One Ritual You Will Appreciate on Halloween, Regardless of Your Beliefs
Most people know that Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve happens on October 31st each year, but not everyone has heard or are celebration an ancient holiday called Samhain. It is a Celtic festival that celebrates a change of the seasons from fall to winter as well as honors all of the ancestors. The latter can be a wonderful tradition to follow for pagans and non-pagans alike.
Halloween and Samhain are actually different holidays, but are celebrated at a similar time.
Just like the Mexican Day of The Dead is celebrated on the same day, the pagan Samhain is an important time to connect with your ancestral lineage because the veil between this world and other dimensions is the thinnest. On October 31st you can connect between with the Spirit world, both in a way of a séance or a symbolic way.
A Way to Honor Ancestors on Samhain
A Samhain ritual can be simple, or it can be an all-out celebration with your whole community and a variety of spiritual tools. Here is a simple foundation for this celebration—a symbolic dinner to honor your family’s lineage. After incorporating this basics into your celebration, the rest is up to you. You can and should make this holiday in the way that calls to you and feels right.
Each year, you celebrate your own birth and births of those close to you, but what about honoring the lives of every single person who came before you? It is crazy to think about—if any one of them in your family decided to not have kids, your existence today as your unique you would not be here. Your soul would surely incarnate in another way or time, but your human self today would have never existed. It is important to give thanks to everyone before you because all of their actions lead to you and your life today.
Why not honor everyone during Samhain? If you have any pagan ancestors (and you most likely do), that is what they did.
Prepare a Harvest-Celebration Dinner
As Samhain also marks the end of the harvest season, making a gratitude dinner with local, seasonal foods is a way to celebrate your ancestors and hard work they did to put food on the table. These may include pumpkins and squash, root vegetables, and nuts and acorns.
To make the dinner table a sacred space, candles are to be places in the middle of the table as centerpieces. You may use colorful fall leaves as decoration as well.
Invite All of Your Family
It is not a true celebration until you have your loved once to share it with. Unlike Halloween, Samhain is a more private holiday and is spent directly with your relatives, not in a public eye like Halloween.
Invite Those Who Passed to the Table With You
The most important part of this celebration is that the spirits of those who have passed—family members, ancestors, friends, and pets—can join the festivities. They are usually offered mulled wine, mead, or cider to share.
It is a perfect time to process grieving, find closure with death, find a way to communicate with the lost loved ones, and feel the gratitude for your life and lives of those still with you.
To invite those who have passed, you should make an ancestors altar next to the dinner table. You can put old photos and objects of importance of those who crossed into the other world. Light a candle for each of them and place them on the same table.
Speak With Your Ancestors
Once you have the altar, you can speak to every one of the people honored. You should speak their names out loud and tell them how much they mean to you and how grateful you feel for being able to continue their lineage. Everyone who came before you led to you. You can open up a journal and see if you receive any messages from them and write them down. You can also write down the rest of your experience—what do you feel, any bodily sensations, or any thoughts that come to your mind.
To further your communication abilities, some people choose to visit the cemetery where their loved ones were buried or hold a Séance to directly speak with them. This is only recommended if you have developed psychic abilities and are ready for this type of communication.
Enjoy the Change of the Seasons
From your ancestors to you, from summer to winter, from the old leaves dying and waiting to be replaced by new ones in spring, this holiday is an important point of celebration of the life’s natural cycle. After having dinner, you can choose to take a nature walk to connect with the cycle, or have a bonfire and burn anything old in you that you want to get rid of—like old memories of traumatic experiences and bad habits.