Communing with the Ancestors: A Samhain Meditation

    As we come to the End/Beginning of the Year, a personal, private meditation on those who have come and gone before us can give us perspective and direction as we start on yet another cycle.

    In a room where you feel most comfortable, on a couch, in a chair or on the floor, day time or eventide, in front of a window, or beside a fire, make yourself comfortable.  Patchouli incense, or maybe you have a favorite oil that you can warm in a pot, throw some herbs on the fire, wear a perfume that has meaning to you, or to someone who has passed through the veil, some candle light, or sunlight, whatever it is that makes you most comfortable and connected with those you wish to remember. Music can bring back memories, recent or old. While you may want to have this remembrance of someone special, you can use it to connect with all your ancestors, not just someone specific. You may want to have pictures of those who have crossed through the veil around, gaze at them a while, fix faces and/or names in your memory if you wish to include them.

    Once you are settled in and comfortable then close your eyes. The first thing you want to do is relax. My favorite relaxation technique is walking along a beach, breezes off the water, smell of salt air, sand beneath your feet. As you begin to relax, scoop up a handful of sand. Feel it in your hand, open your fingers and as the grains of sand fall between your fingers, allow them to represent the cares and worries of the day, and let them drop from you to the beach, freeing you of any burdens or concerns you may have.

    Allow the scene to shift to a place you love, or move to where you feel most comfortable. A grassy meadow, a wooded forest, pick a season that you associate with. Fall, with the leaves covering the ground, cool, this would be appropriate to most, as Samhain falls at this time. But you may have a season or place you hold special for someone who has crossed the veil. Place yourself where you feel the most attraction for what you are about to do.

    Seated in your comfortable place, call to mind the face(s) of the one(s) you want to remember. Think about what they looked like, what clothes they wore, how they did their hair, what scent they preferred. Give them special concentration, looking into the distance. Look around you. Do you see someone coming forward out of the distance? Can you make out someone coming towards you? Are they waving? You can run to meet them, or you can wait for them to come to you. Is there something you wanted to say, something special you wanted to share? How about just a hug, or a smile. This is your personal remembrance, there is no need to tell you what to say or do, you know what to do.

    If you look around, you will find many more people coming towards you. Aunts, uncles, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, grandmothers and grandfathers, husbands and wives. There will be faces you will recognize, there will be others you will not. Ask them who they are if you do not know, I am sure you will find out they are a distant relative who you may or may not have heard of or remembered. Smile, and remember that we are made up of the genes of many people who have gone before us who's names have been lost in time. It is good to thank them all for coming and sharing their special place in your family with you. I have found from time to time that if there is music playing in the background, Ancestors will dance, and you will be swept up in the dance.  Some may even sing.  Look at all the people who have come before you, who have laid out the chain of events that have lead to you being reborn this lifetime as you are.  They may have different forms from their different lifetimes, but they will show all them to you as you dance and talk. You may even glimpse a past life of your own that you may have been part of.

    There will come all too soon in your meditation a time to return. Again, thank them all for coming, kiss the ones who are special to you, and ask that they come again sometime and share a special evening with you.   Wave good-bye to them as they return to the other side of the Veil.  It will darken as they go, and you will realize that it had been much lighter while they were there, it was the merriment and mirth that they had brought, it will go with them, but it will not be darkness you are left with.  Some light left from the laughter and joy you felt having enjoyed their company.

    Allow the special place to fade, as you bring yourself slowly back to your sitting room.  Walk back along the beach, feeling the sand under your feet, the warmth of the sun, then the warmth of the room, the softness of the chair or the carpet beneath your feet.  Open your eyes slowly to the sunlight or the candlelight.  Feel the joy left in your heart as you feel connected with a bit of your family, your ancestors, those who have gone before you and will be with you again.

    One of the things I feel I need to do after a meditation is to have something to drink, something warm and relaxing while I ground and come back to the mundane.  I also want to take a portion out to the back of my house, and leave it with some sweets for those who wish to join me in a snack.  If it is on Samhain, leaving food for those who have crossed the Veil is not unusual, and for the most part, it is usually gone by the following morning.

    While this is meant as a meditation to be had with relatives whom you can joyfully associate, there are those of us who have relatives with whom we have issues.  Sometimes in a meditation you can work out those issues, other times it can be a serious issue that can not be worked out in meditation.  This can lead to a problem with the meditation and I suggest that if such a problem exists, maybe you may want to wait till another time to approach this relative, a time when you may have support from another on this side of the veil and you can work out this problem with help.  Not all relatives are easy to deal with, and issues of this nature should be dealt with on a more professional level.  But sometimes, when we do this meditation, a relative with whom you have had an issue may come over to work out the problem, it can be resolved easily enough and this meditation can be a useful tool.  If you suspect you will be dealing with issues that are not easily resolved, look to a professional who can walk you through this meditation, guide you, talk to you as you work out your issues, and help you to resolve, or try to resolve the problems.

    If you find you are alone, and a relative tries to force an issue, back away and suggest that they wait for another time when you can deal with them on a one on one level.  Many will agree, and wait till such a time.

    This is a time of renewal, when we will rest the winter, and gather our strength for the next season of growth.  It is a time to celebrate the year, and look forward to another new one. We learn from our successes and from our mistakes, and we move forward to face what challenges we may have. Celebrating the season by remembering those who are our ancestors is our way of connecting with the earth, our roots and our heritage.

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Boudica Foster is the pen name for Margaret Foster. All website material written, drawn or photographed is the work of Margaret Foster.