An Introduction to my Ancestor’s Feast – Samhain

Jennie and I have some deep ties to India, a place we have learned from, and shared with, others. One of the themes that has arisen for each of us is that of similarity in belief and ceremony. The days of the Dead are still a couple of months off. Not so in India. Even there attention to the Ancestors seems to be slipping, as the country Westernizes. As always when things change, there are gains and losses. Many Europeans seem to leave the Ancestors behind, to abandon them along with the past. I often wonder whether more awareness of the Ancestors would help Western culture be more attune to life.



Being of mixed ancestry I have created a ‘Samhain’ or Feast of the Ancestors Rite that combined the Hindu ancestral observance of Pitru/Pitri Paksha with aspects of my other spiritual lineage to call to and bless all that came before me. Before sharing my ancestral rite, which was designed to honour my maternal grandfather (Hindu-Brahmin) and my maternal grandmother (Hindu-‘Shakti Shaman), I wish to share a little basic information on a very complex Hindu rite. In Hindu tradition, these rites are performed by the eldest son. Lucky for me, my maternal grandparents were a little more open to the power of the Goddess and the women she resides in.

PITRU PAKSHA – (Sanskrit: पितृ पक्ष),
Pitru Paksha literally translates to the “fortnight of the ancestors” and is considered by Hindus to be an auspicious period which falls within the Hindu Lunar Calendar. This celebration is within a sequence of holy…

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5 thoughts on “An Introduction to my Ancestor’s Feast – Samhain

  1. Lovely Michael. East Indian rituals are my go to comfort. I lived there for a winter long ago and spent years periodically living in ashrams in the US. So it is a deep layer for me. Now India wants worldly possessions and throw out the old sustaining practices. Westerners began to pour into India in the 60’s seeking less not more because they found the possessions did not contain heart. Perhaps India must seek the worldly until they also see that there is no reward. The face of spirituality is changing….becoming less religious, but, nonetheless, deepening among seekers awakening. I use ritual each day in some form. It is essential to me even though the form may change. I have less than I did 50 years ago but a freedom that continues to grow. Namaskar, Gretchen

    1. Namaste Gretchen, I am glad, honoured and humbled that you see the value in the spiritual practices of my heritage, please note, most Indians do as well 🙂 India is still very much one of the poor 3rd world countries and are in the process of finding the same balance that the west seeks, they are both just addressing the balance from different direction. A spiritual nation finding balance with their wealth, and a wealthy nation finding balance with spirit. I am an advocate for teaching my friends in the west more about Hinduism and it’s various sister spiritual paths, such as Yoga and Ayurveda as sadly many of these paths are taken as fitness fads, and the spirit of the practice removed as it heads west. I am of mixed heritage, and spiritual practice. I try to honour all my paths by creating ritual that holds them all in sacred space. I happily share these on my blog site and am very grateful to Michael for seeing the worth in what I am doing, and helping me share it with others. A sincere and deeply felt Namaste to you both. Kayla Alyssa, the Shakti Shaman

      1. Kayla, It is indeed my experience that most Indians deeply value their rituals and traditions. My friends also hold a deep concern that many of the rituals they hold dear seem to be threatened by the rush of modernization. Hopefully there will be room for both. Time will tell.

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