It’s that time of year again! In the northern hemisphere we are moving into the darker months. This week whether you will be celebrating Samhain (the end of the Celtic year), Day of the Dead or trying to navigate through the sugar trick or treat fest that Halloween has become, there is no escaping the witchy magic that is in the air so I will be celebrating with candles and ceremony for the Ancestors.
They say the veils between the other worlds are thin at this time of year so there’s no better time to think of loved ones and family members (or pets) who have passed. As I go deeper along my plant spirit path, I look more and more to the ancestors to help me remember the lost language of nature and the old ways of knowing and weaving the magic of the green world.
On October 31 I’ll be holding a small ceremony and lighting candles for my ancestors. Not just those who are in my recent past but those who lived long ago and walked this earth path centuries before me. I’ll honour them for their knowing, their struggle, experience, sacrifices, joy and love that created me and the world I love today. For ceremony inspiration to hold your own watch the video and use the pointers below.
- Hold your ceremony inside or outside, with friends or alone. The key is in the preparation!
- Invite in the spirit of the place, the elements and the directions and call to your helping guides and spirits.
- Build a shrine/altar/focal point to reflect the energy of this time of year and the focus of your ceremony. Gather twigs, flowers, elements from nature and include photos of loved ones or memories of those who have passed. You may wish to represent the five elements in your space: a bowl with water (for water), a crystal or stone (as the earth element), a feather or incense (for air), a candle (for fire) and something special to represent spirit at the centre.
- Decorate your space as you feel guided.
- Build a fire if that is going to be a feature of your ceremony.
- Before the ceremony prepare yourself! You may like to cleanse away stagnant energy with an epsom salt bath and wear special clothing (scarf /hat/necklace / mask/elaborate costume) – as a way of stepping into non-ordinary reality.
- Make time for meditation before you begin so you are focused and clear on your intention.
- Prepare food and drink to help ground you at the end of the ceremony and share with others if they are present.
- Prepare offerings such as sacred tobacco, seeds,flowers, food, prayers and blessings.
- Always open and close the space appropriately by inviting in your spirit helpers and setting your intention.
- Hold a clear intention ie. to honour your ancestors and give thanks.
- Create magic and harmony with song, chanting, drumming, rattling, dancing. (Great fun as a group).
- Keep focused on your intention.
- Allow spirit to take the lead.
- Present your offerings and call to your ancestors. Say a prayer or words of thanks to your ancestors. There may be one or a few that you are thinking of and can call them by name, or you may be calling generally to the ancestors of your female (your mother’s side) and your male lines (your father’s side).
- If there is something that you are seeking guidance for then speak it to your ancestors.
- Enjoy the sacred space, be still and close your eyes in meditation to “listen” deeply and receive any guidance or healing. This may come to you in a variety of ways so be open to receiving. You may not feel anything specific until after the ceremony is over.
- When it feels right, give your thanks, sing, dance, drum in recognition of the ancestors.
- Close space appropriately
- Celebrate with food, music and friends!
- Note down anything significant as it’s easy to forget – and be sure to honour any guidance or actions that you receive.
Final thoughts on Ceremony
Have fun! Ceremony is celebration. Spirit will be reading your heart and your intention, not your words. So don’t worry about saying the “right” thing. Invite spirit into your sacred space with a clear intention and allow the love and joy from your heart to flow.
Share this with a friend for inspiration on how to celebrate together!
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