Samhain,the beginning of the spiritual New Year.
Many of us will celebrate Samhain over a few days and nights, which usually include a series of solo rites as well as ceremonies, spells, feasts, and gatherings with family and friends.
Pagans celebrate Samhain from sundown on October 31 through November 1.
Halloween, short for All Hallows Eve, its celebrated on and around October 31. Halloween and Samhain are not the same, they are two separate celebrations that differ considerably in focus and practice.
Samhain’s is associated with death and nature’s rhythms. In many places, Samhain coincides with the end of the growing season, as vegetation dies back with the frosts.
This is also when the veil is thin between the world of the living and the realm of the dead and this enables us to contact and communicate with loved ones.
For those who have lost loved ones in the past year, Samhain rituals can be a way to bring closure to the grieving and to help them adjust to their loved ones being in the Otherworld by spiritually communing with them.
There are many ways we celebrate Samhain. Here are a few listed below, why not try one of them for yourself.
Samhain Nature Walk. Take a meditative walk in a woodland area near your home. Observe and contemplate the colours, aromas, sounds, and other sensations of the season. If possible gather some natural objects and upon your return use them to decorate your home.
Seasonal Imagery. Decorate your home with Samhain seasonal symbols and the colours of orange and black. Place an Autumnal wreath on your front door. Create displays with pumpkins, cornstalks, gourds, acorns, and apples. Light candles in cauldrons.
Ancestors Altar. Gather photographs, heirlooms, and other mementos of deceased family, friends, and pets. Arrange them on a table, along with a few candles. Light the candles in their memory as you call out their names and express well wishes. Thank them for being part of your life. Sit quietly and pay attention to what you experience. Make a note of any messages you receive in your journal.
Feast of the Dead. Prepare a Samhain dinner. Include a place setting at your table for a deceased loved one. Add a place setting, and to the plate, add a bit of each food served. Invite your ancestors to come and dine with you. After the feast, place the contents of the plate and cup outdoors as an offering for the Dead.
Cemetery Visit. Visit and tend the gravesite of a loved one at a cemetery. Call to mind memories.Place an offering there such as fresh flowers, dried herbs, or water.
Reflections. Reflect on you and your life over the past year. Review journals, planners, photographs and blogs that you have created during the past year. Consider how you have grown, accomplishments, challenges, adventures, travels, and anything new that you have learnt.
Renovate. Select an area of your home or life as a focus. Examine it. Re organize it. Release what is no longer needed. Celebrate renewal and transformation.
Bonfire Magic. Light a bonfire outdoors or kindle flames in a fireplace or a small cauldron. Write down a habit that you wish to end and cast it into the flames as you imagine release. Then imagine yourself adopting a new, healthier way of being.
Divinatory Guidance. Using Tarot, Runes, Scrying, or some other method of divination, seek and reflect on guidance for the year to come. Write a summary of your process and any messages you received.
Divine Invocations. Honor and call upon the Divine associated with Samhain, such as the Crone Goddess and Horned God of Nature. Invite them to aid you in your understanding of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. If you have lost loved ones in the past year, ask these Divine Ones to comfort and support you.
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