Samhain and the fall season

I love traditions and ceremony; especially with the rhythm of the seasons, and this is my favorite time of year!

Samhain (pronounced / SOW-in), means summers end and honoring the cycles of life.

Samhain is a Celtic celebration marking the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year.

Celebrated on October 31st, which is also “All Hallows’ Eve” and followed by “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead), on November 1st. The focus is about honoring the end of harvest season, transformation, our ancestors, the calling of the spirits, and preparation for the approaching winter season. It is also said that the veil between worlds (life and death) are the thinnest and communication with those that have crossed over becomes easier..

This time of year is a good time to set up an altar for our loved ones that have passed. Its thought to be especially important for those that have passed in recent years, as their spirits may still be in-between worlds. 

On my altar, I burn sage, pine, frankincense, and copal. I send prayers of hope, good will and love up with the smoke.. I place water, flowers, fruit, plants, spices and herbs as offerings to honor ancestors and protective spirits.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, how are you planning to celebrate Samhain, All Hallows’ Eve, & the Day of the Dead?

IDEAS FOR CREATING A SAMHAIN ALTAR

√ Candles: black, orange, white, silver or gold
Copal, pine, myrrh, frankincense or patchouli incense
√ Plants, spices and herbs such as mugwort, sage, allspice, cinnamon, catnip and anise
Dried autumn leaves, mums, marigolds (said to be the only flowers that can be smelled from the other side), small pumpkins, gourds, nuts, dried corn
√ Stones: black obsidian, smoky quartz, amber, garnet, granite, quartz, labradorite
√ Offerings to the ancestors and protective spirits include food, mulled wine, photos, and sentimental mementos
√ Tree branches of oak, holly, ash, birch, hazel, elm, hawthorne or willow

Blessings on the rhythms of life,

Cyndi