Samhain (pronounced Sow-een) is a Celtic holiday celebrating the last harvest of the year. It’s also a time to celebrate and honor our ancestors, and it’s known as the witch’s new year (and the Celtic new year).
I love Samhain. I love dressing up, I love having pumpkin carving parties with friends while watching horror movies (literally the only time I ever watch a horror movie. The group I’m with keeps it so light I can’t take it seriously). I love handing candy out to kids in costumes, at least the ones whose parents still allow them to go door to door. I love decorating and I love making autumn-inspired baked goods.
For pumpkin carving I like to use runes or other spiritual symbols. I also set up a little altar with photos of my passed relatives and friends with candles and do a meditation in honor of them. I’ll put out treats and invite them to snack. I put out something for the Faeries, too. This is also the holiday of the goddess Hecate, who has been with me since childhood. In honoring this holiday I honor her.
Usually on this day at some point I will practice divination to a greater degree than my normal daily readings. This is a day when the veil between worlds is thinnest so it’s a fantastic day for divination and all kinds of magick, especially magick involving release, wisdom, and the otherworld. This year it falls the day after the new moon, or the second day of the new moon, which is in Scorpio and also in alignment with the intentions of Samhain. It’s rather auspicious, new moon, new year, in Scorpio. I’ll write more on the new moon later this week.
This is also the time where I take inventory (yes, I take inventory on a regular basis – at least once a month) and consider whether or not I have left anything undone that needs to be dealt with. If there’s anything that still isn’t resolved that I have control over, I resolve it so that I can move forward. Sometimes this is a ritual if it involves emotional or spiritual baggage and sometimes it takes the form of practical matters (like decluttering or other household projects I didn’t quite get to yet).
There is all kinds of information available if you’re looking for ideas for rituals or if you’re wondering what the holiday is about. For me, it’s mostly about the people I love, those who are still with me and those who have passed. It’s a sacred day in which I honor with gratitude all of my loved ones, those with me in spirit and those with me in body. It’s so sacred that it calls for some frolicking.
Whatever you do for this holiday, whether you practice magick or not, be safe. Please also watch out for any black cats and offer them protection on this day, as some people are given to cruelty toward these gorgeous felines because of their superstitious history.