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Honoring the Dead

7 Day Challenge

Samhain is the time of year when we honor those who have passed on to the afterlife. The veil between this world and wherever our loved ones go is thinnest at this time. This allows for easier communication, if you are so inclined to talk to spirits or listen for their return. It is typically observed for the season, that season can vary by traditions, both religious and family traditions. But all are using this time to honor their ancestors, loved ones and spirit guides.

As we are in the final week before Samhain, we have put a 7 Day Challenge together, for honoring your loved ones:

Day 1: Pick one person who has passed on that you would like to communicate with. Grab items that remind you of this person. If you have a picture or a heirloom put them together in a place where you can honor and see them everyday. Then get a candle or candles and burn it for them. Think of it as a light to help guide them. You can also burn a cigar, if they enjoyed that. Think about the things they indulged in and try to provide those things for them.

Day 2: Write a letter to this loved one, then burn it in an ashtray or dish of sand. Think of it as giving it to them. This you delivering a message to the other side for them to receive and know that they are loved and missed.

Day 3: Go to the place they are buried and spend time with them there. Offer food or drink that they may have enjoyed in life. If you can't visit their grave, then go somewhere they loved and spend time there as well, such as a park or lake.

Day 4: Make something they would enjoy. If they liked to garden, then plant something in a pot. If they loved animals, get a stone and engrave it with their name and have flowers planted on top of it. If they loved to bake, then bake.

Day 5: Find someone who was close to them and just talk with them about your loved one. Ask their memories of the person. If you don't know anyone, then share your favorite memory with a friend of yours. This is the night that we are doing the Rite of Death. Bring your memories and share with us. Join the 13 Moons Community to Participate

Day 6: Today, light a candle for them and sit down with them. Don't say a word. Just sit with them and enjoy their company. Know that they are around you, watching over you and protecting you. When ready, put out the candle and get on with your day.

Day 7 / Samhain: On this night, make a small ritual for them. Light a candle or some incense as well as burning something that may have been enjoyed in life. Burn it in a dish or bowl with sand or soil. Cook or find their favorite foods, play their favorite music. Dance with them or talk with them. Put their favorite tv show on. Laugh and cry. Celebrate them and the things they loved this night.

Honor them this evening by sitting with them and just being by their side. Listen to any guidance you have received over the past week, but do not let it sway you from your own path. It may be that they want what is best for you, but don't let them decide what that is for you.

After your ritual, say goodbye to them and let them know that they are missed and loved. They may need to move on, but still respect their journey. Allow yourself do whatever it takes to feel better after this week of emotional energy. It's okay to cry or laugh over the memories you have. Most importantly, have a sense of closure that this week. However you feel is valid and what ever feelings come up are valid. When you feel ready, write a letter thanking them for everything they have done in your life. Burn it as well after you read it to the best of your memory.

We hope this challenge will be helpful for those who take part in it, whether you intend to do it or not. You may find yourself doing the whole thing in one day, over the course of a week, or not at all. Either way, remember to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself while you honor your loved ones.

How are you honoring the dead this season? Comment below.

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