Ancestors on Samhain


Hallowed Eve

On this hallowed night,

I make ready for visitors,

wash the linen tablecloth, 

light candles inside

carved pumpkins,

set a basket of green apples 

from the gnarled tree that stands

in front of the house.

Thick creamy milk from Chase Hill 

Farm’s jerseys  poured into mugs,

wedges of homemade bread 

slathered with butter,

Hot tea, minty and black, 

a measure of whiskey for dad.

This night, a gathering. 

I wait with anticipation 

under the orange-streaked sky.

It’s almost time, almost ready.

Wait for the air to stir.

Welcome the old ones, 

this Hallowed Eve

James Ball, ( b.1731) 

sidhe and nature spirits, 

ancestors who travel through

 rivers of blood, and others  

that follow the stars this night

to join this gathering

so much like a renewal of vows.


Halloween is a time to celebrate the continuation of the family line, to welcome, pray, and enjoy the company of one’s family, known and unknown, who have passed on. There are celebrations like the Day of The Dead in Mexico, and the Catholic Church has All Soul’s Day 10/31/ and All Saints Day 11/1.  In Ancient times in Ireland, this was the beginning of the New Year.  When better than the harvest completion to begin anew?

Do you have a way to celebrate Halloween, Samhain, or a comparable day?



About elainereardon

Writer, forest dweller, gardener, herbalist, and painter, often bumping into magic, peeking around new corners.
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1 Response to Ancestors on Samhain

  1. Don Karp says:

    I love Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) where I live in Tepoztán, in the central highlands of Mexico. The streets are packed with families ’till late at night, including young children in their costumes. They wander door to door looking for candy or pesos to be put in their pumpkins. Sometimes there are stops along the way to go in and look at a families’ amazingly decorated altar. I usually wind up with an indigenous family of a friend, sitting by their fire out in the street in front of their home drinking hot puche.

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