Moon Daydreams: A Samhain Spell

I cast this during dawn on Samhain in the Roman year 2020 as the Blue Moon sets over what is known as the Pacific Ocean while on occupied Ramaytush Ohlone land.

Moon Daydreams question of the week: What’s a spell / chant / prayer / song / meditation that helps you dream?


This week, I offer a Samhain Spell. It came unexpectedly during the Witching Hours. What was cast feels significant. The spell itself is only a component of the casting. What follows is my reflection of its casting.


Image description: A selfie of me looking straight into the camera, which is eye level. My bookshelf is blurry in the background. I am wearing black. My eyes have make-up from the day before. My hair is disheveled from recently waking up. My beard is long and scraggly and only the gray hairs can be seen against my black shirt.


A Poetic Tracing of Relations that Made This Spell

it begins with a search—
an oracle
gifted rather than bought
connecting practice to ancestors—
how do I decolonize my divinity

a gift given during a holiday of light—
oblique strategies
creating new ways of creating
the strategies are not the gift—
a partner who knows you intimately

a gift given during a holiday of light—
a spell-cast candle
protecting water protectors
the candle is not the gift—
camaraderie and solidarity connect us

a gift given during a holiday of light—
sacred sage
growing on indigenous lands
the sage is not the gift—
trust in holding that which is sacred

a gift given during a holiday of light—
wooden runes
revealing deeper truths
the runes are not the gift—
family of choice who is from the lands of my ancestors

a gift given during a holiday of light—
an invitation to ritual
gathering a society of the smokey mirror
the invitation is not the gift—
space and time with loved ones in intention

a gift given during a holiday of light—
a turning back of clocks
waking up during the Witching Hours
the turning back is not the gift—
presence of presence

it ends with a search—
a divination
gifted rather than bought
connecting practice to ancestors—
how do I decolonize my divinity


Image description: An altar I set before drawing runes. More about the items below.


Setting My Altar

What follows is an itemized list of what I included on my altar:

  • Center: Bone—I found this skull on a Northern California beach; I do not know which animal it comes from.

  • Bottom Left of Bone: Water—The blue container filled with water was gifted by my friend Dan

  • Top Left of Bone: Fire—A candle with a spell protecting water protectors gifted to me by my friend Andrea

  • Bottom Right of Bone: Air / Earth—A piece of burnt sage gifted to me by my friend Angela; it sits in a blue container gifted to me by my friend Dan

  • Top Right of Bone: Living Earth / Metal—An air plant cared for by my husband in a metal holder he sculpted


Image description: A blurry photo of the Blue Moon taken before I started my ritual during the Witching Hours on Samhain during the Roman year 2020 while on occupied Ramaytush Ohlone land.


Creating My Ritual

I had no real intention of being in such deep ritual during the Witching Hours of Samhain. I woke up early, like I always do. Only it was an hour earlier than the day before. Daylight Savings Time is tricky that way.

I began each morning like I always do. Go to the bathroom. Brush teeth. Make a pot of coffee. Sit with the cats. Once brewed, savor the first cup.

As I sat on my couch, I reflected on the day before. This year, I made a deep commitment to spend Halloween in deep community with dear friends and comrades. It began Saturday morning with my husband and I enjoying our coffee while watching a movie. It continued as I went to Holly Park to help Lisa L Bishop set up a social justice library in honor of Sean Monterrosa, who was killed by Vallejo police. I came home to spend time via Zoom with dear friends who I met through my husband and of whom we haven’t talked in years. After hanging up, I chatted with Bob, a queer elder I chat with weekly thanks to being connected via Open House’s Friendly Visitors Program.

I spent the dusk hours with the Society of the Smokey Mirror at Pacific Felt Factory, an arts space in the Mission. The Society was founded by my dear friend Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen. I brought with me a set of runes gifted to me by Tomas Hemstad and Daniel Blair. Socially distanced, I read Rhiannon’s and Ryan Phelan’s runes. My friend Evie Leder snapped a photo.

Image description: Me sitting on a bench reading Rhiannon’s runes at Pacific Felt Factory. Photo taken by Evie Leder.

When I came home, the moon was just rising. My husband and I walked to get burritos, and as we strolled through our neighborhood the streets were filled with families in masks and costumes, socially distanced, and enjoying the night. Sounds of laughter and merriment spilled from sidewalks and garages. This was a night of celebration, and it seemed ever more necessary as we’ve had few ways to acknowledge the darkness brought to light by COVID and this summer’s uprisings for Black lives.

I, too, reflected on my Unfolding Queer Cosmology, of the Here + Now, of All That Came Before, and All That Is Possible. I remembered an hours-long conversation with Mark McBeth on October 30, 2020, as we sat in Dolores Park. It concluded with the revelation that is Be Here Now.

All of this swirled through my head and heart and hands. I was moved. I started a ritual.


Image description: A photo of the three runes I drew during my ritual against the backdrop of the altar I set. The three ruins are described in more detail below.

Image description: A photo of the Oblique Strategy I drew that guided my spell casting. It reads, “Simply a matter of work.”


The Ritual Created

The following outlines the ritual I performed.

Please note: the actual physical directions (left / right) are rooted within a Western concept of time where the righthand side refers to the past and the lefthand side refers to the future. It can be arranged differently based on your understanding of time.

  1. Set an altar.

  2. Thank your ancestors and this earth/universe.

  3. Hold an intention in your head, heart, and hands.

  4. Draw a rune / card / sticks for the Here + Now. Place it in the center.

  5. Draw a rune / card / sticks for All That Came Before. Place it to the left.

  6. Draw a rune / card / sticks for All That Is Possible. Place it to the right.

  7. Read your runes / cards / sticks. Make notes.

  8. Draw a rune / card / sticks (for me an Oblique Strategy; free digital version) to guide casting.

  9. Narrow your spell based on Here + Now, All That Came Before, All That Is Possible, Notes, and Guide.

  10. Create a spell.

  11. Bind the spell in Here + Now.


Image Description: A digital drawing of the spell I cast. Each rune is hand drawn in black. In yellow handwriting around each rune is the intention for that rune. In turquoise over the black rune is the name of the rune. Each rune is on a carnation pink circle. Outlining each pink circle is its binding in the Here + Now. All words are contained below.


The Spell Cast

Here + Now — Inguz — In the center: [ A yellow circle.] This is the moon. This is where you start: be. here. now. Outlining it: May the here and now bring you joy and laughter even amidst oppression and suffering. May you be whole and centered, grounded and free.

All That Came Before — Kano (reversed) — May all that has come before simply be all that has come before. May all that has come before be still.

All That Is Possible — Nauthiz — May all that is possible mend, repair, return, redress, restore. May all that is possible reveal and heal.

Binding — In Triplicate, In Circle — I cast this during dawn on Samhain in the Roman year 2020 as the Blue Moon sets over what is known as the Pacific Ocean while on occupied Ramaytush Ohlone land.

Signing — As spell cast — My name in symbol on the bottom left corner.