For any faith it is natural to have doubts : to wonder if your deities are real and if what you are doing really exists.

In Paganism, this is called “The Dark Night of the Soul”, which for me is an overly-dramatic term and I much prefer what other faiths call a crisis of faith.

Unfortunately this is something that we all have to work through. We can call on others for guidance, but it’s one of those things in life that we have to decide for ourselves.

Old Samhain

The 11th of November was Remembrance Day here in Britain, when we remember people who fell in battle to keep this country free.

It’s appropriate that the 11th of November is Remembrance Day, because before the calendar changed it used to be 31st October. Some people still use this day to celebrate Samhain, but I don’t because when the calendar changed people looked for a sign if they should celebrate the festivals on the day it had moved to on the calendar (e.g. 11th November for Hallowe’en) and the sign said that they should stay with the day they are (e.g. 31st October for Hallowe’en).

Remembrance Day always depresses me. People dying in wars that we’re in to show political muscle or for oil rights, rather than causes of freedom, justice and liberty. Wars that could have been avoided.

I always do the two minute silence as the people who fell for us and served their country should be honoured. Fortunately I’ve always worked in places that supported the silence.

Pagan Portals – Hedge Riding by Harmonia Saille

I was disappointed in this book as I expected it to be all about hedge riding. It turned out to be another paganism 101 book with a little bit about hedge riding. It would make a decent first book for a beginning pagan, but not for anyone interested in hedge riding.

It does have one or two things I vehemently disagree with, but it doesn’t make any huge mistakes nor is it preachy. It covers the basics and would be a good lead into other things.

Sloe Gin

I’ve been making sloe gin to celebrate the Winter Equinox with.

Most people wait until the first frost to collect berries, but we’ve just had the first frost in November and I didn’t think I’d get it done in time for the Winter Equinox. So instead I put the berries in the freezer.

The freeze is needed to break down the cells in the berries, which provide the taste and colour of sloe gin.


This festival was eventful and chaotic but I managed to enjoy it.

I read the tarot in the morning. I’ve never managed to read tarot on Samhain, so I thought I’d do it in the morning. I started off with a general reading, but I couldn’t make much sense of this, so I did three readings instead.

One was for work, which is summarised as it was going to stay the same. One was for my marriage, which was good. The third is for my aromatherapy which I found difficult to read.

After a relaxing morning I carved my turnip lanterns (called Jack O’Lanterns) while watching Poirot : Dead Man’s Folly. I don’t like horror, but a murder mystery was appropriate for this festival.

I then went up to my tribal tree where my baby is buried to say some appropriate words. I walked for a while in the woods and came back to a darkening house.

I put nine candles in my candle holder and put it in the kitchen so I was cooking by candlelight. We don’t encourage trick or treaters as we feel that they are getting money for doing nothing. Other Brits see it as begging with menaces and don’t encourage it either.

I made dinner for us; food my dead Nanna (Mum’s Mum) would have made. Homity pie, which is root vegetables, bacon, apples and onions in an open-topped pie. I used some of the turnip from the lanterns for it, which made it doubly appropriate. I also made apple dappy which is a roll of pastry with an apple filling which is chopped up in seven and put in a dish to bake.

I’d gone on the net and converted the weights in the Apple Dappy from metric to imperial, which my Mum taught me to cook in.

It was the cooking which was chaotic as things kept going wrong. I put too much water in to bind the pastry and had to add more flour. I should have lined the dishes with greaseproof before I started rolling the pastry out and there were other little things that made the whole experience “argh! bleep! swear!” However, I managed to sort everything out and it tasted good.

My hubby got out the candles and placemats and for once we had a proper dinner. He got out the wine and we told each other stories of the dead. We welcomed my dead baby into the ranks of the dead.