The Witch’s (Celtic) New Year.
The fruits of summer have been harvested. The sun recedes to nourish the south. The darkness of winter draws near in the north. The leaves fall. The vegetation dies. The souls of the dead are thought to revisit their homes upon the Earth.
This time of year is shrouded in the transformative properties of death. New life is always formed from the dead and decaying. It’s a time for release, laying down old ghosts, both psychological and psychic. A time for honoring the death aspect of the cycle of life, and in so doing, our ancestors who gave us life.
The space of time between Samhain and the Winter Solstice (Yule) is a dark, fertile time to dream, intend and plan. We can take this time to imagine all that we desire to bring forth in the coming year when the Sun is again re-born at Yule.
This year I’ll be celebrating the traditional 3 days of Samhain. I’ve never actually done this before. In becoming acutely aware of who I really am, honoring my transformation translates to accepting every opportunity to include release and connection as ritual and through ritual in my life.
There are no traditions in my family which relate to this time of year aside of modern Halloween festivities. So I devised for myself a blended craft practice and celebration which satisfies my neo-pagan-cathoic-taoist inclinations. I’m going to share my notes with you. I hope you find this outline useful in devising your own Samhain traditions.
We’ll be creating two altars.
Colors: orange and black
Nature decoration: fallen leaves of various colors, mini pumpkins, a pomegranate, indian corn, rosemary, crystanthimums
Crystals: amethyst cluster, apache tears (obsidian)
Decoration: white pillar candle, photos and other reminders of loved ones who have passed on.
Release the Ghosts Oct. 31
Near 10 pm
Prepare slips of paper with aspects of ourselves we desire to release. (fear, anger, a bad habit, etc.)
Place a garlic clove and an orange candle at the west facing window.
Light the candle.
Recite: May only goodness and love enter here.
Burn the papers and affirm their death.
Sit in a space of open receptivity.
Draw runes for divination of what to focus intention upon for manifestation in the coming new year.
Call the Ancestors Nov. 1
Clear your space, Build your Light bubble, Cast a simple circle of protection. (whatever suits you)
Go to imaginary space, meditating upon our lineage and the wisdom contained within our DNA.
Honor and thank the ancestors for their support of current conscious existence.
Reach as far back into our lineage as we can possibly imagine until a clear image of the totality of our collective heritage is in mind.
Request guidance and listen intently to what surfaces for a while. (images, whispers, thoughts, feelings)
Close with profuse gratitude.
Close your Light bubble or Break the circle.
Celebratory Feast. Nov. 2
Prepare soul-cakes along with dinner.
Evening feast table shall be set with an extra setting or two left unoccupied as a gesture to invite the essence of deceased loved ones to visit and enjoy the merriment with us.
Light white and orange candles.
Take time to bless the meal.
Recite: Bless all souls who lived before us that they may be free and wholly ascended into the Light.
Thank any guests who may have shown up to fill the space at the table created for them.