Hallowmas, All Hallows Eve (October 31) The Celtic New Year. The time when the Sword of Power is exchanged from the Goddess to the God symbolizing the beginning of his reign. The land is no longer lush and fertile; winter is fast approaching. A dumb or silent super the last repast for those who have died this year, is shared as we bid a final farewell for this lifetime. Traditionally, it was considered inappropriate to mourn the loss of a loved one after Samhain. Any crops still standing in the field after Samhain were considered the property of the faeries, and it was very unlucky to harvest after this day.
Modern Witch's of today consider our paychecks as part of the harvest, and as a means of exchanging energy with the Universe and those around us we regularly give to charities, as well you will find Witch's mixed among those who volunteer their time to work with the elderly, aids patients, and the local children's hospital.
Most Witch's follow the path of the Goddess, although in today's adverse society there are those who consider themselves a Witch who does not prescribe to the **Wiccan** faith or belief system and there are many Witch's who will not acknowledge someone as a Witch unless they have been initiated into a coven or by a Witch of a higher degree. I tend to disagree with this for I believe that if you choose to walk the path, and to pay homage to the Goddess and Gods alike you have the right to consider yourself as a Witch, in-fact I know many Witch's today who were never initiated into a formal coven who practice and worship of their own accord.
I personally will not divulge the inner workings of my spiritual or magical rituals to anyone who is not of the proper degree. I believe that there are some things that we are meant to learn on our own, and to be handed such knowledge is detrimental to our personal growth especially on a spiritual level, in order to move forward and to rise among the ranks we must be willing to put forth the energy, and do the work that is necessary for our evolvement.
The classes that I teach in candle magic have nothing to do with building a circle, calling the quarters or inviting the Goddess, and God or Guardians to witness our rites. Candle magic, and magic has nothing at all to do with the Spiritual Worship of the Divine Mother, although I believe that magic certainly moves, and courses through the Universe, and the Mother gifts us with many magical tools!
I feel that it is important for those of you who are interested in the **Wiccan** faith, and belief system to understand that a Witch is a Witch, A wise woman or man who practices the magical arts and worships the Gods of Old, and the belief in the Gods, and Goddesses alike is magical unto itself.
When I cast a love spell or even a spell to bring forth money and prosperity I connect with my higher consciousness, that small part of myself that is in nature God or Goddess like, every man and woman on this planet naturally possess both masculine, and feminine traits, and characteristics, but even if I didn't acknowledge or follow the path of the Goddess I could still cast a spell, my belief in the divine Mother only lends strength to the work that I do for myself as well as others.
When you are viewing the world through the eyes of a Witch, that which you see will look decidedly different, we do not look at the world and see things as black, and white, we look beyond the physical aspects, we allow our minds eye to open up, and to be our guide. The world is full of magic, and comes to us in many variations, and forms, magic has not been displaced or even misplaced, it has and will always be contained within the heart of a true practitioner.
Magic can be as simple as whispering an incantation or as complex as casting a spell to the four winds, true magic can never be contained or even controlled, for magic is not meant to be possessed as you would possess a material object, an Athame is consider a magical tool, but the magic is not contained within the Athame, it is contained without, the Athame is simply a tool consecrated and bonded with the energy of it's Witch, nothing more, and nothing less! A Witch possesses the Athame, and not the magic, magic is a universal energy that is meant to be shared, not dominated or manipulated by any one single soul!
The Feast of the Dead
The feast of the dead or the Pagan's Dumb Supper can be as simple as the setting of a plate at the table for a loved one who has crossed over or as elaborate as cooking their favorite meal. In any case I believe that our loved ones who have crossed the bridge to the other side has more than likely develop an appreciation for simplicity.
The following ritual can be done pretty much at anytime on Hallowmas, my favorite time is before leaving for circle, I choose to acknowledge and commune with those friends, and loved ones who have departed the physical world, in most cases we are not instantly reborn into the earth plane, we go through a period of reflection, and adjustment to reacquaint ourselves with our lessons, and our personal life goals, a true Witch does not fear death, and our view on this subject is very much like the reading of a book, when one chapter ends a new one begins.
For those of you who have endured a loss of a loved one within the last year, mourn the physical loss of that person, but mourn not for their spirit, for their spirit will never be lost, and realize that somewhere someday you will meet again, the beauty of the Witch's faith is the iron clad belief in reincarnation, and that souls cluster together, and seeks out that which they are familiar with upon rebirth.
"I defy the Christians hell, and their belief in a vengeful God"
I have done this ritual when a loved one or even a beloved pet has crossed the bridge, this is an informal ritual that is meant for individual communion or that of a small group of people, there are more elaborate rituals that can be performed for larger groups.
For this ritual you will need a small red candle, two white candles, several sticks of incense, a small bell, and of course some type of drink, wine or even grape juice, and some type of bread or cake.
Cleanse the area that you plan to set a plate for your dearly departed, you can do this by using a broom to sweep away negative vibes, or even by sprinkling some saltwater and charging the area with the element of fire (red candle), and cleansing it with air (incense) I would suggest cleansing this area a few hours prior to conducting your ritual, whatever method you choose to use is the correct one for you.
Prepare a table by adding a picture of your loved one who has crossed the bridge home into the Summerland, you may wish to add a few of their favorite things, a music box, their favorite shirt or anything that they were fond of. Set a plate for yourself, and anyone else who attends, as well as the plate for your dearly departed. Set the mood by lighting the red candle and asking for guidance and assistance from the element of fire, compassion and love works nicely, then light the white candles which are lit in honor of the Goddess, God, and those who have crossed over, once the candles are all lit, you may light the incense.
My love, we shall meet once again upon this night that is sacred to the Goddess, she who is known by many names, and she who has many faces. Our lady in waiting, and our Goddess of the Underworld, Hecate, send forth the soul of ___________ so that I may bid him/her merry meet once again.
Poor the libation (wine, grape juice) for all, and share the cake, reminisce, sing your loved ones favorite songs, share joyful stories of your adventures together, feel them in your heart, and feel their kiss lightly upon your cheek, cry if you feel the need for tomorrow you shall cry no more, release all of your sorrow, and let it go. Once you have experienced a sense of relief it is time to bid your loved one merry part, and send them on their journey.
My love, the love that I feel for you in my heart shall remain forever, for I am contained within your spirit, and you are contained within mine. It is not with sorrow that I bid you goodbye, but with love, and the knowledge that we will once again meet, and intermingle.
I bid you hale and farewell, and I send you on your way to the fairy kingdom, may the light of the Mother be your guide, for through birth she gives us life, and in death she accepts us back into the fold of her bosom where we await our resurrection, until once again we shall meet, until that day my sweet, I leave you with a smile, as you have left me with a song in my heart.
Hale and Farewell!