Samhain—It’s Not Just about the Ancestors

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Thank you, Pixabay

Yes, ’tis the season of “ghosties and ghoulies and long leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night!”* My favorite time of year. The veil between the worlds is thin and spirits walk close in the night. And this year the veil has been thinner than usual and for a much longer time.

True, some of thoseYes, ’tis the season of “ghosties and ghoulies and long leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night! spirits are our ancestors and well worth honoring, but most of them aren’t. So, as you are welcoming in your ancestors, it’s wise to make sure no unwanted spirits tag along.

Which brings me to Samhain’s other claim to fame. It’s the Celtic New Year. A time of fresh starts and new beginnings. And before we start fresh, it’s always a good idea to clean up our act on all the levels—physical, mental, and spiritual. That’s why New Year’s Days of every culture, no matter when they occur in the year, are times of brisk house cleaning. Witches don’t just parade around waving their brooms and riding them across the face of the moon. They use them to sweep dirt out of their homes, and while they’re at it, they use those same brooms, combined symbols of air and fire, to sweep out all the unwanted spirits and psychic cobwebs.

So this Samhain, practice a bit of psychic self defense. This is always an excellent practice, but it’s especially important at Samhain.

  • Sweep, dust, and clean around your living space in a roughly counter-clockwise direction.
  • As you are doing this, firmly tell all unwanted spirits and energies to leave–it doesn’t matter if you can’t see them. And have no fear, the vast majority of spirits and thought forms are no match for a determined resident. They will vacate.
  • Just to be sure they’re gone, walk counter-clockwise around your space banging a sauce pan with a spoon and shouting, “Begone!” Yes, I know it sounds silly, but it works. Spirits and negative thought forms hate loud noises.
  • Clean, refresh, and energize any protective crystals or guardians you’ve placed around your home.
  • Moving in a clockwise direction sprinkle some salt water around your space and follow it with some sweet-smelling incense—frankincense works well if you have it. As you are making the rounds, picture a circle forming and expanding into a dome of protective light around your living space.
  • Now you are ready to invite your ancestors in. But be sure to state that only friendly spirits may come in. Remember: no entity from the other worlds can enter your space unless you invite them.
  • When you’re done, thank the spirits that came to visit and tell them good-bye. Firmly.
  • Leave the circle up. It will continue to protect your home—just clear it out and give it some energy every once in awhile—full moons are a good time to do this.

Wishing You All a Spirited Samhain!

*From a traditional Scottish prayer.

2 thoughts on “Samhain—It’s Not Just about the Ancestors

  1. We had no idea this quote came from an old Scottish prayer, very fun sounding! I love the witch and cat on the broom.

    We wish you and Dad a great Samhain.
    Is the veil between spirits and us thin, down in the southern hemisphere too? Or does that happen at a different time?

  2. Sorry to be so late with my answer! There are two times of the year when the veil thins, Samhain, or the midpoint between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice and Beltane (May Day) which occurs at the exact opposite time of the year, the midpoint between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. In the southern hemisphere, our winter is your summer, and since I believer the pagan holidays are totally seasonal, our Samhain is your Beltane. When the veil thins at Samhain, the ancestors and the spirits of the dead can slip through. When the veil thins at Beltane, fairies of all sorts (benevolent and harmful) can slip through. So when we’re seeing ancestors, you are seeing fairies, and visa versa.

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