Samhain open ritual

Hail one and all,

The wheel of the year turns and we’re fast approaching the festival of the ancestors.  This years open ritual and celebration will be held on the evening of 26th October to begin around 7.30pm at our usual spot at the back of the New Inn, Chesterfield.  As previous years, this will be an open ritual for all of any tradition or path to attend to remember their ancestors and those family and friends who have travelled the Long Path.  This years ritual will be distinctly heathen in theme, for I’m branching out from compereing the Yule celebrations to bring a bit of mead and celebration to the Night of Ancestors.

As previous years, this year’s ritual and celebration will hold some old traditions, and some new elements.  There will be the familiar remembrance table for you to put photographs on of those people you want to remember, and light a candle in their honour.  There will also be a reflective space for those wanting a quiet moment or two.  Fancy dress is welcome, especially for children, and the popular pumpkin carving competition is back, so bring yours along if you’re feeling orangeryily artistic to be in with a chance of being awarded a prize from our judge.

All familiar so far?  now for the new part.

Think about the people you have known that have passed over.  Did you used to call them, or send letters, or greetings cards, to say thank you for the gift, tell them your news and family events, or even just because you wanted to talk?  As part of the ritual for the evening, there will be a time for you to send your messages and news on to those deceased.  I would ask that if you want to, take time to write a letter, greetings card, postcard or note to that person, telling them your news and family goings on, successes and dissapointments, as you always did.  Tell them all your experiences from the past year, even if it’s just to say that everyone is hale and hearty and getting along just fine.

During the ritual there will be a time for anyone who has letters or cards to send to bring them to the fire and burn them to send the words into the spirit realms.  You are welcome to write as many letters or cards to as many different people as you like, just remember to address the envelopes with the persons name!

After the ritual, we’ll get down to the serious business of the foodshare, music and dancing 🙂

So in short:

The Samhain open ritual and celebration will be on the 26th October to start around 7.30pm, with the ritual beginning around 8pm pagan time at the New Inn, Mansfield Road, Chesterfield.  As this is an open ritual, all are welcome, many paths, many spirits, to gather to honour our ancestors and those family and friends who have passed on.

Given the current inclement weather, this will take place come rain or… slightly less rain.  Although if it’s pouring down, the ritual might be a tad shorter than anticipated…


– any photographs of people you woud like to set on the remembrance table.
– your letters, cards, notes or postcards to those you would like to send messages to
– a carved pumpkin if you’d like to enter the competition
– foodshare stuff (as usual)
– wellie boots (probably… as the ground can be a bit uneven and is usually damp at this time of year.  Also there’s something quite profound about the sight of people in their glad rags and bling dancing away in their wellies)

See you then 🙂

waes hael from your friendly heathen webmaster


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