Whether you celebrate Halloween or Samhain, the end of October has become a time to think about those who have passed on. The festivals and celebrations at this time of year are also when we traditionally celebrate the things we find scary, such as dark nights and spooky stories.
Here is a guided visualisation - or guided meditation - to help tune into the energy of the season. I should warn you, this is not intended to be an entirely safe and comfortable visualisation. It could be scary. Enter at your own risk...
A Halloween or Samhain Visualisation: A Visitor from the Past
Find somewhere safe, where you will not be disturbed. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take three deep breaths in and out and relax, then visualise the following:
Visualise that you are in a room where you feel comfortable and safe. Perhaps it is a room in your own home, a room you recall from your past, or a place created in your imagination as being the most wonderfully safe and comfortable place in the world. The room is pleasantly warm and well lit, as outside it is night. The room has a place for you to sit and be at ease, a table where you can rest things, a door and a window or windows securely shut against the night. Around you are things you like.
You are contently seated in the chair and can relax. Everything you need at this moment is here. Look around the room. Visualise it. Enjoy it.
Then, suddenly, the window rattles. The lights go out. You are in darkness. You hear strange noises outside and know there is something out there. Something that would like to come in.
Yet, this room is safe. You know that. The door and windows are securely shut. Surely what is outside, cannot come inside unless you let it - can it? Slowly your eyes adjust to the gloom. You can just make out the outlines of what is in the room by faint starlight in the night sky through the window. You see familiar things in the room as dark shapes. You can see the edges of the chair you are in. You can see the table.
You get up and try to put the lights back on, but the room remains in darkness.
Then you realise there are some things on the table that you do not recall being there earlier. There is a candle in a candlestick, and the means to light it. There is also a crystal ball, next to it.
You light the candle. Its wick splutters, then the flame becomes strong. Its light illuminates a circle around around it, falling gently across the crystal ball. The rest of the room is still only dimly lit, but the room seems still safe. The door and the windows are still closed against the blackness outside.
You sit at the table with the candle on it, and then you notice something flicker within the crystal ball. You move the crystal closer to the candle so that the light falls on it. You look into the ball. What you see in it is not your own reflection or a reflection of the room. Instead, you see a person. Someone who is not you, but who you feel you recognise from the past. Perhaps someone who has passed beyond the veil of life. Perhaps they are an ancestor you have only seen pictures of in the past, perhaps they are someone you have imagined meeting, but who lived long ago.
As you look at the person in the crystal, you realise they are looking back at you. Your eyes meet and you are certain that they can see you as well as you can see them.
Then, they speak. You can see their lips move, and it is as though you can hear the words they are saying in your mind.
Hear what they say. What do you say to them in reply?
Spend time conversing with this person. Tell them things you want to say and listen to the words they say to you. Ask them things you want to ask, and hear what they reply.
After you have been conversing with the person in the crystal for a while, you realise that the candle light is dimming. The flame has burnt low. Say your last few words of conversation with the person from the past and say your goodbyes now.
Then the candle goes out. You are plunged in darkness once more. You hear sounds outside the room, outside the windows and door, of someone walking away into the blackness of the night. Then, all is quiet.
You sit for a moment in the dark room in silence, then the lights come back on. Not the candle light, but the light that was illuminating the room at first. You glance at the table. The candlestick and crystal ball are not there any more, but the room is back to the way it was when you first visualised it. The room is safe and warm and comfortable. The door and the windows are securely shut. Look around you and see that all is returned to normal.
When you are ready Shake your arms and legs and open your eyes to the real world.
I always recommend having something to eat and drink after doing a guided visualisation, or any ritual or magical work, as it can help you ground properly. That is particularly important if you done work that has led you to face fears or visualise anything unsettling. Happy Halloween!
You can find more guided visualisations in my book Pagan Portals - Guided Visualisations.