Posted by: Tracy Barsamian | October 24, 2015

Celebrating Samhain

celebrating the great mother

Last fall, as a result of some divine intervention (and a little research!), I found the wonderful book Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children.  In the beginning, when I started reading it, I felt as if I couldn’t look directly at it!  Like it was too perfect.  The book was exactly what I’d been looking for!  A blueprint to re-focus our lives around the seasons and to live closer to the earth.  This is no easy task living in our hurried culture.  And in an urban area, no less!  But, I’ve been taking baby-steps.  I’m trying to loosely follow the seasonal festival schedule and put a little magic in our lives!

The next Pagan holiday is called Samhain…and it happens on October 31st.  “Our cultural Halloween still has the shreds of this ancient festival of the dead clinging to it…  Samhain teaches us to make death less terrifying:  we prepare special foods and set a place at our table for dead loved ones, remembering them with reverence.  Our ancestors knew that on Samhain the veil separating this world and the next is thin, making communication between the worlds a real possibility.  …Samhain encourages us to listen to the wise voice within, to trust our own ability to see into, and shape, our futures.”  (Celebrating the Great Mother, p. 7)

Both of my husband’s parents and my mother have passed away.  So, Samhain is a really lovely way for us to remember them and for our daughters to hear some of our fond memories of our parents (and our childhoods).  We remember my mother’s mother as there is something powerful about the matrilineal line.  And it is especially joyful for me to tell the girls stories about my father’s parents and how my beloved grandparents used to shower my sisters and me with love and attention (and sweets!).  Celebrating Samhain has been a lovely gift to my family, and so I share our Samhain altar with you…


OFF KLTR Samhain Altar

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