In past years our coven has offered our annual open ritual in celebration of astrological Samhain. We journeyed into the otherworld leaving the light behind and saw the reflection of our true self as the Mirror Wraith awakened. Offerings were given to Cerridwen’s Crow and once prepared, each sought the counsel of Cerridwen, Herself. HER Cauldron of Wisdom was opened and time was spent with a chosen beloved and token of their blessing gifted from the Cauldron. We returned to the world of the Living and Light forever transformed.
This ritual was written several years ago and offers another aspect to how Samhain may be celebrated. We use the Goddess, Cerridwen and the myth of Her cauldron of wisdom to journey to pass through the veils and journey to the otherworld seeking wisdom, healing and transformation.
In this ritual we add the energies of the Mirror Wraith and Cerridwen’s Crow personified. The Mirror Wraith embodies the Spirit of the Black Mirror of True Reflection. Each participant stands before the Mirror Wraith and if courageous enough, stares into the reflection presented. In the realm of the otherworld, all is presented in its true form. Death strips away all that we have clung to in life and the false identities that we rely upon as our masks.
Cerridwen’s Crow asks each participant what they will willingly offer up to be consumed before meeting Cerridwen, Herself. In the myth of Cerridwen, Gwion Bach, was entrusted to stir the brew of transformative brilliance, creativity and inspiration that Cerridwen had created for her son. This elixir needed constant tending and stirring for a year and a day. Gwion accidentally spills some of the brew on his finger and blessed with the gifts of great intelligence, flees the wrath of the Goddess.
A pursuit ensues where Cerridwen and Gwion enter into a shapeshifting contest with hopes of Gwion always remaining one step ahead of the Goddess. In the final hours of that pursuit Gwion is eaten when Cerridwen transforms into a Crow and Gwion foolishly shapeshifts into an ear of Corn. As is the way with many of these tales, the Goddess becomes pregnant from the seed of the corn and Gwion is reborn into the youth who becomes the great Bard Taliesin; inspiration, creativity and intelligence having won out.
In this ritual, all are Gwion, and the Crow- a direct extension of Cerridwen, Herself, consumes what is illusory in preparation for healing and rebirth in the abode of Cerridwen. The audience with Cerridwen that follows is a personal and private experience with each participant seeking the counsel of the Goddess.
Upon emerging from Cerridwen’s abode the seeker lights a candle of new birth and is now ready to receive the blessing of their chosen deceased beloved; scrying into her cauldron of wisdom and taking a gift from it.
In joy, new found healing and wisdom all that has been learned from this experience is carried into the world of the living. We’ve felt the touch of the Divine and the love of our ancestors, and now we move back into our mundane world having witnessed the beauty of Samhain.
There are many ways we can honor the regenerative nature of Samhain. This is one pantheon we have used, but there are many others that are awaiting our call. Find your own space of calling and then let the creativity of your own inner wisdom guide your way…