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Matrilocal Rituals
by Bebhinn
Samhain 2001, Vol 1-1
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detail, "The Syracusan Bride leading Wild Animals in Procession to the Temple of Diana" (Leighton, CGFA)A Women's Hallows

Hallows, or Samhain (pronounced sow-when) is our big day. Hallows rituals are always better attended than any other holiday. It is the time when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, which means that folks from other realms tend to come visiting a lot more freely. It is a time of mystery and going into the darkness. It is a time of honoring the crone. It is the Witches' New Year.

With the the beginning of a brand new year and the beginning of this column coinciding, I thought it would be nice to give a brief explanation of how we do ritual at Matrilocal. Our rituals are planned by the ritual committee, which, at the moment, includes six women. We plan by consensus, which means that we all must agree on the course to take. Sometimes that is as simple as agreeing to let one person plan it, sometimes it means that we hash out every detail of the ritual as a group. It is a challenging and rewarding process.

Matrilocal has brought in guest priestesses in the past and often asks members of the community who are not on the ritual committee to help with different aspects of the ritual. These may include anything from hanging flyers, to setting up chairs and vacuuming the floors, to invoking the Goddess, to making chili for after the ritual. We always welcome new members to the committee as well as women who just want to help out from time to time.

In the past we have held eight rituals a year at the Celtic quarters and cross-quarters of Hallows (Samhain), Winter Solstice (Yule), Imbolc (Brigid), Spring Equinox (Ostara), May Day (Beltane), Summer Solstice (Midsummer), Lammas (Lughnasad) and Autumn Equinox (Mabon). This year, Matrilocal has entered into an agreement with Temple of Diana, another local congregation, to alternate rituals and work on some together. The upcoming Hallows ritual is being planned by both groups and promises to be an amazing event.

Over the past couple of years, Matrilocal has seen wonderful growth in the number of women who attend our rituals. Because of this growth, we have decided to move our rituals to the Heritage Center at Lake Farm County Park. The room we will be using will allow for movement, energy and continued growth. We are very excited to be able to offer this new space to our ritual attendees.

If you are interested in getting involved in ritual committee or helping with the rituals, please contact me or talk to any of the priestesses or guardians at the ritual. I hope to see lots of new as well as familiar faces at Hallows.

Blessed be!