I’m on the road at the moment, which explains why I’m posting my contribution for The Bewitching Home blog party a day early—I don’t know how often I will be able to access the internet in the next couple of weeks. While planning the trip, I began to recall the many years I celebrated All Hallow’s Eve on the go; specifically while training in the woods, or at the rifle range, or holding the hand of a patient at a hospital, or waiting for the full report of a service member’s death… pretty much, not at a place anyone could call home.
So how did I acknowledge the Witches’ New Year, a holiday that is all about family and tradition, while home was just a place I yearned for? I did it small and creatively, of course.
There were times when all I had with me was, well, me. In preparation for such occasions, the first thing I did when I got to a new place was research the native plants. That way, if I got stuck in the woods and I wanted to do, let’s say, a cleansing ritual, I could seek assistance from the local greenery. I’ve done everything from moon bathing to cleansing chants, but I do prefer my herbs and my oils when it comes to self-purification.
On very lucky instances, I was able to have thirteen minutes of privacy. After stripping out of my uniform, I would use a bit of oil (my favorites are lavender, rosemary, and lemon) to draw pentacles on the top of my feet, knees, the back of my hands, forehead, breasts, navel, and on my center. Then I would rub my hands together, kiss my palms, and press them gently to the ground for a few seconds.
If I had enough time, and the place allowed it, I would stay skyclad for a while, lie on my back with my eyes closed, and thank the universe for the past years and for the ones to come.
This simple purification ritual can be done with anything. With herbs, with water from a stream, with rainwater; more than once, I used a ring to draw the pentacles. This year, my traveling pack contains some sage I got from Stacy, a black and red candle I got from Sandi, lavender oil I got from a sweet Irish priestess I met a few weeks ago, and a wee pinecone I’ve had for years (I will tell you the tale of the pine that birthed it one of these days. It’s freaking hilarious and a bit sad, but mostly hysterical).
Everything in life, All Hallow’s Eve included, is enjoyed best while in familiar places and in the arms of love. But whenever the wheel turns while I’m out and about, I don’t despair. I know love lives in my heart’s hearth, and home is where my witchy soul is.
Tomorrow, visit The Witch of the Howling Creek and enjoy The Bewitching Home party.
I will be flying around, too, cackling, creating mayhem, and eating all the yummy foods.
And if you haven’t yet, why not join All Hallow’s Grim 2012: The Darker Side of Faerie?
Thematic Photographic 216: “Fall Colors”
. . . because real Witches know the importance of being able to do it wherever they happen to be