Saturday, 30 October 2010

Old Allo's Eve

Hello Blogettes!
I hope you are suitably hungover from your recent visit from the Absinthe Fairy, for those of you that ventured to Don't Dali with the Devil shindig on Saturday night?
I shall be keeping a close eye out for a veritable feast of pictorial delectable!

Yes -  it's that time of year again! Thankfully I have been on holiday this past week (post to follow) and so have dodged the early (greedy) local kids who try their luck begging for sweets. I also live on the 3rd floor and so it is always a bit of a struggle for them. Maybe if they gave up the 20 Marlborough Red a day,  cut back on the chips, dressed up in more than their hoodie and were proper CHILDREN - they would receive a more welcome reception? Alas.

Anywhos. Enough of the ranting and more of the celebration that is Samhain. If you have read my "About Me" blurb at the top right of the page, then you will have spied that I am Pagan. And as such Samhain (pronounced Sah-wen)  is what I call Hallowe'en. It's not all pumpkins, trick or treat and plastic ghost outlines. There is an underlying, bona fide religious festival beneath all the commercial (but incredibly fun) guff. When I was more outwardly Pagan than I am now, I would happily decorate, carve a pumpkin or a turnip, make a pumpkin cake (never a turnip cake -  that would just be wrong)...yadda, yadda. But in my new 1940's skin, my opinions and the way I recognise the day have shifted to become a little less ... err... obvious... and alot more in keeping with how I present myself to the world.

I'm ready!!

I have always marked this day for what it is - a day to remember The Dead. For years gone by it has been family members that I have known, loved and lost. This year I have done things a bit differently.

Poppies I captured outside the Arras Memorial where my Gramps is on the wall to the Missing

On account of my image change, the WW1 trip to France earlier this year, along with the 70th anniversaries of The Battle of Britain and The Blitz  - I have gone for a more Poppy themed alter. Something that I would usually reserve for Remembrance Sunday. In fact -  I shall possibly leave this in situ until after the 14th Nov.  I shall be thinking about my G-G-Grandad who was lost in WW1 and those who fought or sheltered and died during those pivotal events in 1940.

Poppies, trench art, pic of Gramps and a WW2 enamel candle holder

I know it is not much of an alter, in fact it is just a fireplace but I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't need to be much. In fact -  the hearth is the perfect place for it. Nor does it need to be adorned in resin figures of Goddesses or Gods. Or a pentacle. Not that there is anything wrong with those. In fact -  some of them are rather nice. My altars used to be swathed in things like that -  in fact, my whole world did -  but like I said, I am more reserved about it now. I have a small permanent alter in the kitchen and for a bigger occasion the hearth gets the celebratory treatment too. And it makes me no less a Witch in doing so. This is something it has taken me a long while to realise.

 And that's me for the day.
I am celebrating and remembering those people who gave their life for us as a nation.
Be that in 1914 or 1940.
 Soldier or Civilian.

We Will Remember Them


  1. Sounds like you have reached a Granny Weatherwax stage (do you read Pratchett?). A kitchen knife is just as good as a richly decorated ceremonial knife, plus you can use it to chop spuds...

    Hope your festival is a good one.

  2. I recall from school (Catholic, need I say more) that Halloween is to do with souls, but we never remembered them as such. Tomorrow is a Christian festival as well, All Saint's Day? Don't know what relevance their proximity to each other has though. Interesting post.

    A lady at work is some sort of Christian religion and won't entertain Halloween at all because of it's pagan routes. Unfortunately she has had her house pelted with eggs a few times for opening the door and telling the trick or treaters so.

  3. Thanks for stoppping by peeps :)

    Hey Mim - indeed I do (well - did) and indeed I think I have. The way I view my beliefs nowadays are alot more organic, which is how I think it should be.

    Hey LC - 31st oct/1st nov are celebratory days for souls passed or the dead in a whole heap of cultures. All Saint's Day is held on the 1st Nov in the Catholic faith for eg. Its a shame that your work colleague had her house pelted with eggs - but I suspect that might have been kids more than anything to do with her own beliefs.

    Ahh-it is a lovely, rainy day here - perfect for candles and pottering about :)

  4. Happy Samhain! It's been a while since I celebrated any major festivals (can you be a lapsed pagan?) but I always stop to think of the dead on Halloween.
    I really like your poppy remembrance theme and 'shrine'. It DOES seem more organic, very genuine, and probably much easier to explain to visitors!
    I'm all for the Granny Weatherwax approach - actually I think Pratchett nailed what Paganism is all about there. Divinity in the mundane, ritual in routines. Love it!

  5. Hey Lauren! A lapsed Pagan? I think the term was invented for me! I have been on and off of the path for a while - but now I have a inkling of where I am headed! Thanks for the compliments - I think it looks rather Victorian / Edwardian - perhaps on account of the photo album frame I picked up in Hay. It originally had a photo of a little girl in it - so could date it fairly easily. I love it - one of the best things I found on my trip.
    Thanks for stopping by - always nice to have a visitor :)

  6. That's a lovely altar.

    Loving the Granny Weatherwax comment from Mim :oD

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