My Samhain altar
(Click for a larger view in a new window.)
Blessed Samhain to all!
Samhain (pronounced "sow-in") is an important Sabbat in the Wheel of the Year. Many celebrate it as the Celtic New Year, as I do. It is a day that also represents the end of the harvest and the beginning of the dark time of the year, winter. It is a holiday meant to honor, remember, and celebrate the lives of those loved ones that have passed. Contrary to popular belief, Samhain is not about raising the dead or the sinister. It is simply about remembering those you have loved that are no longer here. Death is a part of the wheel of life, something that is as natural and as important as birth. With the New Year aspect of it, Samhain is also about the passing of all kinds of life changes. Relationships, friendships, jobs, homes, etc. It is a time to reflect on the past, learn from it, and to move forward into the future.
The picture above is from my mini-altar in my Lady Lair. Fall flowers and a piece of sunbleached wood from an Arizona tree my little guy found in my backyard are my earth and body. Spicy incense is my air and breath. A pretty orange candle is my fire and spiri. A tiny cauldron of water and a shell from Myrtle Beach are my water and blood. My grandparents are in a place of honor, too. I have my witchy print that my son Donovan got me in Salem last year, along with three Samhain-themed oracle cards from the Oracles of Shadows & Light Deck. And my ever-present chunk of amethyst.
Some fabulous links…
A fabby article about Samhain by BBC is here. Lisa from The HomeSpun Life wrote a couple of fabulous articles about the holiday. She is a Christian woman who decided to embark on a bit of a mission of discovery and the blogs she wrote are pretty amazing. I suggest reading this post first, a bit of background as to why she chose to do this. Then read this post about the holiday and its meaning. This next post talks about the meaning of All Saint's Day, tomorrow. And this final post talks about incoporating some of the Samhain tradition into your own practices.
A beautiful Samhain poem
This poem is by the wonderful Sally Dubats, used with permission.
All Hallows Eve
You can listen to Sally read this poem here.