Tamesa: River of Souls (Samhain Event)
Every year, around about Samhain (Halloween.. traditional day of honoring our ancestors) we hold a small ritual/ceremony by the river Thames.
History / reason: This is because it used to be the dumping site of so many thousands of dead bodies in medieval times. In modern times, some Hindus & others have been known to scatter the ashes of their cremated loved ones (Hindu custom follows ashes being scattered in running water. In India this is done in the river Ganges). Hence it makes sense to honour all those `souls’ that ened their mortal journey in this river.
Part of our ceremony involves creating a small altar on the sandy foreshores of Thames (at low tide!), lighting candles, placing any bones we find nearby. Some silent pagan prayers, blessing, consecrations, and a small picnic (feasting with the dead!).. and returning the bones back to the river immediately. On occasions, we throw coins in to the river, symbolic of payment to the `Ferryman’ who (Greek mythology) ferries dead souls to the underworld, and requires a small fee.