I really procrastinated on this post! Woosh!
Samhain. Its a Sabbat. Another main spoke on the wheel o’ the year!
What is Samhain?
Well, different people will tell you different things. Like all things in this blog I will only tell you what I think. You are totally welcome to disagree! Its totally cool if you think I’m full of shit! You can absorb this information/energy or you can leave it for someone else. That’s how things work 🙂
From all sensible research I have done (meaning physical reading and researching based on recorded history) there is absolutely no mention of a holiday like Samhain or Halloween anywhere until the 19th Century.
The ancient Celts of Ireland/Scotland/France/England did celebrate their New Year on November 1. This would make October 31 New Year’s Eve.
As we know Romans conquered like .. everything. So when Rome took over the Celtic lands (which lasted like half a century) some Roman celebrations were thrown into the mix. One of these holidays was similar to the modern Memorial Day. Simply a day to remember those that have died.
In like the seventh or eighth century a Pope (I don’t remember which one. I want to say it was Gregory) made November 1 a holiday. It was called (in archaic English) All Hallow’s. Today its called All Saints Day.
So the night before All Hallow’s? All Hallow’s Eve, of course. This was then called Samhain then Halloween.
I think it is a huge mix of many cultures.
How do I celebrate Samhain?
Well while I do it quite simply.
I place a candle on my altar for each beloved dead. This year there are 6 candles.
- My Paternal Grandmother
- My Paternal Grandfather
- A childhood friend
- Maternal Uncle
- Husband’s Grandmother
- Husband’s Aunt
I anoint each candle and either whisper their name to the candle – or the person’s title. This candle is then lit in their memory while I think of them.
I feel this kind of quiet time is important to continue the healing process. Not only that but with our everyday busy lives often we don’t have time to stop and think about things that really mean a lot to us.
Rarely do we share our history/herstory with one another. We don’t tell one another stories like we once did.
I make offerings to my Patron Goddess. This is the time of year I either dedicate or rededicate myself to a Patron God or Goddess. This year I will be once again rededicating myself to Hecate.
When my Beloved Dead candles have extinguished themselves I tell each person for whom a candle was lit that I love them. I tell them I miss them. I tell them that they are welcome in my home for the evening if they want to be there. I will leave sort of like a group offering (a glass of wine, a chunk of freshly made bread) and thank them for being part of my life.
The next morning – the offerings made to my Beloved Dead are placed outside. I then tell anyone who I feel is still present that they are free to return to their side of the veil.
I do not smudge. I do not do any protection stuff. Why? Because I have only invited the people I have named. I didn’t invite ALL spirits to my home or sacred space. I do not need protection from any of my Beloved Dead. I do, however, treat them with the same respect as a spirit as I did when they were living.