How to Celebrate Samhain
Since Samhain is almost upon us, I thought I would share how to celebrate Samhain, the pagan new year.
Samhain (means “End of Summer”) is the third and final harvest when the dark part of the year begins. Celebrated on October 31st or November 1st, Samhain is a time when the veil between worlds is believed to be temporarily lifted.
Samhain is pronounced SOW-EN, SAV-EN, or SOW-EEN.
AKA Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, or November Eve, Samhain is a wonderful time to commune with spirits and enthrall yourself in the dark mysteries. The aged Crone goddess and her aged God are in their Dark Mother and Dark Father forms so it’s a great time to honor them.
Communicating with departed ancestors and loved ones is common and many Wiccans and pagans, alike, set empty chairs and plates of food at their tables, inviting their dearly departed to dine with them for a night.
Food offerings are left on doorsteps for wandering spirits (see where Halloween came from?) and a single candle is lit in the window of homes to help guide spirits home.
Bonfires are lit and celebrations are enjoyed around it. People write their names on stones, throw them in the fire, and retrieve them from the ash in the morning. The condition of the stone is said to tell their fortune for the coming year.
Popular plants include gourds (pumpkins), apples, allspice, catnip, deadly nightshade, sage, straw, oak, and mandrake.
If you are Wiccan or pagan, it is recommended that you put aside time to do rituals and spells before any major gatherings and festivities.
If you are solitary, then you may want to choose to do your personal rituals and spells the day before or day after to ensure you can enjoy the festivities with others as well.
If you are part of a coven, they, most likely, have a specific format for celebration and honoring the Gods/Goddesses during this time.
Foods include gourds (squash and pumpkin), apples, nuts, wines, ciders, turnips, beef, pork, and poultry. Many people enjoy soul cakes or leave them as an offering to the God and Goddess in thanks or to wandering spirits.