It is widely believed that Halloween held on the 31st October has evolved from the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain.
Samhain Pronounced sow-in, is a Gaelic word meaning ‘end of the summer’.
This pagan festival marks the last harvest, the time when mother earth goes to sleep until she gives birth to the Sun God. During this time the veil between our world and the next is said to be at its thinnest, this is why it is also a festival at which we honour our ancestors. It is considered a good time to connect with spirit as they have a greater ability to visit us.
As with any harvest festivals food will play a big part in its celebration. However the focus is also centred on family and friends. Coming together to remember loved ones who are no longer with us. This should not be a sad time but one of celebration and of thanks giving. Remembering the people that were and still are a part of our lives.
You can set up a Samhain altar to honour your ancestors and to celebrate the Sabbat.
Use the colours of autumn and the changing season. Use purple and white candles to represent spirit and black for the earth which is becoming dormant. If you wish to honour your ancestors decorate the altar with their pictures or keepsakes. Draw and decorate your own family tree. Place this in the centre of the altar so that you can focus on it during rituals.
On the night of Samhain use a tea light candle, for each person you wish to honour on your altar. Sit quietly thinking about your loved ones past and present…..repeat this prayer
Tonight the passage between our two worlds is at its thinnest.
Tonight I honour my past loved ones, and welcome you on this Sabbat
I thank you for your guidance and wisdom, your love and care
Your memories are held dear in my heart
(Now list who you wish to honour)
Even though you are no longer physically here
You are not forgotten and will carry on in spirit, through me and the generations to come
– Twisted Willows