On Sat., October 31, on the very night of All Hallows’ Eve, the Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple will have its in person Samhain Salon & Ritual. All are welcome to attend! It is 6:30 p.m. at The Ethical Society. Just join the Samhain event page as “going” and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
For those who are not able to participate with us in person, we are sharing the Online Samhain Ritual with the Ancestors so that everyone may participate with us! While this online ritual is a greatly pared down version of our in-person ritual, it is powerful in its own right and will connect you with the greater working of our Temple on Saturday night.
Samhain, Santa Muerte and The Baron Samedi:
Tonight is the actual night of Samhain, and we are so blessed to have our ritual fall on this special and hallowed eve. For the Celts, the sabbats began at sundown, and Samhain runs from sundown on October 31 to sundown on November 1. Samhain is known by other names – All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween, All Saint’s Eve / All Saint’s Day and for the Mexican folk traditions, as the Day of the Dead. It is the liturgical point on the Wheel of the YEar where we honor our dead. We honor the Saints, the Hallows and all those who have gone before us. We honor the ancestors of blood and of milk and those of tradition.
For the Celts, the year was divided into two halves, and Samhain marked the beginning of the dark half of the year. It is the Witch’s New Year. It is a time of great transition. It is a time where the veil is thinnest between the worlds. The Wild Hunt roams the skies, as the dead roam the streets, just as children dress up as ghosts and ghouls, seeking treats from our doorsteps. We light jack-o-lanterns, just as the turnips were lit and carried of old, to ward off the ghosts and to light our path through the darkness.
It is the time of the Third Harvest, the harvest of meat. Where the weak were slaughtered for winter’s store of food, and the strongest of the herd was brought into the scarce space of warmth to weather the storms of winter.
The veil is thin and we can communicate more readily with the spirits and the dead at this time. We pay attention to our psychic senses, and we see, hear, feel or just know they are present with us. Tonight we honor our dead. We set a place of honor at our table for them. We honor them with a place on our altar. We seek and ask the helping compassionate spirits to attend our circle. We seek their counsel and wisdom. We share our blessings with them.
As part of our ritual tonight, we honor and partner with the Baron Samedi and with the Mexican folk saint Santa Muerte. Santa Muerte holds many places of honor within my own home, including on my ancestor altar. She is the personification of Death. Santa Muerte appears as a well-dressed skelatal lady, with much flash and many colors. She has an air of laughter and humor, yet her power as a psychopomp is unsurpassed.
Santa Muerte is to be honored with libations, tobacco, liquor and sweets. She also enjoys flowers, coins, candles and incense. She grants favors in return of prosperity, health, luck, love, protection and travel. She will come if you call, and expects to receive your adoration in return – in short, she expects you to have Faith. Faith in Her and Faith in Yourself.
She is duly worshiped by her devotees as a Saint. She often is pictured holding a scythe or globe. The scythe is the tool to cut cords of life, cutting all that does not serve and also of the new growth of crops and rebirth. Her globe represents the earth, the ground, the undeworld, the womb from whence we are born and the tomb to which we shall return. Her altars are colorful and bright. She is a psychopomp of the dead, and as such she births souls from this life into the afterlife.
The Baron Samedi and I have had a relationship for a very long time. He first came to me when I performed my first house cleansing, helping to escort the remnants of the dead. He is a protector. He is a psychopomp. He will aid in all cleansing and purification work as well. He expects your love in return, ideally in the form of tobacco and rum or other liquor, and also coffee, black as the night. The Baron is a Loa of Haitian Vodou. He is often identified with Pape Gede, father of the Guede Loa. This family of Loa is charged with fertility and death.
He comes mostly as a skeletal form as well, with a glint in his eye and with a top hat and tails. The Baron is also considered a family of spirits, including the Baron La Croix and Baron Kriminel and Baron Cimetiere. He is an ally in Hatian Vodou, and is also found in Louisiana Voodoo and Catholicism folklore of Louisiana. The Loa were often hidden within the Catholic Saints so that the slaves could continue to worship under their Catholic or Christian masters when forced into this country from their homelands.
The Baron is a man’s man. He loves his rum, his cigarettes or cigar dangling from his mouth and a sailor’s words upon his lips. He holds a place of honor in many places in my own home, including on my ancestor altar, and he is never far away. Seek and you shall find. Watch and you shall see. Listen and you shall hear. You may also find him in journey or at the Crossroads, the gateway to the Underworld, guarding the gate between the living and the dead. He guides the newly departed to the Underworld, their new home, into the Afterlife. In such traditions, he is the one who permits the departed into the realm of the dead. He also is a healer and an ally in rebirth. He is a remover of hexes and curses.
We call on Santa Muerte and The Baron Samedi to partner with us tonight, to help us commune with the Ancestors, with our beloved dead. In return, we give them honor and love.
Online Samhain Ritual:
You are welcome to Journey t0 the Ancestors at any time, but if you would like to perform your working around 8 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST) on Saturday, October 31st, you will be working in tandem with our in-person ritual in St. Louis.
What you will need:
- A representation of Sante Muerte—a photograph, drawing or statue, or other symbol/ magickal correspondence that relates to her (you may print an image from the Internet if you do not have something); and a tealight or candle;
- A representation of the Baron Samedi, however he speaks to you, or in whatever image that name speaks to you; and a tealight or candle;
- A representation of one of your ancestors, helpful spirits or animal allies;
- A candle for the center of your altar, in a cauldron if you have one, but if not, any fire proof container or candle holder will do;
- An offering of some type for Santa Muerte and the Baron, tobacco, liquor, water or other offering; and
- Black, white and orange or red are great colors should you choose to have a cloth for your altar or sacred space.
- Of course, feel free to embellish your sacred space with anything that speaks to you of Samhain, fall and our Ancestors!
What to do:
Prepare your altar space with your images of Sante Muerte and the Baron Samedi and their candles, on the right and left of your altar, respectively; place a candle in the center of your altar. Additionally, find a space to represent your Ancestor. Then prepare yourself and your space according to your preference. You may cast a circle and call the quarters.
Speak from your heart to call to Sante Muerte into your space or you may say:
Hail to Santa Muerte, Skeletal Queen of Death!
Oh most colorful queen of the Dead!
We call to you to join our ritual this Samhain night,
Bring us your powers of healing and protection,
Help us as we seek communication across the veil, as we commune with our ancestors,
We seek the Edge of the worlds, to walk between the veils this night at Spirit’s Edge
We call to you to provide safe travel to us, to dance with us, to commune with us
We call on the power of your scythe,
Help us to gently cut away all that no longer serves us from our lives,
We seek your aid in reaping our harvest, reaping the blessings we have sown,
Oh beautiful and majestic Queen of the Dead, we ask you to hold your bony hand in ours this night, as we dance in the mists within the veil itself.
We honor you and give you our love this blessed Samhain night.
Hail and welcome!
Light her candle.
Speak from your heart to call the Baron Samedi into your space or you may say:
Hail Baron Samedi, Leader of the Loa, Psychopomp to the Dead!
Oh skeletal King, join us this Samhain night as we walk within the veil itself,
You who are Guardian of the Crossroads. You who hold the key to the gate of life and death.
We all to you to help us safely commune with our ancestors this blessed All Hallows’ Eve,
We ask you for your aid in our journey, we ask you to guide and guard the way,
We honor you tonight, we give you offerings, and we seek your healing in return,
Help us to gently heal our own bodies and our souls.
You who decide who may cross from the land of the living into the land of the dead.
Safely guide us on our souls journey in this life and as we seek to walk as the living among the dead this eve.
We honor you and give you our love this blessed Samhain night.
Hail and welcome!
Light his candle.
Call on the power of their union:
Sante Muerte and Baron Samedi,
Join me in this circle, this blessed Samahin night.
Lend your power to mine in this space and time.
I ask you for your guidance and your power of healing,
Walk with me, commune with me and share your wisdom with me
on this blessed All Hallows Eve.
For the good of all and harm to none,
as I will it, so shall the Universe fulfill it.
Light candle in the center of your altar.
Watch the candle flame grow, flicker and move. As you feel their presence grow within your circle, and feel their power within your circle, know that you may commune with the ancestors and with The Baron and Santa Muerte. Know that they support you in this work. You may see, feel, hear or know their presence and their messages for you. If you like, you may enter into a meditation or journey to commune with them in that way, perhaps journeying to meet your Ancestors for deeper contemplation.
As you sit in communion with them on this blessed night, you might ponder and journal…
- As you Turn the Wheel of the Year at Samhain, what does this time of year mean to you? What do the themes and messages of Samhain, of life, death and rebirth, mean to you in your life and on your soul’s journey?
- What spirit allies or helping compassionate spirits to you work with? You attends your circle, your sacred space this night? What helping, compassionate ancestors join you tonight? What are their messages, what is their wisdom? What spirit allies join you and what messages do they have to share with you about your journey, your path and your life?
- What offerings to you give to Sante Muerte, Baron Samedi and your Ancestors? And what blessings do you seek in return
- How might you work to heal your ancestors of blood and of milk? And how might you work to heal your spiritual ancestors, the ancestors of tradition?
You may speak words of love and gratitude to Sante Muerte and Baron Samedi or spend time in quiet meditation with the Ancestors. Be aware of any impressions or messages you receive during this time.
When you feel you are finished, thank Sante Muerte, Baron Samedi and your ancestors for their presence in your space and wish them farewell. Then, close your space according to your preference.
Be sure to journal your experience and to pay close attention to your dreams, synchronicities and omens that you may receive over the next few weeks in answer to your working of this rite.
Opportunity for Further Ancestor Work:
There are many ways to honor the Ancestors on the physical plane. By honoring our ancestors, we give them energy and power, and in return they aid us, partner with us. We build our relationship with our ancestors across the veil, just as we did in physical life. Dr. Daniel Floor wrote a great article, Five Ways to Honor your Ancestors, which includes the following ways to honor your ancestor, as quoted below from his work:
- Fulfill your soul’s purpose as an ethical and loving person – Dr. Daniel maintains that this can be helped by:
a. Learning how to express emotions in healthy ways
b. Committing to telling the truth in relationships
c. Reaching out for necessary support to get sober and substance abuse free
d. Seeking education to better ourselves
e. Taking better care of our bodies
f. Accepting greater responsibility for becoming loving, reliable, ethical, balanced and open-hearted human beings
- Dedicate Positive Actions in the name of the Ancestors
- Stay Open to Direct Communication from the Ancestors – Such as with dream visitations, waking encounters and synchronicity.
- Establish a Physical Place to honor your Ancestors – Create an Ancestor Altar and continue to honor and build the relationship.
- Make Offerings to The Ancestors – We can give energy to our ancestor relationships, just as we can with those in the physical world, in this case, through making offerings to our ancestors.
Thank you for joining our Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple’s Samhain Ritual! We happily encourage you to post photos of your working to share the love of Samhain on our Facebook pages – Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple (and “like” and “follow” us there!), Spirit’s Edge: A Seeker’s Salon (all are welcome to join!; posts on this page are private); and Samhain Ritual & Salon event page!
This ritual was adapted and/or written by Shea Morgan and all rights are reserved. It may be used for your personal use only. If you wish to use this or a variation for a group in the future, please contact Shea Morgan for Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple at email@example.com; this ritual may not be published or used publicly elsewhere without prior written permission and attribution.
© copyright 2015 Shea Morgan. All rights reserved.