It is Samhain (Halloween) in the Northern Hemisphere and it is Beltane in the Southern Hemisphere. This Sabbat (High Holy Day) shared and celebrated in shared traditions passed down from the old days and ancient ways.
When I see the commercials about tracing your ancestral roots back to whenever and from wherever they sailed here from, I always wish I could trace the witch aspect of my family, how far back that goes and how unfortunate that original texts were lost as many of our ancestors had to go underground or practice in secret in order to survive. These are the ancestors I called forth last night, All Hallow’s Eve. We have not slept. Awake with the bonfire blazing, music, drumming, dancing, chanting, sex, henna tattoos, sage and other herbal potions burning and all mixed into the air creating a smokey mist of all night ritual and celebratory bliss.
Today, though, is somber. On this Samhain, I summon and reconnect with the West and walk through the veil between the worlds to join my ancestors. They, too, can just as easily move between the worlds should they choose to. Today, I invoke Hecate to be present with me and in me until the sun sets. We will prepare a dumb supper this evening and set an empty plate for any ancestor who might grace us with their presence. Jack-O-Lanterns are lit on the porch steps to frighten away mischievous sprites and fairies. The cauldrons have been cleaned and new metal bits placed inside; each that flank the front door to catch any bad intent or ill-wishes as they enter our home of peace. Incense resin on charcoal tablets spill, wave after wave in the breeze, of dragon’s blood creating a wonderful scent that seems to balloon just above our heads.
The Europeans created this nature-based spirituality to mark the seasons of the year, harvests, plantings, celebrations and ritual. They realized that the year had not been made to spin but rather had been spinning long before them and would continue to spin long after.
Blesssed are those who walk barefoot and connect to the Earth. Blessed are those who hear the whispers of the ancestors in the breeze. Blessed are those whose creativity is fueled by fire. Blessed are those who are cleansed and purified by water from scared wells and tributaries. Blessed are those who continue to walk this nature-based belief and pass it down to the next generation.