Samhain

It is here…Samhain is here, the air is charged and magick is afoot!

Samhain means ‘Summers End’ and marks the end of a Pagan’s year and the start of a new one.

The veil between the world we live and the world in which our ancestors live is at its thinnest making it the perfect time to honour them and invite them to join you in your celebration.

The death of the year, the dying of the plants are all part of the cycle of life, the wheel of the year, death in itself is a fact and therefore not to be feared. We acknowledge that on this day more than any other. Many Pagans believe that light follows darkness, that we cannot have the light without the dark so the new year starts with the dark part of the year and we move through it towards the light again.

There is the area of Paganism that acknowledges the Goddess in her Crone phase, there are witches whose deities are Heckate and Cerridwen,  again working with darkness, birth, death and rebirth. There are Druidic and Celtic ways of marking this day along with many others but the same theme runs through all of these practices, it marks the end of the old and the start of the new while honouring those who have come before.

As the veil is thinner it also allows easier passage for tricksome spirits and the Fae so to appease them you leave an offering of food, unsalted bread and a libation of one variety or another.

Alongside the loaf of bread I have made for our family, I have made a smaller unsalted one for the Fae,

I have my altar set for tonight, with photographs of my grandparents and my great aunts, uncles and great grandmother.

I may also have a fire outside tonight after I come back from a Samhain gathering in a local park. A simple ceremony I will do if I have a fire is to collect some small sticks from the park, write a simple word or phrase for something I want to get rid of, that I don’t want to take forward into the new year and then throw into the fire to be removed from my life.

This is what I wish for everyone I know and love today, may you have a wonderful and blessed Samhain!

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Grey mizzly rainy days

Hi, how are you all?

Samhain is nearly here and I am starting to get excited, there is an energy building and I can feel it. I haven’t had lot to get excited about recently but I can feel the anticipation in the air!

Anyway back to grey mizzly days….it was time to take the dog out for his walk so we went to one of the two local parks by where we live. I prefer this park to the other more popular one, it has a slightly more wild untamed unmanicured feel to it, it calls to me more.

Once inside the park (even with it being an inner-city park) the sound of local traffic drifts away, Mother Nature is wearing her soft grey cloak muffling all sound and muting her glorious Autumn colour palette,

Her cloak decorated everything it touched, from making leaves appear like they have been varnished,

to berries and hips being polished,

to some leaves and the blades of grass all bedecked in their diamonds,

The only sounds I can hear are  the gentle peeps of small winter birds and the steady drips from the wet leaves still attached to their trees.

A bit further around our walk I got to spend time with my favourite Oak (the one the dog managed to tie me to last time).

You can see that he is beginning to change his greenery for yellows and browns and standing under his magnificent boughs you could hear the different drips and see the leaves bounce with each drop, like the keys of a piano being played.

We carried on (after thanking the Oak for allowing me to spend time with him by tidying up any litter left beneath his great spread) I laughed at the antics of local squirrels  doing their stuff with the autumnal abundance, much to the annoyance of my canine companion!

The carpets of golds and browns that were laid out for all to stroll through brighten the dullest of tarmac surfaces

All in all, a soul soothing stroll hardly meeting another soul, thoughts wandering to the turning of the wheel, the seasons, the darker part of the year approaching and to Samhain – sheer bliss.

Do you have plans for Samhain, are you prepared already?

Whatever your plans, I wish you a blessed Samhain!

Talk to you again soon, x

Blessed Samhain

Samhain triskellion image

Blessed Samhain to you all!

Eeek…this is my first Samhain and I am just a bit excited.  I have a family meal bubbling away on the stove, I have baked some homemade bread rolls, there will be an extra place set for any visiting spirits, I have my altar decorated and I have the names of my ancestors (as I dont know where there are any photographs!).

I intend to plant some apple seeds and an acorn for the New Year and have a small fire to toast my ancestors and to release my wishes for the New Year into the Universe.

I have also got my pendulum out and may try some divination later considering that the veil is at its thinnest, all in all I am prepared to celebrate my first Samhain as a pagan and as a witch.  I wish you all a blessed Samhain and whatever your plans are, I hope you have a wonderful time, blessed be.

My samhain altar.
My first Samhain altar.