Samhain: Honoring the dead

IMG00100Most pagans know of Samhain as a time of the year where we honor those who passed on before us.

Some traditions include lighting candles to represent each person who died this passing year. Others might set photos or mementos of loved ones, sharing stories of them on Samhain.

One year, my study group decided to include not just those who passed on, but other symbolic deaths, so we might reflect on them. One man shared the death of his marriage (divorce) while another shared the death of a job. This might also remind us that death can also offer rebirth, and the Wheel of the Year turns to another cycle.

Some ideas to honor the dead:

  • Share stories. I’ve always felt this it the most powerful way to honor those who passed on, by sharing memories of them.
  • Share songs. If you know favorite songs or music, share in ritual to honor those who passed on.
  • Hang photos, ribbons, or ornaments that represent the dead.
  • Offer prayers, thanks, and offerings. You can offer to honor them by making a promise you’ll keep in the coming year. For instance, I might promise to donate to veterans to honor my grandfather who was a veteran of WWII. I could make an offering of charity or good dead, to promise to quit smoking or take care of a family member to honor them.

What traditions do you partake in for Samhain to honor the dead? Share in comments below.

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One response to “Samhain: Honoring the dead

  1. I like the idea of symbolic death, and I might include that for next year. ^_^

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