On Oct 31, we celebrate Samhain, the Witches New Year. In this episode, I share how you can honor your ancestors and host a dumb supper to celebrate this beautiful holiday as we transition into the dark part of the year.
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Episode 231 – Celebrating Samhain with Sahara Rose
By Sahara Rose
Namaste. It’s Sahara Rose and welcome back to the “Highest Self” podcast. A place where we discuss what makes you your soul’s highest evolvement.
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So one of my favorite holidays is coming up, and that is samhain. So you may be familiar with samhain as Halloween. I’ve always loved Halloween until I did more research on where Halloween really comes from, and this comes from a pagan tradition called samhain.
So samhain is commonly known as the witches’ new year. And a witch is not a bad thing, witches are women who believe in magic, and I consider myself a witch, I am a good witch, I practice white magic, don’t worry about it, but you may be a witch, too. And many of us are the witches they once tried to burn. We are the women that were connected to our intuition, to magic, to ritual, to ceremony.
And because of that, the patriarchy got extremely afraid of us, and burned us at the stake. However, once a witch, always a witch, and we come back, and our souls come back, and that’s why so many of us were so obsessed with the witch trials and witchcraft when we were kids.
I know for me, growing up in Boston, which is very close to Salem, Massachusetts, which is where the original witch trials happened, oh my gosh, any chance I would go, I would go to Salem. And I loved studying what happened in the witch trials, and go to those very places, and walk down those streets, and see how these girls—young, 12-year-old girls—because they were seeing spirits, and connecting to something that is beyond this physical realm, the church was so scared. And because of that, they killed them. And these women would gather in the woods, and stand and sit in circle, and sing, and then they were considered evil, or satanic for doing that.
So this is all about reclaiming our inner witch. And it’s showing that me being magical is not something that is fearful, but in fact, it is the essence of the feminine. We are intuitive beings, like we are connected to realms that men in general simply aren’t. We’re actually just taking in more energy from other dimensions. And men are very good at being grounded, and right here, which we are too, but what women have is we have that intuition. I mean, ask most women, they’ll say, “I don’t know, I just have an intuitive hunch on things,” and that’s the power of the feminine, and that’s the power of the witch energy.
So samhain is our witches’ new year, it is celebrated on October 31st, but that would be May 1st if you’re in the southern hemisphere, and it’s the time of the year when the earth has died, and gone dormant, and the skies are cold, and gray. And it gives us the opportunity to once more celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth. And we celebrate this by connecting to our ancestors. These are the people who have walked this path before us, whose blood now moves through our veins, and we bring them back to life.
You know, did you watch that movie, “Coco”? I loved that movie because it was all about celebrating the ancestors. And isn’t it fascinating that samhain, which is actually a Gaelic tradition from Europe—Scottish folklore—actually is the day after dia de los muertos, which is a Mexican tradition in Central America. What is dia de los muertos? It’s day of the dead, day of honoring the ancestors.
And in the movie “Coco,” if you didn’t see it, you make an altar of your ancestors, and you put pictures of them so they can walk through the veils again, and this is exactly what they say in samhain. They say that on this day, on this dark night it is when the veils between the two worlds is thinnest, and spirit can come through. So this is the best time of the year to make contact with your ancestors.
So this samhain I am celebrating by getting a group of my sisters together and doing a samhain circle. So I’ve told them all to bring a picture of an ancestor. So that could be your grandparent, if you have a picture of your great-great-grandparent, however far back you can go that would be great, but even your grandparent is still your ancestor.
So I was lucky enough that my grandmother had a picture of her great-great-grandmother. So that makes it my great-great-great-great-grandmother. And the reason why is because they all were in child marriage, so they all had kids by the time they were 14 years old, and because of that, it was very common to know your great-great-grandmother at that time, which is in a way kind of sad because they were married at such a young age. But at least I’m able to be connected in this form of she didn’t live that long ago to my great-great-great-great-grandmother.
So I’m going to have a picture of her, my friends are bringing pictures of grandparents, or necklaces, charms, anything that one of their ancestors once had. Maybe you have a family heirloom, a ring, something that’s been passed along through generations. So gather your sisters, gather your friends, and it doesn’t have to be directly on samhain, it could be you know, couple days before, couple days after, it’s really about the intention here.
But doing it around October 31st is great because, again, the veil between our world and the spirit world is the thinnest. So I’m gathering them together, and I’m going to have candles—you can choose whatever candle you want—and having each of us light a candle and say a prayer for our ancestor. And for me, I think saying that prayer of how you are walking the path that your ancestor once dreamed of.
Because the truth is we are our ancestors’ biggest dreams. You know, most of them couldn’t have even dreamed about being where we are. You know, again, thinking about my ancestors in child marriage, never allowed to go to school, the ancestor of mine that I have the photo of, she really was into wellness and into health, she was always making masks with different fruits, and talking about food, and what’s good for you, and what’s bad for you. She was super Ayurvedic, but she never got a chance to go to school, and because of that, she never learned to read.
So because of that, she always carried great shame and guilt and sadness because she wanted to learn so much, but she did not know how to read. So for me I’m going to pray for her that now her great-great-great-great-granddaughter not only reads, but writes books, and educates other people on the very topic that she was the most passionate about. And it just brings tears to my eyes to think that we truly are our ancestors’ dreams. And that they wanted so badly to be where we are, and sometimes we just take it for granted.
Sometimes we’re like, “Ah, like yeah of course I can read. Like oh, I have so much to read,” we even complain about it, “I have so much to write.” Your ancestor would have killed for this opportunity, and it’s so important to remember them because it puts into perspective how lucky we have things today. How you can just choose like whoever you want to marry, whatever you want to eat, wherever you want to go. That wasn’t the case, people died on ships just to be here, people’s ancestors were slaves, people’s ancestors built railroads in this very country, and then put into concentration camps.
People’s ancestors—my own parents were fought it with racism just for having brown skin. Or maybe it’s black skin, or maybe it’s being gay, or maybe it’s being transsexual. Or whatever it is, our ancestors didn’t get the same opportunity for us. So samhain is the perfect time to honor these people who we would not be here if it wasn’t for those people. They give us life, we are their lives, we are the living extension of them.
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So I’m going to have each sister light a candle and offer a prayer to her ancestor and how she is living their dream. So you can do something like that, maybe you want to have it by yourself, maybe you want to set up an altar that you can have some different symbols of death, of the harvest season, tools of divination. You know, the original jack-o-lantern is from samhain, so maybe you want to carve a pumpkin, maybe you just want to put some harvest vegetables, maybe you want to put your sage, your palo santo, your crystals, tourmaline is very good, protecting energy at this time.
So it’s so fascinating how, you know, all of Halloween is like, “Ghosts are here.” And it’s like, “Well actually, it’s kind of true.” They kind of are here, but they’re not evil. I mean, I think some of them actually are, and that’s why I recommended the tourmaline, but it’s like amazing how these holidays are based in truth. You know, it’s not coincidental, it comes from something that we’re collectively picking up on consciousness. The very fact that in the Scottish folklore has written about the exact same thing as the Mexican folklore—and I’m sure if we dive into many different cultures around this time of they ear, they also have some sort of celebration to honor the ancestors, and honor the darkness, and honor the death. So this is collective, this is how we know that channeling exists because the same people come up to the same conclusions around the same time.
So another thing that people do to celebrate samhain is called a dumb supper. So essentially a dumb supper is having a beautiful dinner, especially with local and seasonal vegetables—so lots of pumpkins squash, stews, really warming foods, vata-balancing foods because it’s vata season. And having this dinner with friends and family in silence, and setting a seat at the table for the ancestors. So these are for the collective ancestors, for the unseen.
And you’ve set an entire dinner plate for them, and you eat in silence honoring your ancestors, and allowing your ancestors their spirits to eat. So this is a very, very beautiful practice that, again, in many traditions—for example, in Bali they do the same thing, they feed the spirits. In fact, they’re feeding the spirits on a daily basis. They offer fruits at the different temples, they offer rice, and milk, and sugar, and treats, and they feed the spirits all the time, and that’s why the spirits are so strong in Bali. I mean, you go there, you feel it, and the spirits are very happy to be there because they’re constantly fed.
However, it’s important to know that they’re not in the physical, so they can’t eat, they can’t actually—you’re not going to see, it’s not like Santa, who like takes a bite of your cookie. They don’t actually eat, so in samhain they actually do say that you leave the food out for them, but you can afterwards eat it later. Like it’s not like you have to throw that food away, it’s actually they don’t promote waste.
So don’t be like, “Oh my God, why didn’t my ancestor take a bite?” Because they can’t take a bite, they’re not in the physical, it’s just more of what that represents. That you’re representing I honor you, I see you, I’m feeding you. And then just having that sacred silence of remembering them, commemorating them, and then after you can do what you want with the food. I mean maybe you don’t want to eat it, that’s totally fine, too.
But you know, no pagan celebration is complete without a meal to go along with it, so maybe you want to make your pumpkin spice cheesecake, or a fun little ghost cookie, or something like that to honor to the ancestors. And again, if we look at Christmas, which is also a shamanic you know Finnish holiday. We did an episode with Tara of Four Sigmatic all about Santa sold shrooms last year about the entire story of Christmas, and how it came from psychedelic mushrooms.
And if we look at the Christmas traditions, I mean so many of them come from shamanic practices there, but we feed Santa, we offer him food, and this is again is offering to the spirit. So in our western society we’re so disassociated from ancestors, spirits, anything that you know, can feel superstitious. And it’s important to honor that because it’s existed for thousands and thousands of years, and if we the good witches are not the ones who are going to honor it, it’s going to die out.
So another great thing that you can do is to actually go visit any friends or family members you have that have passed. Maybe you visit their cemetery, maybe you just pay homage to them, you meditate on them, maybe you write a note to them. That’s a very powerful thing to do to just write a note, like, “Hey, it’s been a while, and this is what I’ve been up to, and I think about you when the song comes on, and every time I do yoga you come to mind so I know you’re sending me this message. And I really just want to say thank you for being a guide to me and for walking this path with me now in the unseen realm. I can still feel your energy and I invite you to send me more signs because I want to connect with you deeper. And I want to thank you for your life and the impact that you’ve had on mine, and just acknowledge that I see you and I recognize you, and I know that you’re hearing this wherever you are. So I just want that to be known.”
You know, just saying something like that, writing it in a letter, saying it in a prayer, meditating on it. They’re here, the spirits are here, you know, they hear us all the time, most of us have received some sort of sign from passed away family member or friend, especially shortly after their passing when their soul is still on this plane. So it’s important for us to just let them know that we care, that we’re here, that they’re not forgotten. Because there’s nothing worse than being forgotten, especially someone that has made an impact on your life in any way.
So this is how I celebrate samhain. I would love to know if you are celebrating it. Head over to my Instagram @iamsahararose. I will be sharing my samhain pictures and celebration so you’ll be able to see how I celebrated it, and I can’t wait to see how you celebrated it. I’ll also be sharing specific rituals, and tools that you can use, prayers, et cetera in Rose Gold Goddesses. So head over if you’re a member of Rose Gold Goddesses to our monthly goddess circle section, and I will have that there.
If you loved this episode, I would love if you could leave me a review in the iTunes store. And as a free gift, I will share with you the first half of my unreleased book, “Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type.” Simply email a screenshot of your review over to firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, sahara, S-AH-A-R-A, @eatfeelfresh.com and I will send you over the first half of my unreleased book, “Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type.” Thank and namaste.
Episode 231 – Celebrating Samhain with Sahara Rose