Samhain (pronounced “sow-ane”) begins at sunset on October 31st and lasts through midnight November 1st. Samhain comes from the Christian festival of All Hallows or All Saints or All Souls, which was switched to November 1st to counteract the Pagan Holiday Samhain/All Hallows Eve/Halloween.
Samhain is the ending and beginning of Sabots for the Pagan calendar. The Sabot marks the beginning of winter and you celebrate by looking at what you have done this year and what you wish to do next year. Both death and life are celebrated, remembered and honored. Our Ancestors knew with this time of year was coming because the fields began to look bare, the leaves changed color and began to fall from the trees, the first frosts had come or were going to happen, the birds began their migration.
Samhain’s biggest honor to celebrate is the Dead or the Spirits that have moved on. By placing a plate outside with different harvest foods and a cup of water is one way to honor the Spirits and Samhain. There are some who have huge festivals that honor Samhain with feastings, dancing, singing, while others prefer to make it a more personal ritual.
A personal ritual to honor Samhain is to create an altar and lay down a brown or maroon cloth. Place a candle, incense, water and a bowl of dirt or salt (to represent the four elements). Then put apples, pomegranates, pumpkins, squashes and other autumn fruits, autumn leaves to decorate, and autumn flowers like marigolds and chrysanthemums on the altar. On a piece of paper write down what you most would like to be rid of, your job, your temper, an unhealthy relationship, etc. and fold it up. Either uses a cauldron or a bowl that you can use to burn what you have written down.
Light your candle and incense. Sit for a moment and remember any family members or friends that have passed on this year or years past. Honor them and remember that the soul never dies. Take the piece of paper with the writing of what you wish to be rid of. Place the piece of paper over the candle and light it, then drop your piece of paper into your cauldron and watch it burn. Feel yourself begin to lift up and a release of whatever pain, anger, sadness, etc. has held you back. Now is your time to move forward and be rid of this. If you wish, you may want to attempt scrying into the cauldron with the ashes to see if there are any messages from the past or future that you need to know. Now is a great time to do divination.
This is just one way to honor Samhain. There are many different rituals and ceremonies that you can do on this Pagan Holiday. I hope you have enjoyed this teaching.
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