Blue Full Moon Esbat Samhain and Beltane Sabbats Gathering

WHEN:

N. H. Saturday, October 31, 2020

Open Chat starts at 6:00 PM EDT

Circle Cast at 7:00 PM EDT

S. H. Sunday, November 1, 2020

Open Chat starts at 9:00 AM AEST

Circle Cast at 10:00 AM AEST

WHERE:

Please contact Lady Beltane at covenlifescoven@gmail.com for the link to the new chatroom

A blue Moon is BLUE FULL MOON CELEBRATION 

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

A 6 inch/15.24cm circle of blue paper or a white paper colored blue – shade of blue should be light to medium blue (Have circle of blue cut out a head of time

A blue colored pen or colored pencil or pen

A 6 inch/15.24 cm long piece of white thread or string

Decide on 3 different things you want to complete in either your regular or spiritual life by May 1st

SMALL GLASS OF APPLE JUICE

PIECE OF BREAD

 

CLOSING THE CIRCLE and  CALLING THE ELEMENTS TO THE WATCHTOWERS

LADY BELTANE: I call the element of Air into the Watchtower of the East to help bring us clarity of mind as we work in our sacred circle.

I call the element of Fire into the Watchtower of the South to bring us extra energy to work our magick we work in this sacred circle circle

I call upon the element of Water to help guide our emotions as we work in this sacred circle.

I call upon the element of Earth to help us stay grounded as we work our magick in this sacred circle

I walk this circle with Hecate and Dagon to keep those in the sacred circle from any harm that might try to enter and to clear out any negativity that is in it. I take us to a place that is outside of regular time and space.

FULL BLUE MOON CELEBRATION 

EVERYONE: P lease tell us your first or Pagan name and what country or state you live in. No last names or towns/villages/cities.

LADY BELTANE: A full Moon on Samhain is rare but a blue Moon is rare still. The power of the magick we work to night will be stronger than usual thanks to the Mother’s Moon Bluish tint. We will take 1 minute to thank the Mother Moon and to center ourselves before beginning our celebrations. Lady Beltane will say “So Mote It Be” when the minute is up.

EVERYONE: Place your blue circle which works as a reminder of the extra power at work when you wrote you three things. What you write on the paper should have your own positive intention behind them. You will have three minutes to WRITE DOWN YOUR 3 THINGS. Please say or type in done when finished.

Next you will fold first one side in and then the other side so you have the ends over lapping in the middle.

Next take you string slide it under the folded paper make sure you have an even amount of string on each side of the paper.

Now as you tie a bow over the center of the paper you will say’ “Hecate goddess and guardian of all witches everywhere please help me to accomplish the things I have written here So Mote It Be or however you end your spells.

 

END OF BLUE MOON CELEBRATION PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THE CIRCLE

 

SAMHAIN CELEBRATION

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

Left over Apple Juice

Leftover Bread

Pictures of 2 Ancestors

2 Birthday Candles or Flashlights

Heat Proof Dish with ½ inch/1,5 cm of sand or dirt (the candles will be placed in here and should be allowed to complete burn down.

Trivet/hotplate/potholder to place heat proof dish on.

Samhain Celebration

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 2 minutes 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.

Leave candles burning as we move on to the Beltane celebration. If you want to light more candles for people after the circle has been opened please feel free to use this spell and enjoy time with those who have crossed the veil.

END OF SAMHAIN RITUAL

Southern Hemisphere Beltane Ritual- using the 4 elements to create our very own Beltane Wand

Select a piece of wood that you have been called to. Ensure that no tree is hurt in the process, in other words do not take the wood for your wand by snapping it off a tree branch.

Wood for wand making is everywhere, in the form of driftwood, branches that have naturally fallen, a piece of wood that you have collected over time.

The secret to finding the perfect wand wood is that the wood actually calls out to you. In order for you to be accepted by the wand it is respectful to do a mediation and ask the wood, ask the tree, ask the ocean if it is a piece of driftwood. It is then that the wand becomes an extension of you and your power within the Natural World. Gratitude is the key.

Over time I have collected so many pieces of wood, rocks, shells, all these things that call out to me when out in nature while walking, doing rituals or even working. Some items are over 15- 20 years old waiting for the right time to be used.

 

DECORATE YOUR ALTAR

Beltane brings the beginning of life, decorate with beautiful bunches of flowers from your garden, make wreaths to wear in your hair, make your own candles to burn on the altar, use fertility Goddess and God symbols, fill baskets with seasonal fruits.

 

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

A piece of wood to create your wand

Representing Fire– An altar candle

Representing Water– I prefer to use consecrated moon water that I sometimes place in a spray bottle with a couple of drops of my favourite essential oil

Representing Earth– Consecrated salt-I prefer to use black salt or Himalayan salt

Representing Air– Your Athame, a feather or even incense

 

A BLESSING TO THE EARTH GODDESS-

EVERYONE – Please say……

“Great Earth mother!

We ask for your blessing on this day

May our lands see the seeds of life in abundance

Our grass grow green and lush

Our rivers flow and be filled with life

and the great Sun God shine upon our lands

We sit in gratitude in the blessings you have given

and the gift of life with each turn of the wheel. “

 

 

DURING THE BELTANE RITUAL

Take the wood that will become your wand and……

 

Pass it over the Fire

 Say…

With this Fire I ignite the spirit within me

 

Sprinkle it with Salt

Say…

With this Earth I create my body

 

Spray or Anoint it with Water

Say…

With this Water I bless my blood that runs through my veins

 

Pass the Athame, Feather or Incense over it

Say…

With this Athame (or whatever you choose to represent your air) I give it life from my breath.

Now take 3 deep breaths and blow your breath 3 times, emptying your lungs each time.

You now have concentrated your wand and have given it life creating an extension of you.

 

A One Minute Meditation

Hold the wand in your hands and allow the power of the wand to guide you how you need to create its power. Connect to the wand as this will become an extension of your power. Imagine a flow of light from your heart going into the wood and giving it life, bringing the light back into your heart and connecting it to your being as an expression of the Divine.

 

CONCLUDING THE BELTANE RITUAL

Dearest Lady, we honour you Queen of Spring

May our lands be fruitful ready to make offerings in your name

 

AFTER THE RITUAL

Now to finish your wand……

  • Anything that you would like to decorate your wand- (you can add these later after the ritual allowing time for you to be as creative as you like)

o   Now some like elaborate colourful decorations expressing their creativity, others like simple with just a polish and a couple of Sigils sacred to just them. The choice is purely yours, remember it is an extension of you therefore it will reflect your power.

  • I attach anything from crystals to feathers, sometimes I simply use sandpaper to bring out the colours and patterns of the sacred wood.
  • If you have the tools wood burning is a wonderful option.

END OF BELTANE RITUAL

OPENING THE CIRCLE and DISMISSING THE ELEMENTS FROM THE WATCHTOWERS

LADY BELTANE: I dismiss the element of Air from the Watchtower of the East with our thanks to you for helping to bring us clarity of mind as we work in our sacred circle.

I dismiss the element of Fire from the Watchtower of the South with our thanks to you for helping to bring us extra energy to work our magick we work in this sacred circle circle

I dismiss the element of Water with our thanks to you for helping to guide our emotions as we work in this sacred circle.

I dismiss the element of Earth with our thanks to you for helping to us to stay grounded as we work our magick in this sacred circle

I thank Hecate and Dagon for helping us with our rituals this night or morning. Please return from whence you came.

I walk this circle to bring us back into our regular place of existence and to the time the binds us in this plane.

The circle is open but never broken go with peace, trust, and love in your hearts.

 

For Your Viewing Pleasure

5 PAGAN TRADITIONS: How the Ancients Celebrated Beltane

For Your Viewing Pleasure

 I went to a Celtic Pagan Ceremony in Ireland (Gaelic Samhain Festival)

Flashback 2004 Beltane

[The Flashbacks will alternate years between WitchesOfTheCraft.com and CovenLife.co]

Beltane

Beltane is the holiday that draws all Witches outside to celebrate the returning power of the SUn and the fecundity of the land.

Wear red robes for ritual and dress your altar in red for passion. If you have identified a nearby rowan tree, you can make a wreath for your hair using rowan sprigs. Decorate your house with freshly cut greens, herbs, and flowers. Arrange for music or drumming to lighten the steps of the dancers of the maypole or spiral dance. Lose yourself in the dance.

Fire is an honored element at this ritual, so have circle members jump a cauldron for purification and protection. Water is another honored element: be certain to visit your local sacred spring or riverbank. Sprinkle perfume into the water for the undines. Again, leave a drop or two of milk and other food offerings for the nature spirits.

Copyright K. D. Spitzer Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2004 Page 63

 

Flashback 2004 Samhain

[The Flashbacks will alternate years between WitchesOfTheCraft.com and CovenLife.co]          

Samhain

Expect the unexpected if you celebrate Samhain—The Celtic New Year— on All Hallows Eve: the planets bring a lot of energetic talk and chaos, and the resultant noise will add exuberance to the ritual. Look for psychic dreams on astrological Samhain, November 6; your intuition will be in top form if you do readings at that ritual. This power is the strongest it has been in several years.

This is the sabbat for wearing your witchy black. Clean the house, including the hearth, from top to bottom; the garden also needs to be prepared for winter by this date. Lay new fires. Feast with your family and set places for your ancestors. Cleanse divination tools (cards, crystals, runes) and rededicate them to the Goddess. For the last harvest festival, put apples, nuts,acorns, and squashes on the altar, and add pictures of the family members you are missing.

Using freshly harvested hazel nuts, make wreaths with nine nuts (three times three) to protect your house from fire and lightening. Offer thanks to the river gods or the god of the sea, and remember to honor the goddess Hecate.

Copyright K. D. Spitzer Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2004 Page 63

 

Flashback 2002 Samhain

[The Flashbacks will alternate years between WitchesOfTheCraft.com and CovenLife.co]

Samhain/Halloween

Samhain grows in strength as a holiday, and while its meaning may be obscure to the general public, many rituals have survived intact. This is Hecate’s day, a celebration of the crone and the powers of the dark feminine principle. This is the day of the dead; you can honor your ancestors by setting a place for them at the table. Add their pictures to your altar. Indulge in wearing and decorating with black. Bring all your mojo to the altar to recharge.

With the veil between the worlds at it thinnest, a ritual at midnight on October 31 brings a last-quarter Moon and a very lucky Sun. Keep divination tools in your circle, and cast a spread to reveal the portents of the coming new year. Enhance your powers with a loose incense to burn on charcoal. Just blend a teaspoon each of crushed cinnamon, dittany of Crete, rosemary, and bay. Mix equal amounts dragon’s blood and frankincense, and add 1 part resin to 1 part mixed herbs.

Copyright K. D. Spitzer Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2002 Page 119

Flashback 2002 Beltane

[The Flashbacks will alternate years between WitchesOfTheCraft.com and CovenLife.co]

Prepare for Beltane by leaving tokens for fairy folk in the woods or in your herb garden. Tie glitzy ribbons for the undines near a natural spring or riverbank. Gather spring flowers at dawn to adorn your door, and prepare a traditional May bowl for your ritual.

First, harvest several stems of sweet woodruff to steep in white wine or champagne. The stir in a cup of brandy or strawberry wine, adding whole strawberries, rose petals, and floating red candles. Empower the whole bowl for your ritual. Make a mini-Maypole for your altar. Find small smooth egg-shaped stones and half-bury [the stones] in posts of herbs or directly in the soil to update the ancient tradition of Hermes seeding the soil for fertility. For this ritual, use red as the main color theme in a circle as a nod to the reds moonflow of ancient ceremonies.

Copyright K. D. Spitzer Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2002 Page 67

Flashback 2000 Samhain

[The Flashbacks will alternate years between WitchesOfTheCraft.com and CovenLife.co]

Samhain/Halloween

At this time of year the Sun is in Scorpio, a sign often associated with death, finality, and endings. Every ending leads to rebirth, the process that belongs to Pluto, ruler of Scorpio. Although he’s known as the God of the Underworld, Pluto also represents regeneration, transformation, and reincarnation. He asks us to celebrate death instead of fearing it, to understand that deat is only a step before birth, and to trust in the immorality of the life-force. Pay homage to this dark God by honoring those spirits who have crossed over during the year. They have completed an evolutionary lesson and are now preparing for their journey back to the world of the living, refreshed and renewed. The candles we place in our windows help to guide them home, and burying an apple at the foot of a tree gives them nourishment for this next leg of their journey. On this sacred evening when the veils between the worlds are sat their thinnest, celebrate the “graduation” of the souls that have left us. Rejoice in the lives, instead of mourning their deaths.

Copyright KIM rogers-Gallagher Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2000  Pages 121

Flashback Beltane 2000

[The Flashbacks will alternate years between WitchesOfTheCraft.com and CovenLife.co]

Beltane

When the Sun travels through Taurus, Spring has reached its fertile peak. Trees are lush and green, flowers bloom, and birds wrestle meals for their youngsters from the moist ground. The air smells fresh, clean, and “green.” This is the time of year for us all to take a moment to appreciate the gifts of the Earth-Mother, both for the richness of her bounty and the home she provides. As the most pleasure-loving sign of all. Taurus is expert at enjoying all those wonderful experiences that makes life inside the human body so delightful. The signs loves to indulge in good food, listen to music, sit in awed silence as yet another sunset slowly fills the sky with color. The ancients danced their fertility rites on this day, taking pleasure in the sensual, fruitful touch of each other’s bodies, another delight in the union of the Goddess and the God provides. Whether you dance around a Maypole or simply partake of a divine feast with friends at this magical time, be sure to revel in your body, the divine instrument that allows you to sample the wonders of our planet.

Copyright Kim Rogers-Gallagher Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2000 Page 69

The Veil Is Thinning! Samhain Is Almost Upon Us! May The Goddess Bless You & Your During This Magickal Time of the Year!

( A flashback from Lady Abyss)

Autumn Window Scene

“Hail Freyja, Golden One!
Holder of the glorious Brisingamen, that brings fertility and abundance.
As we love and honor you, may we find love and power within us.
Join us and accept our thanks.
Hail Freyja!

 

Hail Freyr, Harvest God!
Keeper of the rain and the sunshine!
As we love and honor you, may we find creativity and inspiration within us.
Join us and accept our thanks.
Hail Freyr!

 

Hail Sif, Great Lady!
We come to this place grateful for your gifts.
Golden-haired goddess of the ripening grain, as we love and honor you,
may we find beauty and grace within us.
Join us and accept our thanks.
Hail Sif!

 

Hail Thor, son of the Earth Mother!
Strong and noble keeper of Thunder, Red-Bearded Guardian of us all, guide us through the seasons and the cycles of life.
We thank you for the fertility of our lands and for the abundance we have received this year.
As we love and honor you, let us find strength and wisdom with us.
Join us and accept out thanks.
Hail Thor!”

 

–   Kristen Madden, Autumn Celebration Ritual

What A Glorious Morning! What A Beautiful Day! Rise My Witches, Give Thanks To This Glorious Season of Beltane!

(A flashback from Lady Abyss)

Am Beannachadh Bealltain

(The Beltane Blessing)

Bless, O threefold true and bountiful,
Myself, my spouse, my children.
Bless everything within my dwelling and in my possession,
Bless the kine and crops, the flocks and corn,
From Samhain Eve to Beltane Eve,
With goodly progress and gentle blessing,
From sea to sea, and every river mouth,
From wave to wave, and base of waterfall.

Be the Maiden, Mother, and Crone,
Taking possession of all to me belonging.
Be the Horned God, the Wild Spirit of the Forest,
Protecting me in truth and honor.
Satisfy my soul and shield my loved ones,
Blessing every thing and every one,
All my land and my surroundings.
Great gods who create and bring life to all,
I ask for your blessings on this day of fire.

 

–Patti Wigington, Author
Published On Learn Religion

The Origins of Halloween by Sliver Raven Wolf – Part 7

[This article will alternate days between CovenLife.co and WitchesOfTheCraft.com]

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.

 

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 1999 Pages 24 to 29

The Origins of Halloween by Silver Raven Wolf – Part 5

[This article will alternate days between CovenLife.co and WitchesOfTheCraft.com

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.

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 1999 Pages 21 to 25

 

 

May Day by Jami Shoemaker – Part 1

[This article will alternate days between CovenLife.co and WitchesOfTheCraft.com]

Ancient Customs

Beltane (Anglicized spelling) is a fire festival, and was dedicated to the god of light, called variously Bel, Balor, Belenos, and Baldur. It marked the beginning of the summer season, and the return of the Sun to light and nourish the earth. Among the customs associated with the Celtic celebration of Beltane (literally “Bel’s fire”) is the lighting of two fires on a hilltop. The Druids gathered gathered wood from nine different trees to make their fire every year on top of Tara Hill in County Merath, Ireland. Traditionally, all other fires were extinguished, and relit from these sacred “need fires” as an act of renewal. Before cattle were taken into the open pasture for the summer they were driven either between the fires or through the ashes to purify them of disease, and men and women would leap the flames for protection, and for luck in matters of fertility, romance, and home.

This brings us to perhaps the most significant part of the Beltane customs—that of fetility and growth. With the return of light and warmth, the earth’s fertility was assured for another season. This mystery was seen as the union of the earth and sky, or Goddess and God. The fruit of the union was seen as greening of the countryside, and in the harvest to come. This coming together of the forces of nature was honored as the “Sacred Marriage” of the Goddess and God. Imitating their union was the ultimate act of the community.

In light of this “marriage of the gods,” Pagan weddings or “handfasting” were popular at this time of year. This was the commitment of a year and a day. giving the couple sort of “trial run” at marriage and after that time both parties could agree to a long-term relationship, or could go their separate ways without remorse.

For those only looking for a night of frolicking, the “greenwood marriage” was popular. Young men and women would spend the night at the Beltane fires, or would go into the woods on Beltane Eve, gathering garlands and flowers, making love, and staying up to greet the Sun. If a woman were lucky, she would find herself with child, as children conceived on May Eve were considered favored by the the gods. These “greenwood marriages” continued long after Christian form of marriage replaced the peasants’ handfasting. May Eve was a time to drop all inhibitions and enjoy unbridled sexuality. No rules applied. even married or handfasted couples would relax their commitment for this night.

Symbols of fertility abounded at May time—the greening of the woods, the flowering of plants, the mating of animals. Perhaps one of the most blatant symbols of fertility is the Maypole, traditionally cut and carried from the forest by the villages most viral young men. Though the symbol of the Maypole is universal (the living tree representing the growth that awakens with spring), the tradition of erecting a Maypole may stem from an ancient Roman tree-giving custom. It has been said that the erection of the Maypole, which includes burying one end in the earth, is yet another representation of the union of the gods.

Beltane falls exactly opposite Hallows,which marks the beginning of the dark half of the year. These two turning points were seen as powerful times in the wheel of the year. They fell on the “in-between” times, embodying the mysteries of light and dark, life and death, and the transitions between. It is at these times when the veil between the worlds of spirit and matter, the dead and the living, are the thinnest. Beltane was then associated with great magic. This was a time for divination, and for spells that would bring love and prosperity. It was also a time when the faery folk were more easily seen. Their appearance could bring good fortune, or, if a mortal were enticed by their mischievous ways, he or she might fall into a trance and be taken to a place beyond time.

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2001 Pages 21 to 25 

The Origins of Halloween by Silver Raven Wolf – Part 3

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.

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.