As you all know, Halloween and/or Samhain will be here in eleven days! While the children are finishing their costumes' last touches, carving creepy pumpkins, and making their last minute Trick or Treating plans, us Pagans are awaiting the ending of the spiritual year to reflect when the veil of the spirit world is at its thinnest point. Many covens and solitary practitioners already have their ritual ingredients ready to be mixed in their cauldrons. Many Pagans already memorized their chants and prayers. But, you're not alone if you haven't established how you will be celebrating Samhain this year. I am at a debate with myself as of when and where to put my ritual work to action. I am also feeling positive that our fellow Broom Closet members are highly struggling with forming Samhain plans. I'll tell you a bit about what my plan is Samhain is and I'll lend you some ideas to help you establish your sacred plans!
Knowing that I cannot perform a formal ritual due to my living situation, I have a simple but spiritually, emotionally, and mentally charging type of ritual I'd like to perform as my spiritual year in 2014 comes to a rapid close. My recent experience with my friend Ally and her oracle card deck is highly pushing me to follow it's advice. As you all know, I have been struggling consistently with the passing of Cody back in 2013. When I pulled the "Letting Go" card from Ally's deck, it hit me that the root of my thirst to find full belief in the afterlife is from my death anxiety from Cody's death. The negative pain of losing him has sent me to a breaking point; I know I need to let go, but it is a challenge. I want to communicate with Cody about how I've been feeling. I want him to know I still love with all of my heart and that I hope I will see him again, whether that be through a second dream or when my time here on Earth comes to a close. I've decided that Samhain would be the perfect time to release my fear, to release my doubts, and to release my tears. I have focused on his death. As his little human sister, I have put his life in vain because I allow my thoughts to indirectly "celebrate" his death rather than remember his life. I want to celebrate his life. I want to find a closing point in my grief and be able to smile and laugh and think of the good times, not how those good times ended. My Samhain night will consist of having a tear-jerking letter written to Cody prepared. I will be with people I am close to and comfortable to cry (if need be) by, and I will take my letter outside and burn it until it is purely ash. I am doing this to not only release my drained mental energy, but I am doing this because I want to release my love to Cody and "talk" to him, if that makes sense. The veil will be at its thinnest point which is perfect timing to achieve some possible form of communication. My friends keep inviting me to their parties and late night graveyard walks. I have not officially decided what my social celebration of Halloween will be yet. No matter what social celebration I choose to attend, I will find time to perform my much-needed release.
If you are stuck, here are some homemade ideas as to what you can do with your splendid Samhain night:
1. Celebrate your deceased loved ones. If you want a simple ritual for this, all you need is pictures of the people or pets that you want to celebrate and a white candle. Place the pictures on a table and light the candle in a safe setting. You can sit around with a bunch of traditional Halloween candy your kids bring home or with a hearty autumn supper and recall your memories with the loved ones you are celebrating.
2. Attempt to make contact with someone on the other side. This can go both ways; you can either plan a complex ritual or if you can't look unnatural, you can use some professional Broom Closet tips. You can use a pendulum, a Ouija board (for the Halloween effect; use caution if you do this), or try some meditation. You can do this with friends or family members who would be open to experiment with after-death contact.
3. Learn some Samhain songs and celebrate through music. If you don't have Halloween outings to attend, just stay in, have a glass of wine, and throw a Samhain party of one by listening to Samhain-themed songs to reflect on your spiritual year's ending. Music is always great!
4. Throw a pumpkin festival. If you are not planning on celebrating through spells or rituals, make a trip to a grocery store and get all the pumpkin types of food possible! Make pumpkin food recipes and gobble up your past year's celebration. Food is fun for everyone.
5. Skip the Pagan part of the day and trick or treat. If you're still in high school, go out with your friends. I'm not totally saying to throw away your Samhain night, but consider going out and enjoy all the free candy strangers are giving out. You can always celebrate when you get home, too!
6. Take time to reflect on your year and set up goals for what you want next year. This is a productive idea. Grab some paper and write about what went good and bad this year and ponder up some ways to improve your state of happiness later. Burn the paper and enjoy the rest of the night.