Tag Archives: samhain

Public Samhain Ritual 20



Costumes – wear as much black as possible

Altar – altar table, bones, black candles, saturn plaque, seasonal swag, sickle, salt, punch bowl for libations, pomegranate, incense, altar cloth


Cleanse space with banishing pentagrams in the four directions (Cross & Pentagram rite if feeling ambitions)

Cast the circle with HSA ritual knife and salt water thrown to the quarters.


Keeper of Air – “O Air, breath and thought! O Powers of Air, bright and cold! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Keeper of Fire –  “O Fire, primal light of creation! O Powers of Fire, keepers of the light! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Keeper of Water – “O Water, dark keeper of mystery! O Powers of Water, silent guides! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Keeper of Earth – “O Earth, sustainer of life and flesh! O Powers of Earth, guardians and mothers! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Goddes-touched – “The Circle is cast!  We call upon you, Mother of All Witches, be here with us!  Let your wisdom and your power fill this place!  Bear witness!  Accept our offerings and libations.  We call upon you for your power, your presence, and your protection.”

God-touched – “We call upon you, Father of all Witches, be here with us!  Let your wisdom and your power fill this place!  Bear witness!  Accept our offerings and libations.  We call upon you for your power, your presence, and your protection.”

Invocation of Saturninan Powers for Opening of the West Gate

God-toched – “O you powers of Saturn, powers of perfection and decrease, we call upon you to open the Gates in the West.”

Goddess-touched – “We call upon you in the name of the Witchmother, the Crone.”

God-touched – “We call upon you in the name of the Witchfather, the Horned One.”

Goddess-toched – “We call upon you by these signs and seals: let our ancestors come forth, those mighty dead whence we spring, and accept our libations.  These festivities are held in their honor.  Let them be present with us tonight.”

God-touched – “We call upon you to hold fast these walls, that the dead not wander and become lost.”

Goddess-touched – “O you powers of Saturn, powers of perfection and decrease, we call upon you to open the Gates in the West.”

God-touched (call and responce):



Party With Ghosts

The dead are formally invited to join the party and stay for the duration

God-touched – “Come forth, O ye mighty dead, our ancestors and our progenetors!”

Come forth, O Margot Adler

…. [declaim list]

These festivities are held in your honor.  Be present with us tonight and accept these offerings.


God-touched – “Oh you Powers of Saturn, as you have brought the dead to us, by these mighty names and signs and seals, lead them back beyond the West.  As you have opened the Gates of the West, seal them again now, that nothing may pass through uninvited.”

Goddess-touched – “Witchmother, Witchfather, you who draw us to and guide us upon the path.  We thank you for your presence, your power, your guidance, and your protection.”

Release Quarters

Keeper of Earth – “Thank you, O Powers of Earth, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”

Keeper of Water – “Thank you, O Powers of Water, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”

Keeper of Fire – “Thank you, O Powers of Fire, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”

Keeper of Air – “Thank you, O Powers of Air, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”


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a View of the Sunrise Temple

I rebuilt my altar at the Full Moon.  It actually took the whole weekend before I was completely satisfied with the setup.


Behold: the magical engine of the Sunrise Temple.  The main altar is on the left, which you have seen several incarnations of before now.  To the immediate right of it are my jugs of mead, happily fermenting by the heater.  Beside that is a shelf of candles, stones, incense, and other supplies that don’t live in the kitchen cabinets.  Behind and above the shelves and mead are the maps which represent either my actual area of influence—that is, the places I have lived and where I still have friends and family—and the world I wish to influence with my political enchantments.  And finally, furthest right, is my newly erected seasonal altar; that table housed my chaos altar before it was pointed out to me that an altar dedicated to Chaos Magick is … almost oxymoronic.

IMG_5568Having taken down the Chaos altar, the Baphomet mask now lives atop my altar with Dionysus, Hephaestus, Rhea, and Athena.  ZG and SKM now share an alcove, and Sue—the spirit I work with more than any other—has one to herself.  The cubes on the side have been rearranged so that my money-drawing spell—which will soon be upgraded to a Jupiter cahsbox, a la Strategic Sorcery(1)—can have it’s own space.  The cube across from it is being converted into a home for all my sexual enchantments—the vast majority of which are targeted at staying child- and STI-free.  Below the financial altar are the ever-evolving house wards, and below the sex are my Tarot cards, visionary mask and pipe, and my black mirror.  My various planetary talismans have been relocated to the center base, with my God and Goddess figures elevated above them, along with my World Tree.  The flat workbench area is largely unaltered.

IMG_5567The first stirrings of my Samhain altar are very simple.  My death mask and sickle/knife, a picture of my dead grandmother and tokens of lost friends and loved ones.  I want to add gourds and pomegranates, but first I need to take care of my fruit fly problem.  Also poverty.

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the Full Moon, a Feast, and My Decision to Buy a Besom

Aradia and I celebrated the full moon two nights ago, and had our early Samhain feast last night.  Neither of these would be as significant, except that we’ve rather “fallen off the wagon” with both our magical practices and our social lives.  So we decided it was time to have a party.

The story actually starts last weekend, getting the house ready for an old friend of Aradia’s to visit from St. Louis.  Reflecting our mental and emotional states as I creep up on six months of unemployement and we both struggle with classes, our house was something of a disaster.  Our house altar had been almost untouched since our practice group stopped meeting shortly after the Summer Solstice.  It took us most of the week, but the house was clean (if not cleansed) and the altar prepared for Samhain less than half an hour before Firebird & Crew arrived.

Firebird brought three friends with her : two fellow spinners/manipulators, A and C, and A’s ladyfriend N, who invited herself along despite not having any actual interest in the entire affair.  MagicCat didn’t like them at all, which turned out to be a red flag.  Firebird was good fun, but her friends should have just stayed in St.L.  By the time they left, Aradia, myself, and our house were all toxic.  So we cast a circle and cleansed the house like we should have done before they got there.

Suddenly, everything was beautiful again.  The Circle snapped into place as soon as we lit the Air candle, like we’d never left off.  We went room-to-room with a burning wand of white sage and a lavender oil mister.  We even did the porch.

Living with another witch for the last year has really changed my mind on a lot of things.  Aradia and I went to the KC Renaissance Festival a month or so ago, and one of the vendors we passed by specialized in ornate “decorative” brooms.  For the first time, I found myself seriously thinking about owning and using a besom.  Given my absurdly macho, psuedo-ceremonial roots, this is not a tool that most of the things I’ve done or studied put any emphasis on.  I’ve only used a besom once, in fact, when I helped make one for a workshop out at Heartland this last May.  When we went back to the Faire last weekend with Firebird & Crew, we passed the same vendor and I found myself thinking – not “is this a tool I need?” but “which of these would be best for me?”.  Apparently I had made my decision sometime in between … probably while pushing the broom.

Fast forward a week.  The house is actually still clean, though in need of some work.  We’re both still in a fantastic mood, despite the stress.

I originally had plans for Friday night, but they were canceled when the gremlins in Aradia’s car threw a party to remind everyone they were still there.  I don’t remember exactly what she said about her own plans for the evening, but my response …

“It’s the full moon?”

When I say fell off the wagon, I’m not fucking joking.

We went over to Aradia’s family’s house to help them with the annual brush-burn and to incinerate a few things that that should have been disposed of long ago.  We took our drums and tranced out for a while before doing our full moon tarot readings.  It wasn’t formal, structured, or intense, but it was what we needed.  We need to work our way back up to intense, and we’ve got about seven days.  (Samhain’s totally going to kick my ass.)

Saturday came, and with it our pre-Samhain pumpkin party.  We didn’t know what anyone’s plans for the actual weekend would be, or if there would be a ritual at all, so we decided to host a feast and carve jak-o-lanterns.  The invitations went out almost a month ago.

I helped Aradia make pumpkin soup out of the five kuri pumpkins (the green-and-orange ones) you saw on the altar, and Aradia made a loaf of amazing tasty bread.  We drank tasty pumpkin beer.  My parents brought an amazing autumn stew.  Our neighbor, K, brought pumpkin-filled doughnuts.  Our friends Pasiphae and Aiden brought a feast all by themselves: pumpkin-banana bread, pumpkin-cheesecake pie, and Halloween-themed jell-o-snacks.  (They also brought their munchkins – the MagicCat was not amused.) 

We all had so much fun that we never got to the pumpkin carving part.

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Samhain Altar

This weekend, Aradia and I put up our Samhain altar. It will probably see some revisions over the course of the season, but I think it’s a really good start.

At the top you’ll see my Sun King mask wearing the Crown of the Waning Year. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that we didn’t change out the crowns until just now – our practice fell off somewhat over the summer, due to various and sundry dramas, and we’re only now getting back up on the wagon. We must not be doing too badly, though, because when we did our house-cleansing the Circle popped into place as soon as we lit the first candle.

The centerpiece is the Death Mask I made last Samhain. I’m actually a little startled how much power it has acquired over the year its spent in my altar. “It’s watching me,” Aradia said when we set it up. Then: “You do that a lot.” (Do what? I ask innocently.) “Creating entities.” I guess I do. It’s kind of the nature of masks, but they’re not the first. That would be Tsu*.

Dionysos and the Water-bearer serve as our God and Goddess images for the moment. A candle for the sun and moon sit beside them, and the horns I made for Aradia’s Princess of Pentacles photoshoot in between. A Ganesha incense burner, a brass gong, Aradia’s ritual knife, and our house chalice also share the upper tier, all in front of a Zodiac poster older than I am to represent the wheel of the year. There’s also a five-pointed gourd we picked up at the farmer’s market that day … it called to me.

The lower level has our four elemental candles and various associated symbols: a rock and a fallen leaf; incense burner and a smudge stick; my cauldron, a candleholder and an ash tray; a seashell box. The pumpkins are for our pre-Samhain feast, and the candelabra in the middle also holds our Brigid candles from Imbolc. There are, of course, a few assorted tools and crystals for one thing or another, and the altar-box below.


*Another story, for another day. It’s long and not actually as interesting as it sounds.

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