Today we celebrate Samhain, and I'm drawn to think of my ancestors, my mothers bloodline and my fathers, back to the beginning, and as I step out to the threshold of my home, darkness gathering about me like a shawl, I give thanks to Gwyn ap Nudd, my patron god, lord of the wild hunt, and I give thanks to those that stand we with me unseen at the liminal places, who have seen my victories and my sorrows, and held my hand soft as the mist that caresses my cheek. I give thanks for each of them, my ancestral guardians, my beloveds, those whose bones are now a part of the rock and soil, those whose ashes are scattered on the wind, and whose memories are dust in the barrow mounds upon the hills, those who walked this long road before me. I remember you and you live in me, always.

Each year I bake a gift for the spirits, either barm brack or soul cakes, which I place out with a candle and a whiskey, for those who pass by on the wind. 

Here's my recipe, which can also be found in my book 'The magical year'. May your ancestors be remembered and blessed. 

Soul Cakes.
Soul cakes have their roots in the offerings made to spirits of the dead in pre-Christian times, but ended up as a form of alms for the poor and for children in the nineteenth century, who would pray for the dead, or sing songs, on all souls day ( Nov 2nd) and would be given this cake in thanks. 
375 g self raising flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp nutmeg
2tsp mixed spice
185g butter
155g caster sugar
90g sultanas
90g currants
1 egg
125 ml milk

Preheat oven to 220oc and grease a baking tray. Sieve the dry ingredients, and add the butter, ‘rubbing’ it into the batter. Make a well in the centre, and add the milk and egg, mixing it all together, and then adding the fruit. Using a spoon, dish out onto the baking tray to make 12 ‘cakes’ ( like scones) and bake for 10-15 minutes.


Traditionally accompanied by the Soul cake song.

A soul, a soul, a soul cake
Please missus a soul cake
An apple, a pear, a plum or a cherry, 
Any good thing to make you merry.
Up with your kettles and down with your pans
Give us an answer and you’ll be gone
Little jack jack sat on his gate
Crying for butter to butter his cake
One for St Peter, two for St Paul
Three for the man who made us all!  



Beannachtai na Shamhna!