When and How
November 1, 2021
6:30 - 7:15 pm MST
By Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86905864465?pwd=VDJaR2Rhd0pLYWhYZHR3ZUhQcUJqZz09
Free of charge
Include your household and friends, if you'd like.
According to the ancient Northern European Celtic tradition, the new year begins on November 1st. A ceremony and celebration was held for three days (October 31 through November 2) to harvest the crops and livestock. It was a time of change and transition from way of living to another — from Summer to Winter; from sunlit outdoor life to warmth by the hearth. The time was called “Samhain” in Irish Gaelic and “Samhuinn” in Scottish Gaelic. Both are pronounced ‘Sow (as in cow) — in (as in Inn)’.
During these three days, the veil of time is lifted, and we may commune with those gone before us more clearly than at other times of year. It is also a time of connection with nature, as are all the holidays in the Celtic calendar.
Similar celebrations are held in various cultures and traditions:
In Mexico: Dia de Los Muertos translates literally to “day of the dead”
In China: Zhongyuan Festival
In Japan: Bon Festival
In Christianity across the world: Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints Day and All Souls Day
Several years ago, I began to honor all the holidays of my Celtic heritage, including Samhain. The main feature of this ceremony is an invitation to our healthy ancestors, teachers and friends to join the celebration so that we might honor them and ask them for help. (If you are adopted and/or don’t have information about your family history, it’s no problem. We sense into your bloodlines energetically.)
I will lead us to create an energetic landscape of safety and healing so that we can ask these helpers for assistance to release that which is not serving us and call in something for the new year.
Returning to our roots - ancestors, cultures and land - is especially important for white folks. In most cases, when our people came to the U.S., they were cut off from their heritage and asked to assimilate. It's as if they (and as a result, we) were orphaned. In the past few years, it's become clear that if we were raised in the United States, we were raised in a white supremacy culture. If we are to dismantle that, we need something to fall back on so we're not left anchorless. We need a landing pad. Returning to our ancestors, roots and culture can offer that. So can a return to the Earth and natural world. Rituals like this can help us do that.
Meditate about a burden you’d like to release. Also consider something new you want to call in 1) for yourself and 2) for the world and all of creation. The ancestors will be ready to help you!
Build an altar with the following (if you don’t have it all handy, just have the paper and pens):
Create a place to burn or bury. At the end of the meditation, you’ll be invited to place a single piece of paper in a container and burn it. So find a safe space indoors or outdoors to burn one small piece of paper at a time. You’ll want to consider smoke alarms inside. And if you plan to be outside, excellent fire safety is essential, especially considering the fires that are spreading throughout our country. In the container, you can add sand or rocks at the bottom. Have a pitcher of water nearby, just in case. If fire doesn’t feel safe, have a trowel and a place in your surroundings so you can bury the piece(s) of paper in the Earth.
Make some treats and collect some libations to enjoy after the ceremony. Consider preparing a family recipe (I love to make my paternal grandma’s brownies!)
We will start right at 6:30. You'll be invited to mute yourself for the ceremony, and have your camera on or off. If you'd like to stay on after the ritual to enjoy some treats and conversation, feel free. But also feel free to drop off.
For more connection with your ancestors and your culture, see Returning to Roots.
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