I flipped the veil forward over my head and started off widdershins-walking against the motion of the sun and the moon and the planets and stars which overlook our lives on this plane.
The dying-back grass rustled a bit under my thick-socked feet; my feet which suddenly seemed to know every inch, every pointy stone and hidden hollow of this ritual ground.
For my eyes could see nothing past a white cloud of netting.My left hand on my staff and my right holding my athame were little guidance. But my feet had, all of a sudden, taken on an intimate knowledge of the way.
Reaching Caer Arianrhod, I lent my staff against a greyness and placed my palms upon a surface-summoning, with all my heart, my ancestors of the blood and my ancestors of the spirit to come home with me this night.
Trailing a tail like a comet I made my way back out- deosil - to the western gate of this world, and bid my beloved dead welcome once again.
Rituals such as these are hardly ever earth-shattering at the moment I perform them.Each one seems rather to be the herald for some more gentle growing awareness in my life.
I think it's the amount of time I spend contemplating the ritual-days or weeks before I perform them , usually. Grinding and mixing an individual incense, picking out the juice and the cake, the body and the blood. Finding enough candles in the candle-drawer or making a foray to the flea market for soome more.It all occupies a large part of me.
So that when I finally get to do the ritual -or we do, when my partner joins me - there's a sense of completing something started some time ago, of wrapping it up and finishing it, before it can start to work.
And so it is with this Samhain.
My ancestors accompanied me back home, but I didn't start to notice them until a couple of nights later.Now.
Not just the dead ones, either-I've had visitations from connections who are very much alive at the present as well. The veil which thins at this point between the Solstice and Equinox is not a veil just between the living and the dead, but between the living and the living as well.
Image from Steve Smithers