The pagan fire festival of Samhain is nearly upon us and, if folklore is to be believed, the barriers between this world and the next are markedly weaker.
So, if you’re a spiritual schmoozer or even just a little bit other-world-curious, then this is the perfect time to connect with those in the other realm.
What is Samhain?
Samhain (pronounced “sow-win” and meaning “summer’s end”) is an ancient pagan festival originating from Celtic tradition. Celebrations take place between 31st October and 1st November (the midpoint between autumn equinox and winter solstice) and are what have inspired many of our current Hallowe’en frolics.
Pagans use Samhain to mark entering the dark side of the year and the end of the harvest season. It’s a time for honouring our ancestors and the cycle of death and rebirth. You might also hear it referred to as ‘Witches’ New Year’.
How to connect with spirits on Samhain
With the spiritual barriers being thinner, now is the time to summon your inner witch. Here are some things you can do:
You don’t need to be an expert in tarot cards to receive messages from the spirit world: you can channel messages using only a pen and paper in a process that is known as ‘automatic writing’.
Simply spend a few minutes entering a meditative state and then let the words flow on to the sheet. Try not to force it. You might be surprised at what communications come through!
If you are more experienced in the art of divination, then this is also a good night to practise scrying or using runes.
- Meditate with crystals
Crystals vibrate at very precise frequencies and are believed to absorb and give out energy. High-frequency crystals such as selenite and celesite can help enhance your psychic abilities, allowing you to be more receptive to communications from spirit guides and the afterlife.
Sit with one crystal in each hand or lie down and place one above your head at your crown chakra. Concentrate on your breath entering and leaving your body. Try to empty your mind and make space for messages to enter.
- Honour your ancestors
Pagan tradition places high importance on the natural cycle of life and death. Symbolically, everything at this time of year is dying around us: leaves are falling, nature is decomposing and daylight is ebbing away. Everything returns to the earth and the wheel of life keeps turning.
With the barrier between the physical and spiritual planes being weaker, it is believed that our ancestors can use this time to pay us a visit. This makes Samhain the ideal time to connect with and remember those you have loved and lost.
- Create a Samhain altar
To do this, you could create an altar dedicated to them. Place a photograph of them on it and any other special mementoes you may have. Decorate the altar with autumnal tributes such as berries, apples, leaves, pine cones and squash. Light a candle in their memory and stare into the flame as you contemplate the part they have played in your life.
Here’s a video of what you can put on your Samhain altar. Click here.
You could also honour your ancestors by setting an extra place at the table. Cook and eat their favourite meal. Talk about them. Remember them.
It’s all fun and games until some uninvited ghoul slips through the veil (it is Hallowe’en after all, let’s not take any chances). Be sure to protect yourself during the Samhain celebrations by placing protective crystals, such as black obsidian, onyx or jet around your home and on your person. Or you could imagine a protective bubble forming around you, keeping out anything that means you harm. If all else fails, go all Hocus Pocus and cast a salt circle around yourself.
What do you think? Are you ready to do some Samhain spiritual exploring or will you be hiding behind your black onyx for the night?
Samhain blessings to you, whatever you choose to do!
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