Samhain (October 31)
Also known as-: Shadowfest, All Souls, All hallows Eve, Halloween
Associated Deities-: Hecate, Pan, Persephone, Hades, The Morrigan
Associated Herbs-: Bay Leaf, lavender, mugwort, nutmeg, sage
Associated Stones-: Obsidian, black onyx, bloodstone, amethist, opal
Pronounced as 'Sow'ain', the most important festival
in the witches year and marks the end and the begining of the wheel
of the year, just the same as new years eve. Rituals begin after dark
peaking at midnight and often go on into the next day, 1st of November,
which is the new year.
Samhain is linked with the death process as the warm
months die out and the cold winter months step in. In the past people
often took stock of their supplies ready for winter, grain they had
and animals they had. Where there were short supplies, animals which
were thought unable to last the long winter months were slaughtered
for meat and preserved. Farmers put their fields to rest for the winter
and everything that was not needed was given back to Mother Earth
Samhain is also a time when the veil between the worlds
of the living and the dead is at its thinest, a time when the spirits
of loved ones can return and so a special place is set at the table
for any who so wish to join the feast. Traditionaly a candle to guide
the spirits of loved ones home is lit in the window and also deters
any unwanted spirits and is the origins of the pumpkin or jack-o-lantern.
The spirit of the loved ones recently departed are then guided to
the Summerlands which is where the spirit rest until it is time to
move on. It is also a time when the spirits can talk through us more
easily and all types of divination such as scrying, tarot, runes etc
It is a time when witches celebrate the wild hunt
and the Horned God gathers the lost souls who linger or are unwary.
The Godess takes on her role as the Crone or Wise One and so we look
for wisdom and guidence. A time to tie up loose ends, pay unpaid debts,
finish arguments etc, a time to put everything to rest. Look at the
changes in the weather, changes in nature and how things now begin
to rest and die and decay to make way for new life and growth after
the winter months.
Ideas for celebrations-:
Alters can be decorated with pomegranets, marigolds, chrysanthumums
and jack-o-lanterns. A black and white candle can be placed there
to mark the old and the new year and divination tools are a good idea.
Ask the four elements to be present with you-: Air (east), Fire (south),
Water (west, Earth (north)
Visualise the Horned God as hunter and the Godess as Crone and ask
them to join you.
Light the black candle that represents the past year
and think about your life in the past year. Give thanks for all the
successes and the good things. Concider the lessons you have learnt
from failures and problems. If you have any bad issues or charecteristics
you need to dismiss write these on pieces of paper, think about them
and burn them in the cauldron. Remember all those who have passed,
animals, friends and family.
Light the white candle to represent the new year and
think about what you want to achieve or happen. ask the Lord and Lady
to bless these endeavours. Now is a good time to use whichever divination
tools you choose and any Magik you wish to conduct.
Put out the black candle and say farewell to the old year and goodbye
to the sun as he goes to rest to be reborn again at Yule. Bid farewell
to the elements and thank them in the order you invited them in and
say thankyou and farewell to the Lord and Lady for their presence.
Let the white candle burn whilst you eat and drink something to ground
yourself, but leave some to put outside when you have finished, for
libitation, lastly close the gate between the worlds.
PLEASE NOTE-:NEVER LEAVE CANDLES BURNING UNATTENDED
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