Blessed day, all! However you celebrate it, this holiday is a fun one.
For Wiccans, this is the New Year. I have celebrated it as such for 25 years, now, though I have found myself being directed to include more and more from other traditions. We are an ecclectic lot, regardless of how fundamentalist we might think ourselves. In our centuries-long struggles to maintain a connection with our various faiths, we have mixed, hidden, or transformed our holy days to preserve their existence. This is a testament to our, and our ancestors' determination to keep our identities. It is a blessing. A distinctive trait of humanity. To be sure, things are not utopian, and we are not completely free to be us -no one is, but we are closer, even in the worst of societies, to being who our Spirits want us to be.
Halloween is an example of this process in every facet of the continuum. That's not my topic for the day, but anyone interested can send me a line, and I'll work on it.
For today, I'm going to put down what my Spirits require of me for All Hallows. There will be elements others can identify with, and maybe learn from, and others that will be 'out there' but my intention is this: to share my tradition so that others can reclaim the parts that are from theirs or learn where these ideas came from. We are all in a place of reconstruction, to one extent or another.
For one, I have to be clean. Salt, or Florida Water after a shower does this. I lit up some lavender and Silver Lotus incense, and a candle, too, since I like fire, and I'm still stinging that we have a burn ban in place. :(( Ideally, a fire pit, with sage, lavendar and anything cleansing you are directed to include is a good smudge. You can use the fire to get rid of old spellwork or unneeded supplies without incurring detriment. Burning the names of those passed through the year, allows further separation from the physical and can help them break from this lifetime. Don't do this without Spirit Assistance or Consultation with an Elder/ress. As a personal grief release, this is good, but for the separation aspect, Guidance is necessary. (This is where I lament that I could not cast a proper circle around my fire pit and sing the turning of the Wheel. I usually throw cards, too, and burn offerings for Souls-passed. I wear white for this. My house is still in turmoil while we remodel, so I have a limited (maybe non-existent) casting space inside, too. --wailing grief)
My house doorways MUST be cleansed. Salt is good, but I like 7 Powers water or Jinx Removing in mop water. I sweep rugs, dust and polish doors and clean nearby windows. This is needed for your altar space, too. For the Yoruba out there, I changed my coconut last week. This is a necessity for anyone keeping an Ellegua protective in their house. Do NOT bring last year's Ache with you into the next. You will not lose progress by changing it, but you can drag something negative you didn't know about. (Ideally this should be done every 3 or 7 of the increment of your choice, but definitely at the new years you celebrate... calendar, Wiccan, Chinese, or birthday, for example.) I have fresh flowers -fall colors- on my mantle, and the seeds from my moonvine drying for Winter Rest and Nerthys offering for Mother Night during Yule. Both represent the harvest of the old year, freely given to the new: one with the potential to spread into further years. Also, the moonvine seeds are white, so O'Batala likes them very much. (You're seeing the ecclecticism, yes?) Another way to really clean out a house is NOISE. The Orixas really like rattles, but even loud music will work if you keep your intention clear.
For me, 10/31 is the day when everybody's dressed up. We Elders do our workings, welcoming anyone who might be passing through. We must be careful not to harm the children, and keep a special eye out for them, since this is their time to have fun. We offer them candy as a blessing. For those little costumites who are children, they receive protection and joy from our butterfingers. Those who are Spirits in disguise receive kindness, inclusion and celebration. (Some children might be more open to the Spirit-side and need protection from the deeper workings of the day as well. Parents who know/suspect such abilities can wash their children's hands in salt water before they go out, or sprinkle salt on their costume to keep them safe.) Traditionally, 11/1 was my day for being open to communication with anyone wishing it. When I was having fertility issues, I kept my face bare, so that a Seeking Spirit would know I was willing to bring him/her through to the physical plane. Even the slightest make-up on 11/1 will block this contact, so FOR SOME WOMEN preventing communication is as simple as wearing lip balm. (Don't hold me to this. Irresponsible behavior has consequences, but anyone conscious enough to think this is a good idea will be using OTHER preventatives, too, yes? Intention is everything, but sooo few people recognize their true intentions these days...)
This year is my Croning and I was told to work Fertility for others as a part of my Transitioning. My face will be bare, but for another's benefit, not my own. So, anyone noticing that I'm naked-faced and thinking I'm looking for a be-be? No :(, but YES!!! :)!! for F and A. I have already received messages for both of them about things they need to do, but I'm sure more will come tomorrow.
Oh, and offerings!!!
Something to wash with. Something to drink. Something to eat. A comfortable place to rest. This year, I used my front porch, where I have chairs, already. I have a white bowl with salt, pepper, 3 bay leaves, 7 moonvine seeds and rain water for washing. I have a plate with bread, cheese, almonds and chocolate chip cookies for eating. I have a mug of honeyed tea and glass of water for drinking. It's in the north corner of my porch, shaded from wind and rain, too, so anyone needing a guiding hand will have it when they're finished resting. We won't be home tonight, so the lights will be off -Spirits sometimes like it better that way. This is your way station for any Spirit passing by. Asatru pay special attention to including faeries, pixies, and wights. Yoruba are very careful to recognize travellers, too, so I'm careful to keep this tradition in effect.
Blessings to all of you, for the closing of the Old Year, and the coming of the New. I have traditionally offered readings to anyone interested for this, and the calender New Year. I'm on FB at Mothersforge (religious org.) if you wish one. Be safe, and have fun!!!
The sad part is that I won't be slinging loot from this locale. I have appointed my son to sling from Grandma's porch while we attend a family function, so the little ones in her neighborhood will be happy and maybe we won't get egged? I regret this, but I already know my Spirits, and any others, will be travelling wherever they must to find me. Any medium will tell you, sometimes with a little wryness, how they are never 'off-call.'
11/1 is the day for messages. This is when I find out who needs help with what, maybe even get it done, or learn what I'm going to be doing for the next year.