Free gift with EVERY order!* FREE US Shipping over $60! COVID19 may cause shipping delays

Samhain: Saint & Soul Days

October 22, 2018 0 Comments

Samhain: Saint & Soul Days

 by Rebecca Farrar of Wild Witch of the West 

 

Halloween, or All Hallow's Eve, has more meaning than simply a slapstick holiday, cloaked in candy and costumes. The current secular holiday takes it's roots from the Christian celebration of All Saints Day on November 1 for honoring holy people of the past: hallow from Old English meaning "holy", and -een meaning "evening." However, even before All Hallow's Eve was the ancient European festival of the dead called Samhain (pronounced saah-win or saa-ween). Samhain translates literally from Old Irish meaning "Summer's end" and was honored with a fire ritual for the completion of the end of the harvest, and for the beginning of cold weather and more night.

Today, many modern witches and Pagans celebrate Allhallowtide, a three day holiday called a triduum, beginning on sundown on October 31 with Samhain (or Halloween), through November 2nd for All Souls Day, or Day of the Dead. During Samhain, we move into several days of sacred communion with darkness and otherworldly dimensions, as it offers a natural time of reflection while we move to the halfway point between fall equinox and winter solstice. With the change of seasons, these energies are often best utilized for connecting with ancestors and souls beyond our Earthly realm, as well as honoring the process of mourning and grief. 

On November 1, All Saint's Day commemorates martyrs or holy figures, while All Souls’ Day on November 2nd is a way to honor those we knew personally.  On All Souls' Day many modern Catholic churches still have a Book of the Dead, in which parishioners/visitors have an opportunity to write the names of relatives to be remembered. As Christian/Roman Catholic Spaniards took over Mexico, these Christian traditions merged with indigenous customs and gave birth to Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which is celebrated around the same time. In this way, Samhain shares more similarities with newer expressions of Day of the Dead rather than the older religious holidays of Christianity. 

Others may observe the "holy day" around the full moon or new moon closest to that time, or in early November with the astronomical midpoint between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice. While for us in the northern hemisphere this occurs early- mid November, for the Southern Hemisphere this time would be late April and early May. Unlike modern Halloween, Samhain rituals tend to be somber- without music or parties. Gatherings are in private homes or locations rather than in public, and the rituals performed offer a way of healing and closure as well as a time to bring the heavenly realm closer to our Earthly experience. We notice the trees losing their leaves and less sunlight, and with the sense of loss and death inherent during this time of year, it helps to move into and through the darkness rather than away from it. For those of us who have lost dear ones or wish to connect with our ancestors or others from beyond, the veils between worlds are thin and now is a potent time to communicate or make offerings.

For me, this time of year resonates as a spiritual new year. I still struggle to understand our strange Gregorian calendar of the new year starting in the middle of winter without any real seasonal significance. And the combination of so many sacred days invites us into solitude and reflection before the winter holiday season begins.

No matter what or where you celebrate here are a few ways to tap into the astronomical and seasonal energies of this time:  

  • Take a meditative walk through nature to honor Earth's cycles and notice it's changes
  • Make an ancestor altar, or add more to your current altar to represent this theme
  • Visit a cemetery to honor those who have passed.
  • Learn about your family lineage
  • Crate a bonfire magic like the very early celebrations of fire and warmth
  • Make an offering to beings not of this world, and prayers for peace during the transition of the seasons
cemetary sAMHAIN HALLOWEEN

     

     

     

     

    Rebecca Farrar of Wild Witch of the West has her M.A. in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness, and has worked with many renowned astrologists and cosmologists. Read her bio here, and catch more of her work on Witch of the West.

    ______________________________________

    Read more on astrology, horoscopes, occultism, magick & ritual on our blog, Esoteric Insights!





      Also in Esoteric Insights

      Celestial Insights: April 2021
      Celestial Insights: April 2021

      April 08, 2021 0 Comments

      What an exciting month we have ahead! Personally I love the energies of the very first week of April. Just coming off the heels of a full moon in Libra last month, the sun in Aries moves with Venus for nearly the first week. This puts a great emphasis on self love, self healing, and passion. Venus runs hot in Aries, and often very much in alignment with pleasure. This can be wonderful for taking charge of your personal appearance, as well as pursuing your hearts desires. Watch out for power struggles closer to mid- month with other people, especially when it comes to issues with authority. This will be when the...

      Continue Reading

      Engaging the Elements: FIRE
      Engaging the Elements: FIRE

      March 30, 2021 0 Comments

      Since the dawn of humanity when the divine double agent Prometheus angered the Gods by giving humanity the gift of fire, this element has been perceived as being as dangerous, powerful, and as hypnotic as the Devil’s own silver tongue. Fire was domesticated about one million years ago, and we’ve been learning to harness it responsibly ever since. It destroys, yes. It creates, yes? Well, it creates warmth, light, power, and propulsion via it’s living act of combustion. One could say that what fire does to a flammable earth element is equal to what humans do to the...

      Continue Reading

      April 2021 Horoscopes
      April 2021 Horoscopes

      March 29, 2021 0 Comments

      To make the most of my astrological horoscopes, please read your ASCENDANT sign, followed by your SUN and MOON sign. This will give you the best advice and be the most appropriate timing-wise. Don’t know your personal astrology? Check out this free astrological calculator, or book a session with meTo read this month's lunar and planetary happenings, along with any specific ritual and symbolic inspiration, look out for our article Celestial Insights later this month! 

      Continue Reading