I am a solitary; a neo-pagan(ite), non-wiccan, tree hugging, nature-loving, reformed (but respectful) Catholic. I venerate this day for the sanctity and mysticism in which it has long been steeped.
As the wheel has now turned to October 31st, we of the pagan ilk honour and recognize this season when the warm times are waning and the last of the crops that must sustain us have been harvested. This is the spoke in the wheel where we see life around us ending, knowing that the wheel will, at another season, again turn and restore things to life.
Samhain is a nether time. It is not an end, nor is it a beginning, but rather it represents both, as it is but one of the spokes on the wheel that continuously turns and returns to whence it began.
Now, is the time to honor our ancestors and all the souls who have come before us and have now left this plane that we continue to inhabit. It is believed that the veil between both worlds is the thinnest at this time and if we choose to, we can take the opportunity to communicate with them and seek their guidance or answers.
This also begins the spell in which we prepare to retreat into our homes and hearths as well as into the interior our own beings. In this withdrawal, we may perhaps learn that there is a secret language that surrounds us and can provide us with valuable messages if we listen for what it whispers to us.
It is our time to embrace the darkness both without and within and to identify that which has died inside us; that which should not or will not rise again. We can learn to welcome our losses as possibly new beginnings or just as the endings that they are.
We can celebrate this holiday in many established and traditional ceremonies or rituals (honouring our ancestors, rituals for animals, hosting a dumb supper, celebrating the cycle of life and death, etc.) or we can create our own celebrations.
The warmer and lighter half of the year is done, and so begins the onset of the longer, darker nights that will lead us to the Winter Solstice. We are thankful, and we acknowledge our gratitude, for all that we have and all that we do not.