Samhain 2011

The Druids of Hollow Hills Grove met on a moonlit night to honour the Irish Celtic Goddess, The Morrighan. The Morrighan is a complex goddess of death, sovereignty, prophecy, and sex. She is the Goddess who can be with you at the moment of death to help you transition to the Otherworld. She often appears in the form of a raven or a crow and will appear on the battlefield to take warriors “home” to the Otherworld. She’s a perfect goddess for this time of year – the time of year when we honour both our ancestors and the veterans (alive and dead) of war.

In addition to her life transitional aspects, she also, as a goddess of sovereignty can be seen to give aid to kings/rulers and as a goddess of the land because of her connection to cattle – the most important livestock to the early Celts. To the Celts cattle were a form of money and many great battles were fought over cattle.

To praise The Morrighan we gave her poppy seeds (as a symbol of death and the Otherworld in many cultures, and because we have given them to her in previous rituals and she seemed to like the offering!) , Guinness, whiskey, and butter (to honour her connection to cattle). Offerings were given, poems were read and The Morrighan was honoured. Also honoured were personal deities, the Nature Spirits, and Ancestors.

Hollow Hills Grove Samhain Altar With Offerings 12 November 2011

As a part of every ritual we take an omen by various means. The seer for our ritual was Kevin and he used the Greenwood Tarot.

We received the following messages:

From the Nature Spirits
King of Cups – Reindeer

The card shows two reindeer between them is a shelter made from bones and hide and a patch of fly agaric mushrooms. The card illustrates our dependence on nature and recalls the harsh time of the Ice Age when our ancestors depended totally on the natural world for food, clothing, and shelter. Shamans used to drink the urine of the reindeer after it had eaten fly argaric mushrooms in order to obtain the hallucinogenic effect without suffering the toxins which the reindeer could break down.
The message is that we still depend on the natural world for survival and that we should remember this and take care of our environment.

From the Ancestors
King of Arrows – Lynx

The card shows an adult and a juvenile lynx. The lynx is a fierce protector of its young.

The message is that we must remember the lessons learned from the Ancestors and the protection we enjoy because of sacrifices made on our behalf.

From the Deities
Six of Wands – Harvest

The card shows an abundant selection of fruits and nuts (hazelnuts, acorns, apples, blackberries, elderberries, rowan berries.)

This is a time of harvest and the message is that if we have planted wisely, our present situation is a result of our previous actions.

This gives us much to ponder until the next High Day rite.

In front of the warming fire, we shared hot mulled wine as our Waters of Life, which is where we asked for a boon or blessing from the Kindred in return for the gifts and offerings we freely gave.

We also did an Ancestor’s litany where we recited the names of loved ones or admired ones who have gone before and rang a bell after each name was mentioned. This solemn ceremony was a simple but effective way for us to connect with those who have gone before.

We ended our ritual with everyone feeling closer to one another and we also learned a lot about one another. We praised the Kindreds and we received their blessings in return. Isn’t this what it is all about?

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