Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
LLEWELLYN JOURNAL
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

July/August 2016 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

Samhain Grave Minding Ritual

This article was written by Kristoffer Hughes
posted under Pagan

headstone

Grave minding and grave decorating traditions run hand in hand with the season of Samhain, and perhaps nowhere is this as apparent as in Central and South America during Dias de los Muertos. However, elements of this practice are easily incorporated into modern Pagan traditions and offer a subtle yet powerful method of honoring the dead. It is a practice that I have been personally undertaking for the past twelve years, and it has become a valued addition to my Samhain rituals.

Grave minding is an immersive ceremony where the graves of the dead are tended to and cleaned. Food, flowers, and lights are given as offerings, and a small meal is taken as a form of communion in memory of the dead. While incorporating a Pagan element, I have often taken non-Pagan friends and relatives on my grave minding tour of the region. It is a practice that can easily be adopted by anyone regardless of spirituality or religion.

A primary function of this practice is that it feels almost like a pilgrimage and a vigil combined. I rarely visit the graves of my loved ones at any other time of year, so as a consequence my "grave minding" tour is something I anticipate with some delight. I relish spending a whole day visiting my ancestors and swimming in their memory.

For this ceremony you will need:

  • floral tributes of your choosing
  • cakes or cookies
  • a seven-day or grave candle
  • old cloths, a water mister/sprayer, and gentle detergent

As you approach the cemetery or memorial park, bring the dead to mind. Recall whatever memories you have of them. Spend time cleaning and generally tidying the grave, and leave your offerings of food and floral tributes. Light the candle and imagine that the flickering flame represents the connection you have to the deceased; their memory burns in you, for you are intimately connected by blood and heritage.

Remain here for some time in meditation and quiet reflection. Partake of food and drink, and if you are in company, share stories of the deceased. If permitted by the cemetery authorities, leave the lit candle in place. Say these words:

As the veils of Samhain fall,
Sense this light, hear my call.
Blessed dead in earthly tomb,
Your memory in me abloom.

Excerpted from The Journey into Spirit, by Kristoffer Hughes.

Kristoffer HughesKristoffer Hughes
Kristoffer Hughes (Wales) is Chief of the Anglesey Druid Order, a Mount Haemus Scholar, and a member of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. He is a teacher, writer, workshop leader, and guest speaker at Pagan conferences, camps, and festivals throughout...  Read more

RELATED PRODUCTS

The Book of Celtic Magic
The Book of Celtic Magic
Transformative Teachings from the Cauldron of Awen
Kristoffer Hughes
$19.99 US,  $22.95 CAN | Add to Cart
From the Cauldron Born
From the Cauldron Born
Exploring the Magic of Welsh Legend & Lore
Kristoffer Hughes
$19.99 US,  $22.95 CAN | Add to Cart
The Journey Into Spirit
The Journey Into Spirit
A Pagan's Perspective on Death, Dying & Bereavement
Kristoffer Hughes
$19.99 US,  $22.95 CAN | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

Because birds seem so common and exist everywhere, we often take them for granted and even consider them part of the landscape. However, these wonderful creatures can provide us with a simple yet powerful way to stay in tune with the natural world and its seasonal markers. In addition to maintaining this connection, birds can help us access... read this article
The Most Haunted Place You've Never Heard Of: 3 Places to Explore in Revelstoke
Jupiter in the Signs
3 Ways Yoga Changes Your Life for the Better
Reclaiming the Dark Face of the Feminine Nature
The Bath of Self-Care

Most recent posts:
Knowing the Question
Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin always have something interesting to share. Their ideas range from connections based on intense research and solid...

A Strange Little Place
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Brennan Storr, author of A Strange Little Place. If there is such a thing as a reluctant paranormal...

All About the Star
Anthony Louis is well known for his objective and full understanding of the tarot. That is one reason Llewellyn asked him to author this book,...





Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Jasmine Becket-Griffith Halloween Coloring Book Jasmine Becket-Griffith Halloween Coloring Book
A Spine-Tingling Fantasy Art Adventure

By: Jasmine Becket-Griffith
Price: $19.95 US,  $22.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar
84th Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $18.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Woodland Faeries Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Woodland Faeries Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN