Recognized as one of the most important holidays of the year, Samhain, meaning “Summer’s End,” is a major festival with several aspects. It is the celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the dark half of the year, because of this transition it is also known as “The Witches’ New Year”. Many pagan traditions also see this as the time of death for the Sun and the solar gods, to be reborn at the Winter Solstice or Yule. It is a night when we remember our departed loved ones and honor our ancestors. Samhain is when the veil between the world of the dead and the world of the living is said to be at its thinnest.
Creatively speaking, Samhain circles are the most difficult to foster. There are so many different aspects of the holiday that it’s hard to focus on just one. In Casting Creative Magickal Circles I have included circles for the different themes that are commonly used in Samhain rituals. This circle in particular uses an Ancestor theme that allows your ancestors to be a part of your circle and ritual. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!
The Ancestor Circle
Items needed: photographs of your ancestors.
When casting your circle for a Samhain ritual that has an ancestor focus, you would begin in the west; traditionally regarded as the realm of the dead. Begin by placing the first picture on the floor in the west calling out the name of the ancestor as you do. Continue clockwise around the parameter of your space, calling out each name as the picture is placed. If you do not have enough photographs to complete a circle, place them evenly throughout the circle.
When you have returned to the west, say or something similar:
“I have laid this circle in love and protection,
May all that have been named help hold,
This sacred space on this Samhain night.”
Visualize protective and loving energy connecting each picture, and then expanding into a sphere around your space.
Saying: “So mote it be” when you have created your sphere.
When you are ready to release the circle, starting in the west, walking counter-clockwise begin to pick up each picture, visualizing the energy being released out into the universe, while saying or something similar:
“I release this circle in love and honor.”
This circle casting can be easily adapted for group rituals as well, allowing all participants to bring and add their own ancestor photographs.
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