Vigil for the Dark Moon after Samhain

This year, to mark the passing of Rhiannon to Annwfn, I made a grey shroud to put over the white horse on her altar.

A little before the precise time of the Dark Moon, as the light of day began to fade, I went out to the garden altar and made my usual dedication to Mererid as Guardian of the Shrine at her fountain. Then, turning to Rhiannon’s altar, I spoke some familiar words to her. The last of the garden roses were scattered about and I also put some pieces of unburnt incense there. Then I spoke my formal dedication:

By Orion’s light
At the dark of the Moon
Now the hawthorn tree is bare

As the Hunter’s spoor is laid tonight
A shadow passes through the veil
Of Annwfn on a Grey Mare.

Rigantona, roses wither on your altar;
As winter falls across the land
I’ll keep your vigil here.

I stood in silent communion for a while before taking the white horse statuette from the altar and dressing it in the grey shroud. This will stay in place over the winter, a sign both of her absence and the presence that awareness of her absence implies. I placed a small stone of black jet in each of the halves of the geode which is also on the altar. So I marked her passing in the rain, wind and gathering darkness out in the open air.

Back in the house I had prepared a large dark candle together with some smaller ones and these were lit when I came back in with these words:

Winter now is upon us
And the darkness
Around this hearth
Which we keep
For your going
Into the Otherworld
Rhiannon gu; Bendithion Llu.

So we pass the night of the Dark Moon to mark the start of the Winter season.