It is now upon us this week, the last of the Death/Harvest festivals, and it is now time for us to lay our pagan feasts upon the tables and commune. It is also time to get the goodies for the young people among us ready to celebrate their happy excursions into the fields and paths on Samhain night as they revel in the midst of the Beloved and Mighty Dead.
The Wheel has turned, and with the end of the year come musings of both the bitter and the sweet of the past 13 moons. Upon the table should be the plate for the invisible guests, as well as a representation of something that represents each element and quality you wish to see in the upcoming year.
Tasty sweets for good times; sour for endurance; savory for victories; starches for binding us together; vegetables for talents which were hidden to be revealed; fruits for joyous additions and fertility; and so on as your beliefs see fit. The table should be festive and fun within the best of your ability to furnish comfortably, and the feast both joyous and somber.
This is the time for stories of the families and friends, of fictive kin and community, and the ghost stories beloved by all. There should also be at least one darkly colored candle in honor of the Lord, that he not be overlooked. Meat from his Hunts should also be there if the attendees are carnivorous. But for those who are not, then a reasonable substitute, like a thick dish, would do.
A wonderful prayer, shared by Patti Wiginton in her column on About.com http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/samhainprayers/qt/Harvest_Prayer.htm we share here
"A Prayer for the Final Harvest
Corn has been shucked,
grain has been threshed,
herbs have been hung to dry.
Grapes have been pressed,
potatoes have been dug,
beans have been shelled and canned.
It is the harvest season,
and food is ready for winter.
We will eat, and we will live,
and we will be grateful.
This is the time to issue prayers, resolutions, and desires that will buoy us through the upcoming dark nights, and sustain us as the Long Night approaches. This is the Blood Time, and with it let a covenant in the Earth be made to Honor and Love and Sustain ourselves and our kith and kin. As the fields are laid bare, and the larders stocked, let our reserves be well laden with the Pride in being the product of our Ancestors. Honor them, warts and all.
Do not forget to play seasonal music as well. It sets the mood and offers other "food" to your visitors, both incarnate and discarnate. A beloved song by the author is "Come to the Labyrinth" by S.J. Tucker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raG40x1fVtM. Its message is both moving and "Soul Stirring".
Also, you can check out the numerous events around Metro Detroit for community observances and celebration. So light your candle and sweep your steps. You have company coming.
For other ideas in how to celebrate and educate others on Samhain, please visit http://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/samhainlore.htm, as Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary is a well known source of lore in this.
To give the little ones something a bit more relevant to enjoy as they prepare for the Sabbat, please consider visiting Pooka Pages to download their Samhain issue http://www.pookapages.com/MagazinePage.htm.