Here is a reprint of an article I published several years ago, but the info is still relevant for our coming Halloween, Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, Day of the Dead, All Saint’s Day observances.
In past times, the year was divided into two seasons: summer and winter. Summer started on May 1; winter on November 1. The beginning of November was also considered the beginning of the New Year.
With all the importance we attribute to the celebration of New Year’s Eve on December 31, the same importance was given to All Hallow’s Eve on October 31. Except it was a solemn and sacred time, requiring a more solemn and sacred ritual than our current New Year’s Eve’s heavy partying and hopeful-but-easily-broken resolutions .
None of how we celebrated in the past had to do with gathering candy, tricking ‘n treating or being scared of what goes bump in the night. That came later when organized religion tried to demystify the most mysterious time of the year. As the church propagated fear to gain control, the sacredness of understanding life, death and rebirth and our connection and communication with the spirit realm was removed from the rituals. Thus, it was eventually made into a children’s holiday. It was just another way old beliefs could be replaced by the new beliefs of the time.
Yet as we grow further and further into personal Aquarian Age awareness of our connection to the Earth and the ebb and flow of her energies, honoring special times becomes more and more important. Here are some suggestions on how to honor All Hallow’s Eve.
All rituals have an order to them. There is preparation for ritual space and self, creating sacred space to work within, calling in spiritual protection and assistance and then the ritual itself. That’s followed by grounding the energy and releasing the spiritual energies and sacred space involved.
If going through all of that is too much, here are suggestions for things to do that not only honor the energy of this sacred night and connect you with the rhythms of the Earth but also help you personally move into the new vibrations as they keep shifting. I’ve listed the two shorter ritual options first, in case the full program is too much. The getting-into-and-out-of the ritual is listed after for those who want to try it.
SHORTER RITUAL OPTIONS
TO HONOR THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED
Before you Begin
Create a small altar in a sacred space for those who have passed that you wish to honor (this includes people and animals). This can be a picture of an individual or several pictures of several people, with items that either belonged to them or represent their energy to you. Use a white candle or candles to represent their spirit(s). If you would like to honor many people, create a simple altar with a small mirror (or bowl of water), white candles, dead flowers and any religious symbols/saints/gods/goddesses that have meaning to you.
Take at least three deep cleansing breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth, to balance and calm yourself. Shake your hands for up to two minutes to stimulate the creative center of your brain. Then with the middle finger of your dominant hand, tap repeatedly first on the Third Eye, then on the chakra point between your heart and throat chakras. This awakens your intuitive connection to the work you are doing.
To Honor Those Who Have Passed
Once you are ready to begin, light the candles and call the individual to you by saying his or her name and imagining him or her in front of you with all your senses and emotions. If honoring many people, it’s good to have a prepared list of those you wish to call so everyone is remembered when the time comes. Once the candles are lit, call each individual to you in the same manner. Either speak to them, telling them whatever you want them to hear, or tell memories or anecdotes about them, even if you are doing this ritual alone.
If doing this ritual with one or more people, each person takes a turn calling in their loved ones. Once all have been called, each person takes a turn talking to or about their loved ones. If each person has many souls they would like to honor, take turns: the first person talks about one of their loved ones, the next person about one of theirs and so on. This keeps the energy moving in Circle instead of being centered on one person for a long time.
When everyone has spoken to or about those they called, spend some quiet time in case any of those who passed wish to communicate. You will more than likely feel something either physical or spiritual, or get a vision in some way that is their message to you.
Once finished, thank each one of the individuals called and release them with love and gratitude. Then ground in some way, even if you don’t do the full prep and release listed below. The best way is to eat and drink something that you have already prepared and is right there with you.
TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE BEYOND FOR HELP
As before, take at least three deep cleansing breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth, to balance and calm yourself. Follow the other instructions about getting yourself in the right energetic space.
To Communicate with The Beyond for Help
Fill a bowl with clean water. Use one with no design on the inside so when looking into it, all you see is water and your own reflection or the reflection of candle light or moonlight, if you choose to work with either. As this is Scorpio time ruled by Water, using it as a spiritual telephone works very well.
Speak into it what you call to you – whether asking for help in a certain situation, with certain people or just creating your perfect world (the the very end) for the New Year. Use all your senses and emotions to feel the reality of what you call to yourself. Speak as long as you like, on as many subjects as you like. If doing this with one or more people, everyone has their own bowl and individuals take turns speaking into their bowls.
When finished, pour the water into the Earth in a sacred place (a garden or at the base of a special tree), or in a plant (or plants) that are special to you. It’s disrespectful to throw this sacred water down the drain or in the toilet as you are then throwing everything you asked for in the same way.
Thank the energies for working with you. As mentioned above, ground in some way.
Here are the instructions for getting into and out of the Ritual Options:
PREPARE YOUR RITUAL AREA
Have your ritual area cleaned and prepared before you prepare yourself (if inside, dust and vacuum the space and wipe off flat areas then smudge with sage; if outside, sweep leaves/energy away and smudge the area with sage).
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR RITUAL
Bathe first, dress in clean clothes – for this time, white or black (not white AND black). Energetically cleanse yourself with the sound of bells, chimes or singing bowls, or smudge yourself with sage.
CREATE SACRED SPACE
Call in the White Light of the Universe to fill you, surround you, protect you and guide you. Take the time to imagine it with all your senses. Call in the Gold Light from the Center of the Earth to fill you, surround you, protect you and guide you. Imagine the gold mixing with the white with all your senses. See and feel this sphere all around you, cutting into the floor/ground, ceiling, walls, providing you with sacred space. Make it real, again, using all your senses.
CALL THE QUARTERS (DIRECTIONS)
Have all of the elements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water – represented: a bowl of actual dirt or salt for Earth, incense for Air, a candle for Fire and a bowl or cup of water for Water. If you want to call protection at the quarters or directions, here are some correspondences:
The Archangel and Native American Correspondences
North/Earth – Archangel Ariel or Uriel or Buffalo
East/Air – Archangel Raphael or Eagle
South/Fire – Archangel Michael or Salamander
West/Water – Archangel Gabriel or Bear
CALL YOUR SPIRITUAL GUIDES
Call in your Guides, Angels and Ancestors or Gods/Goddesses, devas – whoever you want to have help you – to guide and protect you. Feel them surround you with all your senses.
Have simple food and drink prepared and ready to consume once the ritual itself is complete. It’s traditional to have Cakes and Ale, but our Circle had homemade bread (frequently wheat-free) and sparkling pomegranate juice. It all depends on what you like.
RELEASE YOUR SPIRITUAL GUIDES
Recall the Guides, Angels and Ancestors, Gods/Goddesses, devas – whoever you called to help – by recalling their energy, thanking them and releasing them. With all your senses, feel them surrounding you then feel their energies leave.
RELEASE THE QUARTERS (DIRECTIONS)
One by one, release the energies called for each of the directions. Remember to thank them.
RELEASE SACRED SPACE
Be aware of the sacred space you created and of the heightened energy added to it from the ritual. Absorb it into your body through your pores. Feel that energy fill you up. Send the extra energy into the Earth for her to do with as she wills. Keep the rest to energize you and help you as you move forward in the New Year.
Deconstruct the ritual space with as much care as you created it. Then eat a full meal. After performing either of these rituals, it’s best to hold your energy within instead of going out to party. Being around people who are drinking or in high revelry (meaning they are completely unaware of energy around them) will sap everything you just accomplished.
If neither of these suggestions work for you but have given you ideas about something else you’d like to do, please go ahead and do SOMETHING to acknowledge this powerful and sacred time. Honoring All Hallow’s Eve helps us reconnect with memories of the Old Ways that we all still carry.
May your All Hallow’s Eve be a blessed one.
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I offer this with love and gratitude…