Samhain – Celebrating your Ancestors

It’s May 1 – Samhain in the Southern Hemisphere (with Beltane or May Day being celebrated in the north).

Image: marjh6-PhotoBucket

Samhain is celebrated in the north October 31-November 1  – you might know it best as Halloween. Well, here in the southern hemisphere, the Wheel turns and the earth descends into slumber on May 1 as we head from autumn into winter.

Samhain celebrates the death of the sun and marks the midpoint between autumn and winter. It is otherwise known as the “Festival of the Dead” and various forms of this festival take place in loads of countries around the world. As Samhain falls here 30 April/1 May it is fitting that ANZAC Day takes place the week before when we honour our dead.

Samhain has its roots in Celtic polytheism and marks the end of the harvest, the end of the ‘light’ part of the year and beginning of the ‘dark’. If you’ve not picked your harvest by Samhain chances are you won’t be eating it.

It’s a time for bringing in the animals, having your dried herbs stored, and making sure your crops are in for hunkering down over the winter.

There are some lovely ways to celebrate this time of year – with the most favoured being a family meal with dark bread and hearty stew together with wine or cider! As the veil between the worlds is considered to be thin at this time, an additional place is set for departed ancestors. It’s also a time for remembering pets who have departed during the year.

Here are some links to ways you might want to celebrate from About.com:

Samhain Rite to Honour Animals

Honouring the Ancestors

Celebrating the Cycle of Life and Death

Ancestor Meditation

Blessings for Samhain! May you always feel the love of those who have gone before!

Chant for Samhain
(from All Saints Parish, Brookline)

A year of beauty. A year of plenty. A year of planting. A year of harvest.
A year of forests. A year of healing. A year of vision. A year of passion.
A year of rebirth. A year of rebirth. This year may we renew the earth.
Let it begin with each step we take. Let it begin with each change we make.
Let it begin with each chain we break. And let it begin every time we awake.

© Earth Goddess Wisdom – www.earthgoddesswisdom.com

2 Responses to “Samhain – Celebrating your Ancestors”

  1. 1
    Raven

    Beautiful chant and blessing

  2. 2
    Bruce

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