Samhain: A Time for Reflection and Remembrance
Samhain, pronounced sow-ain or so-veen and literally meaning “Summer’s End,” , is a harvest festival from Celtic origin, occuring on October 31, that honors one’s ancestors and encourages a look ahead to the upcoming year. For many witches, this is the Pagan new year and a relatively solemn occasion. Other Pagans have a similar holiday and call it by various names, such as Halloween, Shadowfest or La Festa Dell’ Ombra (Stregheria), Sambain,Samhuinn, All Hallows Eve, and Ancestor Night, among others.
Samhain heralds the time of year when the veil between the mundane world and the spiritual world is thinnest, making Samhain night an ideal time for ancestor worship and communication, as well as divination in general. Now is the best time to use that crystal ball, scrying mirror, scrying bowl, Tarot cards, runes, pendulum, or all of the above.
Herbs associated with Samhain include mugwort, the Queen of Samhain herbs, as well as acorn or oak, apple, Dittany of Crete, hazel, mullein, nightshade, sage, and wormwood.
Stones associated with Samhain include amber, black obsidian, hematite, onyx, and smoky quartz.
Foods associated with this sabbat include pumpkins, other winter squashes, apples, pomegranates, nuts, apple cider, and red wine.
Samhain is an ideal time of magickal spells of manifestation, of new beginnings (especially if the moon is new or waxing), or banishings (if the moon happens to be waning). This sabbat is the perfect time to create a Witch’s Ladder as a protection spell.
Other activities for Samhain include carving a jack o’lantern, bobbing for apples (originally a type of divination), setting up an altar or shrine for your ancestors, and setting out a mute or dumb supper for loved ones who have passed on during the year.
How do you celebrate Samhain? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. Blessed Be!
Be sure to stop by my store, Lune Soleil Enterprises, for a harvest of ritual and other spiritual products. From now until January 1, 2015, enjoy free shipping on orders of $25 or more (coupon code: HOLIDAY).