I'm looking for examples of ways to honor the dead. What are some well known methods?
Hi Gabrielle. There are as many ways to honour the dead as there are cultures. I have lost a great number of people (I'm 70 years old) and can't get around to gravesides anymore because of a lack of a vehicle and the deep snow in cemetaries in winter. So what I did/do when I can is make a spot somewhere in my home where I can place thier pictures or some momento of them. I changed the flowers with the seasons and special ones at certain times of the year. When cooking for Easter etc, I placed some of my baking in front of the pictures and spoke to them all saying that I wished they were with me at this time.
I don't really know if those that are gone really hear us at all but just in case they do I want them each to know that they aren't forgotten.
There's a good book that can help you. It's The Witches' Book of the Dead by Christian Day. I learned a lot from it.
I honor the dead before I do an investigation by offering up a candle for them. I usually light it at home and I write something to say for each location. I also then burn that scrap of paper in the flame to seal my words in the world. Since some of the people in our group are Christian they do a prayer before the investigation. I also preform a cleansing ritual before and after to try not to bring anything home.
In my private life I honor the dead by keeping a piece of them with me. I talk about them often, so like Raya said they know they are not forgotten but, also so those around me do not forget them. I also will light a candle for them in my house. On Alban Eiler (Ostara), Samhain, Solstices, Yule or about any other holiday they celebrated I will set a plate out for them at the table. It is my little way of helping them to remember they are still part of our lives and to remind the living to respect those that came before them. Many Blessings
In Mexico they have a whole celebration around El dia de los murtos which is celebrated Oct 31st - Nov. Commonly an altars is decorated with flowers, candles, pan de murtos, ceramic skulls, and most importantly pictures of loved ones.. The belief behind Day of the Dead practices is that spirits return to the world of the living for one day of the year to be with their families thus families buried their dead in the their ranchos.. It is customary to spend the whole night in the cemetery people make a party of it, music, talking and drinking through the night.