Samhain~Halloween Customs and Practices Part I
This major festival has several aspects. It is considered the third (meat) harvest, New Year’s Eve, the Day of the Dead (the dead are honored as they were by the ancient Celts & Egyptians and even now in Mexico), and a night that the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is thinnest. It is thought that divination is easier and more powerful, the fairy folk creates mischief on this night, and that our lost loved ones are nearer to us (and thus easier to contact) for this reason. One reason to contact those who have passed on would be to strengthen our karmic ties to them in order to be assured we will incarnate in our next life with them.
Rituals on this night generally include remembering and honoring loved ones and ancestors. You may also celebrate reincarnation and another tradition is called the “dumb supper”. This entails that while feasting on all the wonderful items available at the last harvest a place is set for departed family members. You might set photos or other mementos upon the table and tell stories or jokes and remember wonderful times shared by you and those who have passed on to their next great adventure.
It is not unusual to ask your ancestors’ spirits to aid and assist you in whichever form/s of divination you prefer to use. Some of the most common and oldest forms of scrying used are fire or flame, and mirrors. You might also try a dark bowl or cauldron filled with liquid, crystals, pendulums, runes, tarots, or reading tea leaves. Guided meditations or astral travel for the purpose of past life regression and/or for the purpose of knowing or learning something specific from one’s ancestors are very successful on this night.
Also on this night, we note the absence of the Sun (the god), who will be reborn at Winter Solstice as the Child of Promise. The Crone is called upon for comfort; the dying God is mourned. The Sun God’s power is at its weakest, and the Moon Goddess’ power is at its strongest. (remember this when doing any magickal working on this night or even at this time of year)