Date: Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sun Phase: Zenith
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent, 36.7% Full
Activities: Samhain Feast, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Ceremony of Apples for the Dead and Returning Gifts to the Earth
This morning, Laney and I went to the store to purchase some fresh apples, oranges, bread, donuts, and chicken. We set up the food as a Samhain feast and ate it together while expressing thankfulness to the Lord of the Universe and to the Planet Earth. We left a plate for the Spirits. (I do suspect my father ate some of this Spirit food…).
At noon, we wrote messages for the Spirits of the Dead, for on Samhain, the ancients believed that the veil between the World of the Dead and the World of the Living is especially thing.
We attached our messages to apples via strings. I performed the Rite of Purification by Water and we proceeded outside.
Once there, we said we respectfully “break the earth in order to heal the earth.” We then dug a hole beneath the lilac tree. We lit a stick of incense and candle in a green candle holder saying “We light this incense and this candle to announce our presents and our gifts for the Spirits and to help them to find these gifts.”
We then placed light paper in the Earth and I performed the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe towards the East. Laney they did her own silent ritual to the spirits:
–raising her hands to show that she was making a gesture to the Spirits
–then she arched her hands over towards the center to make a primordia mound
–she moved her hands down towards the center to form a yonic symbol for Mother
–she did the symbol for children, with a fist with thumb up on top of an open hand
–she waved her fingers as she spread out her hands to symbolize the spreading out of the Children across the Earth, the mound shape
–she then turned her hands towards the mound and raised the people to the Sky or Heavens.
The message of this ritual was to address the Earth Mother, asking her to bless her Children with increase across the land and to the Heavens and the Spirit World.
Then Laney and I read, in harmony, our letter to all Spirits in the Spirit World, specifically the Spirits, the Earth, the Totems, the Ancient Ones, and those who came before, which read:
“To the Spirit World, Earth, and Totems,
Please have the strength to repair yourself and sustain the children who depend on you. Please bless us with wisdom to care for you and use your gifts to care for ourselves. Please help us to help ourselves and work with you to care for all around us. Please bless us with increase, health, and sustain us through our lives. Thank you for your wisdom, bounty, medicine, and fertility.
Then we lit the fire and placed our letters to our loved ones into it, so that the messages could be conveyed up through the fire to the Spirit world. We then placed in some pieces of birch bark into the fire pit, saying “we return to you your gift of wood.”
Then we put in two stones, saying “we return to you your gift of stone, which has helped our people to become great.” Then, we put in two pennies, saying “we return to you the gift of metal, which has helped our civilization to develop.” Then, we placed some pieces of bread into the pit, saying “we return the gift of bread, which has helped us feed our people from the wheat grown in your soil.” We returned some salt to the pit, saying “we return the gift of salt to the earth, which is an essence of life, within all of us, and gives our life flavour.”
We then sang a song called “Land of the Mother,” which is a beautiful wordless melody. Thereafter, we placed the apples with the attached name tags into the pit, beginning with the Spirit apple, proceeding to the apple for Laney’s father, and ending with the apple for my uncle and grandparents. The fire had burned out by this point.
Then, we said that we would return the gift of the earth that we had broken to the Earth Mother, and said “we wish you will accept our humble gifts, which were given from you to us.” We took turns filling the earth into the pit, over top the apples. While we did this, Laney said “we would like to return the gift of your earth so that you can accept your gifts. We offer thanks to you.” We sprinkled water over the mound of earth and said “we would like to return the gift of water, which has sustained all life, and that we hope to care for the Earth more in the future. We would like you to ask us when you need our help and we will ask for your help in return. We return the earth to help heal the Earth. We offer you the gifts to increase your bounty in order that you might help us increase ourselves. We placed the leaves over our buried earth and apples so that we might heal the scars that we have created.” We did so and left the incense burning so that the Spirits might find where we left their gifts.
We ended with “thank you,” returned the shovel to the shed and carried our implements back into the house.
It was a moving ceremony of thanks, gratefulness, and appreciation for the Earth and our ancestors.