Samhain: Season of the Witch

posted in: Samhain | 0

Samhain altar with candles, pumpkins and bones

This year Samhain – the Witches’ New Year – falls right after a new moon, making it the perfect time for a fresh start.

Samhain is all about endings, death, honouring where we have been and where we came from – all necessary if we’re to move forward with grace and purpose.

Samhain timeline

  • Sunday 30th October 2016 – new moon in Scorpio

  • Monday 31st October 2016 at sunset – Samhain Eve

  • Tuesday 1st October 2016 at sunset – Samhain ends

Samhain is my favourite time of year. Scorpio – the sign of mystery, the arcane, darkness and occult pursuits – is in charge. Don’t forget, if it’s your birthday around now, it’s also your own personal new year, making this an extra powerful time for you.

We all embrace the dark side at this time – even muggles are no exception! By dressing up, we embody our fears or secret desires. We celebrate death. Even watching a scary movie is a way to confront fear and acknowledge its place in our lives.

Samhain magic

Astrologically, this Samhain is a great time for psychic and intuitive work.

‘The Sun involved with a trine to Neptune ensures more accurate psychic impressions, lucid dreaming, and clear vision into the future for making plans.’

I love reassessing at Samhain. Making New Year’s resolutions on January 1st, for me, is a bit like starting a diet on a Monday morning. It never works – and, it’s not sustainable or attainable. Instead, I choose to let go of what isn’t serving me now, to dream a new way of being and plant the right seeds for the year to come.

May all your seeds bear fruit.

Bright blessings,
Suzi xx

Sources:

Astrology King. (2016). New Moon 30 October 2016 Dreamtime – Astrology King. [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].

The Magic of Samhain

posted in: Samhain, Wheel of the Year | 0
Samhain stripy tights
Photo Credit: On Bradstreet via Compfight cc

Is there any wonder and magic left in the world?

Maybe you’ve sifted through a dozen repetitive witchcraft sites and now you feel that magic is well and truly dead.

Humdrum aspects of daily life are enough to erode the die-hard beliefs of even the wickedest witches.

Well, hitch up those stripy tights and prepare to hang on to your pointy hat, because Samhain is coming, and you had better be ready.

See below for 5 easy steps to celebrate Samhain:

  1. rest and take stock
  2. make resolutions
  3. feast with the dead
  4. confront your fears
  5. honour your ancestors

Samhain is known in Welsh as Nos Galan Gaeaf: Winter’s Eve

Wheel of the YearSamhain explained

Samhain, Summer’s End, Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve is the opposing point of the wheel to Beltane. It is the last harvest festival and the beginning of winter. November 1st is considered by many witches and pagans to be the new year, making this a good time to cast regrets into the Samhain fires and make new year’s resolutions. The veil between worlds is at its thinnest now, so we honour our ancestors and the dead at Samhain.

 

5 ways to celebrate Samhain this year:

1. Take stock

In agricultural terms, Samhain is a time of completion. The harvest is in, the hard work of summer and autumn now complete. It’s a time to rest and take stock, to reconnect with home and family. Looking back over the past year, how have you progressed? What have you achieved? What lessons have you learned? Answering these questions can help you plan for a successful year to come.

2. Make resolutions

Now is the time to plant your metaphorical seeds for the coming months. Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”) comes from the Gaelic “Samhuin,” but religious scholars are divided on whether it means the end or beginning of summer. This makes sense to us magical types, who tend believe that the beginning can be found in the end, light in the darkness. New growth shelters in the seemingly barren winter soil.

3. Share your feast

According to the excellent book Spells, Charms, Talismans and Amulets:

“food offerings are left on altars and doorsteps for the wandering spirits, and a candle is often placed in the window to help the spirits and ancestors to come home.”

Rituals of Magic – the Major Sabbats by Pamela Ball

Additionally, Ronald Hutton has this to say on Halloween in America:

“In the 20th century it developed into a national festivity… by which poor people went door to door to beg for food for a feast of their own…”

– Halloween? It’s more than trick or treat by Ronald Hutton

Ensure that neither the living nor the dead go hungry this Samhain. Consider collecting for your local food bank and share a feast with friends. You can also set an extra place at the table for unseen guests.

4. Face your fears

One reaction to the coming winter in days gone by was to

“mock darkness and fear, by singing songs about the spirits which personified it… or dressing up as them: in other words, to confront boldly the terrors of the season now arriving.”

– Halloween? It’s more than trick or treat by Ronald Hutton

Why not step out of your comfort zone and dress up with intention for Halloween – embrace the darkness within!

5. Honour the dead

According to Patti Wigington:

“Around the eighth century or so, the Catholic Church decided to use November 1st as All Saints Day… the festival to honour any saint who didn’t already have a day of his or her own.”

Samhain History by

November 2nd was All Souls Day, a time to honour departed relatives and friends. Modern Pagans often honour the ancestors as well as loved ones who have crossed over during Samhain. Place a photograph of the dear departed on your altar and light a candle in fond memory.

That’s Samhain explained! Remember It’s time to take stock, discard old patterns and embrace the Celtic New Year.

Bright Blessings xx

Sources: