There are many ways of honouring the past and thanking our ancestors on Samhain. Many of these rituals and traditions now show up as part of Halloween celebrations, but they are rooted in the ancient religions.
Here are just a few ways:
- Carve the initials of the recently departed into a candle, and light it in their honour. Let the candle extinguish naturally. Any colour may be used, but many people prefer black or white for this ritual.
- On your altar, place mementos, pictures and items your loved ones cherished. Add black and orange candles, and seasonal items such as pumpkins, colourful leaves, dried herbs and corn husks.
- In a fireproof container (your smudge shell, a cauldron, a metal pot), burn one or more of the following:
- white sage leaves, to honour the departed
- a rosemary twig, for remembrance
- Samhain incense (place atop a lit charcoal disk):
The ashes, leftover herbs and botanicals – and even the candle wax – from this ritual may be saved and added to a bundle (an ancestral bundle, a new year bundle…).