Are you looking for ways to celebrate Samhain? If so, you're in luck! In this blog post, we will discuss different ways that you can enjoy the holiday. Whether you're looking to honor your ancestors or just want a fun excuse to dress up and eat candy, we've got you covered!
First, let's do a quick review of what Samhain is and why Witches celebrate this Sabbat. If you want more information about history and folklore, you’ll want to read Part 1 of this two-part series here. The Sabbat, known as Samhain, is celebrated by Pagans during what others call Halloween or All Hallows Eve. This day marks the transition from summer to autumn and winter, and thus many symbols of death are associated with it.
Samhain also has strong ancient roots related to magic, life, and death, making it a special time of year worth celebrating! Samhain is a holiday that falls on October 31st and marks the end of the harvest season. It is also considered the beginning of the Witches’ New Year. For many Pagans and Wiccans, this holiday is a time to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the year to come.
As winter approaches and the days grow shorter, we should follow nature's lead and slow down our activities. There is less work to be done at this time of year as the leaves fall from the trees and growth comes to a halt. Animals prepare for hibernation by spending more time indoors, and we should do likewise. Sitting by the fireplace with friends and sharing stories is one of the joys of having a fire. We take advantage of this time when nature seems to be dying, as plants withdraw into the ground to collect their seeds. This gives us an opportunity for our inner journey of consciousness. As winter sets in and the days grow shorter, we pay more attention to the subtle changes in our bodies and minds. We become more introspective, and it is now time to shift our focus from the material world to the spiritual realm.
Journal and do some inner work
It's time to take a step back and look within ourselves to find room for change before setting out on new endeavors. Just like ancient initiates, we must go inward on a journey of self-discovery to unearth any areas that need improvement. We follow the natural spiral pattern of energy until we reach our innermost point; from here, we reemerge and bring creativity into our lives. This is the perfect time to learn about divination and meditation as we move from one year into the next. The transition between past, present, and future is a decisive moment for insight and understanding. consider learning some new techniques, such as reading tarot cards or runes.
Also, as the energies of this time have to do with death, we can turn our thoughts to the people who have left us. It is said that the spirits can now be contacted and consulted but it is preferable (if we believe in a life in the afterlife) not to disturb them; it is best to pay attention to the small messages they may send us (dreams, sudden memories, etc.). It is indeed a time for reflection, a time to consider the past year and to confront that phenomenon of life over which we have no control: death.
To worthily celebrate the full circle of existence, we must recognize the reality of death and physical decline as natural events, not as something to be ignored or hidden. We must now pay homage to these energies, but at the same time, we must remember the new life that will come. Tradition teaches us that death is an end but also a beginning. We keep in mind the lesson of the ancient Celts and do not linger in sadness! We invite our friends to dinner, dress up as witches and ghosts, decorate our homes with Halloween pumpkins, and, if we like, celebrate traditional games by trying to grab the sacred apples hanging from a string or floating in a basin with our mouths of water!
Let go of the past and things that no longer serve you
We can have fun carving and digging pumpkins and turnips, inserting candles in them to expose them to the windows or balconies of our homes. This creates a spooky but festive ambiance for Halloween. To enjoy regeneration, we can abandon the things of our past that we want or need to leave behind. This is the time to let die the things we don't like about our lives. Write these things on slips of paper to burn them in our Samhain fire, you can use a black and orange or any color candle you wish. You can say a phrase three times like: "The so-and-so has come into being, the so-and-so has its season, and the so-and-so is going away!" Then allow the piece of paper to be burned into the flame of your candle. We can then, more simply, give away or donate the objects and things we no longer need or have use for. Now is the time to let go of bad habits and allow change to take place. Remember, before new growth can begin, the soil must be fertilized with the remains of the previous year's crops and with the waste; if there were no death and decomposition, there would be no life.
A Ritual to Honor the Dead
An undoubtedly more complex ritual, but one that is worth performing, can be performed in our homes. On Samhain's Eve, when the sun sets, extinguish all lights in the house and stand in front of a black or dark candle. As the old year dies, we reflect on the good and bad times we experienced. We think of our lost loved ones and light a candle, saying: "I welcome you with this light. Spirits of those who have left before me, welcome!". Take a glass of wine (or your chosen beverage) and drink to the dead, leaving a few drops as an offering. You can then light a special candle for each of your deceased friends or relatives. It can be white or whichever color your deceased friend or relative favored most. To light them, use a dark candle or the same candle you used to light the Halloween pumpkin if you made any.
Not ready to jump into the deep end just yet?
Decorate your home with fall leaves, pumpkins, and gourds. You can also use this opportunity to do deep cleaning in preparation for the colder months ahead. Another popular way to celebrate Samhain is by playing fun games and activities with friends and family. This is a great way to get into the holiday spirit! If you're looking for a more low-key way to celebrate, you can always take some time for yourself to reflect on the past year. This could involve journaling, meditating, or even just taking a nature walk. One way to celebrate Samhain is by spending time with your ancestors. Make a special meal to honor them. This can be as simple as setting an extra place at the table or cooking their favorite dishes. You can also light candles, set up an altar, or even just take some time to meditate on their lives and what they mean to you.
Finally, no matter how you choose to celebrate Samhain, be sure to enjoy the holiday! Dress up in your favorite costume, eat some yummy treats, and make memories with those you love.
Join the Coven
The Grey Witches Coven is an online community of modern mystics, empaths, and witches who come together to grow in their Craft. We have two live calls and many mini-lessons modules each month, and this month we'll be doing a Samhain ritual together! We invite you to join our Coven here today!