This is a celebration steeped in many Germanic, Celtic and Norse Folk traditions. From leaving ‘snacks’ out for the household spirits to lighting bonfires to guide the good spirits of ancestors and heroes to their kin, this is a holiday not to be missed.
Although we can get wrapped up in the candy, costumes, and parties that surround Halloween, it is good to remember that there is a deeper meaning to this time of year. Here is what Donar’s Hearth OR does every year to remember our Gods, ancestors, recently deceased kin and friends, even beloved family pets.
Winter Nights lasts the 7 days preceding “Halloween”. We start by all “fasting” something as a sacrifice. Often this is sweets because the last night we go “trick or treating” and break our fast. This includes all sweets even cookies J. Each of the seven nights we light a candle to represent the flame of our Folk and each member recites a memory or story of our kin. Each evening is dedicated to a different facet of our ancestors. For instance a method might be: Gods and Goddesses, ancient ancestors, heroes, long ago deceases (say 100 years), recently deceased, family pets, and a “free night” to honor all those “unknown soldiers”.
This can be as elaborate or simple as one wishes ceremony to be. We create a sacred space by hallowing it, but it can simply be lighting a candle and remembering those who have left us. Also, it is best to do as much from memory as possible. Personal stories, memorized Eddic poems/stories, etc… really strengthen the memories year after year. Nothing more beautiful then the heartfelt memory of a family dog that gave years of devoted companionship and protection and an ancestor that did the extraordinary to inspire generations later.
To end the week, we go out trick or treating just as hundreds of families in our modern age and break our fast with our treasures. The kids dress up in the typical costumes, some homemade, some bought, but all for fun. We believe it is a nice blend of spiritual and modern that not only remembers the “real reason for the season”, but also connects our children with their friends and society in which they live.
Hail The Glorious Dead!
Hail Our Elder Kin!
Hail Our Folk!
Faith, Folk, Family