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  • Writer's pictureColumbia Grove

Irish Celtic Samhain

An image of the altar table, lights are turned off, and candles are lit on the table, together with a multi-colored string of skull lights. The altar is decorated with ancestor memorabilia, a well, and an image of a corvid, as well as flowers.
The ancestor altar with all the candles lit.

On October 21st members of Columbia hosted the first of two Samhain/Ancestor Rituals for 2018. This eclectic rite was ADF inspired but with an eclectic twist.

This ritual was a bit different in that we called upon 4 warriors to protect the rite (4 Goddesses named Morrigan; Badb, Macha, Morrigu and Nemain). We called upon the Hooded Crow to lift the veil to the ancestors so that we could communicate with them clearly (through a powerful meditation led by Corwind) and we called upon Donn, Ireland’s first ancestor, to allow them safe passage to us. Guests had the opportunity to light and decorate a candle, charging it with their favorite memory in the last year, and then they shared it with their ancestors by placing it on the altar. For this rite we drew an omen from Donn for the coming year and he gave us: Seal: Meaning Love, transformation, and liberation. Summarized as “Don’t let intellect be a cage, be sure to listen. Let the heart be your guide” (from the Druid Animal Oracle deck)

A spotted seal perched on a rock on a beach, a rainbow to the right and cloud cover to the left.
The Seal card from the Druid Animal Oracle.

Each guest was then given their own personal tarot card to keep as their omen from their ancestors for the next year. This rite was unique in that it was an addition to our traditional 8 ADF high days and it was led by Spider (Amber) as included invocations from many members, Corwind, Arin, David, Elan, and Coatney as well. Our deepest thanks to our members and community for making this ritual a huge success! It was a great way to kick off the Samhain season!

Image of ritual space, the Ancestor altar covered with memorabilia and flowers. The Ritual Leader, Amber, is lifting a black cloth into the air, that has previously been covering the well.
Amber lifts the veil from the well to the Ancestors!

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