Excerpt – Of Night and Day: Samhain Eve

“So I wonder, this year, is it possible for us to celebrate the living ancestors and not to have a gore-fest over dead remains of ancestors? The horror genre does not belong to this festival and only arose due to the Reformation when we stopped praying for the dead in Europe. Ancestors are like us. They loved, hoped, sat round the hearth, mourned their dear ones. Excluded ancestors can be scary because their pain overlaps our own lives: however, when we invite them to our hearth shrine, we begin to feel less abandoned ourselves.

It is the unmoving, lingering pain of ancestors who are stuck out of time that causes the horror and so why not do something about it? In his book, Images of the Soul, Dutch shaman, Daan van Kampenhout suggests this prayer whenever we encounter the pain of forebears: ‘Your pain is from the past. All that caused it has stopped now. Behind these tears is the pure strength of your soul. The soul is healthy and free, the suffering was only there when you lived, and now you live in spirit, so the pain has ended.’ Unless we actually address the excluded ancestors, then dawn will never arrive for them or for us.
Let’s try a different way and see what changes this Hallowe’en so that we can say this prayer with heartfelt joy:

I am the hallow-tide of all souls passing,
I am the bright releaser of all pain,
I am the quickener of the fallen seed-case,
I am the glance of snow, the strike of rain.
I am the hollow of the winter twilight,
I am the hearth-fire and the welcome bread,
I am the curtained awning of the pillow,
I am unending wisdom’s golden thread.

– Song of Samhain from Celtic Devotional by CM.”

Posted by Caitlín Matthews

Clothed with Flowers

At our Beltane camp by the White Horse and at the Dryade camp in Holland I used a prayer from the meditation ‘Clothed with Flowers’, inspired by material from the Druid Plant Oracle. Since the prayer itself is nowhere in print, I thought I would share it here:

Enchanter’s Plant – Vervain – Herb of Grace, Holy Wort, Chief Herb, sacred to Venus and the Awen. May it bring inspiration, love, reconciliation and blessings into my life.

Guardian trees of elder, birch and hawthorn, I hold your berries elder and hawthorn, tears of your sap birch, and I ask for your blessings to drive away impurities, and to strengthen my heart.

Simple plantain – here with your leaves – Waybread of the Nine Herbs Charm – bring me the calm, the assertiveness, the resilience that I need.

Yarrow – Staunchgrass of the Diviner’s charm – bring me the stability of faith, the salve of faithfulness, the strength of virility, the healing of my wounds.

‘The Restorers’ – Painting by Will Worthington from The Druid Plant Oracle.

Valerian – All-heal and encourager of sleep, with your sweet scent, bring me calm, bring me deep peace.

Fairy flowers of primrose – prima rosa, first flower of hillside and garden, bring me love, bring me peace, bring me the blessings of Ceridwen’s cauldron.

Artemisia – Mugwort, Motherwort sacred to Venus – help me to see beyond the world of effects, to the world of causes and meaning, of beauty and power. May fatigue be banished, protection be always about me.

Mistletoe – drawn from oak and apple, seed of rebirth and of new life, All-heal of the Ancients – may my own life be refreshed at its roots, reborn with every dawn. May all be healed, may all be blessed…

Source: Philip Carr-Gomm’s Weblog

Spring without me

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone…

/Sara Teasdale/

thanks to Alex Koloskov