The Halloween season is a good time to invoke and celebrate abundance, because at this time of year, the fruits of the ingathered harvest and the beauties of the world in autumn are truly golden. This is also a high-energy time, with children eagerly looking forward to costumes, parties, and treats—as well as a few of us planning a bit of magic and intrigue.
To prepare for this rite, fill a decorative cauldron (it could be a kettle or other cooking pot if you don't have anything more cauldron-like) until it is full to overflowing with symbolic season items. A list of some meaningful items and what you could say as you present them will follow shortly. You can add to the ambiance up on an altar space decorated with autumn leaves, vegetables, fruits, and candles.
Be sure that there is more than enough of everything for everyone who is likely to be participating in order to underscore the intention of overflowing abundance. Also, allow for some extra goodies, so they can be offered to Mother Nature. If this ritual is being arranged by a group of friends, you may decide in advance what each person might bring to add to the cauldron; the more creative types might want to prepare some little treat bags or other special favors for this purpose.
On the other hand, if you will be performing this ritual at a party where you don't know all the people and can't talk to them in advance, encourage all the bystanders to put something into the cauldron, even if only a penny. Later, everyone will be pulling things out of the cauldron, but it is also good for everyone to put something in, because such a gesture affirms that they are willing to engage the living universe in an exchange of energy. By contributing, they also affirm abundance in their lives, as well as their own magical potency as persons who have the power to give blessing.
When you are ready to begin the ritual, gather around the cauldron. The person chosen to lead the ritual should stand before the cauldron and declare:
At this season of All Hallowtide,
At this point, pause and ask everyone present to put their hands on the cauldron (if a small group), or to direct their hands toward the cauldron in an attitude of blessing, with the participants imagining themselves sending blessing energy to the cauldron. Continue:
And so, also, the cauldron of our lives:
Say that final line with a flourish and a dramatic gesture of the hands, throwing a final burst of energy toward the cauldron; then, all drop their hands, and the leader continues:
And now, we all will share
Pass the cauldron around, directing each celebrant to take out different items in turn, as you explain their symbolic meanings.
Here are some examples of things that could be used in the cauldron and the things that you could say as each item is drawn out. These are just examples. You could put different things in your own cauldron (depending on what is available, meaningful, and convenient), and compose your own words to explain their significance. In the examples, here, the leader could say:
I bid each of you now
After everyone has taken an item, set one aside on an offering plate, and repeat for the next item, saying something like:
I now bid you to take a box of raisins from the cauldron,
If someone has contributed a mixed bag of treats, you could say,
Now take the goodie bag [you can describe it] ,
Repeat for the items that each participant can take one of. There might be some miscellaneous odd items left in the cauldron. In this case, say:
To continue this circuit of blessings,
This ends the ritual. Later, the offering plate will be set out in some appropriate place outdoors. If there are any foodstuffs that would be unsafe for animals to eat (like chocolate, which is dangerous for some animals), those items should be buried.
Excerpted from Llewellyn's 2009 Magical Almanac. Click here for current-year calendars and almanacs.
Janina Renée is a scholar of folklore, psychology, medical anthropology, the material culture of magic, ritual studies, history, and literature. Her books include Tarot Spells, Tarot Your Everyday Guide (winner ...