Monday, November 5, 2012

Samhain Celebrations

 This last Saturday we celebrated Samhain as a family. Our day of recognizing ancestors and recently departed, and our New Year. It was a simple and fun day.

We started with breakfast- Pumpkin bread, cinnamon rolls, apple turnovers, scrambled eggs with cheese (I topped mine with sauteed mushrooms and onions, YUM!), and sausages. We tired to stick with foods of the season, foods of homemade goodness.

After our hearty breakfast we all set out for a hike on the property (well minus P who was still sleeping). Having just had the grounds bush hogged the day before (after a long long time) is was an adventure to go rediscover our land, see how much it had changed since spring.

Fall is fast becoming my favorite season (here). Warm days give way to cool nights where we can light fire in the stove. The colors showing nature as her finest. A fine walk leads to wonderful naps.

 After I napped and while the babies still napped, the olders made masks. Traditionally masks were worn at Samhain to show the qualities you wanted to express over the coming year, or were an animal totem that came to you.

The kids loved putting forth their creative selves.

P shines in these activities.

Not really rooted in our Pagan history but fun none the less- Bobbing for Apples. Partaking in the seasonal harvest with a twist. The kids' favorite by far!

P got hers on the first shot! I love how even at 13 she isn't too old to get into the spirit. (Sometimes she needs a little push.)

C and J went first, without the rules being explained, so they just plucked theirs out of the basin.

O needed a second try to get his. But he didn't want to give up.

This is the whole for our offering for the departed. A sign of respect to feed them an apple, to show they are missed and still thought of.

 An apple is buried outside the front (and back door) to welcome the ancestors and ask them to help protect the home and its inhabitants.

P starting the hole in which we will later (the next day) bury our Wish Pumpkin. We all took turns putting our energy into it.

Hole digging gave way to a bit of raking of the straw around our house. We don't have trees to build leaf piles but we had plenty of straw from the bush hogging.
 Not really set in any Pagan traditions but fun none the less.

This turned into a fun family game! 

While dinner was cooking we all sat done and wrote out our regrets for the past year and wishes and goals for the next. 

After dinner we placed the wishes and goals into a pumpkin, to be buried when the candle burnt out (the next day for us). The meaning behind this tradtion is to place them in the ground where they can grow. (And maybe we'll have a volunteer pumpkin patch next year too!)

With the regrets we burned them in the fire. Releasing them, and ourselves, from them. The smoke bringing them to the Gods/Goddess to help us in our efforts.

Dinner was a new soup we tried; Burgundy French Onion with sour dough bread and both Pumpkin and Pecan pies for dessert. (I didn't get photos of the soup because honestly it wasn't that great, we all finished it and there really wasn't much complaint from the kids- but when we adults say "never again" you know its a pass.)

We had such a beautiful, wonderful, fun day. I am so happy we've been able to start this new tradition. We did not get to a few activities we wanted to do, and thought we'd do the next day (didn't happen then either) but it did open it up for us to do more with those activities (making Witches' Ladders- prayer beads, and Bean Runes). We're talking about using the weekends to teach and learn about the Runes and using them as a family. The Witches' Ladders the girls and I may make some evening while DH is at work and the boys are asleep. It feels so good to be bringing all this into our home and to our children.

Goddess Bless everyone!

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