On samhain, I'll celebrate by having some good old fashion secular Halloween fun by dressing up and getting drunk at a club with Andrew and my mom. But when the night calms down, and I somber and sober up, I'll return home to light the candles on my altar, set out the prepared food for the beloved dead, open my windows to let the cold autumn winds carry in the spirits and all their wisdom.
I've been stockpiling candles (yellow ones, orange, red,dark blue, brown and black), prepping my recipes to make apple crumble, cinnamon banana bread, mango pastries, spiced cider, seasoned pumpkin seeds (my specialty), squash soup, cheddar fritter, cedar baked salmon and frenzy-wine. My flying ointment is set and ready, jared and capped and ready for my skin. My pipes are being cleaned in solution, the house is being scoured and cleansed in every way, my tools are all gleaming having been newly washed, oiled or polished and the kitchen witch who sits on Brighid's altar is watching me closely.
As a green witch and a practitioner of kitchen witchcraft, Samhain becomes a frantic time of harvest and creation for me. My cauldron spends most of the month of October and early september cooking oils and fats, stewing soups and being ritually prepared for the Hag fire that will be lit. My belladonna based incense, Breath of the Hag is finally ready after two months of prep and will be burned all throughout the sacred grove in the forest where I prepare my ritual of Hag's Night and the Ride of the Hunter.
I'll spend the late night in the grove, with the fires all alight, taken by the frenzy wine and flying ointment to dance in the dangerous and seductive hunt, but only after laying my sacrifices in the earth, the fire and the nearby sea for the Hag of winter, who is mother and keeper of us all in the end. The Lord of Silence is walking, and when the snow falls and the wood grows silent and still, he'll walk the land.
My wreath of protection is woven and decorated. I do a wreath for Samhain most years and hang it somewhere special in my home for protection during these nights of wild spirits and wild magic. Some are just tokens that have always served me well, others are made specifically to protect the home and those within it during Night Ryding, and some talismans are there to remind all the spirits who have befriended me that I honor them and welcome them.
"Andrew and I will be down at the Mexican market tomorrow in Columbia City to buy all of our materials for Dia de los Muertos- he's looking for pastries of course lol, and leaving the calendulas, Santa Muerte statues and candles up to me. The offerenda" will go up in the living room (since the Samhain altar takes up the kitchen and porch) and we'll honor our dearly departed; KJ, grandpa James, Alyssa, grandpa Roy, my little sister Maya, Roberto, Bernie, aunt Darla and all the other beloved spirits who have moved on from the flesh. I'll be playing old R&B classics for grandpa James, and Tool for KJ.