Honoring those who have passed.
Have you heard of Samhain?
It’s the celtic name for the holiday that we call Halloween. Pronounced sow-een, it is a holiday of honoring your ancestors and the spirits from the other side. It is said to be the time when the ‘veil between the worlds’ is the thinnest.
If you live in the US, I’m sure the arrival of pumpkin spiced everything has alerted you to the impending arrival of Halloween and Samhain, but did you realize what a powerful time this is for connecting with your guides and allies?
If you don’t already observe Samhain or some form of ancestor honoring (such as Dia de Los Muertos) here is a great way to get get into the spirit of this potent time of year:
Create an ancestor altar. Gather pictures of your ancestors, those whom you knew, and those whom you never knew. If you don’t have pictures, or don’t know who your ancestors are, tune into the symbols and colors and pictures that you are drawn to. You may also want to include images of your cultural heritage, or pictures of important people who have inspired you.
What is remembered, lives
This is also a potent time of year to honor all those who have died this year. Especially if you have lost loved ones this year, make sure to include their picture on your altar and spend some time giving space to your grief.
On my altar this year I will be honoring all those who have died this year due to police violence and in mass shootings.
This may seem like it would be a morbid or sad thing to do, but I have found that Samhain is one of my favorite holidays of the whole year.
As a culture, we tend to not want to think about death or dying, and instead cover it up with consumer goods, and an obsession with youth. Yet death is one thing that we are guaranteed to all experience. How many things can you say that about?
For me, it has been incredibly powerful to make room once a year to honor the dead. Doing so has helped me make peace with my own mortality.
I have also found it a deep comfort to spend some time honoring those I have lost. Nothing will bring them back, but by honoring them each year, I can feel their energy around me.
In my magical circle we hold a ritual every year on Samhain. The ritual is always different, but the underlying structure is the same. The names of those who have passed are read out loud, and a rite is performed to make sure they truly cross-over to the afterlife and don’t become stuck here on the earthly plane, never at peace.
Then we honor those who have arrived new this year. Birth and death, same gate, different directions. It’s not easy living in a human body, and we honor those who have joined us new to make their way in our world.
Letting go as a tool for manifestation
Samhain is also the time of year to let go of anything unfulfilled for the year. Look back at all the projects hopes and dreams that are yet unrealized and let them go. I know what you are going to say next: “but what if I still really want those things?” By no means am I suggesting that you will never have them, but by allowing yourself to let go, you will discover two things.
First, you may find that you no longer want some of them, and were just hanging on to them because you thought you were supposed to. Second, the act of letting go of things we really truly want, will allow us to grieve for not having them. Go ahead and allow yourself that release. What does it bring up for you when you think about never having them? Do you feel cursed? Unlucky? Unworthy? Let all those feelings come up and out.
This practice highlights any negative beliefs that you are holding about manifesting your desires. Guess what? Those thoughts and beliefs were in there all along, and now you have cleared them, and brought them to light. Not only is this incredibly healing for you, but it will create a strong and clear way forward towards manifesting them. Sometimes, it is only when we are truly at peace with not having something that it emerges.
Do you want to tap into the powerful magic of Samhain and the thinning veil between the worlds? There is still time to join the live version of my Spirit Guides 101 class. It’s a 4 week journey helping you get to know your guides, your ancestor allies, and all the other spirit beings who are here to help you find your path. Get more info and register here.