Dumb Supper

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Although Samhain is celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere on the 1st of May, in the Northern Hemisphere its celebrated on the 31st of October, and some here chose to connect to those energies.  Therefore, I thought I would post something I wrote a few years back on Samhain and the practice of the Dumb Supper .

Samhain is also known as the last harvest.  It’s the time of year when the land’s fertility withdraws in preparation for the dormancy of winter.  Since Samhain is when the veil between the living world and that of the spirit world is the thinnest, I use this occasion to make offerings in the form of a Dumb Supper to my ancestors in thanks for the connections to my blood history.  Samhain is also a time of endings and beginnings for the witch, as its the start of the witch’s new year.   Along with ancestor veneration, acknowledging and honoring the Gods of this time – the turning of the seasonal wheel is also of importance.

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A Dumb Supper is a meal, which can include drink created in honor of the dead.  This supper cannot only be for your ancestors but also for friends who have passed or those whom you have a connection to and are no longer in the realm of the living.  Dumb Suppers are a time of silent remembrance so when offering a meal to them, it is traditional to commune with them silently or you can write a note to them and leave it with the meal.  Dumb Suppers can be offered in sacred space, like part of a Samhain ritual or they can be offered at a place at the set table of your Samhain meal you prepare (usually at the head of the table and served first).  Dumb Suppers can be covered in a shroud to symbolize its for the blessed dead, have a candle lit before it so its easy for them to find it on the astral, as well as saying a silent prayer in honor of them.

I like to create a Dumb Supper with things my blessed dead liked to eat in life. I personally include my supper as part of my Samhain ritual, which I use to communicate with them and thank them for their blessings of giving me life. Since candles were used to help spirits find their way home, I place a candle with images of my ancestors, a personal item of theirs and a plate consisting of their food in the North West of my cast circle.  I place a note I have written to them underneath the offering plate ensuring this plate is never used by the living (lest death take those who partake of it).  During my Samhain ritual I also burn the note of correspondence I wrote for them in a cauldron or fire pit so its released to the ether of spirit.

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Whatever you decide to create for your Dumb Supper, ensure you use what’s in season, and connect to the energies of Samhain.  Foodstuff in season can consisting of apples, pumpkins, corn, mushrooms, turnips, pomegranates, garlic, onions, potatoes, wine/mead, meat, nuts, within your meal offering for the ancestors.  Herbs which can be infused in your food and drink which resonate with the energies of Samhain are rosemary, mugwort, rue, tarragon, sage, wormwood, bay, nettle, mandrake, nutmeg, fennel (please note some of these herbs can be toxic with overuse or be incompatible with pregnant women so please refer to a material medica for further detailed information on the herbs you use).

If you would like some recipes check out my food blog:

https://madammagick.wordpress.com/recipes/

(c) T. Georgitsis 2014

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Khalkeia Festival

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This months Deipnon coincides with the Hellenic Khalkeia festival.

The Khalkeia was the Athenian modern day labor day dedicated to artisans.

Offerings of grain were made along with sacrificial meat to the Greek Gods – Hephaestus and Athena.

This is an auspicious time to start big or complicated project related to arts and crafts.

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“Hephaestus’ Workshop” by  Giorgio Vasari

Here is a hymn to Hephaestus featuring Athena which you can use as an offering prayer on the day:

Homeric Hymn 20 to Hephaistos

Sing, clear-voiced Muse, of Hephaestus famed for inventions. With bright-eyed Athena he taught men glorious crafts throughout the world, —men who before used to dwell in caves in the mountains like wild beasts. But now that they have learned crafts through Hephaestus the famed worker, easily they live a peaceful life in their own houses the whole year round.  Be gracious, Hephaestus, and grant me success and prosperity!

 Translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White

(C) T. Georgitsis 2016

Daughter of the Sun Review: Pagan Collective of Victoria

Just received a positive review for the Sekhmet devotional I edited:

Published in Spokes of the Wheel,  The Official Newsletter of the Pagan Collective of Victoria,  Yule 2016 Volume 3, Issue 4

“Daughter of the Sun, A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet”

It’s a strange experience discovering a God or Goddess that is unfamiliar to you for the first time.

You may have come across them in a classical painting, a reference in a poem or a book on mythology it catches your imagination or has a spark of recognition. It encourage to find out more and search through obscure references books looking for the earliest of references and may even push you further explore the culture or history of the people that originally worshiped your new God.

And that’s why it’s been such a pleasure to review Daughter of the Sun – A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet. Sekhmet is a Goddess I really knew very little about. The joy of this anthology is the diverse views and perspectives on the Goddess that that paints a such a vivid picture.

T. Georgitsis has done a stellar effort here as editor of this anthology consisting of such a diverse range of material this book is full of exciting stories, beautiful poetry and wonderful art.We are introduced to Sekhmet; A Goddess of the ancient Egypt pantheon. Sekhmet is a Goddess of many facets: Avatar of justice, warrior, healer, hunter and mother. You’ll will learn so much about the character of this Goddess throughout this anthology

This book is filled with poetic inspiration and vividly paints a picture of Sekmet very much alive and radiating with power thousands of years later after the fall of Ancient Egypt.

I thoroughly recommend you get copy Daughter of the Sun if you are familiar with Sekhmet you will find it an invaluable resource. If you are just learning about this Goddess for the first time like I am, it is a wonderful introduction.

Ryan, Co-Founder of the Pagan Collective of Victoria

Blending and Baking for Beltaine

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Beltane is a fertility festival where the union of the God and Goddess is honored.   Its a time of plentiful abundance and as such we can celebrate it as a feasting holiday.  A way to honor the earth’s blooming richness during Beltane is to hold a ritual with symbols of male and female fertility to signify the fruitfulness of the land and in turn us. It is also customary to hold a meal after the ceremony in celebration, which is called Agape in the Wiccan tradition I am initiated in.  Agape is a ritualistic meal after the customary rite has ended and circle is closed and the attendees are gathered around a hearth table or fireplace to eat and drink in merriment and the word itself means love in Greek.

One of the things which stands out for me during Wiccan ritual is the cakes and wine sharing within the coven which is similar to the catholic church sacrament but predates it.  Its where after our magickal working within the cast circle, cakes and wine is passed around by the coven members, which the Priestess and Priest initiate before the altar.  The cake and wine is shared among those gathered to ground and give thanks in honor of the God and Goddess for the blessings they have bestowed upon us.  When the goblet of wine is passed around the words “May you never thirst” are spoken before being handed to the next participant and when the cakes plate (sometimes the earth pentacle is used) is passed around the words “May you never hunger” are spoken before they are handed to the next person.  I find this form of blessing quite beneficial as not only does it bless us with the prosperity and bounty of the God and Goddess but it connects the coven in an act of love through the sharing of food in the name of deity.

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During Beltane my preferred preference for cake and wine is oat cakes and may wine. The magickal properties of wine are fertility, abundance and dreams and connect to the element of water and the moon.  The magickal properties of oats are fertility, wealth and prosperity and connect to the element of earth and the planet Venus.

May Wine Recipe

Wine is used in many a Wiccan celebration and as such perfect to use at Beltane. May wine also known as Maibowle (May bowl) can connect us to the nature of Beltane since its at the heart of spring and we have the ingredients at hand to be able to make this refreshing alcoholic punch. May wine/Maibowle gets its name due to Beltane falling on May 1st in the northern hemisphere where Beltane also known as May Day has its origins.  It is this time of year where this type of wine is enjoyed in celebration of the fertility festival, most notably in Germany.

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Oats are used in several Beltane-centric Celtic cakes and breads, my favourite being Bannocks which are native to Scotland.  Bannocks can have charms placed upon them and therefore the person consuming them also consumes the symbolic meaning that the charm represents.

Bannocks Recipe

(c) T. Georgitsis 2012