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Samhain: Summonings, Conjurations, Invocations - Why Bother?

Author: Ambrose Hawk

Brought to you by Ambrose Hawk Consulting, email

With the approach of Samhain, Halloween, All Soul's Day, and "the Day of the Dead" (all related festivals), I've heard several folks declare that they are going to ignore the main focus of the party. They aren't going to bother the spirits, but rather just dress up and secure the house and either go party or stay home. Why should they be worried, they ask, about possible contact with the spirits. Why don't they consider this event from the viewpoint of the spirits? It's not a batty idea. After all a major reason for the honoring of the solar passage is that at certain points in our orbit, it seems that it is easier for entities from other "planes" (for lack of a better word) to manifest in different ways in our perceptions. The traditional phrases here speak of a "thinning of the veils." Now I know that many of my Christian friends would be horrified at the thought, but we Catholics (along with most Gnostics, Spiritualists, Theosophists, Shintoist, Shamans, etcetera) for instance, really believe that those who have left us for the next world continue to care for us. That's why we talk to the saints and ask them to pray for us. That's why mediums hold seances, and medicine men seek to hear from the sacred spirits.

Even further, we believe, with Judas Maccabe, that it is a good and holy thing to pray for the dead. I can't accept the idea of floating around in some kind of stupefied stasis until the victory of entropy, nor do even avid musicians think that waiting around in a bland room on overstuffed furniture for infrequent chances to jam or perform is particularly exhilarating. Just because I no longer wear a particular body is no more reason to stop learning and working on my spiritual path than trading in a car is a reason for not traveling. Now the higher price of gas could interfere with my plans to go visiting, so if folks want to give me some – in other words, send me energy or pray for me or work to accomplish the healing of concerns that might retard me on my journey to the light – I'd suspect I'd be eager to communicate with them about that!

Some folks worry about calling people back and somehow interfering with their new way of living. The sort of evocations which are sacred to these days, however, are those in which the true selves and inner emotions can be reinforced by the planetary energies and the blessings of the Deity. On these cusps, it's the other guys who are often needing to interrupt our lives! Maybe, a loud "boo!" could be as effective as one of those obnoxious warehouse phone bells.

In the old days, indeed in Hispanic countries now, one would throw a party and set aside places for the relatives who had recently left and portions for others. A spooky party maybe, but can be a lot of fun! If you practice scrying or automatic writing, this would seem to be a prime time to try to let folks call on you. Even just lighting a candle and maybe some amber or myrrh incense for them and quietly meditating on them and on what they might like to say could be helpful. If you can find a photograph or portrait of the person you'd like to visit, that will help your subconscious send a more accurate call and to focus more clearly on the essence of the individuals you invite. Further, if you've some momento: a favorite piece of jewelry, an old letter, or even their false teeth the quality of the contact should be more intense and your request for their presence more manifest. Now if you don't think there's any point in preparing yourself to communicate with them, do you mean that there is not a single soul on the other side that might LIKE you?

Or care about you?

Or even that you would like to invite to teach you or to influence you?

Neither friends or even friends of friends nor kith and kin?

How pitiful, simply pitiful, I would be so sorry for you. If your nobody's pumpkin, it can hurt as bad as being hollowed out and cut up. Such a spiritual state reminds me of my high school days when very few folks would want to call the geeks like me, not even the other geeks.

Okay, so that's a bit sarcastic, I acknowledge. However, there are many spirits out there that you could really profit from knowing. There may even be spirits out there who do care for you for some offbeat reason. I'm not talking about anything spooky here, nor am I even referring to any creature who may even want to play tricks, pester, or otherwise act rudely towards you! Surely you've heard of spirit guides of various flavors and fairy friends? Wouldn't you like to party with faeries and goblins, and brownies and elves, and elementals of all kinds? This would be a time at which they would be a lot easier to visit, too. Sure, as a ceremonially inclined practitioner, I'd never do an evocation without setting wards in place first. When you throw a party, you want to be sure that your guests will be fun and not trash the place, after all. There may be plenty of foxes and wolves howling around out there, yet there's so many more bunnies and puppies and song birds that it's really worth the risk!

So I fully intend to howl with the haunt, guzzle with the goblin, and flirt with the fay.

Also, I fully intend to spend long moments before my altar and shrine, lighting candles and meditating, praying and listening for my beloved folks whom I miss so much during this, their festival.

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