I’ll be honest with you, except for the one time we celebrated Samhain with our Circle, I typically celebrate Samhain alone.
Of course, we set up a family altar with bits of the season and any nature my child brought in to add. But when it comes to ritual, I’ve been very private. And while I think there is nothing wrong with that, I know that I am doing a disservice to my child by not allowing him to participate or witness my own ritual here.
This is why it has taken me so long to write a post for you with a ritual. Because (dun, dun, dun) I have never celebrated this sabbat with my child.
Let me tell you, I had a heck of a time figuring out what to do. I think I put a little too much pressure on myself.
I thought about doing a special dinner. I’ve heard of rituals with wonderful fall feasts and dark rye bread. However, it was always my family’s tradition, while I was growing up, to have Spaghetti on Halloween (being raised Christian, we didn’t celebrate Samhain and we were lucky to even get to participate in Halloween events, as my mother dubbed it “the Devil’s holiday”).
Halloween spaghetti is a tradition that I have carried on since my son was born. And as an adult, I found out that we always did that because my grandmother always made spaghetti for my dad before he went trick or treating as a child. So I think we’ll hold on to that tradition. It’s a great way to remember my father on a day where we honor those who came before us.
After nixing a feast, I created a few rituals that overall were just too much. Instead, I reminded myself that my own ritual was so simple and meaningful, why not just do it and a find a way to include my child. I had forgotten my own advice about making rituals for children simple, fun, and short.
Are you ready? It’s so simple, I almost feel silly typing it out for you.
A Simple Samhain Ritual (adapted for children)
- Create an altar for the season. Include photos or trinkets that remind you of passed loved ones. (At our home, our altar includes a photo of my dad and one of the silly ties he would always wear. It also includes a trinket that reminds me of my ancestry). This can be done as early as you want. Ours goes up with the seasonal decorations on the 1st.
- After dinner and trick or treating (if you participate), spend some time relaxing and coming back into your space. We do this by cuddling on the sofa and talking about our day (or whatever my little one needs to talk about). I will take this opportunity to explain to him what Samhain is, why it is important, and as always, ask him if he even wants to participate.
- Begin the ritual in your tradition.
- Light an LED candle for each specific person you’d like to honor and an extra for those who came before you whose names and faces you don’t know. Have a moment (as long as your little one can, it differs for each child, you may only get a few seconds, and that’s ok).
- Share some memories about those you remember (we’ll talk mostly about my dad)
- Take another moment of silence.
- Take a moment to list all of the amazing things you’ve accomplished this year or things that you’re grateful for. Have your little one do the same (I will take some time later in the evening to journal about this and pull tarot for the next year, but these are things my guy won’t sit for at this point in time).
- Send out your intentions for the year.
- Close the ritual.
Nice and simple. Take what you want, leave the rest, and have fun.