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.

Samhain and Wayland’s Smithy

Samhain is the Irish name for this festival, which modern-day wiccans have appropriated.  The Welsh name is Calan Gaeaf.

For Samhain we went to Wayland’s Smithy, which is an iron age burial mound.  Neither of us have family graves/ashes for a good few hundred miles, so we honour the dead there.

Previous people had lit a candle in the chamber.  We made offerings of hair and my betrothed suggested an offering of two tuppenny pieces, which we pushed into the stones.  Afterwards the car did get re-shoed (new tyre put on that day got a flat) but we need to see what the garage say to decide whether that was a normal or occult experience.  More on this later.

The next day was Samhain itself.  We lit candles in the kitchen and had our food there, while telling stories about our dead relatives and dead cats.  We also performed the dumb supper.

The dumb supper is when you lay out a place for your dead relatives with all the food and drink you would eat.  You have your meal and then throw away any uneaten food.

We also did a dead roll, which is when you recite the names of dead relatives (we also added the names of dead cats) and I used it to invite them in.  We didn’t see any of the dead this year, but hopefully we will next year.