Sunday, 27 October 2019
My favourite sabbat (apart from Lammas) is coming up! It's nearly time for Samhain. This year it's on a Thursday (31st October). I've celebrated Hallowe'en (the modern counterpart of Samhain) since I was a child, so these days I do a combined celebration.
Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's almost time for Beltane! Check out my Beltane Celebration posts here:
Beltane Celebrations Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/04/beltane-celebration-ideas.html
Celebrating Beltane/May Day: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/04/celebrating-beltanemay-day.html
In previous years I've done celebration idea posts which you can see below:
Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2016/10/halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html
More Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/10/more-halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html
Celebrating Samhain/Hallowe'en: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/10/celebrating-samhainhalloween.html
This year I'm continuing my series of Inspiration posts, that I've written for previous sabbats.
Samhain is the 3rd and final harvest festival on the Wheel of the Year. The other two are Lammas and Madron aka Mabon/the Autumn Equinox. It is a cross quarter sabbat that takes place on 31st October Although some may celebrate on 1st November too (sundown to sundown). It's also thought of by some as the Witches' New Year. As I said in last year's Yule/Christmas post, some people consider the year to end and start anew at Samhain, whereas others end the year at Samhain and start it again at Yule/the Winter Solstice (around 21st December). I think of it as both really, since it's the last harvest festival of the year but it's the start of a new cycle, so I start with it first. It's up to you what you want to do. :)
Themes at Samhain include the end of summer and the final harvest, the end of one cycle and the start of a new one (New Year depending on your tradition/beliefs), death and ancestors. It is one of the two times of the year when the veil between this world and the next is said to be thin, and the dead can return and be contacted more easily. The other is Beltane. It's also a good time of year for shadow work.
Hallowe'en is the modern version of Samhain, since it's thought to have originated from the ancient Celtic festival. I'll include some Hallowe'en traditions too. You can read more about them both in last year's post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/10/celebrating-samhainhalloween.html
I've written quite a lot on Samhain in previous posts, so this year I'll just share some inspiration and general ideas. :)
First up here's some Samhain info and ideas for celebrating:
How witches prepare for Samhain: https://spiritnest.com/blogs/news/how-witches-prepare-for-samhain
Traditions for the pagan family: https://otherworldlyoracle.com/10-samhain-traditions-for-the-pagan-family-from-dinners-to-bonfires/
Traditions for the modern witch: https://lipstickandquartz.com/samhain-traditions-for-the-modern-witch/
Easy tips for celebrating Samhain: http://themotherhouseofthegoddess.com/2018/10/28/quick-and-easy-samhain-tips-for-making-your-holyday-just-a-little-easier-by-marisa-mccall/
Samhain bullet journalling ideas: http://www.thepeculiarbrunette.com/samhain-bullet-journal-grimoire-book-of-shadows-ultimate-list-of-ideas-writing-prompts/
Hallowe'en Inspiration (last year's post from my entertainment blog Star Sparkle): https://starsparklex.blogspot.com/2018/10/halloween-inspiration.html
World Horror for Hallowe'en (this year's Star Sparkle post): https://starsparklex.blogspot.com/2019/10/world-horror-for-halloween.html
More ways to celebrate:
Carve a pumpkin and/or light candles- Carving pumpkins is a popular Hallowe'en tradition. I like to have one every year and I also enjoy lighting candles (usually orange and green). I wrote more about this last year.
Go trick or treating- This is more one for the kids, but I included it last year! I never went as a child but it always looked like fun, lol. Read more about the history behind trick or treating here.
Bake- I usually bake gingerbread. This year I'm trying this recipe for gingerbread skeletons: https://crumbscorkscrews.com/halloween-gingerbread-men/
Also here's a recipe from Moody Moons for Samhain ritual cakes with pumpkin spice: https://moodymoons.com/2018/10/12/samhain-ritual-cakes-recipe-with-pumpkin-spice/
Read last year's post for more ideas for Samhain food and drink.
Connect with ancestors- I wrote more about this in the Celebrating Samhain/Hallowe'en post, but here are a couple more links with suggestions:
Get out in nature- In many places including the UK this is a time of year when the weather can still be quite nice and it's not too cold to enjoy going for walks. It's getting chillier here but there are still warmer days. I like to go up to my local nature reserve and Samhain is usually the last time of the year I do it, because then it gets too cold, lol. Also there are the beautiful colours of the leaves turning and they haven't finished falling yet. So you could go for a walk and make the most of mid autumn. :)
Release- Samhain is a good time of year to release things, perhaps something that has been bothering you for a long time (but only if you're ready to). You could try shadow work. This is another subject I covered in more depth in the 2018 post so I won't go over that again, but here is an article by Siobhan Johnson: https://www.siobhanjohnson.com/what-is-shadow-work/
And here are some shadow work journalling prompts and exercises: http://www.obscureclouds.com/five-shadow-work-journaling-prompts-for-samhain/
I recently read this post by Rhiannon Day on forgiveness and you may find it useful if you're struggling to forgive someone (I still have people I need to forgive): https://www.rhiannonday.com/blog/how-to-forgive
Also check out this post for shadow work and release rituals, plus a spirit work ritual (all for beginners). I haven't done these but they sound good: https://www.tarotandwitchcraft.com/samhain-rituals-for-beginners/
Finally here's a post from Sarah Fawn Empey about celebrating Samhain as a season from the end of October and during November: https://sarahfawnempey.com/celebrating-the-quiet-of-novembers-samhain-season
I hope this post has given you some inspiration for Samhain/Hallowe'en! :) I will post about my celebration next week. I'm planning to make my usual Demon's Blood drink, have some food and also bake the gingerbread. And carve a pumpkin of course!
Happy Samhain/Hallowe'en! (Or Beltane!). :)
Photos: Pumpkins at Tesco Holmbush Centre, Shoreham-by-sea. Moonsparkle 2019.