Sunday, 21 October 2012

A Pagan Baby Naming celebration - thats not overtly Pagan?

I was asked yesterday if I could come up with a Pagan Naming Ceremony for a friend's grandchild, but one that wasn't overtly Pagan as the other grandparents are very religious (christian), so using an online available template I came up with the basic format below..........

The Naming Ceremony
We gather today to bless and name this child in the name of all that we hold individually Sacred, honouring a new life that has become a part of our world.
To call a thing by name is to give it power, and so today we shall give this child a gift. We will welcome him into our hearts, our homes and our lives and bless him with a name of his own.
(Parents - together)
To be a parent is to love and nurture, to lead a child to be a good person. It is to guide them along the right path and to both teach them and learn from them.
It is to rein them in, and to give them wings. It is to smile at their joy, and weep at their pain. It is to listen to them and make time for them. It is to walk beside them, and then one day allow them to walk alone. To be a parent is a great gift we have given ourselves and the greatest responsibility we shall ever have.
We call upon All here present, both in flesh and in Spirit to witness that from this day forwards You are known to Us and to all we hold Sacred as (Baby's Name). This is your name, and it has power and meaning. Bear your name with honour, and may the Divine bless you on this and every day.

May you always have good fortune, may you always have good health, may you always be joyful, and may you always have love in your heart.
(All Present)
Welcome, (Baby's Name), to our family, to our world and to our hearts.
Your parents love you, and we thank them for giving you the gift of life.
We ask the Divine to watch over you, (Baby's Name), and over your mother and father, and we wish your family love and light.
May Mother Earth nurture you as you grow tall and strong,
Providing sound grounding and strong personal roots,
May the Winds of Fortune blow favourably upon your life,
Carrying you from harm to safe haven when you have need of it,
May the Heat and Light of the Sun show you Your own Path,
To walk forth in joy as you follow your journey along life's Trails,
May gentle mists of Summer Rain nourish you as you grow,
Providing succour when you need it at every stage of Your life,
May you learn and grow in light and love, changing as do the Seasons,
From Spring and Youth, a time of energy, growth and promise,
To Summer and Manhood, a time of plenty and of satisfaction,
To Autumn and Maturity, a time of harvesting what you have sown,
To Winter and Age, a time to reflect and take joy in your achievements.
May You have Love, Light, Health and Joy wherever you may Walk!

What do you think?

I've emailed it to the Grandparents and asked for their feedback, to see if this is the sort of thing they are looking for, or whether I am wide of the mark, but we shall see what they think, just thought some of you may appreciate it for what it is!


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Samhain Approaches............

 We awoke a week or so ago to find a hard frost on the ground, cars and houses in the neighbourhood, there is currently also an abundance of berries on the trees as is right at this time of year, but the one thing that makes me think most of Autumn and Samhain is that certain smell that is present in the woods, a musky, mellow fragrance that pulls on the memories and tells you that time of year has arrived, stimulates the memories of previous times and lets ytou know that the weather although relatively mild at the moment will soon be gripped by the cold harshness of winter. This year I first noticed this smell last weekend whilst walking our furbaby, Poppy (Great Dane xbreed), through the woods along the ship canal near where we live. The leaves are turning and beginning to fall, the mists have begun in a morning and a cold nip is beginning to be noticeable in the air at certain times of day, all this points to the fact that Samhain will soon be upon us!

Historically within paganism Samhain is celebrated on October the 31st, a date that modern folk know as Halloween, yet this date is not one that is easily identified unless you have a wroking calendar in place and are aware of the dates. Unlike the Solstices and Equinoxes, which can be identified by the relative position of the Sun (using natural or man placed markers (such as Stone Circles, Menhirs, etc), the 4 Celtic Cross festivals, the so called 'greater' festivals have no astronomical marker (that we are aware of), but are signified by being half way between the Solstices and Equinoxes.

One Tradition we studied with used another set of dates, Samhain was marked by the first Frost of Autumn, Beltaine by the First Blossoming of the May (Hawthorn) in spring, Yule and Midsummer were celebrated at the Solstices, but other festivals were less important to that group. The use of first frost to date Samhain works on many levels, it signifies the death of many crops and foodstuffs, plus the end of certain berries and fruits, it gives an easily identified point that does not require the use of calendars or astronomical observation, is it not likely then that this marker was used more bny our ancestors than a rigidly set date that relied upon observation and calendars to set its dates?

 Yes, I know our ancestors weren't dumb, that they were as intelligent and sophisticated as we are, their societies were as complex as our own in many ways, but surely faced with an easy to use marker point they would have utilised it rather than make things more complex than they needed to be? I am not looking to start argument, merely to stimulate you to think upon this for yourself, nowadays we celebrate Samhain on the 31st October as it has become Traditional within the Pagan community, but I do think that if you go back far enough you will find Samhain was not a fixed point, but rather a festival that was marked by a terrestrial weather event, some food for your thoughts perhaps?

Anyhows, however and whenever you choose to celebrate Samhain, I hope you have a blessed one!

Dark Dreams