We celebrate it, here in the Southern Hemisphere, on May 1st. I was up after midnight on April 30th, and as I finally started getting ready for bed, I became aware that there were spirit presences about. This is not an uncommon occurrence for me, and it usually doesn't bother me, but this time they felt different. I was slightly uneasy. Then I realised it was already the first of May. The veil between the worlds had thinned and the Ancestors were stirring.
I was already in my pyjamas by then. I stayed in them, and used my indoor altar and the wand which used to be my darling's when he was alive (which seemed appropriate). To have our wedding photo nearby (its usual place) seemed particularly apt. I lit incense and a candle, and cast circle. At a bit of a loss, having intended to celebrate Samhain the next night, and therefore having no ritual prepared yet, I spoke aloud my honouring of the Ancestors. I held my malachite skull in my hands as I did so, as a symbol of the dead. Then I poured a glass of wine to toast them — the Aboriginal spirits belonging to this place, and all my personal dead.
My cat Freya, who is my familiar, arrived eagerly from outdoors as I was about to begin, purring hard. I picked her up and gave her a cuddle, and she has been close by ever since, with more purring.
The circle is still up as I write. I was going to do some scrying, a typical Samhain activity, but it just didn't feel as if there was any energy for that on this occasion. Then I realised that I gave myself a big Tarot reading earlier in the day, just asking in general for the advice of the Universe. So, without being conscious of the fact, I had already been getting into the spirit of Samhain.
I strongly feel the presence of spirits. I realise that one thing which feels different from the usual on this occasion is the sense that there's a throng of them!
Now I am going to open the circle and go to bed. Freya has already fallen asleep.