Last weekend, W had some friends attending and together we made a ritual because of Halloween or Samhain as it is called in witchery. This year, I have learned a lot about the so called wheel of the year by W and his friends and I was glad I could join them! Samhain is the feast of and for the dead who reside among the living for this one night. Kind persons arrange food and alcoholic drinks for the dead and take them to crossroads or set them upon their altars. I have placed a piece of apple cake and a glass of John’s red wine on my altar, the ledge, for Julian and all other dead people who want to have it (first I thought I don’t want my father to join the meal, but then again I thought he is dead as well and can’t do any harm to anyone).
On friday, we all met at W’s house. M was there as well. He works as a cook and he helped us preparing the food, which was great fun. I think I will try a dish he made for us by myself! We had pumpkin pie after W’s mother’s recipe with a whole lot of cinnamon and onions, Cajun-potatoes, roasted lamb (which I did not eat), spicy vegetables, a cranberry sauce and apple and pumpkin pudding for dessert. We were full! 🙂 M is not into spirituality and so he left us after dinner. I thought it would have been nice if John had joined us, but he went to the opera with A and M.
It took a lot of time to build up the altar. W had put a black cloth on his table and we all could bring whatever we thought would fit Samhain and our Gods. I brought a postcard of Lord Shiva with Lady Parvati, a bowl of rice with I had coloured with sepia so that it was quite black and a knife. I have written about knives and being a warrior before. I still fail to see myself as a warrior but Lord Shiva insists I am in a certain way, because I have managed to survive harsh conditions. We had a lot of candles and incense, too, and one woman who joined the ritual brought some cool selfmade rattles for us. Making music as a way to express myself is not that easy for me. I had to learn to play the piano in my childhood, but whenever I tried to express what I felt, I was corrected to play after notes only. But with a percussion instrument it’s a bit easier 🙂
W led through the ritual although everyone of us took part in it. First, we called upon our Gods, which was quite personal, I think. There are people who seem to issue commands to their Gods, but I try to be kind and humble when asking Lord Shiva to come to me. I guess I just try to treat him like I want to be treated as well, and I do not tend to command lovers or friends to do whatever I want to 🙂
I think there’s a big difference between Voodoo and Shivaism as W and I practise it. W has very extended rituals for his Gods which may take hours. I use to have shorter pujas for Lord Shiva, approximately 15 to 30 minutes, while W’s services may take 2 or more hours. I have asked myself whether that is why my service for Lord Shiva is not feastful enough, but W said, if it feels right for Him and me, then it is. And it does! So, when W and I make a ritual together, we try to find a compromise.
When we all felt our Gods were attending, there was enough time to do whatever we wanted to do with them. The woman I have mentioned above asked us all to rattle with her, while she sang a beautiful but sad song for her Goddess (Yemaja). W and another man both wanted to work with the energy of Papa Legba and created His sign on a plate with white wheat (Papa Legba is the Lord of the crossroads and He knows the realms of death which of course fitted into our ritual). When they were done, W channeled Papa Legba. It’s like the God takes over W’s body and mind, which looks and sounds a bit crazy. I guess I’d be too frightened to offer Lord Shiva to take over my body, but this is part of the spiritual tradition in W’s family, so he is used to it. We could ask Papa Legba questions and He would answer them. For some of us who had no question, Papa Legba had an advice, anyway 🙂 I myself had thought about chanting a mantra for Lord Shiva with help from the others, but then thought I don’t want to chant in front of others. It’s ok if it’s W only, but not in a group of people. So I brought dried petals with me and we made a garland out of it (at least it’s got the size of a bracelet). It was a quiet ritual, but I liked it, and when I hang it over the postard, I felt Lord Shiva and Lady Parvati liked it as well. Another man led us on a guided journey into the realm of death, but I did not know whether I liked it or not. I thought it might trigger memories, so I stayed a bit more centered. Between the single parts of the ritual we tried to calm down and the same man showed us special breathing and focussing rituals which reminded me of Yoga. All in all the ritual stretched from about 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.! Definitely the longest ritual I have ever attended! 🙂
When I came home, I was spent, but happy. The best ritual: crawling under the blanket and snuggle up into Love’s arms!