Samhain- Summerís End



Samhain, literally meaning the end of summer, is a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year, by Pagans across America, Canada, and Europe. Also symbolic of the beginning of the spiritual New Year, Pagans believe that at this time of the year the curtain between this world and the world of the dead is the thinnest and thus one can communicate with the ancestors who are dead. This festival is observed from sundown on October 31st through November 1st, almost halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Samhain 2017 begins on Monday, October 31 and ends on Tuesday, November 1

Origin

  • Samhain has its origin in the ancient pre-Christian era and a very significant festival for the Celtics found all over Europe.

  • The Celtics were pastoral people. So Samhain marked the time of the year when cattle and sheep had to be secured, and crops were harvested before the hard winter set in.

  • Sťances were held at this time to communicate with the world of the dead.

  • With the birth and dominance of Christianity Samhain took on Christian names and guises.

  • All Saints' Day or All Hallows, All Souls' Day, the Day of the Dead, are some of the contemporary names given to Samhain.

  • While the Pagans in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate the festival in end of October, those in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate in end of April when winter sets in there.

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Rituals & Ceremonies

  • Samhain Nature Walk: A meditative walk in a natural area to become one with the Circle of life while immersing oneself in the colours, aromas, sounds, and other sensations of the season.

  • Seasonal Imagery: The home and the altar are decorated with the colours orange and black, Autumnal wreaths, candles are in cauldrons, pumpkins, gourds and acorns which symbolise autumn.

  • Ancestor Stories. Stories about ancestors long dead are shared among relatives.

  • Cemetery Visit: People visit the cemetery and tend to the graves of the loved ones.

  • Reflections: People reflect on their lives, and try to de-clutter it from unwanted thoughts.

  • Renovate: An area of the home is renovated and re-organised symbolising renewal and transformation of oneís life.

  • Bonfire Magic: Bonfires are lit and unwanted habits cast away into the Samhain flames.

  • Divinatory Guidance: Tarot, Runes and other methods of divination are used to seek guidance.

  • Divine Invocations: Sacred Forms associated with Samhain are invoked upon to aid one in remembering the ancestors, and to find comfort and support.

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