Last night we started a new tradition, one that my mother discovered somewhere and we decided that we would try to add to all the other things we do around here. Sometimes we're on the regular English/American holiday/tradition calendar...but we've been happily sneaking in some pagan and Earth based traditions to the roster. Hey...more to celebrate right?
When we first started to try to participate in these new rituals and traditions, it was a lot of random collected ideas and reading...research really. Which left quite an awkwardness in the carrying out of such things. Mostly, standing around and clearing our throats and feeling uncomfortable (like, how do we do this and not feel silly?) But then, we realized that the more we read, and incorporate, and use the things we want to and then customize these new traditions to ceremonies and rituals that are important to us...give them our own meanings and use our own symbols...it's easy...and FUN!
So, in the tradition of Halloween/Samhain we celebrated the end of the year by lighting up my jack-o-lantern and throwing pumpkin seeds into a fire. Today, on Samhain (Nov. 1st) even though I think we were supposed to do this last night...but chocolate has a way of taking over...and trick-or-treating...we built a fire in my fire pit and each took handfuls of pumpkin seeds and then assigned a trait, or thought, or idea...something that we wanted to leave in the old year, to one seed...and then threw that seed into the fire....where the seed would heat up and pop and explode! We weren't quite sure if we were supposed to use raw seeds or cooked seeds, so we improvised (again...quite important when you start these things) and decided to use both. I ran out of ideas pretty quick, my mom said she could go all night, and Rozzilyn entertained us with her dancing and singing.
This ceremony reminds me of the burning ceremony I do every Dec. 31st. where I write a letter of things I want to leave in the old year, then burn it before midnight...then write a letter listing the things I want to bring in to the new year and burn it after midnight. I really enjoy the idea of using the pumpkin seeds in honor of the harvest...the ones that came from my carved jack-o-lantern (something that is so seasonally important) and I think I will be adding this new tradition to the list of yearly ritual celebrations!