Samhain: Feeding the Hungry Ghosts

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As the Wiccan Wheel of the Year swings 'round to Samhain again, consider a deeper purpose to this biggest of Wiccan holidays.

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The Sabbat of Samhain is always a time to reconnect with our loved ones who've passed on and to honour our ancestors.

This year, the Sabbat theme seems to go even further: healing the unfinished business of those who've come before us.

This is the Pain Body of the ancestors... a vibrational field of suffering and stagnation that can harm not only you but the whole planet.

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How The Hungry Ghosts Are Feeding Off You

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A lot of things get passed on through our DNA, it seems. It's now been shown that the emotion of love, for instance, can actually alter your DNA structure.

Or perhaps it comes through racial memory, or a familial vibrational field.

But we can't deny that many of the problems we are individually dealing with do not originate with us. We are processing the emotions, traumas, and fears that our ancestors experienced.

A heavy burden indeed!

If you've ever wondered why the spiritual Transformation is taking so long, and why the world seems so resistant, there you have the major reason. Before we can be free, we must free ourselves of the massive pain bodies of our ancestors.

If there is some issue in your life that you can't seem to shift, even after repeated deep emotional work and magick, it is likely to be a symptom of an ancestral (genetic) pain body that you are connected to.

Why would you be connected to it?

Probably for the express purpose of healing the poor thing.

Freeing Yourself From The Pain Bodies

There are ways to protect yourself from that pain body. In many ways, the protection for highly sensitive people does this, partly by healing the pain body and partly by distancing you from it. This is very helpful in our personal healing and spiritual journey.

But you can't be completely free of them, since until they are healed they wander around the planet as vibrational fields.

Some of the current vibrational fields are connected to current affairs -- either of the world or on energetic levels -- but even these have deep roots in the pain bodies of the past.

When you heal the pain body in yourself, you also heal it in every genetic direction, backwards and forwards through time. In other words, your children will be free of it forever. Not only that, but you will free...

  • your parents,

  • your grandparents,

  • your siblings and their children,

  • your spouse,

  • your dog,

  • even your car!

(If you don't think all these things are affected by vibrational fields and pain bodies, wait until you start clearing them out, and watch the changes around you with amazement!)

And when you heal an ancestors' pain body, a piece of the world vibrational field of pain is also healed, bringing humanity a great step closer to the spiritual Transformation that awaits us.

So what does all this have to do with Samhain?

This Samhain is a perfect time to do some of that healing!

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Samhain Ritual: Feeding the Hungry Ghosts *

This Samhain we seem to be asked to help heal the pain of our ancestors, "feeding" their souls.

Here's an idea for a Samhain Ritual. It's a great one to share with a group, since there's lots of food involved.

The Food

Create a feast (of whatever size you can manage) of foods that your ancestors would like. Your near ancestors might be easy: you can probably find out the favourite foods of your grandparents, for instance. For the rest, something that is culturally appropriate: potatoes for Irish, cabbage rolls for Ukrainian, rice for Asian or Latin American, for example.

Put a bit of all the appropriate foods onto a plate. You'll almost certainly have ancestors from different nations, so make a plate for each nation separately. Then put these plates on your altar. Put some beverages there as well.

The Magick

Light a candle on the altar for your ancestors, and one in a window so they can find you.

Once you cast the Circle, bless the food.

Ask each Element / Direction to suffuse it with the best of its gifts.

Ask the Divine to fill it with whatever healing your ancestors need...

  • Love

  • Security

  • Joy

  • Fulfillment

  • Confidence

  • Faith

  • Peace

  • Enough To Eat

  • Or Whatever other gifts you'd like them to enjoy

(A clue to what they need is what you need. Your lacks are likely their own.

In a way, this is magick that will draw to you more of what you desire, too. As your ancestors receive these gifts, so you will be more able to receive them.)

Inviting The Ancestors

Once the Samhain food is blessed and imbued with the qualities you'd like to offer them, invite your beloved dead and ancestors to join you in the circle.

Using the names of all the dead you can think of, say something like...

"Oh my mother and father [if passed], my beloved grandparents and all my honoured ancestors, I [name] am the blood child of all your lives. You continue to live, through me, as I live through you.

[Feel free to add to the list any siblings, children, friends, mentors, or other loved ones to invite into the Circle.]

I invite you to come now and join me in this celebration. I have brought you these foods for your nourishment and healing: [naming them].

Please come and enjoy these gifts, which I offer in love and respect. Let them heal any wounds you have carried from this life.

[Draw a pentacle over the offerings for each prayer ... ]

wicca-spirituality Pentacle Button   May you never hunger.

wicca-spirituality Pentacle Button   May you never thirst.

wicca-spirituality Pentacle Button   May all your needs be fulfilled by these food.

wicca-spirituality Pentacle Button   May you be satisfied with what you receive here.

wicca-spirituality Pentacle Button   May you no longer suffer through my body... this body which is now wholly my own.

The Feasting

As the ancestors enjoy the feast, share it with them. This is one of the few times we eat during rather than after a Wiccan ritual. After all, your beloved dead won't want to eat alone!

It's also a wonderful time to play music that your ancestors might enjoy... music heals many ills and creates joy and peace.


Afterward, thank the ancestors for joining you, say good night, and hope to see them next year.

Give thanks to the Divine, the Elements, and your Allies for helping with this Samhain Sabbat ritual. Open the Circle.

You may want to spend a few minutes checking in to see if anything feels different, afterward. Can you feel the lightened pain body?

Revel in the healing that has taken place. Even if you can't feel it, you know it has happened.

With Bright Blessings,

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I am indebted to Luisah Teish's book Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals and my Earth Guru for the core idea.

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