Last night, for the vast majority of the pagan population; was the festival of Samhain. As I am a Hellenic polytheist, I did not celebrate Samhain because the modern wheel of the year has little significance. This is nothing new; I have never once celebrated Samhain. I came close once upon a time, but I could not complete my festivities and within two days I had converted to Hellenic polytheism.
This year my journey to not celebrating Samhain was an interesting one. Up until about an hour before my ritual, I had fully intended to celebrate with a dumb supper honouring my ancestors by blood, culture, and adoption. Recently I have been a little lost on my path (there will be more on this in a post I am working on at the moment) and have felt the burning desire to deconstruct myself a little and rebuild. Hence the fact I was, for the first time; going to participate in this festival.
However, just before the rite I was on my bed reading Ronald Hutton’s ‘triumph of the moon’, whilst waiting for some flat-mates to get the hell outta’ the kitchen so I could get my cook on (I eat like a king considering I’m a student!) when suddenly something occurred to me (this happens a lot with all my spiritual revelations. No fireworks or earth shattering UPG, something just occurs to me and then the feeling grows so intense I can’t ignore it. For further reference please consult my intro posts about how I realised I was a polytheist). Suddenly I realised that I didn’t want to deconstruct myself that much at all. I was acting as if I had no religious foundation to build on whatsoever, and taking ideas and running with them before my brain could catch up and go ‘…well this isn’t right at all’. Essentially, I was hugely missing the point.
I missed my gods, and all I wanted to do was honour them. It was Hermes who had planted this seed months ago, and all I wanted to do now was to sit with him and worship him. I realised that I didn’t need nor want to de-construct my religious system entirely; instead I need to re-evaluate my approach to practice and the gods. Abandoning Hellenism was in no way what I wanted. How will I ever feel fulfilled if I do nothing?
So I went into the kitchen and prepared a meal to share with Hermes (if I do say so myself, it tasted AMAZING. It was a slightly spicy barley risotto/stew with autumnal veg. All the tradition of barley but with the exiting flavours of exotic spice, LOL), set up a large altar space on my floor with the incense I use for Hermes (apple and cinnamon), his statue and candles I burn only for him.
I then took a shower to cleanse myself of miasma and to focus my mind. I used a handmade soap I had bought on Saturday at Nottingham Castle’s Robin hood pageant. I bought three soaps in total which smell so divine that they require a post all to themselves, but this particular soap was fragranced with Lavender and Frankincense. I dressed in clean clothes and wore my tortoise earrings (for Hermes and Tortoises consult the myth of Hermes creating the Lyre).
I began my ritual by circling the altar and lighting the incense with an invocation to Hermes. I offered my meal, libations, coins, hymns, and a set of beads which I plan to make prayer beads out of for him (more on that in another post too!). The ritual was one of thanks, and a prayer for guidance.
During divination it became apparent that I had made a positive step by honoring Hermes that night. He also said I should start to relate to him more as trickster, so some research will be required.
As it was Halloween, I ended the evening tucked up in bed watching the original wicker man and drifting off to sleep!
P.S- For those that are wondering, my ancestors will still receive honour, as it is fair and correct to do so. They just didn’t get a dumb supper as planned last night.
P.S.S-Apologies for the amount of brackets in this post! I had no idea until I read it back, but it reads like a Lewis Carrol novel! Haha