Apples and Pumpkins

All-Hallowe's Eve is coming. It's a time, traditionally, when the veil between the world of the living and the dead, the body and the spirit is lifted. There are many traditional activities, but my favorites are these:
  • Bury apples to honor the ancestors on their journey and give lost spirits a meal.
  • Set an extra place at the table for any visitors on this night.
  • Light candles in your windows, either to guide good spirits to your door, or to keep bad spirits away-- your choice. (These are often placed in pumpkins-- an offering of peace.)
I even found a few great poems from the Book of Pagan Prayer. Some are specific to All-Hallowe's (Samhain), some to death or Fall or the year's end. In many traditions, October 31st signifies the end of the year, and the beginning. I believe the new year doesn't start until February. For me, this is the quiet contemplative time, the Crone time, the time between the years. I honor my ancestors, welcome wisdom to my home, and enjoy the season. The in between spaces are important, magickal, and transformative. But back to the prayers:

I invite the Holy Ones to my table.
Come, sit with me, eat and drink with me.
I offer you the hospitality of my home.
You are always welcome here.
I pray to all the gods of death,
of darkness, of sorrow.
Though I do not love you, I respect you.
Though I do not welcome you, I honor you.
Though I do not invite you into my life,
I know you are already there.
Eat with us, Ancestors,
on this night of the dead.
Share our meal with us
and then go on your way.
At the end of my life, I put my trust in the gods of my people.
Ancient Wise Woman, cover me with your cloak
as I walk the last path that leads to your land.
Lock up carefully, Earth's guardians,
and keep life safe until spring.
It is only fair to thank you, blessed ones:
You have given me so much;
I give to you from my little.
Enter my home, and find your own,
for the old ways are kept here
and hospitality is a law all are proud to honor.

All-Hallowe's Eve is also a great (but dangerous) time for divination, for communing with your dead loved ones, for thanking those who came before and letting go of those who travel the paths before us. Thresholds, offerings, honor and respect. Is not all life and death contained in these words? Offer what you have. If it is your concentration and thanks for a few minutes, give that. If it is a sprig of juniper or an oak branch in your hearth fire, offer that. Bread and milk are always welcome feasts, and laughter is beautiful.

Blessings Be.

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