This is a very serious question, and I'm hoping to get some good tips from someone a little more experienced than me... I've been a pagan for about a year and a half now, and I've noticed that most pagans LOVE the sabbat Samhain. However, I do not. I know it's all about celebrating ancestors and the dead, but it just gives me the creeps. My last Samhain celebration did not go well, and I don't really trust my ancestors. Can your ancestors be ill-intentioned? Can they be dangerous? I'm worried about working with them again. I don't want to skip the sabbat, but I might just do something really simple instead. Any advice for working with scary, ornery ancestors?
Rather than working with your ancestors why not use this Samhain to celebrate the season. Not everyone works with ancestors on Samhain, there are lots of other things you can do for the Sabbat: feastsand celebrations can make the day an event or you can mix your Samhain celebrations in with Halloween if you want something a little lighter for this year.
Taking a step back from your ancestors on Samhain may allow you to gradually work your way back up to working with your ancestors over the year, so next Samhain you may feel more comfortable working with them, fully.
well it depends on your tradition but working with your ancestors is one part of it. it can also be a time to reflect on loved ones you lost in the past year [i've never worked with my ancestors on samhain] many also view this as 'pagan new year' so you might wish to incorporate new years somehow into your celebration. for Wiccan's this is when the Lord get ready to be reborn, so you could see this time as preparation for a new beginning [hence new years] see it as a time for new beginnings and opportunities, as well as a time to reflect on the past year. you do not have to work with the dead or any ancestors if you do not feel comfortable [i know many people who use this as a time for love spells and divination about the coming year] research the history of Halloween/Samhain/Day of the Dead and other celebrations around this time and try to create your own holiday. [or you could omit it all together, i know some witches who add/remove sabbats form the wheel of the year for personal reasons]
+H20fanRikki I think that is a good idea. I really do prefer to just focus on the timing of the seasons and meaning of it all rather than trying to involve the tangled up, melting pot of lore thrust into the pagan holidays.