Hello hello! Happy Samhain, pronounced “sah-win” or “sow-in.” Today is the day when the veil thins and we reflect on those who have come before us and invite them to join us for the evening in our celebrations. In early Celtic calendars, it marked the New Year and many have referred to it as the Witches New Year. (Some believe though Yule as the new year as it is the rebirth, choose what works best for you). This is probably my favorite of all the Sabbats. It is the one in which the most people celebrate and everyone around is just a bit more magic and a bit more believing in powers they cannot see.
There are so many ways to celebrate, but here are a few of my favorites.
I still dress up. I love it. It allows for me to feel “into it”. I’m sure everyone reading this blog already knows, but just in case, the ritual of dressing in costume stems from the original Celtic Day of the Dead. It was believed that on Hallows Eve when the veil was thin, the ghosts, demons, goblins and other such beings were able to roam freely through the world. Treats and offerings of food and drink were left out to pacify the souls. This morphed into people dressing up as these haunting beings and going door to door for food and drink, and now into all costumes and candy. It is also believed in some sects and legends that by dressing up you would confuse the ghouls and you would be safe from their antics. Costumes
I have seen some absolutely astounding pumpkin carvings, true works of art. I’d like to say I’m pretty pumpkin crafty but that would be a lie. I still love to carve them though with the family and put them out on the porch. The Jack O’ Lantern is an Irish tradition that immigrated to the United States. It is thought that if you keep this lit pumpkin on your porch or doorstep during Hallows Eve it would frighten away evil spirits including that of Stingy Jack. This particular practice I also pair with lighting a candle for my ancestors to find their way home. It is believed that on this night our ancestors are able to come and visit and share in our merriment. Leave a candle in a window or on the porch for them to find their way home easily. Orange and Purple are the colors traditionally used but really any will work so long as your intent is correct.
Feast for the Dead
On my porch every year I also leave a snack for my relatives and well as to appease wandering spirits. This normally includes apple slices with cinnamon, a glass of wine, cheese and a sweet cake of some kind. It is also a time to make and enjoy passed down family recipes and traditions in a way of remembering your ancestors. Soul cakes and pie, grains and stew tend to be my favorites.
Tarot and a Bonfire
When the veil is thin and my ancestors have come I often will do a Tarot reading so that I can get guidance and clarity from the other realm. When weather permits I do it outside next to my bonfire so I can be closer to nature but this is not a necessity. These are three fun new ones I found this week on Facebook and Pinterest that I think I may try. You never really know what spread will work best for you, or if a new spread will work for you so I thought I would get a few options just in case.
I will call upon the Crone and the Horned God to aid in my readings as well as my ancestors. You may also just ask for visions from your fire. These should appear as flashes or even words in the flames.
I close my fire rituals with a goal for the New Year and a prayer for the winter. I ask that the lean times of winter be bountiful and full for our family and I set my intent for the year to come. This often includes writing a habit I wish to break on a piece of paper. I then cast it into my Samhain flames imagining it being released from me to haunt me no longer. I then visualize and imagine a newer healthier habit replacing it.
Blessed be and Safe Travels this evening to all