Pagan - Altar - Witchcraft

The Real Meaning Of Samhain

With October reaching its end we thought maybe it was time to reveal the true meaning of Halloween but from our Gothic Bite Magazine Wiccan witch.

The Wheel Of The Year

October 31st marks the third and final harvest of the year, and the holiday celebrated is Samhain or All Hallows Eve. Samhain is the celebration of the dead. This Sabbat honours the ancestors —human, spirit, and God—that have crossed over through the veil. 

The veil is the thinnest on this day, so spirits can come through and visit their loved ones. Many celebrate with their dearly departed by leaving plates of food and lighting candles to lead them home. 

Pumpkin carving was carried over by this tradition for lighting a candle and placing it inside a jack-o-lantern would ward off evil spirits. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals.

The Analogy Within The Meaning

The solar God is in his last days of dying as he stands before the threshold of the previous Gate of Death and prepares to enter Sheol‘s womb to await his resurrection at the Vernal Equinox. He is revered for his self-sacrifice to nature by his diminishing powers and allowing nature to transition into a new growth cycle. 

Spring and summer productions’ dying and wailing away gave way to new growth. Even though the green has browned and trickled away from plants and trees, the plants continue to thrive and live beneath the earth. It is an analogy of ourselves when we retreat from the cold winter air to spring back out once the weather warms. 

The goddess is reflected in nature. She also echoes through the seasons of change. She reflects on humanity as well. With this deep reflection during the dying days comes our need to think of loved ones passed ere go the days of the dead to live once more on our earthly plane. The power of thought to the dead by the masses transmutes energy to thin the veil between realms for them to roam and visit loved ones. 

Is Halloween Really Modern?

Though some think Halloween is a modern tradition celebrated on this day, the tradition of Halloween goes back to the Celtic traditions of Samhain. 

Folklore shows that on this day, during the thinnest liminality of the year, spirits enter the realm of the living, both benevolent and malevolent. In Irish folk stories, fey spirits, renowned for their mischievous antics, would play tricks on the living. 

People would dress up as monsters or other creatures to avoid being tricked. Jack-o-lanterns with a brightly burning candle were wards for spirits, often made from any gourd or even turnips. 

So, while children run around gathering treats in their costumes, in the lore of the Irish, they are tricking the spirits into thinking they are one of them too and are allowed to pass peacefully through the night.  

Could Death Only Be The Beginning?

Interestingly, Samhain hasn’t always fallen in October. It used to be celebrated on the day that Beltane is now celebrated. This falls in line with the Gates of Life and Death, the date the Southern Hemisphere celebrates its Autumn. 

Kasey Hill

Ritual Correspondences 

Altar cloths: Black, Orange, Dark Purple.
Candles: white, black, orange.
Herbs: honeysuckle, lavender, mint, roses, feverfew Mullein, Coltsfoot, Damiana, Dragon’s Blood, Myrrh, Patchouli, Clove and Sage.
Icon of the year: Jack-o-Lanterns Besom, Masks, Cauldron, Balefire.
Stones: amber, jet.
Observances: going through the veil, honouring ancestors, discarding unwanted memories and bad habits.
Decorations: pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, rust and purple mums, bales of hay. 
Sabbat Mythos: The Goddess mourns her slain consort and Journeys to the Afterlife.
Sun position: Sun is 15 degrees Scorpio.

The Goddess Speaks of Samhain

The Star has arrived at a crossover
Where the end of the year is drawn
And the beginning of a new year dawns
Where the veil of shadows is at its thinnest
And the voice of the Star
Descends to the Underworld
Where it shall remain in respite
Until the crowning of its majesty
Rises and shines through the days of cold

Dear Traveler
Descend with me as I walk the Star
To its resting spot in comfort and peace
Where it may regain its vitality
It’s stamina and manna
And take the throne by my side once more
When the wheel turns
The time is nigh, and we have few hours
For your soul to own passage
Without the fear of it remaining
Let Deaths hand of change
Walk you through the shadows
And offer you protection
From the demise, the Underworld holds near

With change comes new opportunities
New life and new dreams
Let the day of the New Year
Course through your being
And remind you of wince you came forth from
The creatrix of life
And the womb of death
Vesseled within my growing garden
And sustained by the love
Of the Star as its last homage
Is paid in rest

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