If you’re new to the idea of celebrating Samhain, in the sense of honouring our ancestresses in a gentle, holistic way, rather than buying into the ghoulish commercial hype of fear-based Halloween, why not incorporate these simple ideas.
My favourite way is simply to take a walk in Nature. Here, all around us, is the story of birth, life, death. Nature returns unto herself. The leaves will once again become part of the soil from which they first originated as a tiny seed sprouting.
Breathe in the crisp, cool air. Smell woodsmoke. Listen to the sounds as your feet walk upon the leaves. What can you hear? How do you feel?
A Samhain Altar is a beautiful way to adorn your home with gifts from Nature. There are the obvious things like pumpkins, apples and corn, but you can also add acorns, plump rosehips and other gifts from your walk.
You could make a wreath for hanging over the hearth or at your front door.
Use plant-based or beeswax candles to bring light to the dark nights.
Collect photographs, memorabilia and heirlooms from your ancestors and ancestresses. You might like to include fresh rosemary stems to symbolise ‘remembrance’. I collect fresh rosemary from the garden, but also sprinkle the altar with essential oil of rosemary.
Stand with reverence before your ancestors. Say their names out loud. Express gratitude for their part in your life. The veil is thin at this time of the year. Stop and listen to the messages of loved ones who have passed over, whether or not you know their names.
When creating your dinner, leave a place for them.
This is the end of the earth-based year. Give thanks for all that has gone before. When reflecting on the past 12 months, what can you take from it as you move forward?
Declutter and let go of what you no longer need from your home. Release. Learn from Mother Nature. Let go. Start afresh. This is the time of transformation. Embrace it.
Create a phoenix ceremony. If you have space outdoors, create a bonfire or small fire in a fire pit/cauldron. Write down anything negative that you wish to leave your life. Throw this in the fire and see it being released. Let go. Move forward.
I love this time of the year for divination, and gather around me my many different divination cards as I seek guidance and affirmation for the months ahead.
The only way to counteract all the negativity brought into the world by false stereotypes around Halloween, is to be more visible in your expression of earth-based spirituality.