Witch in Practice: Week 7

Also known as: The Samhain Edition.

Last week

So, last week included Samhain, and was therefore very busy. Our actual group ritual was on Saturday night.

Beginning of the week: First appointment with new primary care doctor, which is a thing that takes up brain space, and is necessary for my long-term wellbeing. (That went well, but produced several rounds of sorting out referrals and I have one more round of them to do this afternoon.)

Thursday: The traditional folk date for Samhain. I had sensibly taken Friday off (more on that in a second), which not only meant I had more time on Friday, but meant I could do ritual things on Thursday, and used that to do the self-dedication rite for the Strategic Sorcery class, and to do the Hekate global rite.

Hekate has been one of the deities I work with regularly but not often for a number of years (particularly in my tradition work), and for me there is always a feeling of picking up the connection again that feels wonderful, if in a ‘and this is going to challenge me to step up my game’ sort of way.

Both went well, though I think I would not have timed the rituals that way if I had to get up for work in the morning.

Friday: I slept in, and then spent the day prepping for Samhain ritual. Taking the day off was brilliant, remember this next year, self. (Samhain is the ritual that has the most complex prep, usually, given the cooking and some of the ritual elements.)

The morning involved three grocery stops, namely Wilson Farms (my good local farm store, because I wanted local meat and produce where I could get it), Trader Joe’s, and Penzey’s.

I then alternated between making food for Samhain and cleaning the apartment. The cleaning included taking down my working altars, partly because we needed somewhere for the ancestor altar space, and partly because I’d been planning to reset them sometime, and now was a good time.

Our tradition is that you bring food that is either a favourite food of someone you are remembering or an ancestral food of some kind. I have traditionally done medieval meat pies because they hold well during ritual.

(I use this recipe with two pounds of meat with some alterations. I don’t do the chicken, I do four full eggs instead of the yolks, and I scale up 3.5 cups of other filling ingredients, and add a glug or so of local honey. This produces two meat pies and provides both Samhain food and lunch for the next week. This year’s version had currants, apple, and sharp Cheddar cheese.)

Saturday: Mopping the floors in the morning, walking down to the library for a NaNoWriMo event from 2-4 (great, except that the technology lost the chapter I wrote and I had to rewrite it), and then back in time to shower and get ready for ritual.

I took a break in the morning to do a divinatory reading for the year (based on Briana Saussy’s ancestor-informed Tarot reading)

We had four people, and ritual went very well. (Samhain is one of our rituals that is oathbound for a variety of reasons, so this is all the detail you’re getting.)

My Dedicants were all rather startled by how intense and meaningful it was, which is probably how it should be. I’d added a piece in from my own training group work, and that was a good decision.

Bonus: I have figured out a lighting solution for evening rituals that is not annoying to deal with (my overhead lights are rather bright). Namely that you can now buy USB rechargeable LED lamps. (These are the ones I got on Amazon, but there are plenty of others. You can turn them on and off by touching the top, too.) Being able to position them where I wanted them was great.

Sunday: Recovery day! I did a little more post-ritual tidying, and reset my altars in a somewhat different configuration. I’m still poking at them (and waiting for something to come for the bedroom one), but photos will happen eventually.

Sunday was also the anniversary of my father’s death (29 years ago, wow, how has it been that long), which meant doing my traditional reading of a letter he wrote me not long before he died, and also pulling a few Tarot cards for “What should I be thinking about.”

I went out at sunset to leave an offering from the Hekate rite, and spent a little bit sitting on the bench overlooking the pond near me, which was gorgeous and necessary. If a tad chilly.

The coming week:

Largely simpler! We have Dedicant class on Saturday, for which I need to do a modicum of preparation, but that’s it for scheduled things. I plan to spend some time on Sunday working on the ongoing witchy and magical coursework and reading.

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