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Samhain Ritual

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This ritual is best performed at midnight on the 31st of October. Not only is midnight traditionally the 'witching hour' but it also means that all the trick-or-treat excitement is out of the way.

This is a relatively simple ritual compared to a lot that are out there. I am a firm believer that ritual should be about what comes from your heart not some rehearsed, complicated bunch of words and chants so you will fin very few words in this ritual and more actions.

2 x orange candles
1 x white candle
Photographs and mementoes of loved ones that you may have lost over the past year
A tool of divination (your choice)
2 x apples/pomegranates
1 x piece of white paper
1 x black pen
2 x glasses filled with a Samhain drink such as cider/mulled wine/apple juice/ pomegranate juice
Various altar decorations

First of all, cast your circle. I haven't written one down here as everyone has their own preferred method. Try and make this one contain the entire room as you will be moving about a bit before the ritual, also, it will need to be a strong circle. When cast, check it for cracks and fill them in as your circle is particularly important tonight.

For now, I haven't added invocations for the deities as most people have their own that they prefer to use. I may write one and put it up here before Samhain so watch this space!

Go around the room that you are performing this ritual in. Place the photos and mementoes around and if you are doing the ritual by candlelight, some extra candles might be good, or if you are feeling creative, some pumpkin lanterns. Place the two orange candles on your altar and light them afterwards. Lastly, take your white candle to a windowsill or close to a window if you can, if not, it doesn't matter to much. Light it while saying:

"Spirits walking through the night
This candle is your guiding light
If a gentle soul you be
Join me here where you are free."

Note the 'if a gentle soul you be' line. The last thing you want on Samhain is a hostile spirit in your house.

Sit in front of your altar and place your pen and paper in front of you. Sit and look at it. You need to try and think of all the bad habits you want to work at giving up this new year. They can be physical habits like smoking, drinking or overeating or they can be personality traits such as laziness, selfishness, fickleness etc. Don't rush at these and just put any old thing, and don't be silly and put unobtainable things down. Take your time and meditate on the subject.

Put your list to the side on your altar and get your fruit and drink. Place it on your altar and put your hands over them. Say:

"Spirits of the dead
Join me here at this meal I hold for you"

Eat one of the pieces of fruit and drink one of the glasses of juice. Leave the others for the sprits that may have joined you to enjoy.

This is the point in the ritual at with you do any activities that you wish to. The best things to do are divination and meditation. Use your tarot cards to see what lies in your year ahead. Close your eyes and send out your awareness to any sprits that may be around you. Talk to them and ask for their advise. Respect them and treat them as your betters, it doesn't do to have a grumpy sprit about the place! As your invocation stated 'gentle spirits' only you should have no problem at all with hostile forces.

When you have finished your ritual, end it by tanking the spirits for honoring you with their presence and advise. Say something along the lines of:

"Gentle souls wild and free
My thanks to you and blessed be
To your rest I bid you go
Your presence sets my heart a-glow"

Close your circle and snuff out your candles but not the one on the windowsill, leave that to burn down but make sure that it is safe, so don't leave any curtains in the way. Take the second apple and the second glass of juice and bury them along with your list of bad habits. Place the list in the bottom of the hole, put the apple on top and pour the juice over it and the cover it over bidding the spirits to enjoy and to help you rid yourself of the habits on the last.

Have a lovely Samhain and a blessed new year!!

Author - RiverSpirit

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Spinning Pentagram "Copyright Robin Wood 1997, Used with Permission"