Samhain marks the traditional cross-quarter time between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. It is often called the witches’ new year, the ending of one year and the beginning of the next as the trees surrender their leaves and the crops release their fruits. It is one of a number of sacred days this time of year for honoring the dead and connecting with the ancestors.
Here is a simple ritual for Samhain:
Bring your hands to the ground and say:
We bow our heads and hearts to our beloved and mighty dead.
We bring our hands down to the earth to honor our ancestors of blood and path and possibility and place.
We know that we are always standing on and with those who have come before us.
We know that those who have died have returned to the earth itself and have become more than they were.
We know that death and dying are part of life and living, that our lives are shaped by those who have died just as we ourselves will die and continue to shape the lives of the living.
If you like, you might bring your body to the ground, let your eyes close, and allow yourself to rest in the darkness and in the knowledge that you will one day be among the beloved dead.
Listen for the wisdom of your ancestors.
And practice dying, surrendering to death knowing that death is not the end but is a process of becoming other and more than we were, re-entering the cycles of birth and growth and death and rebirth, the cycles of matter becoming energy becoming matter becoming energy.
Stay here as long as you like.
And then arise, greeting tomorrow’s dawn as the start of a new cycle in the wheel of the year.