The fields are bare, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and the skies are going gray and cold. It is the time of year when the earth has died and gone dormant. Every year on October 31 (or May 1, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) the Sabbat we call Samhain presents us with the opportunity to once more celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth. For many Pagan traditions, Samhain is a time to reconnect with our ancestors, and honor those who have died.
This is the time when the veil between our world and the spirit realm is thin, so it’s the perfect time of year to make contact with the dead.
Depending on your individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Samhain, but typically the focus is on either honoring our ancestors, or the cycle of death and rebirth. This is the time of year when the gardens and fields are brown and dead. The nights are getting longer, there’s a chill in the air, and winter is looming. We may choose to honor our ancestors, celebrating those who have died, and even try to communicate with them. Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying for Samhain — and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.
- Ritual to Honor the Forgotten Dead
- Samhain Rite to Honor the Animals
- Simple Ancestor Ritual for Families with Children
- Samhain Ceremony to Honor the Ancestors
- God and Goddess Ritual for Samhain
- Celebrate the Cycle of Life and Death
- Plan a Samhain Cemetery Visit
- Samhain Ancestor Meditation
- Decorating Your Altar for Samhain
By Patti Wigington