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The Beloved Dead – Honouring Those Who Came ...

The Beloved Dead – Honouring Those Who Came Before

obeah woman whispers the house of twigs kathryn emma witch halloween

The darker months are here and Samhain fast approaches.

As the leaves deaden and fall, their death a vision of beauty,  and the cold seeps across the land, and it is easy to feel the presence of death.

The veil thins, the barrier between the worlds, this one and the next, becomes less solid, less defined.

The dead await.

And it’s not just us, those of us who follow the Wheel who honour our dead at this time. All Hallows Eve is the Christian observance of the evening before All Saints Day on 1st of November, the day where the martyrs and the saints of the religion are honoured. All souls day is next, November 2nd, and this is the day where those in the religion honour their own dead. And then you have Dia de Muertos, Day of the Dead, also celebrated on the 2nd of November in Mexico. Even those who are not religious feel the closeness of death at this time, hence the rise in the secular holiday that is Halloween.

Whether you believe in the thinning of the veil or not, honouring your own beloved dead can add a powerful dynamic to your own witchcraft practise, and now is the perfect time to start.

Ancestor Altar

Setting up an ancestor altar is easy to do and gives you a space where you can focus on building a relationship with your ancestors. 

There are no hard and fast rules. Instead, use your own knowledge of your familial dead to guide you. If you want to use an altar cloth, then do so. Use a fresh white one. If you have pictures of your ancestors, then set these up. A single white altar candle is fine, and then use tea lights for each ancestor. If you have any items that once belonged to them, like a piece of jewellery or a cherished item, then use that on your altar too. Leave offerings of their favourite food and drink. Spend time at your altar, communing with your beloved dead. Chat to them, tell them what’s been going on with you and your life – they are your family, always and forever.

Life After Death

Honouring our ancestors is a way of keeping them alive, of giving them strength. In Mexico, they have three types of death, a concept I find so very interesting.

The first death happens when you become aware of your own mortality. The loss of innocence. The second death is when you actually die. And the third death is when your name is uttered for the last time; when your memory fades from those who may once have loved and missed you. When you are forgotten.

Honouring our beloved dead gives them life. Remembering them gives them strength.

So this Samhain, remember your beloved dead. Cook them a meal of their favourite food and enjoy a glass of their favourite tipple. Light a candle for them in the dark of the night. Honour them.

  • Author Posts
My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
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My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
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