A Rite For Evoking Ancestor Spirits
On Samhain Eve, when the veil of illusion which separates our world from that of the spirits is parted, our thoughts naturally turn to our passed over loved ones.
To help assure that your beloved dead are with you this Samhain, try working a simple spell using a portal incense consecrated to this purpose, and an incantation designed to reach their wandering ears. The incense should contain two parts lavender, one part sage, one half part cinnamon, and a dash of either wormwood or yarrow. As you mix the incense, be sure to visualize it as a gateway for only your own loving family.
You will need to have on hand one single, unlit candle for this rite. When you are ready to begin cast your usual circle. Place your incense toward the north or west (the direction to represent the Land of the Dead). Sit or stand in the center of the circle and cast another circle large enough to encompass just you. Remain in this inner circle and spend a few moments mentally attuning yourself to the spirit world.
When you are ready to start the rite, burn one third of the incense and being the following evocation:
Hear my cry, my ancestors. On this most magical night of the year, I open for you the portal back into my world. The veil is parted wide, the feast awaits. Come beloved ancestors, and join in the ancient rites.
(light another third of the incense and continue)
Come to me in love. Come to this plane in peace. Come with the blessing of Lord and Lady whom we will praise together this hallowed eve. The door is open, the beacon is lit (light the candle now), the way is clear. Arise, blessed dead, and celebrate with me.
Light the remaining incense in the coals and await the coming of your ancestors.
A Mini Ritual: Samhain
What you'll need: Salt, a candle, pennies, something to drink, a plate of food. You may want flowers a photo of an ancestor, and an apple
Preparation: From sunrise to sunset on Samhain. As the dead are hungry when they cross the threshold into our world, it is good to fast so that we can purify ourselves and honor their presence with a feast once the sun sets in the west. Reflect upon the season past, bask in the warmth of Summer's end, and look to the task ahead. The doors to the Otherworld stand open at this time of the year and we do well to remember that the Summerland is near - as close to us as a memory, or the breath of a baby against our cheek.
Set-up: Establish a little bit of "magical" or "sacred" space in your home. Such a place need not be large - just large enough for a small table which will serve as an altar. A stump will work fine if your outdoors. Decorate the altar with candles, flowers, or even photographs - make it as elaborate or as simple as suits your personal tastes. The idea is to provide a sacred space that is comfortable and attractive to the spirits. Be creative.
Feeding the Ancestors: Prepare a plate of food for the ancestors and set it out at twilight. In Celtic legend, red food, such as apples, were considered the food of the Otherworld, symbolic of death and rebirth. Consider offering the ancestors some apple pie, cider, or apple slices. Consecrate this meal with prayer. Present it to the ancestors with respect, honesty, and sincerity - in this way you can do no wrong. Light the candle. Wait a while in the darkness and feel the energies swirling around your hallowed space. Meditate and reflect upon the memories, you have of those who have passed beyond. Speak if you will, listen if you can.
This is a good time to let go of the negative things you might have been carrying within you up to now.
Wait for a while to hear what you can, see what you will. When you are ready, bid the spirits a good Samhain, blow out the candle and return to your home - tell stories, dance, feast, and make merry, for the ancestors love a good party!
Samhain Yule Imbolc Ostara Beltaine Litha Lammas Mabon
© Temple of the 8 Festivals Est. 2006