It's a time to ring out the past year, and let go of things that aren't working in your life, releasing old hurts and bad habits.
Samhain is also the time to honor the people we've loved and lost, and to celebrate a "turn of the wheel" and look forward to the birth of new creations, new plans, and new possibilities.
©1980; Used with permission courtesy Motherherb and Motherherb's Cottage.
Prepare yourself first by taking a lustral bath. Use bath salts or specially prepared soap if you prefer to shower. As you cleanse your body, imagine all the impurities within and without, sliding away down into the drain.
Gather any items you wish to use in ritual including photos of deceased loved ones. Prepare the altar (a black candle to represent the death of the God, an apple (which you will later cut crosswise with your white handled knife to reveal the pentagram at its center); make sure you have at least a couple of inches of sand inside the censer or cauldron and light the charcoal tablet. Once its edges start to turn white, place a pinch of cut and dried herbs or powdered herbs into the recessed-cup tablet. (I use ground and powdered apple leaves).
Cast your circle and light your candle. Call to the God and Goddess. Call the elements. Then say:
As light fades into night,
I honor the God, horned hunter of the sun,
Who passes into shadow.
Cut the apple crosswise and hold aloft, saying:
Maiden to Mother to Crone,
I honor the Goddess, in all her forms.
I know that from her, the God will be reborn.
Take a bite out of the apple, then say:
I taste of life freely given, and in doing so, honor those
Who have touched my life and passed before.
I usually touch the photos of deceased loved ones I placed on the altar, and recall special memories. I do not believe in trying to call them or drag their spirits into this plane of existence. That’s considered rude! Simply honor and remember them. Remember too, that this is the Wiccan and Wicce New Year and it is time to release old hurts, worries, and problems.
A New Year awakens. The circle is reborn.
Let that which troubles me, flee.
As I will, so shall it be.
At this point, you may do other works of magic, if necessary or end the ritual by thanking the God and Goddess, the elements, extinguishing the candle and releasing the circle. Celebrate the Simple Feast. Mulled Cider and Crescent Cakes or other harvest food and drink are appropriate, and by all means, finish that apple!
Merry Meet and Merry Part and Merry Meet Again!