The time is coming when those of us who practice the old ways will celebrate and invite our ancestors to visit. Politics turned this into a time of fear, but it is actually a time of welcoming in those from our past, who have passed on into another realm. We welcome them back to bring us knowledge and guidance. However, we must ask, in a polite way..
During Samhain, in Ireland and Scotland, the dead are welcomed to return to the world of the living. Offerings of food and fire are set out for departed loved ones. On that day, people would extinguish the hearth fires in their homes, participate in a community bonfire festival, and then bring a flame home from the communal fire and use it light their home fires again. Lights are put in the windows to guide the departed back and left burning through the night.
Having been told from an early age that I am a decedent of the Druids, I do what I can to keep alive some of the old ways. This involves showing respect and nurturing of nature and all that involves the cycle of life as well as keeping an awareness of "that which connects us all". Let us celebrate this holiday by following the old tradition. Being merry and dressing in costume is a part. So is giving treats to the population. But so is a very old ritual that many have forgotten.
I invite those who are in my area ( Austin Texas for now) to communicate with me on this holiday, firstname.lastname@example.org and if it is appropriate there will be a ritual waiting.
For those who are not in the area, I would suggest the following;
Lay out things that remind you of your past loved ones. Set a stone around the fire or candle, for each of your ancestors you wish to bring in, Light a fire, be it a bonfire as in the old times, or simply a candle. Create a circle of white light around the area, meditate and ask for guidance. Then listen... A glass of wine, or whatever relaxes you will help. Give the children sweets if they show up at you door. Dress as you would like, but when the night becomes late it is time to celebrate. This is a time with old history, most important events of the past in Gaelic tradition and lore happened during this time.
As this was an oral tradition, passed down from only story telling, this is also a time of telling stories about your ancestors to bring them back. So I will tell you in the old ways..
Divination is a big part of this time. Use what you have after you have called in your ancestors. The future of potential love and how to make it work, or how to find it, will become clear if asked properly. Prosperity will be made clear if the spirits are appeased. Ask your ancestors what is needed. They will tell you if you are listening. Again, drink or use of anything to loosen you up is encouraged ( within limits)
This is also a time to commune with nature and understand the spirits of that which we have learned to ignore in this industrial world. Pay them respect and good fortune can be yours.
You just might learn something important if you listen... invite the spirits of nature and the departed into your circle of fire. Prepare for the winter by setting up that which you will hope to eat through the cold times and offer them to that which visits you during this time. Draw a circle of white light and dance in it. Dance around a bonfire if you can.
Embrace teh Mórrígan, Ériu, Banba, and Fódla, Mac Cuill, Mac Cécht, Mac Gréine All great kings and queens of the Old ones. And remember, the crow ( the symbol of is not only a symbol of sight, but of teh Mórrígan) if you can bond with one, you can have the crows sight as well.