Samhain is my time of the bones. Within us resides the signature of the bones before us and all of the ones to come after. If we look around our communities, we can see the bones of where we call home too. In my own community, the trees are losing their leaves quickly revealing the structures of trees and limbs, the fire of life dropping to the ground where the rest of the bones reside
The Flame and Ash
This year, the altar of remembering is growing larger. It’s not just the veneration of ancestors and the spirits of place, but those who shared my bones in this life. I am using my connection to Themis to be able to open the channels of the bones. This includes the bones of the trees. Bones of my bones. An amalgam of that which is Within and without. It signals to the energetic world my understanding of the importance of this connection of here and now. The connection to the signature of the DNA within my bones and the signature of the bones of the trees cannot be overstated. I bring the outside in. And I bring the inside out.
Here’s a peek at my own practice:
In working with Themis, I created a strategic altar and a Black Sacred Candle. It includes a sigil to the planetary themes, intentions, and very specific offerings. I added the human and serpent bones (beads and vertebrae) and then added the ancestral keys and ties to spirits of the land.
The Besom for me is used to clear out the energy of a space but also to pull in specific energy too. The intuitive selection of leaves, the colors, and the specific plants have a very personal meaning. The way it is placed is just as important as the way it is made. Notice the difference in placement below, see if you can feel the difference.
There are numerous ways to call to the bones, to invite them in as guests in a sacred place and time. I have seen extraordinary chants and invocations, dances and drumming, and a vast mixture of all of them. My call is simple, I light the candle and I move the besom.
The Love Letters of Remembrance
“For here, what is remembered lives” ~ The Gates, Let it Begin Album, Starhawk and Reclaiming & Friends (1992)
I write. Surprise (haha)! However, our remembrance doesn’t have to be love letters, it can be eulogies in story form, or even saying specific names out loud. It can be silent, holding an idea or picture in the mind. It can be an understanding of the powers present upon the altar that are honored here as a part of the reverence to the spirits of land and cosmos. I write, with the little papers painted with pomegranate blessings, to take with me from flame to ash at The Fire & Dance for The Dead.
The Fire & Dance for The Dead
This is a special moment of the year. A moment of pause in the space of both the living and the dead. I start a fire and around the flames we go, speaking the messages from pomegranate painted papers and tossing into the flames. I have added music and let my body dance the spiral around the bonfire, in any way I choose. It is a sacred time, where the bones meet at the fire, all reduced to ash. It is a beautiful moment to come to back to life as the great weaving continues. Once I am done with the fire and the dance, it is time to gather the whispers and the messages to carry me across the threshold.
No matter how you celebrate Samhain, if it is one night or three, may your connection to your dead and the spirits of place be one that you feel in your bones.
A Candle & A Key,
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