Merry meet & hello…its me again, Patricia…I want to tell you about our next holiday. As in our book Wicca Whats the Real Deal. Samhain Alternative Identifications. Halloween, Summer’s end, Last Harvest. Northern Hemisphere October 31 & November 1.
Southern Hemisphere April 30 & May 1. Sabbat type, Greater. Religious Meaning: Samhain is the Wiccan New Year. In accordance with observation of the natural cycles, ancient Pagans noted that the darkness of late fall and early winter marked a crossing point between the abundance of summer and the harshness of the dark winter season.
The animals slaughtered in ancient times around Samhain would become the sustaining source of nourishment through the harsh winter. The date aligned with the timing between Fall Equinox and Winter Soltice, making it a cross quarter day. It is a gateway between the seasons of light and the seasons of darkness.
It was natural to associate the dark, cold, barrenness of winter with death, reflection, hibernation, and struggle; so, Samhain involves paying honor to the dead, the reflection on mortality, and the knowledge of harsh tests to come. Spiritually, this holiday is associated with death in its deified form, the Crone aspect of the Goddess. The Crone is ancient and holds much wisdom from her long journey. The Goddess is the Guardian of death and the afterlife, so this holiday is the practitioners celebration of her power as the season of death arrives. Witches honor The Crone in the way one would honor an elder or grandparent. Practitioners do not look upon the Crone aspect of the Goddess with dread, but do not take Her lightly.
By celebrating, Samhain, Wiccan’s recognize life is a never ending cycle and that one will eventually experience another chapter in their life journey when becoming elders. Honoring the Crone is a Wiccan’s way of recognizing the mortality of human beings and that every human being will one day face the final mystery, death. Wiccan’s believe that after death, rebirth awaits. The perception of death is that it is a gift. It is a necessary transition in one’s spiritual path. Thus, Samhain is a reminder that even in death all life is renewed.
As a gateway time or ” between time” Samhain is the day the veil between the worlds disappears and access to the spirit world is easiest. Rituals mark the New Year, as Witches have finished celebrating the abundance of harvest and look to starting the goals of the coming season anew. Scarcity may no longer be the reality today, but contemplation and honoring of the deceased, as well as the use of divination to prepare for the journey ahead remains typical practice on Samhain.
Where appropriate, sometimes practitioners light bonfires and offerings are left for both the deceased and the Divine. Sometimes practitioners will light candles to mark the path of those who have passed on. Witches decorate the altar with symbolic decor like jack-o-lanterns, pine cones, colorful leaves, and seasonally colored candles. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did sending it your way…have a Grand Samhain everyone…until next time..