Monday, October 31, 2011

Blessed Samhain!

Some time ago I received an intriguing invitation: making a death mask for Samhain with a small group! I didn't have to think long and decided I'd definitely want to be there. So last Saturday it was time! Unfortunately one of the women wasn't feeling well, so we ended up being with 6 'wyld & wicked women'! ;-) Some had met each other before. I only knew the hostess beforehand, so I had the privilege to get to know 4 wonderful women.

First we had dinner at a beautiful Samhain-decorated table. Everyone had an extra plate for someone behind the veils. We shared stories about those people and animals while eating in their honour. This year I dedicated my plate to my dad. For dinner we had a very yummy salad, delicious pasta with pesto and salmon, an exquisite quiche and very tasty pizza! The dessert was even better: heavenly cheesecake and divine pecan pie with vanilla ice-cream.

In the temple called "Ons Ding" ("Our Thing") we prepared the plaster bandages for the masks. In the background you see the veils to the other world and on the right the beautiful altar.
We made the masks in pairs. To protect our skin and to make the mask easier to release we covered our face with a lot of cream. I had a nasty cold, so I was a bit nervous whether I could persevere the plaster. I decided to put some straws in my mouth, so I had both nose and mouth to breathe. Still, it wasn't easy! I started thinking a lot of "what-ifs". That wasn't going to help me persist so I went into a meditative state and that was the right decision. I did it!
Then it was my turn to make a mask. I soon felt I was very tired and the cold didn't make it any easier. I wanted to finish the mask, so I kept on putting plaster bandages. I struggled. I realized it wasn't working and felt so bad... Finally I asked someone else to take over. That was so hard, I felt I had failed miserably. In the kitchen I cried, but everyone was so kind and comforting! My mask partner got a beautiful mask nevertheless and she wasn't disappointed (as I had feared). On the contrary, she accepted her own lesson in this with grace; we talked it over and hugged.

Afterwards we all talked about what making the masks had done with us. Generally speaking death-masks are made after a person dies. Look here for examples. To do it on a living person can feel strange, especially when the eyes and mouth are covered. You literally shut them up...
Meanwhile, it was very late so we set up the beds and dived in! Unfortunately one of the women had to go home. I slept next to the veils in Ons Ding. In the morning we had a long breakfast / brunch, closed the circle and then we said our goodbyes. Thank you for everything, lovely ladies!


  1. In sculpture classes they do that too, but of course not for the same purpose.

  2. Anonymous9/11/11 13:11

    Wat a wonderful 'report'! So nice to read this! Thanks for sharing! Hug from Astrid


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