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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Samhain

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

On the morning of Samhain Eve, I go down into the basement to set up for the evening's ritual. Such is the work of a temple's resident priest.

To my astonishment, light is shining—as it seems—from the doorway of the limestone cave over which the Temple of the Moon is built, to which after Sunset we will descend to sing for the dead, and to speak their remembered names.

Did I forget to turn off the light? It seems unlikely. It's been Moons since last I entered the cave. Besides, I'd come down earlier that morning for a Sunrise sweat in the temple sauna; I saw no light-stream then.

Nearing, I find that it is, in fact, Sunlight that I'm seeing.

Low in the sky, the late October Sun sends one long, slanting beam in through the corner of the southeasternmost basement window. It shines in: thick, ancestral, golden.

Shines in, and illumines the Doorstep of the Dead.

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Sabbat of Samhain – October 31st All Hallow’s Eve

Halloween stems from the grand tradition of the Celtic New Year. What started as a folk festival celebrated by small groups in rural areas has come to be the second largest holiday of today. There are multitudinous reasonsincluding modern marketingbut I think it satisfies a basic human need, to let your “wild side” out, to be free and more connected with the ancient ways. This is the time when the veil between worlds is thinnest and you can commune with the other side, with elders and the spirit world. It is important to honor the ancestors during this major sabbat and acknowledge what transpired in the passing year as well as set intentions for the coming year.

 

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Samhain, the Gaelic name for Halloween, is on the 31st of October, also known as Nos Calan Gaeaf in Wales- literally meaning ‘the night before the beginning of winter’.  Astrologically Samhain is a cross quarter festival- falling in between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice and for this reason dates to celebrate can vary- from the 31st to the 7th of November- which is its astrological date this year. This is a special time, where spirits abound to wreak havoc or visit their loved ones, for solace or revenge, where the spirits of nature remind us of their wild and untamed ways and for a while the ordinary way of things in the mortal world is upended. 

Now is a perfect time to honour our ancestors and do some ancestral healing- this frees us up from the patterns of the past, ways of being handed down from parents to children often going back generations that are often unconscious and overlooked, to say what we didn’t say or to resolve and forgive any misdeeds.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
I'd Like to Live in Halloweentown

So I'm pulling out all the stops this blog and referencing every entry I've written here to date about the truly most wonderful time of year: Samhain/Halloween! I had a close group of fellow pumpkin holiday enthusiasts over last weekend and the powerful positive female energy that flowed throughout the night was incredible. We played great music, crafted tiny spell jars, decorated skull sugar cookies, and even laughed ourselves silly over a witch hat ring toss game. Whether you choose to have a small, masked gathering with your favorite zombies or perhaps honor your ancestors ala Día de los Muertos , there are a multitude of ways to celebrate this weekend. Hosting a traditional Dumb Supper for lost loved ones is a favored activity of local Milwaukee legend Stonie Rivera. Truth be told, I know in my heart I will never be able to top my October 31st spent in Dracula country on the Tours of Terror folks' Transylvania trip. That's a cherished memory that will stay with me forever, and ever, and ever...

Dreams and Tarot Tossing

Be sure to pay special attention to dreams of departed loved ones right now. Chances are good that they may be trying to communicate an important message to you via your dreams. Record the messages and feelings you're left with in your journal for further consideration and meditation. This is the ideal time of year for channeling your witchy side with some divination and imagination. I always find shuffling the tarot cards and seeing what insights they have to share enlightening. They often bring a sharp clarity to complex situations and questions on your mind. I'm still enjoying using "The Witches' Wisdom Tarot," a deck created by my first "Women Who Howl at the Moon" podcast guest, Phyllis Currott. These cards are so rich and multi-layered in their meanings, guidance, and magickal intentions.

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Sabbat of Samhain – October 31st All Hallow’s Eve

Halloween stems from the grand tradition of the Celtic New Year. What started as a folk festival celebrated by small groups in rural areas has come to be the second largest holiday of today. There are multitudinous reasonsincluding modern marketingbut I think it satisfies a basic human need, to let your “wild side” out, to be free and more connected with the ancient ways. This is the time when the veil between worlds is thinnest and you can commune with the other side, with elders and the spirit world. It is important to honor the ancestors during this major sabbat and acknowledge what transpired in the passing year as well as set intentions for the coming year.

This is the ideal time to invite your circle; the ideal number for your gathering is thirteen. Gather powdered incense, salt, a loaf of bread, goblets for wine and three candles to represent the triple goddess for altar offerings. Ideally on an outdoor stone altar, pour the powdered incense into a pentagram star shape. Let go of old sorrows, angers and anything not befitting of new beginnings in this New Year. Bring only your best to this auspicious occasion.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Samhain

The witches' new year. Time when the fields lie empty and the year lies down. The gates of life swing open, the dead lean in. Our world's veil is at its thinnest; we peer through the lace to find that growing edge. We meet in Deep Time, everywhere and nowhere, to greet the triple goddess who is the circle of rebirth. Over one shoulder lean the ancestors; over the other, unborn future beings peer. 

Remember this: we are 4 billion years old. It's taken evolution all this time to produce us, and our action will express that genius. We're an unfinished animal, fighting metaphysical battles in the physical world; flesh and breath in confrontation with abstractions. This is the battle of the human epic. Modern stories of our powerful vision express a reclaimed, authentic future, a remedy. Exalt in the never-ending journey of change. Seed becomes fruit. Fruit becomes seed. The beloved dead surround us, calling us to use our lives while we can in the service of the bigger life. The unborn future crowds 'round, waiting. It's up to us. This chaos is a seedbed for the future. 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I am here to tell the tales
b2ap3_thumbnail_42929604_2192483650963845_6076038633914105856_o.jpgof eerie lights
and thinning veils,
of trickling streams
and singing trails,
of seeking hearts
and thrilling wails.
I’ve gathered sounds of
shadows deep,
of stones that weep
and trees that sleep,
where legends steep
and secrets keep.
Gather round
on bended knee,
with webs to weave
and paths to see,
the Samhain Muse
has tales for thee. 

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