I think it’s pretty safe to say that most witches and pagans love Samhain the most, except for Jason Mankey — his favorite might be Yule! I’m like any other average witch, though, and I adore Samhain. The costumes, decorations, Fall scents and colors, spooky movies and television episodes…what’s not to love? It’s the most BOO-tiful time of year!
Samhain is the time of year we tend to talk about death the most. It’s also an excellent opportunity to set aside time to honor our ancestors or any other loved ones who have passed away. This time of year allows us sacred time and space to grieve for others and for the bittersweet, and sometimes cruel, aspects of Death. But what about ourselves? Do we allow sacred time and space to grieve for the losses that are ours and ours alone? Do we allow ourselves to celebrate the deaths of those things in our lives we no longer want or no longer serve us?
Let It Die
If you’ve been needing a sign to let something end or die in your life then this is it. I’m obviously not advocating for murdering people, folks. But is there a relationship that needs to end? A friendship that’s run its course? A job that has caused you enough suffering? A health issue you’ve been avoiding? Now’s the time to let it die. It’s also perfectly okay to be happy that something is ending. Self-imposed martyrdom is not a virtue but is instead virtue-signaling. Let. It. Die.
This year I plan to write a eulogy for those parts of myself that need to die or have already died. I recognize that there are parts of myself that need to end and yet I’m still grasping onto them for dear life. It’s my feeling, though, that writing the eulogy for those aspects, even the ones still kicking and screaming, will serve to hasten their impending doom. You’re already dead to me, I might write.
Why Let It Die?
So many pagans talk about the “Shadow Self” and how we all need to do “Shadow Work.” I’m all for it, but most folks only think about how Shadow Work benefits themselves. However, all those craptastic aspects of ourselves that we haven’t let die affect others, too. It’s a ripple-effect. What I’m not advocating for is self-harm of any kind. What I am advocating for is doing the Work to heal your wounds so that you don’t harm others (emotionally, physically, or otherwise).
It’s each of our responsibilities to bury our own shit and not leave it around for others to step in. Your shit is your shit, and shit eventually decomposes. There just aren’t enough dung beetles to clean up everyone’s mess, though. That mess gets into the waterways, y’all! So, if you don’t want everyone drinking and bathing in your crap water then please clean up after yourself. Get some spiritual doodoo bags and get to work.
Here Lies [Enter Your Name Here] : A Simple Eulogy Ritual
- Ritual Attire: Funerary Garb
- Paper & Pen
- A small cauldron with a lighter, or lit fire
- A hand shovel
- Salt water
Create sacred space any way that you like. This can take place in- or outdoors.
Take a few moments to write down on your piece of paper those aspects of yourself that have died or need to pass on, beginning your eulogy with, “Here lies, [Your Name].” This is not a time to be cruel to yourself, so steer away from making negative remarks about your body or calling yourself cruel names. You likely wouldn’t talk shit about a dead person while delivering a eulogy, so treat yourself with the same respect.
Once you feel that you’ve finished writing it all out, speak it aloud, word for word. Once you’ve delivered your eulogy, light the paper on fire and place it into your cauldron (or light it from your fireplace, outdoor firepit, whatever). Let it burn to ash and then gather the ashes as much as possible. Your little shovel may come in handy for this part.
Dig a small hole in the ground, place the ashes into the ground, and then pour the salt water on top of the ashes. Replace the dirt on top and pat it down. Say, “Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust. Here dies what should and here lies what must.”
Walk away from that miniature grave and never look back.
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