We celebrated out Samhuin Ritual this afternoon. A lovely mild October day with plenty of sunshine. Craig organised the ritual this time and it was decided that we should have a bit of a pumpkin decorating contest, so the altar was mainly, well, pumpkins!
The park was quite empty and quiet, apart from the fancy dress fun run that is! We were inundated by ladybirds all afternoon, although weirdly enough they were all different variations of red spots on black, black on red, orange on black etc, and they got everywhere. At one point in the ceremony I thought Craig had decided to go skyclad but it turned out he was just pulling his shirt off to release a bug!
Giovanna’s pumpkin won the best decorated. You can’t make it out too well from the photo but it has a Druid’s head, a bird, and the word Awen all intricately carved in the skin. Craig very kindly presented a book on Celtic legends as a prize:)
During the ceremony the Cailleach burns slips of paper on which we’ve written those things we wish to be rid of. Rather than use a fire bowl Giovanna suggested that we should sacrifice one of the pumpkins, so she placed a large wax candle inside the biggest. When all the slips of paper were added the contents of the pumpkin went up like a torch and carried on burning for a good while afterwards. The inside of the head was bubbling and hissing away, and every so often would rather spookily throw up flames. After instructions from Jo I managed to take some footage of the burning head, and rather to my surprise I have actually topped that by working out how to upload it to youtube, so I present to you … the flaming pumpkin head!