Traditionally, Samhain is the most magical time of the year. Samhain predates the Roman feast of the Dead, Lemuria, and All Hallow's Eve - the eve of the Christian holiday to honor the saints, All Saint's Day. The secular holiday today is known as Halloween. All of these festivals, despite their different names, focus on reverence for the dead, as well as a time to communicate with the deceased.
Here is a link to a 'Samahain Remembrance Ritual', written for use on this special day. You may want to use it to honor loved ones who have passed away, or to celebrate the union of past, present and future: http://crystal-cure.com/holiday-samhain-ritual.html
The ritual is conducted on October 31. Some great suggestions and history can also be found at this site: https://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.php/celebrating-the-seasons/celebrating-samhain
Here are some items that may be used for a stone ceremony:
A crystal for light
Turquoise for infinity
Carnelian to signify past, present and future
Citrine for the golden ray of sun (see the gorgeous raw citrine we offer at the Etsy shop, pictured here)
Moonstone for the light of the moon
A glass of red wine or juice
A plate of simple food such as bread and fruit
A black candle and matches
Often, the essence of the ceremony is a ritual bathing, dressing in clean clothes, and placing the stones on an altar (a low table, covered with a lace cloth or other beautiful fabric). The candle is placed in a brass or silver candleholder, and set at the center. The stones are arranged in a circle around the candle. The wine and plate of food are placed the right, outside the circle of stones.
When everything is arranged, there is a moment of silence. Then the candle is lit, and the devotee asks for blessings from their favorite Goddess.
Whether you use the approaches suggested in the links provided or devise your own unique ritual, the essence of the ceremony is intended to honor the dead, center oneself in acceptance and loving remembrance, and renew awareness of our spiritual nature. The ceremony includes a toast to souls who have passed, using the carnelian and words such as these:
What once was lost and almost forgotten
Is brought back by our honoring call
As we drink from the cup, we know
All that was, now still remains!
The toasts continue to the souls of the present, and even to those unborn. The ceremony concludes with the candle burning throughout the night, the return of the food to the earth as an offering, and a final honoring of the Goddess for her blessings.
At this beautiful time of autumn harvest and the sacred changing of the seasons, we hope you enjoyed this mini-primer to the use of sacred stones for honoring the dead.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy Beads of Courage.