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,
The cauldron of nature is overflowing:
Overflowing with the red and yellow and gold
of autumn leaves and apples and pumpkins.
Overflowing with the memories of childhoods past.
Overflowing with the magic of childhood's wonder.
Overflowing with the mystery of All Hallows Eve.
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:
Overflowing with abundance.
Overflowing with goodness.
Overflowing with blessings shared.
So it is, and so may it always be!
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
in the cauldron of abundance.
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
to take a packet of candy corn from the cauldron,
a token of childhood memories of Halloween fun.
As you hold the candy corn,
think back to your own childhood's delight,
as you gathered your Halloween treats.
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,
symbolizing the autumnal harvest,
and good health to carry you through winter.
Now take a piece of dark chocolate from the cauldron:
a treat to stimulate the pleasure centers of your brain,
on these ever darkening nights.
…take a hazelnut from the cauldron:
the Celtic symbol of wisdom, for honoring this,
the Celtic New Year.
…take an apple from the cauldron:
a token of the autumn harvest, just as it is also
a symbol of the goddess Pomona,
who was honored at this season,
and the fruit of the Celtic otherworld.
…take a crabapple from the cauldron:
a token of the wild,
reminding us that not everything is here to serve man—
some things are here to serve themselves!
The crabapple is also a symbol of the crone,
who speaks her mind and does what she pleases.
…take a penny from the cauldron,
to honor the circle of the year and the unity of life,
and affirm the fulfillment of harvest.
…take [various toy-like Halloween favor] from the cauldron
to invite the child within,
to enjoy this night of magic.
If someone has contributed a mixed bag of treats, you could say,
Now take the goodie bag [you can describe it] ,
Which [name] has prepared for us.
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,
we will now pass the cauldron,
with each person taking something out.
We will stop when there are three items left,
and those we will dedicate to the spirit of nature.
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.