Samhain

Samhain Eve – As the biggest festival of the Witches’ year it really is one to share with others if at all possible.

In many Covens everyone attends this Sabbat, including those from Daughter Covens. Around this time there are sometimes conferences and other open functions. However, not everyone is able to find a gathering to attend, yet they still wish to celebrate Samhain. There are many focuses to choose for this festival, like the Wild Hunt, the formation of light and dark Circles, seeking the wisdom of the Crone, and remembrance of loved ones who have departed. These can be undertaken individually or combined in a larger celebration.

Take a Cauldron or largish dark colored bowl and fill it with water. Add several drops of black ink to create a Dark Mirror. Place it in such a way that the Moon is reflected in its surface, or light a candle which will do likewise. Also, beside the Cauldron burn an incense containing Mugwort and Sandalwood. Extinguish all lights in the house or room, except the candle. Kneel before the Cauldron and visualize the Goddess as Crone and the God as Leader of the Wild Hunt. When you are ready, place 9 drops of silver ink in the center of the water saying, “I call upon the Wise One and the Leader of the Wild Hunt to give aid to my sight. As I drop this silver into the blackness may She give to me the gift of sight. Blessed Be!”  With the forefinger of your right hand (left, if you are left handed) swirl the waters gently 3 times and then gaze into the depths to ask your questions.

—-The Real Witches’ Year by Kate West

Threshold Invocation
for the Festival of Samhain (to be said at the front door of the house on the eve of Samhain, Oct. 31st in evening.)

Grandmother Wisdom, open the door,
Grandfather Counsel, come you in.
Let there be welcome to the ancient lore,
Let there be welcome to the Winter of the Year.
Under crystal skies you will arrive
May the blessed time of Samhain
Clarify the soul of all beings,
Bringing joy and wisdom to revelation.
From the depths to the heights,
From the heights to the depths,
In the cave of every soul.”

—- Celtic Devotional by Caitlin Matthews

Samhain

Today is the last day of the Lughnasadh quarter of the Wheel of the Year.  The Winter quarter of Samhain brings the gift of restoration and renewal, as the cold weather closes in, as the soul is led to more reflective depths. It is traditionally associated with the remembrance of the ancestors, with the coming of death and the conception of new life. In the human growth cycle, Samhain corresponds to the period of old age when wisdom, freedom of spirit and clarity are experienced. Samhain is a good time to celebrate the lives of wise elders, all those whose actions and ideas have brought resolution and peace, all holy ones whose sacrifice have brought new life and opened spiritual thresholds to all. The Samhain Quarter is from November 1st until the 31st of January.

The Winter quarter of Samhain brings the gifts of restoration and renewal, as the cold weather closes in, so the soul is led to more reflective depths. It is traditionally associated with the remembrance of the ancestors, with the coming of death and the conception of new life.  In the human growth cycle, Samhain corresponds to the period of old age when wisdom, freedom of spirit and clarity are experienced. Samhain is a good time to celebrate the lives of all wise elders, all those whose actions and ideas have brought resolution and peace, all holy ones whose sacrifice have brought new life and opened spiritual thresholds to all.

The Wiccan approach to death is celebrated on Samhain, the sabbat or holy night dedicated to the dead. According to tradition, the veil between the worlds is thinnest on the night of October 31st, making this the perfect time to communicate with the spirits of departed family and friends, and to work divination of all kinds. Unfortunately what was originally an occasion for reverence and reunion now has been transformed into Halloween in popular culture, which focuses on monsters and ghosts, the scariness of death and the quest for candy. Now, there is nothing wrong with a good party, but whereas Samhain encourages people to look squarely at death and change and loss, and to celebrate the life that was and the bonds of love that remain, Halloween simply flirts with death and darkness, titillating our fears and then quickly diverts attention to the goodie bags.

So keep your focus on what Samhain is really about tonight. This is the time when the person you have been must make way for the person you will be. We all learn this lesson at the end of life. If you learn it sooner, and not only embrace change in yourself but command it, then you are indeed a witch.

—-Excerpts from True Magick, by Amber K

Holy night of Great Sabbat
honor those
by whom we are taught
to look within and know without,
no harm be done,
of that no doubt.

—-From Seasons of the Witch Datebook of 2010

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