Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain! It's that time of the year when the veil is thin, and no matter what or how you celebrate, this time of year is about our ancestors! It's a time to reconnect and honor our loved ones who have transitioned. A time of harvesting, physically and spiritually speaking, as well as turning inwards to honor the shadow side of ourselves.
Samhain, pronounced SOW-WIN, is one of 8 sacred days that make up the Wheel of the Year. Each sabbat marks a special point, or spoke, in the wheel and represents nature's natural cycles.
Traditionally, the harvest is finished, and people begin preparing for the thinning of the veil and making plans for the upcoming year. The leaves are falling, the days are shorter and temperatures are dropping bringing us in doors more. Many Pagans believe a membrane-like veil separates the spirit world from the physical world which makes it easier for spirits, fairies and loved ones to cross over to visit. This is also an ideal time of year for magic, divination, meditation and reflection.
You may be wondering how you might be able to connect and honor your loved ones during this magical time of year? Some of my favorite ways to celebrate the final spoke in the wheel are a combination of modern customs and traditional elements of Halloween and Samhain. I grew up trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and carving Jack-o-Lanterns and I have continued those traditions with my children today. Additionally, I light candles, create feasts and create an altar to remember and honor my loved ones which also spiritually grounds me during this busy time of year.
Samhain has always been my favorite time of the year since as far back as I can remember and is near and dear to my heart. I would like to share a few tips to help you create your own personal altar to honor your loved ones.
-Gather pictures of your loved ones that have crossed over to display on your altar.
-You can include special pieces of art, places you would visit, special texts etc. to help personalize the connection to them.
-Black, Orange, Silver, Grey and Browns are all colors associated with Samhain.
-Incorporate fresh flowers like Calendula, Marigolds and Chrysanthemums.
-Fresh food and water; apples, pumpkins, nuts, ciders or anything they loved to eat.
-Smudging herbs like White Sage, Mugwort, Yarrow, Rosemary or Myrrh to cleanse the space.
-Carnelian, Jet, Obsidian, Moonstone, or Onyx for crystals. You can create special crystal grids with these as well.
-Besoms (brooms), cauldrons, masks, totems and associated deities.
-Use your intuition, place anything on your altar that you feel resonates with your intention and your love for your ancestors!
Samhain lasts from October 31st- November 1st. With the end of the year comes new beginnings and out of death comes rebirth. I encourage you to take time, meditate and ask for wisdom to help you in preparation for the upcoming year.
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