5 Simple Autumn Rituals and Traditions
My altar is dressed with colors of the season. Ornaments of gourds, garlands of leaves, and votive candles decorate what is on most days, an ordinary antique table sitting in the middle of my living room.
I am ready for Halloween, traditionally known as Samhain (Sow-in). The roots of this holiday come from the same place as my ancestral roots, Ireland.
October 31st through November 1st marks the end of the harvest season. Residents in ancient Ireland worked closely with the land following the cycles of the earth.
They would let their hearth fires burn out while they were away collecting the bounty from the fields. Upon their return, festivities celebrating the harvest season would commence including the lighting of bonfires and the re-lighting of their hearth fires. It is one ritual that has become an integral symbol of Samhain.
As we see in other traditions such as Dia de los Muertos, the night of October 31st is thought to be a night when the veil of the spirit world and this one are at their thinnest. It is a night when our ancestors may pass back through the veil and spend one 24 hour period with us again. It is a night to honor them.
One way to express our gratitude is with a meal and a pagan dumb supper…