What To Cook For Samhain
This is the night when the gateway between
our world and the spirit world is thinnest.
Tonight is a night to call out those who came before us.
Tonight we honor our ancestors.
Spirits of our ancestors, we call to you,
and we welcome you to join us for this night.
We know you watch over us always,
protecting us and guiding us,
and tonight we thank you.
We invite you to join us and share our meal.
- Patti Wigington
Halloween has never really interested me, to be honest. I spent almost a decade playing costumes for a career, so really the last thing I want to do is dress up in my free time. And then of course there's the whole being a vegan introvert: crowds and milk chocolate and costumes? No thanks.
But this year I've become interested in Samhain (pronounced “sah-win” or “sow-in"), an old Celtic tradition of celebrating the cycles of life and death at summer's end, when the days start to grown noticeably darker and the harvest comes to an end. It's said that tonight, October 31st, the veil between the living and dead is the thinnest, and it's a time to connect with those on the other side. Plus there are plenty of rituals to go along with it, so obviously I am super intrigued.
Like most holidays I didn't plan ahead and suddenly became stressed out about doing it incorrectly. Apparently I am supposed to build an altar and bake things and have flowers and root vegetables handy - none of which I do. And I'm busy, and tired, and sadly, have other things to focus on besides creating cornucopias even though in my dream pinterest life that is definitely what I would be doing.
So maybe next year I will not procrastinate and will create a totally enviable ceremony and get a fabulous witch or medium to whip up a guide to Samhain for us to enjoy, but for this year, here is how I will be celebrating this day when we are so close to the dead.
- Remember Our Ancestors: I am going to say, out loud, the names of missed friends and family and Maya Angelou (just in case she's in the area?), along with a favorite memory. I hadn't realized how long it had been since I had talked about some of them, put their names into sounds, given them more tangible presence once again on this earth.
- Have A Feast: I am not cooking, baking, or using seasonally appropriate produce. But, I am going to set space for them at the (coffee)table (in front of the TV), and offer them a piece of the probably pizza I am going to order (and when they don't eat it, I will politely offer to eat it for them because I have manners and nobody likes wasting food).
- Burn A Candle: I didn't have time to get fresh flowers or special crystals and don't feel like digging old photos out of storage, but, I do have a candle and some incense (on hand, always) and will light those as an invitation for my friendly beloved spirits to stop by for a visit.
- Listen To My Intuition: Samhain is supposed to be a fabulous day for divine insights and strengthening psychic abilities. I'm going to practice listening to myself, listening to my guides, and even consider actually following the advice I often receive (hey, it's a special day!).
- Celebrate Life: I think honoring life is as important as honoring death, so I'm going to spend some time reflecting on how I can best use my unknowing remaining time on this earth, and what kind of world I want for the generations ahead who may one day invite my spirit to a Samhain feast (hopefully they will be better planners than me - I expect something delicious).
How will you be celebrating Halloween, Día de Muertos, Samhain, All Hallows' Day, or anything else special this week?