Our Samhain season this year is more complex than it has been previously, because of how the lunar and solar cycles intersect. In our hearth calendar, we observe the lunar months while celebrating solar holidays publicly, but this year for Samhain, our Three Nights of Samhain began last night — on the same night as the first crescent of light, beginning a new lunar month.
Preparation began in the dark of the moon; we observe the transition days between lunar months as contemplation days, a time for reviewing our actions and reconnecting with the order of the cosmos. Last night, under the first light, we welcomed the Blood Moon in our Hearth Keepers rite, observed the Hearth Keepers’ Samhain, and formally opened the Offering Pit for the Dead.
This pit will remain open for offerings until the Full Blood Moon, a duration of approximately two weeks. Over this time, there will be prayers each night, and increased devotion to the Ancestors. The inspiration for these rites comes from Ceisiwr Serith‘s Deep Ancestors.
Over the two week period, we will give offerings for the Ancestors of Blood, Ancestors of Land, and Ancestors of Kin; welcome friends to honour their Ancestors in this place; attend a celebration with our private group; welcome An Cailleach at the start of winter; lead a public celebration with Dancing Lights Grove; sit with Brighid’s flame; and offer on Remembrance Day. It’s an incredibly busy time for us, made even moreso by the intersection of sun and moon.
I am ambivalent towards the Dead as a whole, and I believe they are to me also. Yes, our Ancestors have a vested interest in their descendants, and we in their knowledge, but beyond those who care for us or who inspire us, the Dead can be dangerous. At this time, when they are so close to us, it is for our best well-being that we are careful. Since my son’s birth, I am far more serious about things that may not be what they seem, and right relationships.