Samhain: Summer’s End & the End of Harvest

Samhain marks the end of Summer, the end of the harvest season and the beginning of Winter between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.

When the days get shorter and a chill is in the air, the wind blows stronger, leaves turn and fall, spiders build their nets, one can feel the ancient notion that at Samhain the veil gets very thin between the worlds.

Samhain is the honoring of the dead, somber and benevolent and reflects natures rhythms. The vegetation dies back and death is quite literally in the air.

There are many ways to commemorate this day, but this is what I do for many years:

  1. I take a nature walk, meditate and take in the colors, aromas, the sounds and sensation in the air and experience being part of the circle of life and reflect on death and rebirth as an important part of Nature.
  2. I build an altar with harvest, fruit, leaves, rocks, water and divination tools around 12 candles representing each month of the year. At dawn I light all candles and sing my soul song. This years altar focusses on my many birds, since their gift of song is an important healing tool that I use daily throughout the year. I cut the pomegranate and take a walk in my yard while honoring the spirits of the dead with each seed. I remember my ancestors, friends and pets that have crossed over and honor their lives and their memories.Sometimes I use pictures on the altar, however this year I prefer the spiritual conversation to the other side during my walk with the pomegranate. I also reflect on myself, how my life is going and consider my growth, the adventures of this year and what I have learned.
  3. I celebrate renewals and transformation with an outside bonfire, and throw in old habits that no longer serve me, while casting them in the flames, imagining their release. Later back inside I use at least two of my divination tools and do the workings for myself and others who have given their permission and have asked for help while taking notes. Celebrating Samhain alone or in a circle is enriching and soulful for everyone. Let’s get ready and have a blessed one!