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A Samhain Saining

We worked a little magic in Mid-City today. We gathered on the banks of Bayou St. John and collectively welcomed a new person into our community. (What better place for a baptism than a body of water named for John the Baptist?) We sanctified her and gave her a name. We shared a pomegranate and toasted with beer.


Photo by Howie. More here.

Amazing stuff. I’ve recently become convinced that public rituals such as this, and indeed all celebrations no matter how large or small, have a profound power in them.

Thanks to everyone who was able to come. And for those who wanted to be there but couldn’t make it, we’ll count you present in spirit. I made sure to record the event so we could share the experience with our parents and anyone else who cares to listen. It’s about twelve minutes long.

It was a beautiful day. I had a great time. It was sweet.

Our liturgy, or whatever it should be called, was something I cobbled together from various sources, a secular humanist/neo-pagan mish-mash. But I did write some parts myself, and I was particularly happy with this passage:

We honor not only our immediate ancestors who have passed on, but all those who have come before us, for untold and uncounted generations, beyond memory and beyond history. It is our hope that Persephone will see the entire human family as her family, to embrace the best wisdom from the traditions of the world, and draw upon the rich cultural heritage of every nation.

For the full text, I refer you again to the audio recording.

Thanks especially to Michael, Kalypso, Lily and Anna, Sebastian and Sue, Sean, and Howie, for their help with various aspects of the ceremony.

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  1. We were there in spirit. We were planning to come but the kiddos were napping and you know what they say about waking sleeping babies (or is it dogs? Whatever.).

    Glad it went well. What a beautiful way to welcome your baby girl.

  2. Laura & Jeff Laura & Jeff

    We are so glad to have been able to participate and commit to being part of Persephone’s community. Good to see everybody and to make new friends, Laura & Jeff.

  3. Queen of the Court Queen of the Court

    Beautiful baby, beautiful name. I’ve been following this blog for a while now, but I ‘ve never commented. Just wanted to let you know that there is a song you might like that you may not of heard of that includes your baby’s name. It’s from a band called Sigmatropic and the song is titled ” Haiku Fourteen (English Version) (Featuring John Grant) “off the album called “16 Haiku and Other Stories (Songs based on the Poetry of George Sefaris)”. John Grant is the lead singer of The Czars- don’t know if you know them or not. Check it out if you can, it’s a fantastic song.

  4. Queen: Fantastic. Thanks for the recommendation — I purchased the tune from and it’s beautiful. I’ve been collecting songs on this theme, but I never would have found this one without your pointer. So thanks again.

  5. […] invent them, sometimes it’s a blend. One of the highlight of our year was Persephone’s saining on the banks of Bayou St. John, in which we blessed our child and gave her a […]

  6. […] year. I wish you could have been here for it. You can experience the next best thing, because I wrote about it, and there are pictures and even audio of the complete ceremony. I hope you can give it a […]

  7. […] And yet it’s much more pleasant. Much like my experience with the quad, this isn’t about efficiency or productivity. It’s a better way to start my day. My new route takes me alongside Bayou St. John, which is beautiful. I miss seeing the bayou as frequently now that we’ve moved a little further away. I pass by the tree where my daughter was named. […]

  8. […] I like trees in general but this one is very special to me and my family. This is where my daughter got her name. I try to stop by there whenever my routine allows and spend a quiet moment. I often do a brief […]

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