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Sabbats ~ Samhain

The Way of the Witch

Sabbats ~ Samhain

(October 31)

Also known as-: Shadowfest, All Souls, All hallows Eve, Halloween
Associated Deities-: Hecate, Pan, Persephone, Hades, The Morrigan
Associated Herbs-: Bay Leaf, lavender, mugwort, nutmeg, sage
Associated Stones-: Obsidian, black onyx, bloodstone, amethyst, opal

Pronounced as 'Sow'ain', the most important festival in the witches year and marks the end and the beginning of the wheel of the year, just the same as new years eve. Rituals begin after dark peaking at midnight and often go on into the next day, 1st of November, which is the new year.

Samhain is linked with the death process as the warm months die out and the cold winter months step in. In the past people often took stock of their supplies ready for winter, grain they had and animals they had. Where there were short supplies, animals which were thought unable to last the long winter months were slaughtered for meat and preserved. Farmers put their fields to rest for the winter and everything that was not needed was given back to Mother Earth to rot.

Samhain is also a time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest, a time when the spirits of loved ones can return and so a special place is set at the table for any who so wish to join the feast. Traditionally a candle to guide the spirits of loved ones home is lit in the window and also deters any unwanted spirits and is the origins of the pumpkin or jack-o-lantern. The spirit of the loved ones recently departed are then guided to the Summerlands, which is where the spirit rest until it is time to move on. It is also a time when the spirits can talk through us more easily and all types of divination such as scrying, tarot, runes etc are used.

It is a time when witches celebrate the wild hunt and the Horned God gathers the lost souls who linger or are unwary. The Goddess takes on her role as the Crone or Wise One and so we look for wisdom and guidance. A time to tie up loose ends, pay unpaid debts, finish arguments etc, a time to put everything to rest. Look at the changes in the weather, changes in nature and how things now begin to rest and die and decay to make way for new life and growth after the winter months.

Ideas for celebrations-:
Alters can be decorated with pomegranates, marigolds, chrysanthemums and jack-o-lanterns. A black and white candle can be placed there to mark the old and the new year and divination tools are a good idea.
Ask the four elements to be present with you-: Air (east), Fire (south), Water (west, Earth (north)
Visualise the Horned God as hunter and the Goddess as Crone and ask them to join you.

Light the black candle that represents the past year and think about your life in the past year. Give thanks for all the successes and the good things. Consider the lessons you have learnt from failures and problems. If you have any bad issues or characteristics you need to dismiss write these on pieces of paper, think about them and burn them in the cauldron. Remember all those who have passed, animals, friends and family.

Light the white candle to represent the new year and think about what you want to achieve or happen. Ask the Lord and Lady to bless these endeavours. Now is a good time to use whichever divination tools you choose and any Magik you wish to conduct.
Put out the black candle and say farewell to the old year and goodbye to the sun as he goes to rest to be reborn again at Yule. Bid farewell to the elements and thank them in the order you invited them in and say thank you and farewell to the Lord and Lady for their presence. Let the white candle burn whilst you eat and drink something to ground yourself, but leave some to put outside when you have finished, for liberation, lastly close the gate between the worlds.


Sabbats ~ Samhain

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