All posts filed under “Seasons

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Samhain Ancestor Altar

I keep an ancestor altar all year. It normally resides in my office and looks like this:


Every day, I light a candle, light incense, and speak to my Beloved Dead. Once a week, I refresh the water offering, drum and speak the names of my lineage.

During the month of October, the altar is moved into our living room, and becomes a shared altar for the household. Here’s a picture of my portion of the altar:


I like moving the altar to the living room at this time of year, as the Dead get to share more of our daily lives when the veil is thin. I like to think of my mother, a big fan of Halloween and horror movies, watching our favorite movies with me, enjoying the spooky household decor.

Do you currently have an Ancestor reverence practice? Comment and share how you work with your Beloved Dead. Looking for ideas on how to begin working with your Ancestors? Check out Sarah Anne Lawless’ Ancestor Worship in Modern Witchcraft.

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The Gifts of Autumn

In retrospect, I can see in my own life what I could not see at the time: how the job I lost helped me find work I needed to do, how the “road closed” sign turned me toward terrain I needed to travel, how losses that felt irredeemable forced me to discern meanings I needed to know. On the surface it seemed that life was lessening, but silently and lavishly the seeds of new life were always being sown. ~ Parker J. Palmer, Autumn: To Cohere in Mysterious Unity

Image: Autumn Leaves by Seth Stoll – some rights reserved