Free Gift + Crystal 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

      Light the Fire of Gratitude with the Red Cauldron
      Light the Fire of Gratitude with the Red Cauldron

      November 18, 2020 0 Comments

      Did you know that the number one cause of human suffering is desire for something other than all that we have in the present moment? Welp, the anecdote to this distress is GRATITUDE, which so happen to be our theme for November 💕✨ When we stop our mind from spinning into the past and future, and instead carefully catalog all the blessings we have right at this very moment, we see that we are already the blooming rose we may be wishing for 🌹

      Continue Reading

      Sun Sign Patterns: Significance in the Stars
      Sun Sign Patterns: Significance in the Stars

      November 12, 2020 0 Comments

      Most beginners to astrology are familiar with their own sun signs and traits, and have awareness that signs of like elements are compatible (Water with Water, Earth with Earth, etc). But what about the relationship between other signs? In her comprehensive book Love Signs: A New Approach to the Human Heart, leading astrological authority Linda Goodman examines the nature of a relationship and it's potential for success by organizing the possible pairings based upon their sun signs position on the Karmic Wheel of Life (pictured above) into what she terms "Sun Sign Patterns". Simply put, Sun Sign Patterns express the number of houses away two signs are from each other. 

      Continue Reading

      Celestial Insights : November 2020
      Celestial Insights : November 2020

      November 11, 2020 0 Comments

      Hoping you all faired well in the heat of last month’s Astro turbulence. Thankfully, I do see the cosmos easing up slightly this month. The big news is the end of several major planetary retrogrades. I want to take a moment to touch on each one and exactly why these retrogrades have taken place. I always joke and tell clients that retrogrades are almost ALWAYS happening. If it weren’t for them, we’d never “clean out the fridge” life-wise. Inner planetary retrogrades such as Mercury and Mars can be felt much more intensely than, for example, a Pluto or Neptune retrograde. Inner planets closer to Earth tend to feel like things are a bit wonky; however, they generally pass more quickly and have shorter retrograde periods.

      Continue Reading