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Author Topic: Honoring deceased loved ones on Samhain  (Read 1077 times)

StraightRhodes

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Honoring deceased loved ones on Samhain
« on: October 26, 2013, 01:04:57 am »
So I know that Samhain is the traditional holiday to celebrate and honor loved ones who have passed but I wanted some ideas on how exactly to do this.

This is my first year celebrating Samhain.

I know lighting candles for the deceased is traditional in both Wicca and  many other religions but I have run in to a little confusion. Should the candle be a certain color? (Some say black, some say white, etc) Should it be lit at a certain time or for a certain amount of hours? I have received conflicting information on this as well.

Any help is greatly appreciated! I would love to hear how you honor your loved ones during this time.

LilithFaye

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Re: Honoring deceased loved ones on Samhain
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2013, 01:17:22 am »
Quote from: StraightRhodes;126838

I know lighting candles for the deceased is traditional in both Wicca and  many other religions but I have run in to a little confusion. Should the candle be a certain color? (Some say black, some say white, etc) Should it be lit at a certain time or for a certain amount of hours? I have received conflicting information on this as well.

Any help is greatly appreciated! I would love to hear how you honor your loved ones during this time.

 
Personally, I would use a candle colour that is relevant to the person you are trying to honor. I've heard both black and white also, but I prefer to make it personal. For example, if someone were to honor ME with a candle, it could be pink/turquoise or black, because pretty much everything I own are in one of those three colours.

As for honoring my loved ones this year, my best friend who recently passed was in LOVE with Dios de la Muertos, so I will be celebrating that in some way to honor her.

Flame

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Re: Honoring deceased loved ones on Samhain
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2013, 09:49:07 am »
Quote from: StraightRhodes;126838
So I know that Samhain is the traditional holiday to celebrate and honor loved ones who have passed but I wanted some ideas on how exactly to do this.

This is my first year celebrating Samhain.

I know lighting candles for the deceased is traditional in both Wicca and  many other religions but I have run in to a little confusion. Should the candle be a certain color? (Some say black, some say white, etc) Should it be lit at a certain time or for a certain amount of hours? I have received conflicting information on this as well.

Any help is greatly appreciated! I would love to hear how you honor your loved ones during this time.


I'm very witchcraft/pagan lite, but I plan to light candles to honor my grandmother and cat(s) this Halloween. (as I have only two chime candle holders, one will be for my grandmother, one will be for the three cats I have lost)

I'm planning to do orange or pink for my grandmother - she was very fond of flowers and loved bright colors.

The cat candle? I'm not entirely sure. Since all three cats were different colors - grey, black, tabby brown... I might do black, but I still haven't decided. I am also going to put a photo of my grandmother on my altar and I know I won't be able to find a photo of ALL my cats, but I can find one of at least one of them.

Jenett

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Re: Honoring deceased loved ones on Samhain
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2013, 10:52:32 am »
Quote from: StraightRhodes;126838

I know lighting candles for the deceased is traditional in both Wicca and  many other religions but I have run in to a little confusion. Should the candle be a certain color? (Some say black, some say white, etc) Should it be lit at a certain time or for a certain amount of hours? I have received conflicting information on this as well.


The reason that you're seeing different information is that there are lots of possibilities - ritual design is sort of like "how am I going to make dinner?" There are a bunch of 'right' possibilities (stuff that will get you food you will enjoy eating) and there are probably some 'wrong' possibilities (stuff that will not get you edible food, or not get you food you like, or something like that.)

But there's a bunch of options, and a bunch of specifics.

My own practices are based on my tradition's ritual, and it's one of the rituals we don't discuss outside the tradition in any detail (and also, my practice on my own has to be different than it was in a group).

Some things I commonly include, however, are:
* Making a meal that includes foods that the people I'm remembering liked, or that are important to me. (Exactly what I make depends on how much energy/cooking time/prep time I have.)

* Reading things they loved. (Not necessarily a whole book or anything like that, but a poem or a short piece from something.)

* Sometimes relevant music. (Depends on my other ritual plans.)

* Time spent remembering them directly - telling brief stories about them, sharing memories, that kind of thing. If I'm doing ritual on my own, I might write them down instead.

Honestly, the question of candles is - strictly secondary for me? I may well use them (and my tradition always has a candle on the altar for the ancestors in general, in our usual ritual set-up) but the color, number, etc. is one of those things that depend on other details of my ritual practice. Black might be appropriate. White (or neutral beeswax) might be appropriate.

A colour a particular person loved might be appropriate - but then I'd want to do a candle for everyone I'm remembering, and in my late 30s, that's already more candles than I can safely fit in my current apartment. So, really, back to "what do I need to make the ritual work?"
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KatieCoy83

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Honoring deceased loved ones on Samhain
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2013, 02:37:21 pm »
Quote from: StraightRhodes;126838
So I know that Samhain is the traditional holiday to celebrate and honor loved ones who have passed but I wanted some ideas on how exactly to do this.

This is my first year celebrating Samhain.

I know lighting candles for the deceased is traditional in both Wicca and  many other religions but I have run in to a little confusion. Should the candle be a certain color? (Some say black, some say white, etc) Should it be lit at a certain time or for a certain amount of hours? I have received conflicting information on this as well.

Any help is greatly appreciated! I would love to hear how you honor your loved ones during this time.

Can I light a candle for someone I've never met?

My husbands dad passed away 15 years before I met my husband. And I've always wondered if he would have approved of me.

yewberry

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Re: Honoring deceased loved ones on Samhain
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2013, 02:56:04 pm »
Quote from: KatieCoy83;126946
Can I light a candle for someone I've never met?

My husbands dad passed away 15 years before I met my husband. And I've always wondered if he would have approved of me.


There are images of deceased artists, musicians, and poets on my Dia de los Muertos altar.  These people meant a great deal to me even though I never met them.  They shaped the way I view and interact with the world.  They are "family" of a sort.

Brina

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Re: Honoring deceased loved ones on Samhain
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2013, 03:35:16 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;126954
There are images of deceased artists, musicians, and poets on my Dia de los Muertos altar.  These people meant a great deal to me even though I never met them.  They shaped the way I view and interact with the world.  They are "family" of a sort.

 
I'm of this mindset as well. I try to honor the giants on whose shoulders I stand, whether kith, kin, or complete stranger.
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Medulla

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Re: Honoring deceased loved ones on Samhain
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2013, 11:22:52 pm »
Quote from: StraightRhodes;126838

I know lighting candles for the deceased is traditional in both Wicca and  many other religions but I have run in to a little confusion. Should the candle be a certain color? (Some say black, some say white, etc) Should it be lit at a certain time or for a certain amount of hours? I have received conflicting information on this as well.

Any help is greatly appreciated! I would love to hear how you honor your loved ones during this time.

 
I think the white/black candle things depend on the path. Where I live black candles are considered bad luck according to older people, even though obviously, younger generations get those decorative ones all the time. If you don't actually have a path, at least not yet, maybe drawing from what feels right according to your background and experiences and what you think your ancestors would like would be the best route. For example, I'd personally pick white, since most cemetery candles where I live are white so there's that association, it's a very neutral tone, and I'm really specific about trying to buy candles that are eco-friendly or made of things I like and white is easier to find with those requirements in place.

As to lighting it at certain times, I believe night may be more traditional but I think it would be ok to take your work and household into account. In my case, one of the reasons why I'd do it in the evening would be because it's quieter and I'm less likely to get interrupted or to have important errands to take care of.

Whether you keep the candle lit or not is probably more of a matter of what's safest for you. If it's in a room where pets or children could go, I wouldn't leave it unsupervised. In my case, I've kept candles burning all night once or twice (not for Samhain, though) and I did it because I was going to be in that room except for any bathroom breaks and I was still very careful about it. Examples of safety rules I have for myself: making sure the container/holder is heatproof (even some candles with built-in holders don't have this, as the holder may be made of crappy cheap plastic, so you might want to get an extra one and light it for a bit the day before to watch how it goes), keeping it away from anything it could set on fire, ensuring it wouldn't get knocked over or fall off easily, and setting the holder down on a small bowl or dish with water.

Quote from: KatieCoy83;126946
Can I light a candle for someone I've never met?

My husbands dad passed away 15 years before I met my husband. And I've always wondered if he would have approved of me.

 
I don't really see why not, I'd see this as going to the cemetery to visit him. It sounds like a nice gesture. And he is part of your family, in a way -- extended family. I could be wrong about this, though.

Ihexia_Rihdan

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Re: Honoring deceased loved ones on Samhain
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 11:55:58 pm »
Quote from: StraightRhodes;126838
So I know that Samhain is the traditional holiday to celebrate and honor loved ones who have passed but I wanted some ideas on how exactly to do this.

This is my first year celebrating Samhain.

I know lighting candles for the deceased is traditional in both Wicca and  many other religions but I have run in to a little confusion. Should the candle be a certain color? (Some say black, some say white, etc) Should it be lit at a certain time or for a certain amount of hours? I have received conflicting information on this as well.

Any help is greatly appreciated! I would love to hear how you honor your loved ones during this time.

 
I light a green triple wicked candle in my front window to show honor for my Family (animals included), Friends, and those who have recently passed over to the next life. I use green as it is the color my practices associates with new life. It welcomes those fresh into their new lives to guide them and give them strength to begin and it calls my kin and friends to come in. Then I will prepare a meal and bonfire for my still living friends and family and we will celebrate the harvest of souls together.

StraightRhodes

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Re: Honoring deceased loved ones on Samhain
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2013, 12:44:40 am »
Quote from: LilithFaye;126842
Personally, I would use a candle colour that is relevant to the person you are trying to honor. I've heard both black and white also, but I prefer to make it personal. For example, if someone were to honor ME with a candle, it could be pink/turquoise or black, because pretty much everything I own are in one of those three colours.

As for honoring my loved ones this year, my best friend who recently passed was in LOVE with Dios de la Muertos, so I will be celebrating that in some way to honor her.

 
Thank you! The idea of using a candle in my mother's favorite color is a great one.

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