Special Edition of Witchcraft/Magickal Correspondences for Samhain

Symbolism: death and regeneration, transformation, end of old projects, new beginnings, return, change, rest, success, plenty, knowledge
Symbols: skulls, bats, cats, leaves, nuts, seeds, barren trees and branches, pumpkins, cauldron, pentacle, crystal ball, besom or broom, witch’s hat, moon, crows/ravens, ghosts, goblins, banshees, candy/caramel apples, chocolate, Jack-o-Lanterns, costumes, Trick-or-Treats, Death, acorns, bones, gourds, scarecrows

Colors: black, orange, red, silver, gold, brown, purple, yellow

Food and Drink: apples, cider, pork, hazelnuts, pomegranates, pumpkins, potatoes, squash, cranberries, turnips, beets, mugwort tea, ale, mulled wine, pies/cakes for the dead

Herbs: apple leaf, almonds, bay leaf, nettle, hemlock, cloves, cinnamon, mandrake root, marigold, mums, mugwort, pine, rosemarysagewormwood, tarragon, rue, garlic, ginger, hazelnut, allspice

Deities: Hekate, The Crone, Cerridwen, Bast, Persephone, Horned Hunter, Cernunnos, Osiris, Hades, Anubis, Loki, Arawn, Dis, and any other death/underworld god or goddess

Crystals and Gemstones: black obsidian, jasper, onyx, bloodstone, smoky quartz, carnelian,

Animals: cats, especially black cats, bats, spiders, rats, wolves, snakes, ravens and crows, owls, stags, jackals, scorpions

Magic: This is the time to honor the dead. Set up an altar, serve them cakes, and let them know they are not forgotten. If you wish to communicate with deceased friends and family, this is the best time of year. The veil thins the night of Samhain, making communication easy. Do NOT, however, entice spirits, disrespect them, or perform any other magic that is anything less than respectful. I repeat, don’t do it. Samhain is also a great time to practice divination in the form of runes, scrying, tarot, tea readings, etc. Reflect over the previous year and perform blessing spells to ring in the new year. Astral projection, lucid dreaming, and hedge riding are also much easier to perform on this night but remember to be safe. Banishing magic, especially those for bad habits, are especially strong on this night.

Please note this is not a complete list but a brief overview of symbols, colors, herbs, deities, and the like. If I have missed something that you feel should make the list, please feel free to contact me via the comments or through email.

Click her for more ideas from Zenned Out for Samhain Rituals and Correspondences

The ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), celebrated on October 31st and November 1st, marks the end of our seasonal cycle on the Wheel of the Year. This is why it’s often referred to as the witch’s New Year. Seasonally speaking, Samhain is the third and final harvest of the season or the last rally to store and prepare for the coming Winter season.

This sacred celebration reaches much farther than harvests and is also a time when the veil between the physical and spirit world is at its thinnest. The Celtic people believed that spirits walked among them during this time, so Samhain is accepted as an ideal time to communicate and connect with the spirit realm. Here’s a fun drawing I created with ritual suggestions for Samhain. Keep scrolling to learn more about each one.

See the source image

From PaganPages.org Samhain Correspondences By Jennifer Wright

Free Pagan Magazine

Other Names:
celtic ~ Summer’s End, pronounced “sow” (rhymes with now) “en” (Ireland), sow-een (Wales) – “mh” in the middle is a “w” sound – Greater Sabbat(High Holiday) – Fire Festival Oct 31-Nov 1(North Hemisphere) – Apr 30-May 1 – The Great Sabbat, Samhiunn, Samana, Samhuin, Sam-fuin, Samonios, Halloween, Hallomas, All Hallows Eve, All Saints/All Souls Day(Catholic), Day of the Dead (Mexican), Witches New Year, Trinoux Samonia, Celtic/ Druid New Year, Shadowfest (Strega), Martinmas or Old Hallowmas (Scotttish/Celtic) Lá Samhna (Modern Irish), Festival of the Dead, Feile Moingfinne (Snow Goddess), Hallowtide (Scottish Gaelis Dictionary), Feast of All Souls, Nos Galen-gae-of Night of the Winter Calends (Welsh), La Houney or Hollantide Day, Sauin or Souney ( Manx), oidhche na h-aimiléise-the night of mischief or confusion(Ireland), Oidhche Shamna (Scotland)

Rituals:
End of summer, honoring of the dead,scrying, divination, last harvest, meat harvest

Incense:
Copal, sandalwood, mastic resin, benzoin, sweetgrass, wormwood, mugwort, sage, myrrh or patchouli

Tools:
Besom, cauldron, tarot, obsidian ball, pendulum, runes, oghams, Ouija boards, black cauldron or bowl filled with black ink or water, or magick mirror

Stones/Gems:
Black obsidian, jasper, carnelian, onyx, smoky quartz, jet, bloodstone

Colors:
Black, orange, red

Symbols & Decorations:
Apples, autumn flowers, acorns, bat, black cat, bones, corn stalks, colored leaves, crows, death/dying, divination and the tools associated with it, ghosts, gourds, Indian corn, jack-o-lantern, nuts , oak leaves, pomegranates, pumpkins, scarecrows, scythes, waning moon

Foods:
Apples, apple dishes, cider, meat (traditionally this is the meat harvest) especially pork, mulled cider with spices, nuts-representing resurrection and rebirth, nuts, pomegranates, potatoes, pumpkins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds, squash.

Goddesses:
The Crone, Hecate(Greek), Cerridwen(Welsh-Scottish), Arianrhod(Welsh), Caillech (Irish-Scottish), Baba Yaga (Russian), Al-Ilat(persian), Bast (Egyptian), Persephone (Greek), Hel(Norse), Kali(Hindu), all Death & Otherworld Goddesses

Gods:
Horned Hunter(European), Cernnunos(Greco-Celtic), Osiris(Egyptian), Hades (Greek), Gwynn ap Nudd (British), Anubis(Egyptian), Coyote Brother (Native American), Loki (Norse), Dis (Roman), Arawn (Welsh), acrificial/Dying/Aging
Gods, Death and Otherworld Gods

Herbs and Flowers:
Almond, apple leaf , autumn joy sedum, bay leaf, calendula, Cinnamon, Cloves cosmos, garlic, ginger , hazelnut, hemlock cones, mandrake root, marigold, mums, mugwort (to aid in divination), mullein seeds, nettle, passionflower, pine needles, pumpkin seeds, rosemary (for remembrance of our ancestors), rue, sage, sunflower petals and seeds, tarragon, wild ginseng, wormwood

Animals:
Stag, cat, bat, owl, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion, heron, crow, robin

Mythical Beings:
Pooka, goblin,medusa, beansidhe, harpies

Essence:
Magick, plenty; knowledge, the night, death & rebirth, success, protection; rest, new beginning; ancestors; lifting of the veil, mundane laws in abeyance, return, change

Dynamics/Meaning:
Death & transformation, Wiccan new year,wisdom of the Crone, end of summer, honoring, thinning of the veil between worlds, death of the year, time outside of time, night of the Wild Hunt, begin new projects, end old projects

Work:
Sex magick, release of bad habits, banishing, fairy magick, divination of any kind, candle magick, astral projection, past life work, dark moon mysteries, mirror spells (reflection), casting protection , inner work, propitiation, clearing obstacles, uncrossing, inspiration, workings of transition or culmination, manifesting transformation,creative visualization, contacting those who have departed this plane

Purpose:
Honoring the dead, especially departed ancestors, knowing we will not be forgotten; clear knowledge of our path; guidance, protection, celebrating reincarnation

Rituals/Magicks:
Foreseeing future, honoring/consulting ancestors, releasing the old, power, understanding death and rebirth, entering the underworld, divination, dance of the dead, fire calling, past life recall

Customs:
Ancestor altar, costumes, divination, carving jack-o-lanterns, spirit plate, the Feast of the Dead, feasting, paying debts, fairs, drying winter herbs, masks, bonfires, apple games, tricks, washing clothes

Element:
Water

Gender:
Male

Threshold:
Midnight

From Plentiful Earth – How to pronounce Samhain

Popularized by Wicca, Samhain is a celebration that occurs around the same time as Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, and Day of the Dead — on or around October 31. This wonderful day is often celebrated as a time to commune with our ancestors and the passing spirits, as the veil between the worlds has become its thinnest. The festival of Samhain is easily most Witches’ favorite Sabbat of the year, a fact we can all agree on. However, it’s easy to strike up a war of the Witches when it comes to saying the word out loud!

We know first hand, as American Witches in the United States, how embarrassing it can be to read the ancient Gaelic word as “Sam-hayne” on paper when we’re learning and then try to say it in front of seasoned coven-mates! We’re here to save you some red cheeks and give you the confidence to talk about your favorite holiday out loud! The good news? There are 3 ways to pronounce this ancient Celtic, each from a different region of its birthplace!

3 Correct Samhain Pronunciations

How to pronounce Samhain – Video

How to pronounce Samhain in Irish Gaelic

  • Sow-in

How to pronounce Samhain in Welsh

  • Sow-een

How to pronounce Samhain in Scottish Gaelic

  • Sav-en

Now, pick your favorite way and say it with pride, Witch!

Wish you all a safe, blessed, and happy Samhain.

Samhain

From History.com

CONTENTS

  1. Ancient Samhain
  2. Samhain Monsters
  3. Myths of Samhain
  4. Samhain in the Middle Ages
  5. Dumb Supper
  6. Christian Samhain
  7. Samhain Merges With Halloween
  8. Wicca and Samhain
  9. Celtic Reconstructionists
  10. Sources

Samhain is a pagan religious festival originating from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition. In modern times, Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “SAH-win”) is usually celebrated from October 31 to November 1 to welcome in the harvest and usher in “the dark half of the year.” Celebrants believe that the barriers between the physical world and the spirit world break down during Samhain, allowing more interaction between humans and denizens of the Otherworld.

READ MORE: Halloween: Traditions, Rituals, Origins

Ancient Samhain

Ancient Celts marked Samhain as the most significant of the four quarterly fire festivals, taking place at the midpoint between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. During this time of year, hearth fires in family homes were left to burn out while the harvest was gathered.

After the harvest work was complete, celebrants joined with Druid priests…

Samhain Celebration Guide

To read more about celebrating Samhain please click on this link

From Plentiful Earth – Northern and Southern Hemispheres Samhain

Beltane in Southern Hemisphere – Samhain in Northern Hemisphere

Blessed Beltane to all in the Southern Hemisphere.

Beltane Festival is held in honour of the god Bel.

In some modern traditions he is also known by the names, Beli, Belar, Balor, or Belenus.

In the myth of many modern traditions of wicca/witchcraft, Beltane marks the appearance of the Horned One, who is the rebirth of the Solar God slain during the Wheel of the Year. He then becomes consort to the Goddess, impregnating her with his seed, and thereby ensuring his own rebirth once again.

Beltane marks the beginning of summer’s half and the pastoral growing season. The word “Beltane” literally means “bright fire”, and refers to the bonfires lit during this season.

It is also a time of beginnings,…

Beltane continued….Scroll down for Samhain

To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Samhain and enjoy Halloween.

Samhain Traditions

“Sam” and “hain” meant “end of” and “summer” to the Celts. They observed only two seasons of the year: summer and winter. So, Samhain was celebrated at the transition of these seasons.

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne)is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat. It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. Originally the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”.

To Witches, Samhain is one of the four High Holidays, or Greater Sabbats. Because it is the most important holiday of the year, it is sometimes called ‘THE’ Great Sabbat. Pagans consider Samhain the most magical night of the year. It occurs exactly opposite of Beltane…

MAGICKAL 🍂SAMHAIN

By: Forest🐾Devi✨ (Novice in the Heart’s Spirit Coven)


Voices from the spirit world whisper in the wind.

Tonight two worlds come ever closer the curtain waivers thin.

Hear the crackle of the flames burning in the hearth, while loved ones in the Summerlands 

Return to walk the earth.

We welcome in the new year, a time to shed our skin.

With gratitude for lessons learned the future ushers in.

As entities from other worlds come feast with us again.

All commenced in celebration of MAGICKAL Samhain

Sweet Beltane

Image result for beltane southern hemisphere
By Fawn Devi
Swirling around the maypole
Dancing to the drums
Celebrating sweet Beltane
Summer has begun
Mother earth breathes New life
Under the sun aglow
The marriage of the earth and sky
Fertility bestowed
Swirling around the maypole
Flowers in our hair
It’s the Goddess and the green man
& they’re blessed love affair
See the source image

Beltane – Spring is Here! Time to Get Your Gardens Ready

Welcome to springtime in the southern hemisphere. As the warmer weather comes a witches thoughts turns to sowing a garden. A garden can mean a different thing to each of us. For me it is getting my physical seeds ready for my veggie garden, to check to see if my herbs survived the winter or if I need to start new ones. Spiritually it means starting new seeds/paths for me to be able to grow to be closer to Mother Earth, the Universal energies, my students, and my teachers. To be able in the fall to reap full benefits of all that I have learned and put them into practice whether it is in my own personal life or helping my students with something. This year I need to plant new seeds and seedlings for all my flower gardens because early heavy rains in this part of the country washed away two inches of top soil in all my flower beds.

What does planting a garden mean to you? Do you plant flowers, vegetables, herbs, goals or a little of all of these or any combination? Remember whatever you plant will come to fruition with the right amount of love, watering (spiritually this can be communicating with each other in the pagan community or even be emailing me to say hi), sunshine (remember to thank the Sun God) and nurturing from within yourself (positive thoughts and affirmations) and from others in our community.

I would really LOVE to SEE COMMENTS on this post, please. Share with us your seeds and lets us help you grow them to their fullest potential!

Copyright 2017 Lady Beltane

Calling Your Ancestors

I am blessed to work with to Archangel Suriel (a.k.a. Sariel), who helps people and other
living things that are stuck on this plain, for whatever reason, to accept their death and get
ready to cross to the Spirit Plane. I also work with Archangel Zlar, who crosses the Spirits from this plain to the
next The Spirit Plain is known by the name The Summerlands to many Witches and Wiccans.

In simpler terms, I am a medium an ability I was honored enough to be born with.I have to keep permanent protection shields up all the time so I can eat, sleep and live life without constantly hearing the voices of Spirits wanting to pass a message on to someone. While I am very grateful for the honor of the Archangels using me for this task; if I leave myself open all the time it can become unbearable to live with.

Many people are born with or are given this “gift” but do not know they have it or choose to ignore it. If someone ignores it just like any other talent not used it will wither and become dormant. If you may think you have this gift it can come to you in many ways. Some of which are: hearing voices, seeing someone/something out of the corner of your eye and when you turn your head no one is there, having consistent dreams of people who have crossed over (died) are the most common signs of this ability. One thing to always remember is if you have this ability that it is the Archangels mentioned above using you to help with their work and it is an honor to have this gift and yes, it can feel like a curse at times also..

This is spell can be used anytime you would like an Ancestor to visit or just on Samhain. I have written it two
different ways, one to invite them anytime you would like them near, and the other for on
Samhain (Pronounced Sow-en. Falls on October 31st when the veil between ours and the
Spirit plain is at its thinnest.).

Many covens set aside a portion of time during their Samhain celebration for members to call their ancestors into the circle to feast and celebrate with them. How this part of the Samhain celebration and ritual is done varies from coven to coven based on how the leader chooses to do it.

I found that I preferred even when I was with a coven that I liked talking and visiting with my ancestors alone. No special reason just personal preference.

What you need:

1 Birthday or short Candle for each Ancestor

A container with sand in it (I use an old metal pie plate)

Hot pad (to set container on to protect surface of what you set pie plate on)

Spell for any time use:

I invite _____ (fill in name of person you wish to contact) to come visit when I light this
candle one.

To visit and return to whence you came when your candle is done.

So mote it be.

Spell for Samhain:

I invite the Spirits I call upon to come to me one by one. (Light 1 candle each time you say
a name and place it in the sand)

Visit and return from whence you came when your candle is done.

So mote it be

After doing the spell spend some time just sitting quietly and thinking of the people you have summoned. They may just want to spend some time with you also and/or have a message for you or someone in your life. Ancestors are not just blood relatives that have crossed over they include anyone in your life that has had some type of impact on it. One of my favorite people to spend time with is an oil painting teacher I had when I was twelve years old. She was a very patient and sweet woman who help me through painting deal with my father’s crossing.

Copyright 2013 Lady Beltane

Sinister Solar System From NASA

Introduction

Our universe is full of mysterious sights, and spine-tingling sounds. Take a journey to the most frightful corners of the cosmos.

Click here for More interesting and fun information about our “Sinister Solar System”

A Version of the History of Beltane

History of Beltane from beltanefire.com.au

The Beltane fire festival welcomes the abundance of the fertile earth and is celebrated with bonfires, Maypoles, burning of the Wickerman, dancing, and a feast, with its roots in European traditions, Beltane is observed by many of today’s Pagans and others as a time for performing rituals

The Celts divided the year into two main seasons. Winter, the beginning of the year fell on November 1 (Irish: Samain) and midyear and summer on May 1 (Irish: Beltaine), opposite for us here in the Southern Hemisphere.

These two junctures were thought to be critical periods when the bonds between the human and supernatural worlds were temporarily erased; on May Eve (southern hemisphere)…

The Origins of Halloween by Silver RavenWolf

Harvest Moon, velvet sky, pumpkins glowing, children laughing, costumes, candy, scary stories—just where did this autumn gaiety begin? Let’s look through those cobwebby corridors of time to unearth the exciting genealogy of the American Celebration we call Halloween!

Nothing is ever as simple as it seems—especially when dealing with history. Too often events and circumstances of our past were written or re-written by people who, for whatever reason, operated under an agenda, or simply wanted history to reflect how it should have been, rather than how it was. How, then, do we determine what is fact and what is fiction? In some cases, we can’t. In other situations, we dig.

The Celts

Many historians feel that the greatest strength in the Celtic people lies in their collective mythos. Wading through the romanticism to find unmodified information can prove a tricky endeavor. The earliest archaeological evidence we have of the Celts rest in France and Western Germany.  The Celtic people moved into Spain, Britain, and Switzerland between the fifth and first century BCE. They even ransacked Rome in 390 BCE.

The Celtic peoples celebrated four festivals called fire festivals–commonly know today as Samhain, Oimelc (Imbolc), Beltane, and Lughnasadh. Samhain (pronounced sow-in, sow rhymes with now) was the first and foremost a harvest festival relating to animal husbandry and preparations for the winter months. Fire is an element of cleaning, a vehicle of eradication, so it is not unlikely that fire would work itself into any type of religious celebration. Fire among the ancient peoples often represented an aspect of the divine.

What does the word Samhain mean? Well, we know what it doesn’t mean. There is no archeological or literary evidence of a Celtic god by the name of Samhain. This little slip of fact appears to have begum in the 1700s and continues in some misinformed publications today. The word Samhain actually means “summers end”.

So, where did this Lord of the Dead thing come in? Over time, Samhain took on a religious significance through ministrations of the Druids (the clergy of the Celt’s). Legends indicate that on Samhain all the hearth fires in Ireland were doused and then lit again from a central fire maintained by the Druids at Tlachtga. To the Celts, Samhain was a turning point from light into darkness, and it was thought that this break or fissure created easier access to their land of the dead, Tir nan Og.

The Druids

We need to know a little bit about the Druids to continue with our history of Halloween. The Druids were versed in all learning and were considered to have the gift of prophecy. They functioned as judge, ambassadors, healers, and religious leaders. The Druids first named the holiday Samhain.

 Feast of the Dead

As the Celtic religious system solidified so did the beliefs of the Celts concerning the dead—as has occurred in all religions, before and after the Celts. Since the turning points of the year were considered fissures in time and space, the Celts believe that the dead they loved so dearly could travel through time and space and return from Tir nan Og to visit them. The custom of leaving food at the table (the birth part of the treat part of trick-or-treat) was a gesture of welcome to the departed. From these visits came the belief that those who had gone beyond the land of the living could provide information on past or future events. This is how divination became associated with Samhain.

The Celts did not believe in devils or demons, but they did believe in the Fairy Folk, whom they thought inhabited the land of the dead (the land in-between). Fairies were thought to be resentful of humankind for taking over their land. Because time and space could be conquered on Samhain, fairies were said to roam countryside creating mischief and kidnapping a human or two now and then—just for fun, you understand.—except the humans never came back. Here then is the root of the scary stuff associated with Halloween. The mischief, of course, was caused by living humans, and accepted by the Celts as a psychological release before the onset of winter gloom—though I doubt they would explain it in those terms.

Is it odd, gross, or unusual that a group of people should set aside a day for the dead? Nope. Different cultures and religions have followed such a practice for centuries. Let’s get on our broom again and check out Rome and its contributions to Halloween.

 As the Celtic religious system solidified so did the beliefs of the Celts concerning the dead—as has occurred in all religions, before and after the Celts. Since the turning points of the year were considered fissures in time and space, the Celts believe that the dead they loved so dearly could travel through time and space and return from Tir nan Og to visit them. The custom of leaving food at the table (the birth part of the treat part of trick-or-treat) was a gesture of welcome to the departed. From these visits came the belief that those who had gone beyond the land of the living could provide information on past or future events. This is how divination became associated with Samhain.

The Celts did not believe in devils or demons, but they did believe in the Fairy Folk, whom they thought inhabited the land of the dead (the land in-between). Fairies were thought to be resentful of humankind for taking over their land. Because time and space could be conquered on Samhain, fairies were said to roam countryside creating mischief and kidnapping a human or two now and then—just for fun, you understand.—except the humans never came back. Here then is the root of the scary stuff associated with Halloween. The mischief, of course, was caused by living humans, and accepted by the Celts as a psychological release before the onset of winter gloom—though I doubt they would explain it in those terms.

Is it odd, gross, or unusual that a group of people should set aside a day for the dead? Nope. Different cultures and religions have followed such a practice for centuries. Let’s get on our broom again and check out Rome and its contributions to Halloween.

A Fly-BY of Ancient Rome

Rome had the habit of changing rulers as many times as you empty the lint trap in your dryer. Between 14 and 37 CE, Christianity had begun its rise in Rome. By 41 CE, Claudius had distinguished himself with the conquest of Britain. The Romans also had a harvest festival, so the Celts didn’t have much trouble blending the two holidays together after they came into contact with the Romans. It was around 314 CE when Constantine the Great declared the Roman Empire to be Christian, and the fate of Samhain and Druids was sealed.

 The Advent of Christianity

By the fourth and fifth centuries , Celtic Christianity had oozed into Ireland. St. Patrick has his hands full, and here is where the kettle starts to boil. At, first, the Pagans openly welcomed Christianity, but as Christianity filtered into the Celtic system, church officials had a few problems—mainly the Celtics didn’t want up their holidays or folk practices. The people were not willing to throw out traditions that were ingrained into their social structure. If you can’t get someone to completely change, what do you do? Compromise. And that’s exactly what happened. Samhain was changed to All Hollow’s Eve. To make the Pagan peoples adhere more closely to this new religion of Christianity, the clergy of the day taught the peasants that fairies were really demons and devils (remember, a concept totally unknown to Celtic belief or history) and their beloved dead were horrid ghosts and ghouls. The early Christian erroneously associated the Celtic land of the dead with the Christian concept of Hell.

To help the belief in Christianity along, Druids priestess were systematically murdered. Early Christians also taught the area peasants that their Lord of the Underworld was in fact Satan, which is ridiculous, as the two mythos don’t have anything in common. It appears that Christians misunderstood what the word Samhain meant: because the peasants use this celebration to honor the dead, Christians assumed that Samhain was the incorrect pronunciation of a Pagan deity in the Bible, recorded as Samuel, from the Semitic Sammael, meaning God of the under world.

The Witches

So far, we’ve talked about the land of the dead, how the early Christians managed to superimpose Satan onto Samhain, and how fairies got zapped into demons, but there has been no mention of Witches, commonly associated in our time with Halloween. Where did Witches come from?

During the Dark Ages, the Church sought to eradicate the Pagans and wise women from the countryside so that the church could amass both power and property. First, they had to devalue women because women kept the holy days, trained the children, and provided the cohesive socialization of the culture, thus women held the power to shape society. The church taught, among other things, that women had no souls. Once this teaching had occurred, it was only a small step to make them inhuman, and the Church was able to incite the superstitious populace.

The Celtic women were the strong hold of the family environment, and although the Celts accepted Christianity at first, they did not want to give up their family traditions or their lifestyle. The Church was not into free thinking—therefore anything that did not follow the church dictates was evil. Hence, the Witches (really the women) became evil. Since Samhain was a primary festival of the Celts and the Church had already determined that Samhain was evil, the association between Witches and Halloween was born.

All Saints’ Day / All Hallow’s EVE / Halloween

All Saints’ Day and All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) were first introduced in the seventh century CE. All Saints’ Day was originally celebrated in the spring. The date was changed to November 1 to supplant Pagan beliefs because those pesky Pagans just refused to cough up their original Samhain. The day was to honor God and all his saints, known and unknown. All Saints’ Day later became Hallowmass, a mass to honor the dead. The Eve of All Hallow’s Day, October 31, became All Hallow’s Eve, which evolved into the word Hallowe’en. Although the church wished this time to be one of somber prayer and quite custom, the Celtics continued their customary bonfires and fortune telling.

All Souls’ Day is a bit different. This festival falls on November 2, a day to offer prayers and alms to assist the souls of those departed that manage to get stuck in purgatory, an in-between place that is neither heaven nor hell. Over the succeeding centuries, Halloween, like Christmas, picked up various customs and discarded others, depending on the complex socialization of the times and religious dictates.

Halloween Comes to America

Our first inkling of Halloween coming to America revolves not around a specific set of people (many indicate the Irish) but with William Penn’s motley collection of refugees from Europe. In 1663, Penn wrote a promotional tract about the Americans. As a result, fifty ships dropped the anchors in the Delaware River. They discharged persecuted souls from England, Ireland, Wales, and the Rhineland (now Germany). Collectively, the Germans and Irish shared Celtic heritage. Therefore many of the folk customs resonated together—including Halloween.

From 1684 through 1930, Halloween was more a time for tricking rather than for treating. Many of the tricks the German and Irish communities became universal, such as overturning outhouses, dismantling a wagon and putting it back together on top of a house or barn, and tying cows to church bells. The tricks often served as social function, such as mildly chastising a neighbor who exhibited antisocial behavior.

By 1910, several American manufactures were making or importing party products just for the American holiday Halloween. From noisemakers to costumes, a new holiday meant new business and an opportunity to make money.

The drawback to the new holiday came in the form of the “declared” Mischief Night, Goblin Night, or Devil’s night on October 30. Minor offenses, such as trying several garbage cans together and hanging them from a light pole, soaping windows with lard, and later, bars of hand soap, abounded. As the pranks grew to vandalism shopkeepers would bribe youngsters to ward off destruction of their property.

In an effort to stop the criminal behavior, the Boy Scouts, in conjunction with local town councils, cities, boroughs, instituted the custom of Trick-or-Treat night to help keep youngsters from naughty practices. By the 1930s the custom of trick-or-treating was well entrenched in our American culture. Halloween, like Christmas, became a holiday for children, and parents strove to make the holiday as much fun as possible for the enjoyment of their youngsters.

During he 1950s. ’60s, and ’70s our American Halloween stayed primarily the same, but in the ’70s and ’80s, with a recession coupled by a candy scare, groups and organizations once again sought to find appropriate avenues to make Halloween safe for America’s children. Halloween practices extended through the entire month of October. Haunted houses, parties, hay rides, plays, story hours, and numerous other events were held throughout the month.

In the mid-to-late 1990s certain sects of the Protestant Christian church declared war on Halloween. using the same erroneous propaganda cultivated hundreds of years ago. Other groups size Halloween for their own political agendas—hosting haunted houses showing aborted babies, drug addicts, and other modern day violent situations. This did not go over well, as the holiday had become an event primarily for children, not adult political issues. Radical Christian groups said that the holiday was Satanic—which, as we’ve seen from our research, is a bizarre and fantastic claim, based on misinformation, politicking, personal agendas and fear. With America’s policy of separation of church and state the battle for destroying Halloween in the United States is an uphill battle.

The original Samhain marked the the close of the agriculture season and functional third harvest festival. In America, Halloween has become the first holiday in our end-of-year rush for partied gaiety. Our Halloween functions as the opening of the three-month-long celebratory fest that includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, and Chanukkah, and ends with the popular American New Year.

As our children crave pumpkins with delightful chatter, adults find solace in a night when they can be whatever they want to be. We have little doubt about the joy this holiday bring to the American people. I am sure we will forever love the haunted house, the harvest Moon, the thrills and chills of a well-wrought tale—and, of course, the deliciously scary things that go EEEEK! in the night.

 Harvest Moon, velvet sky, pumpkins glowing, children laughing, costumes, candy, scary stories—just where did this autumn gaiety begin? Let’s look through those cobwebby corridors of time to unearth the exciting genealogy of the American Celebration we call Halloween!

Nothing is ever as simple as it seems—especially when dealing with history. Too often events and circumstances of our past were written or re-written by people who, for whatever reason, operated under an agenda, or simply wanted history to reflect how it should have been, rather than how it was. How, then, do we determine what is fact and what is fiction? In some cases, we can’t. In other situations, we dig.

Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook1999 Pages 24 to 29

Some Thoughts About Celebrating Samhain

Samhain is a day of reflection of the past year while celebrating the new. It is a day that whatever has not been harvested from gardens, fields, bushes, and trees get left for the wildlife and Fea Folk. It is also a day to communicate with those who have crossed the veil into the Summerlands. Many pagans and witches say it is the day and/or night to honor only those that have crossed in the last year but I do not go along with this way of thinking. While those who have passed since November 1, 2020 up to today do need more comforting and remembering them then those that have crossed over in other years past. The farther back in time you go to those who have crossed before the last year the more chance there is that they will be forgotten totally.

Hypothetically, if crossed the veil say 30 years ago or longer and each generation after you talk about you less and less as each year passes soon you will be forgotten completely. That one reason I have my Book of Shadows and Family Grimoire as one book that I hope keeps growing after I am gone. I have also placed pictures of ancestors at different ages as well as pictures of myself alone and with family members both ancestors and descents. In the section for ancestors I have included a picture of their headstone and where it can be found if I know.

So this Samhain when you are setting the extra place at the table, lighting a candle for each ancestors name, or however you choose to honor your ancestors (remember an ancestor does not have to be blood related they can be anyone in your life that help to mold you into the person you are today.) Set one more place, light one more candle, or whatever your tradition to remember your ancestors is for those who names have been forgotten since the first Homosapien of any branch of the human gene pool lived.

I implore you all to remember that we all can trace our lineage back to this mish mash of a gene pool and that the energy that runs through us connects us to every other living things and not just on Mother Earth. So the next time you have a negative thought about someone for any reason at all remember you are also having that negative thought about yourself.

I picked this song to be included in this post because for me it helps me to remember those, female or male or other, who otherwise might be forgotten

Grandmother

I wish all my family, which means everyone reading this post and by blood, a happy and blessed Samhain.

 

Lady Beltane 2018

Reed Moon: Celtic Tree Calendar

To read more about the Celtic Reed Month by Sarah Wayt

The celebration of Samhain, now known as Halloween, occurs during the Reed Moon. To the Celts this month hailed the end of the year, a time to cull the livestock and to connect with ancestors. All around the world festivals that honour the dead are celebrated. During the Reed Moon, light a candle for loved ones who have died and you may receive a message from the spirit world.

Releasing old energy

The Reed Moon is a good time to use divination to gain insights into the year that has passed. Perform energy work that will release old energy, burn symbols of illness on your bonfire on November the 5th during your Guy Fawkes celebrations. Remember the Celtic year does not begin until the Winter Solstice so use this interval to dream, not to make plans for the future.

The haunting sound of reed

In the past, the reed was used to make swift-flying arrow shafts that slew both enemies and game. In this way the plant was linked to the season of death and sacrifice, in which trees shed their leaves and the energy of nature became more introspective. Many early musical instruments also used the reed to create a haunting sound that has been connected to rites for the dead and the summoning of spirits.

Wind instruments

Modern day wind instruments have developed the same principle used by original reed instruments. Whereby a current of air is vibrated to produce a melodic sound.

Other traditional uses for reed include thatching. Rooftops were thatched with reeds, and as the Celts withdrew into their homes for the winter they honoured the plant that gave them shelter, making the reed a symbol of royalty and protection.

Reed Moon energy…

[2021] Popular and Practical Samhain Rituals and Traditions

From WitchJournal.com

EVA MARIA  WHEEL OF THE YEAR

Beloved Samhain night is just around the corner. This time of the year is definitely the most magical and witchy of all other seasons. Below you can find information on Samhain Rituals, Traditions, and History. Are you going to try any of them?

What is Samhain?

 

Beltane of the Southern Hemisphere

Today, in the Pagan calendar, the north celebrate the coming of winter at Samhainn. And all the while the sun is peaking up from behind the lush vernal trees and dancing for us once more in the southern hemisphere, as we welcome Beltane on October 31st. Or as I like to refer to it Beltane of the underworld.

A pagan spiral formation in Faerie Glenn where everything is miniature and enchanted. Copyright Content Catnip 2010

Beltane is  the Gaelic seasonal festival historically held to mark the midpoint between the spring equinox & summer solstice (Là Bealltainn in Scottish Gaelic; Lá Bealtaine in Irish). Fire is the traditional means of marking this spring festival of optimism & return.

A famous Ossianic lament…

Click here to read more about Southern Hemisphere Beltane from ContentCatnip.com