Friday, October 29, 2010

Samhain with a Wild Onion Twist

The amazing thing about this time of year in the Upper Midwest is how varied, and often beautiful, the weather is. We've seen a ton of sunny, cool days this Autumn, some cloudy gray days foreboding a bit of what's to come, a three-day wind-fest (dubbed a Chiclone) and even a heat wave or two.

So, too, is Wild Onion's Samhain celebration - varied throughout the years. Sometimes it's a solemn occasion, sometimes a true celebration of the lives of the Ancestors who've passed on, and even a little experimental. One year we used a single deity (Hecate) for all the rite's invocations...Gatekeeper, DotO, Bardic Deity...everything. I think we took Her by surprise. Our omens weren't bad, per se, but it was as if we gave Her a fruitcake for Valentine's Day. A kind of, "Why are you giving this to me now?" kind of answer. It all worked out, thankfully, and we plan to work with her again soon.

This year we decided to ask Janus to be our DotO. We've asked a number of deities to add their magic to ours to open the Gates Between, and Janus has been our Go-To Deity for Roman rites in the past. We wanted to take a look at our traditional Gatekeepers, though, and honor Them as DotOs rather than functionaries. Wild Onion's last rite was to Mannanan mac Lir, and this Samhain it is Janus' turn to be honored.

We're also honoring our Ancestors as is traditional for this feast, and installing new officers -- busy, busy rite. Caroline, Chief of ADF's Artisan's Guild, is making Janus heads for the rite so that everyone can take a remembrance home of Him with them afterward. He looks back to the past from certainty for inspiration and lessons, and forward to the unknown for hope and progress. The Veil between Worlds may be thin, but so too is the Veil between Times. May Samhain grant us all quiet time to reflect on what was, and plan for what will be.

Senior Druid - Wild Onion Grove

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