Be well this night and be blessed!
We have reached the third and final harvest. The warmth of Summer is
only a memory; the cold and dark of Winter approaches. A perfect
time for celebration!
Samhain or Halloween may also be referred to as the Eve of all
Hallows, Hallowmas, Day of the Dead, Feast of Spirits, Third Harvest,
Samonios, All Souls' Day, All Saint's Eve, Martinmas, Celtic New Year,
Samhuinn, Celtic Winter, Samana, Festival of Pamona, Vigil of Saman,
Vigil of Todos, Santos, and The Witches New Year.
Samhain, meaning "Summer's End" in Gaelic, has several popular
pronunciations. "So-en" is probably the most popular 'correct'
choice. Others are "sew-en", "so-vain", "sav-een", "shav-nah",
"sha-ma-ayn", "sahm-hayn". It is the New Years Eve of Celts and Druids
and for many who call themselves "witch", including Wiccans. For some,
the day marks the end of the rule of the Goddess and the beginning of
the rule of the God.
Some Christians celebrate the day as the eve of All Saints' Day (All
Hallows). "Halloween" is a contraction which comes from "All Hallows
Eve" --> "Hallowe'en".
night the veil between the our world and the world of spirits is thought
to be very thin. So, Samhain or the Eve of All Hallows is nearly
universally viewed as a time for honoring the dead and, even, possibly
seeing them. (Some people believed you could go to a graveyard and, at
midnight, see the 'ghosts' of those destined to die in the coming year
wandering about.) In the Celtic tradition it was believed that all who
died had to wait until Sanhain before crossing over to the the world of
the spirits. It is believed by some that the future can be more easily
seen at this time.
of carrying a lantern carved or masked to show a scary face to ward off
bad spirits in such places as graveyards may be fairly old. However,
since the pumpkin is strictly a new world plant, carving one to make a
"Jack-O-Lantern" for Halloween is clearly an American invention. Most
likely, the name comes from the moralistic tale of Jack, a clever scamp
who, having tricked the devil into rejecting his soul, is welcome in
neither Heaven nor Hell. So, he wanders endlessly carrying a hollowed
out turnip (or pumpkin) as a lamp with a lump of Hell's coal lighting
or Treating" on Halloween night is chiefly an American idea, too. It
combines European masquerades and the late medieval Christian practice
of "souling," when poor folk would go door to door seeking food in
return for prayers for the dead.
Carve faces in apples and pumpkins
Make a Jack-O-Lantern
Cook up a Samhain pumkin pie
Honor the dead, remember those you loved who have passed on
Display a collection of photos etc of loved ones who are dead
Set a place at the table for the departed
Place a light in the window to guide the dead
Give food to travelers (or to 'trick or treaters')
Leave food outside as an offering to the dead
Wear costumes and Go trick or treating
Give out candy to trick or treaters
Watch scary movies
Have a bonfire
Mix up some hot mugwart tea
Scry by the fire, smoke, or your scrying mirror
Some clans do testing for psychic and magickal talents on this night.
One tradition is that burying apples in the hard-packed earth "feeds" the passed ones on their journey.
In Belgium an
old custom was to prepare "Cakes for the Dead" small white cakes or
cookies. A cake was eaten for each spirit honoured with the belief that
the more cakes you ate, the more the dead would bless you.
It was also
customary to light a fire on the household hearth which would burn
continuously until the first day of the following spring. (In lots of
places this made good sense because by All Hallow's Eve it was cold and
people needed a fire anyway.) Huge bonfires were lit on the hilltops at
sunset in honor of the old Gods and Goddesses and to guide the souls of
the dead home to their kin.
Samhain is a
fine time for getting rid of bad habits, too. Write down bad habits and
weaknesses you wish to be rid of on a piece of parchment. Meditate upon
how much better off you will be once rid of the weaknesses; then, burn
cakes for the dead, pumpkin pie and other pumpkin dishes, cranberry
muffins and breads, apples, corn, beets, turnips, hazelnuts, cider, ale,
herbal teas, and mulled wines are appropriate, as are meat dishes.
Herbs and Plants
Apple, Arborvitae (Yellow Cedar), Corn Dittany of Crete Fumitory, Hazel,
Mullein, Nightshade, Pumpkin, Sage, Turnip, Wormwood, Mugwort, Gourds,
Sage, Allspice, Catnip, pomegranites
Jack-o'-Lantern, Balefire, Besom, Masks, The Cauldron, Waning Moon.
all black gemstones, jet, obsidian, and onyx.
http://www.tylwythteg.com/wheel.html (nice music)