Remembrance Ritual for the Dead

Every Samhain (Halloween) the names of our “passed over” loved one’s are read at a candle vigil. An Old Celtic Magic tradition to remember and honor our dead on this Sabbat (Oct 31 thru Nov 2). Ritual for the Dead In a sacred space, ground & center. “White Sage” is burned to appease the spirits of Summerland Carve the initials of your lost loved one(s) in your black candle, “dress” the candle in an Autumn or special Samhain or Dark Knight oil. Add favorite elements of that loved one to your altar, such as flowers, wine, favorite foods etc. Read each name (from Remembrance list). Gather a cauldron or other fire proof vessel and burn a dried “Candlewick leaf” (mullein) or “Bay Leaf” for each name of honor. A dried “Rosemary” bundle is burned at end to “Remember” them all. You may then save all the ashes, hardened candle drippings, left over herbs and add them to a black cloth or bag. This is an amulet and can be worn or saved in honor. Do NOT let your Samhain candle burn out, as it is considered bad luck on Samhain, let it burn at least till morning light, if need be, use additional black candles. BUT please keep candles in a safe place ! ~ Barbara Morris

Remembrance Cookies

These cookies can be made on Samhain Eve. They can be shaped like people (use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to achieve this easily) and the herb rosemary is added to the dough as a symbol of remembrance. Some of the cookies are eaten while telling stories or attributes of special ancestors, reminding us that we still have access to their strengths–or perhaps a predisposition to their weaknesses. The rest of the cookies are left outside by a bonfire or by window next to a black candle as an offering. This can be a solemn ritual, but it need not be.

Ingredients for the cookies:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine (softened)
1 egg
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cream of tartar
1 1/2 T. chopped fresh rosemary (substitute dry)

Please note: Small – t – = TEASPOON, big -T- = TABLESPOON

Heat oven 375 degrees. In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, almond extract, and rosemary until creamy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture. Beat until dough forms and refrigerate for three hours. Divide dough into halves. Roll out one portion to 3/16 of an inch on a floured surface. Cut out with gingerbread women or men cutters and place on an un-greased cookie sheet. Repeat rolling and cutting with second portion of dough. Bake for 5-7 minutes. You can also punch a hole in top of each cookie with a wooden skewer (BEFORE baking) and thread black ribbon through, these can be hung for decorations, or top gifts.

~ Barbara Morris