Oíche Samhain ritual and lore with Deborah Oak, Bríghde Éire and Mikey Joinson

Ancestor Altar dressed for Samhain

Ancestor Altar dressed for Samhain

Oíche Shamhna, the veil is thin.

White Hill Centre in Chesham HP5 1AG

Cost: £100 – £150 sliding scale

Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the magical year in Celtic lore. It is at this time we look to the western gate, celebrate the dark and welcome in our beloved ancestors. In most traditions, Samhain is considered the Witches’ New Year. The time we turn within, and in reflection, plant the seeds of dreams yet to come in the fertile darkness. It’s also the time we listen for our ancestral stories of blood and bone, kith and kin, spirit and ancestors of our tradition(s). It is also the time we acknowledge the light to come and our responsibility for what we pass on to our descendants.

This two day workshop gives those who attend an opportunity to commit that time to making strong connections with the beloved dead and strong commitments to ourselves and those who will come after. Just the act of taking time out is a sacred act. Both Deborah Oak and Anne-Marie have strong connections to the Mexican celebration of El Día de los Muertos, and will be bringing in an elements of this celebration into our altar making and the reasons why ‘dressing up’ is a part of honouring the dead and celebrating the cycle of life, death and rebirth.

We’ll begin by casting circle with the strong intention of opening the Western gate, the direction of the Holy Isle. We’ll use trance techniques to create family trees that map our magical, spiritual and blood ties and journey to Isle of Apples to meet our beloved ancestors. We’ll explore what it is like to feel the the dead having our back. ‘Craft’ making will play an important part of this weekend, creating sacred objects for our personal ancestor altars that will grow throughout the weekend. We will mark the points of silence and giving voice with the Dumb Supper ritual, and we’ll give our attention to the importance of food in ritual, particularly to the use of honey and the pomegranate.
In preparation for the workshop, you will need to gather print outs in colour or black and white of any loved ones who have passed that you know you want to remember as well as those beloved dead that you aspire to magically, spiritually and in any other way you can think of. We will be making votive candles, so either purchase votive candle holders (make sure your image will fit on it!) or collect nice jars for this. Bring maybe 2 or three. Spend some time thinking about what food or drink your ancestors loved. Bring a notebook, writing materials and any art supplies you think you may wish to use.

This is a non-residential weekend workshop. The workshop will begin Saturday morning at 10 am and end Sunday at 17:00. Lunch on both days will be pot luck or you will be able to buy food from several grocery stores and cafes close by the venue.

Deborah Oak has a long and rich history with Reclaiming and Feri. She was a member of two of the most influential covens in shaping the Reclaiming Tradition – The Wind Hags and Matrix. Her work in coven Triskit influenced both Reclaiming and Feri, as it was comprised of Reclaiming teachers studying Feri who went on to become teachers of that tradition. Deborah Oak is a psychotherapist,activist. artist and writer. She is interested in helping others build deep and abiding earth-based spiritual practices that transcend allegiance to traditions while also honoring our individual roots. She lives in the Mission District of San Francisco where Day of the Dead is an integral part of the bringing together the diverse cultures of that neighborhood. You can read more about Deborah Oak on her blog, Branches Up, Roots Down .

Amhranai Mati teachers

Bríghde Éire also known as Anne-Marie
Mikey Joinson

The White Hill Centre is a beautiful old building that sits on a hill, a short walk up from the train station. Chesham is on the Metropolitan Line on the London Underground.
For information on accommodation please check local directories and websites.

For more information or to register, contact Mikey or Bríghde Éire at amhranai.mati(at)gmail(dot)com

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