10.31.2023 | Tuesday

blessed samhain

category: Witchy

reading time: 2 minutes

the fallacy

This is an important day in my world, a day that is so misconstrued. I read a few blog posts this morning, answering questions for a meme I sometimes do. I sure as hell won’t be today. Almost every one of the participants blasted Samhain as evil without understanding what it really is. They see the movies, the TV shows, and have decided that’s all it is when, really, none of that has ANYTHING to do with what Samhain is. Pagans have been painted with the paintbrush of evil, that we are all devil worshippers, when that concept couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not the least of which is because the devil isn’t a pagan thing but a construct of Christianity. Our major tenent is to harm no one, including ourselves, others, and nature itself.

what is Samhain really?

It’s a day that, contrary to popular Christian rhetoric, far predates All Hallow’s Eve and All Saint’s Day, which both honored the deaths of Christian martyrs. Samhain began to be celebrated approximately 2000 years ago, while All Hallow’s Eve and All Saint’s Day came much later, during the 7th century. These days were created as a part of conversion, replacing the Celtic dieties and celebrations with Christian saints and holy days. And many of the traditions now associated with Halloween stem from even farther back than Samhain, such as the carving of pumpkins. That stems from the Dia de los Muertos tradtions, a holiday that, according to archeological evidence, began roughly 3000 years ago. Much like pagan holidays, these traditions were blended into Christianity when Spain colonized Mexico and converted the populace to Christianity.

Samhain is the Celtic New Year, a Gaelic festival day that marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter. Samhain is really 1 November, but celebrations begin at sunset on 31 October, as that is when the Celtic day traditionally begins and ends. The day is just about halfway between the autumn equinox. It’s a day to be grateful for the things we have and to honor loved ones who have passed. It’s also a time to take stock of your life,

my samhain

Every Samhain, we lay out our altar, adding tokens for our loved ones that have passed. A piece of jewelry, a watch, something. We light candles, incense, pour water in one bowl and salt in another. We pay tribute to our loved ones, swap stories and memories. We often cry, or at least I do. We take a quiet moment to reflect on ourselves, to feel gratitude, to reflect on the things we want to change, to ask for guidance. If something’s been weighing on us, we often write it down and burn it in the candle flame, symbolically letting it go. Then we have some spice cake and cider, marking the end of our celebration.

That’s it. There’s nothing evil about it.

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