sending a sister
Into your arms, dear Brighid
Kind Hecate
Healing Quan Yin
Let us be her strength
Let her know she is loved
Let her be calm knowing
She is never alone
She is being born again
in the Summerland
May a new sun shine above her
May a new moon watch over her
May the new stars guide her
Let the loved ones who meet her
Know she was loved to the end
May they greet her with welcoming arms
May they teach her new ways
May she remember us
We will miss her
We have loved her
We have held her spirit
And it is beautiful
May she feel no pain
As she passes from us
May she be healed
In her new body
May she be blessed
Bless us as we hold the space
Bless us as we do hard things
Bless our tears
They are because she is loved
Bless our tears
We will miss her
Bless our tears
And let them cleanse us
Death is a passage
We can’t walk yet
It is not our test yet
So we watch for her
So we protect her
So we love her
Let the wings of Isis enfold her
Let the cloak of Brighid cover her
Let the ways of Elen guide her
So mote it be.

BunniHotep meets Baba Yaga

Once upon a time BunniHoTep was in her Temple dusting the altar because it was the Priestesses day off when she heard a strange booming noise. The noise was coming closer and closer and started to shake the Temple a small bit. BunniHoTep went running outside into the twilight to see the strangest sight.

There standing on 4 immense chicken legs was a small cabin. On the porch stood a gnarled old woman shading her eyes against the setting sun. She had come from the Northeast and was dressed for a much warmer climate.

She hailed BunniHoTep from her high perch in harsh sounding voice.. “You there! Can you help me?”

BunniHoTep looked dubiously at the woman and her cabin. She had a bad feeling about this but she decided she was probably safe if she stayed away from those big talons. “Yes, what do you need?”, said BunniHotep

“Have you seen a very large pestle? The woman asked.

“A pestle as in mortar and pestle?” Asked BunniHoTep. “ I haven’t seen anything like that around here. Where did you lose it?”

The house was turning this way and that as the woman stood on her porch leaning on a broom. “It somehow got away from me and I need it as a rudder for my flying mortar. My name is Baba Yaga and I’m the guardian spirit of the Waters of Life and Death and the nights this time of year are when I have the most work.” The old woman said. “This is harvest season and it’s my busiest time of year but I can’t fly without that blasted pestle.”

BunniHoTep said carefully, I don’t remember seeing a pestle but there is a new obelisk on the Avenue of the Gods. It came floating down the Nile the other day all by itself. Should we go look? By the way my name is BunniHoTep”

The woman stopped in thought, “Well, it does seem to have a mind of its own some days. I think it’s been hanging around the house too much.” The woman climbed down a ladder that had extended itself from the center of the floor of the cabin. “These old bones don’t get this far south in my travels usually.”

BunniHoTep looked at the woman. She was as wrinkled as the dried apples that came from the northern orchards and she was a lot fairer of face than most Egyptians. She also noticed that the cane the woman had produced was a very long thigh bone. BunniHoTep guided the woman to the Avenue of the Gods and sure enough the last and smallest new obelisk was the pestle. The pestle started to shake as Baba Yaga walked up to and she rapped it smartly when she walked up to it. “You know better than this! We need you at home right now.”

The pestle wrestled itself out of the ground and hopped along with the two goddesses as they walked back to the Temple.

“Where do you come from?” asked BunniHoTep curiously.

“I come from the deep forests of the north where it starts to get very cold this time of year. The souls will start to fly home soon and I need to be there to meet them. I want to thank you for helping me. Anytime you want a visit to the trees. Call for me and I will come but ask the cabin nicely and it will turn for you so the door will open. It gets very cranky when the hero types come and try to break in when all they need to do is ask nicely.” The woman climbed the ladder and the pestle followed her up and sheepishly went into the cabin. If a pestle could look sheepish it is certain this one did.

The house turned three times and walked away to the North. BunniHotep waved to the woman on the porch as long as she could see her. She hopped back into her Temple. That was surely one of the strangest encounters she had ever had she thought to herself. “I think its time for some tea and carrots.” And she hopped toward her awaiting tea.

Grief is a nasty black dog

The most powerful tool to help someone grieve, at least for me, is to just be there. Cry with me. Laugh with me if I have a seemingly inappropriate memory that makes me laugh. Listen to me. If it’s a group loss, hold each other.

For me, grief is a big black ugly dog and I’m sorry but I don’t like dogs. It follows your around. It sneaks up behind you and trips you when you turn around and you didn’t expect it to be there. It widdles on the carpet and you curse as you clean it up. It looks at you as if you have the answer and you don’t and it makes you feel helpless.

When you aren’t looking it bites and it hurts so much and you can try to figure out how to tell it to go away and it won’t. Eventually it may fade away across the moor but you will still hear it howl far away like some hound of the Baskervilles on dark nights when you really don’t want to be alone and it’s frightening.

Grief is cumulative over a life time and every time someone you love dies that damn dog gets bigger. Mine is currently the size of a big dumb Newfoundland and is trying to crawl in my lap again. I don’t want it. It isn’t cute at all. It slobbers.

I know Hecate has hounds but I’m a cat person. Cats are better at knowing when you need solace and when you need to be left alone.

But now the damn dog is back and I hate it.