Here in Colorado, we just got a second snowstorm in October. We only got a few inches but every tree and bush was covered in whiteness. As I drove my oldest to school this morning, surrounded by the whiteness and the cleanness of the snow, I felt a peace settle in my spirit.
I have felt so chaotic for the past few months. I had a little bit of a breather in June, but then it all went to shit again as we shifted in to July and it’s been nonstop since August. As we approach Samhain in just a week, I can feel the spirits stirring around me. October holds a lot of pain for me, but it also holds a lot of hope and goodness. It’s a strange push and pull, happiness and sadness, joy and pain.
I’m leaning in to the peace that Samhain is starting to shift for me. And I’m grateful for that shift. I still feel unresolved on some things, but I know it is merely this moment is not a moving forward moment, it is a time of holding and waiting. As I spoke with a friend about this, it’s that feeling of taking a breath before a dive, but it isn’t time yet to dive into the water. That intake of breath, but not time to release yet.
Samhain is called the Witches’ New Year. It is the beginning of a new cycle around the Wheel of the Year. It is another fire celebration and it is the end of the harvest festivals. For those who are still new to the Wheel of the Year, Samhain (pronounced Sow-in) is also known as Halloween. It is also considered one of the Sabbats of the year when the veil is thinnest, Beltane being the second.
That being said, Samhain is the preferred time to specifically honor ancestors, it is time to save and hold space for those who have passed on before and who are ready and willing to give guidance when asked. Samhain is the time to officially put away the last strands of summer and open your arms to the coming darkness of the winter.
With winter already starting to encroach on Colorado, it’s easy to shift into the “winter is coming, the darkness is here” mode. But for everyone else, enjoy the fall leaves, recognize the cycle of life as the trees shed their leaves so they can hibernate for the cold and dark winter. It is time to release and shed anything (and anyone) who is no longer serving you. Whether that be energies that are insisting on dragging you down, or old habits or harmful mindsets you need to break, now is the time to prepare to do that. The most powerful time will be on the 31st as the darkness of night falls.
How to do this? How do you shed and release?
Well, here are a few ideas.
If you are not sure what you need to release or shed, laying out a tarot spread can help you gain clarity and name what needs to be let go of.
This is a helpful tarot spread to get you started with!
Candle/Fire magick –
As we shift towards the darkness of winter and the physical darkness of the shorter days, longer nights, lighting candles is a good way to still hold space for light and breath in your space.
Performing a candle releasing spell would be an easy way to release those heavy things that need to go. As Samhain will be on a wa
Items you need for candle releasing spell:
- Candle – white
- piece of paper that will burn easily
- black ink pen
- pot or plate to catch the ash of the burning paper or the paper can be burned in
Write down all of the things you’d like to release. These can be anything you feel is not serving you.
Light the candle and recite these words as you light the paper with the candle flame.
“With the burning of this paper I now release what does not serve me. Through releasing this, I am asking in the things that do help me. I now forgive and release everything and everyone from past and present who needs forgiveness and release. I ask for the universe to witness this release. So Mote It Be.”
Sit with the ashes of the paper and allow the candle to burn all the way down. Witness and hold space for this releasing.
Burning Bowl Ritual –
This is an alternative to the candle spell above. Take a few pieces of paper (or however many you need) and write down something you are releasing on each piece of paper. Roll or crumple up the pieces of paper and put them in a fire safe container. You can use the same releasing recitation above for this spell as you light the papers and allow them to burn to ash.
With both of the spells/rituals above, take the ashes from the paper that was burned and either bury them in your backyard far from your house, or flush the ashes down the toilet. Either way, make sure you complete and finish the spellwork.
Moving on to honoring ancestors, there are several ways you can do this.
- Tarot reading
- Dumb supper
- Ancestor altar
I feel like there are so many ancestor tarot spreads out there, I’m not even going to link to one. Use Pinterest or Instagram, or create your own spread! Let your cards and ancestors guide your hands.
With the Dumb Supper, as I have never done this, here are a few links for how to go about creating one. I will say that this can simply be done by setting a place for an ancestor at your table.
Links for Dumb Supper ideas –
Ancestor Altar –
This is fairly straight forward. Creating altar space in your home simply means having a specific spot on a shelf or table that holds respect and honor for whatever the altar. For an ancestor altar, this could look like pictures of your ancestors, items or food they liked or were common from wherever they are from (if you want to go back that far). Whatever you feel is honoring and respecting your ancestors, do that.
I have not done a whole lot of work with deities that are connected to Samhain. I know Persephone is connected, as is Cernunnos. But I still need to do some more research about the deities and their connection before I feel confident writing about it.
I am personally very excited about Samhain this year. I am actually really dressing up for the first time and I cannot wait to show off my costume! I think it is probably going to be way overboard, but I am not sure I care at this point. My spouse and I are attending a witchy halloween party tomorrow and despite the cold right now, I am very much looking forward to it!