Samhain Traditions and Lore in Historical Eire and Fashionable Wicca

You in all probability celebrate Halloween by dressing up in a fancy dress or binge-watching scary movies, however have you learnt the vacation’s origins? The roots of Halloween may be traced again to Samhain (pronounced SOW-win). Have not heard of it? Samhain is an annual celebration that originated with the traditional Celts, who roamed throughout Britain and France earlier than their occupation by the Roman Empire (which tolled the loss of life bell for lots of pagan traditions) over 2,000 years in the past.

The Celts celebrated eight “Sabbats” all year long—festivals that marked turning factors in nature’s annual cycle, form of like cheering in every new season whereas saying goodbye to the outdated one. Samhain was held October 31 to November 1, and it represented the beginning of winter and the tip of the harvest yr. It was seen as a starting of darker days, longer nights, and reaping no matter sources had been grown within the yr simply gone (crops and livestock).

In fact, that wasn’t all. In the event you’ve seen The Wicker Man, then that is all I have to say right here. There have been some fairly dark and disturbing traditions occurring associated to fireside and sacrifice, however we’ll go away that to Ryan Murphy, Jordan Peele, or Ari Aster to cowl.

On a SLIGHTLY much less terrifying word, the Celts believed that each Samhain, a deity often known as the Lord of the Dead would collect the souls of everybody who had died within the earlier yr (and had since been living inside various animals…don’t ask) to start their journey to the Celtic underworld, Tír na nÓg. They thought that an invisible veil separated the worlds of the residing and the lifeless, and that at sunset on Samhain, the final day of the yr, that veil was it its thinnest. This was a time to make contact with the lifeless, which they did by lighting bonfires and lanterns to guide lonely or heartsick spirits residence to go to with their household, and making ready choices of meals and greens, which they known as a “dumb supper.”

Often known as Autumn Cross-Quarter, Halloween, All Souls Night time, Darkish Moon and Feast of the Useless, Samhain was additionally seen because the ending and starting of the Celtic New 12 months (which is why some individuals name it “Witches’ New 12 months”!). On today, particularly at daybreak and nightfall, the veil between the seen world and the unseen world of spirit is especially skinny. And over the previous a number of a long time, Samhain has seen a resurgence in reputation because it has been embraced by Wiccans and others who draw from pagan traditions.

Samhain is a time that people have, for hundreds of years, honored their lifeless, informed fortunes, deliberate for the yr forward, and celebrated what they’ve achieved or reaped within the earlier yr.

Let’s acknowledge the vibe of this outdated custom (minus the hearth sacrifices…simply google it, if you need to), in a contemporary means, and have a good time Samhain.

Honor your ancestors with a “dumb” (as in silent) supper.

Courting again to the Center Ages, the custom of the “dumb supper” includes a meal eaten in complete silence. Embellish a desk with pictures and mementos of the individuals you want to bear in mind and have a good time. Add candles and flowers (selecting colours, scents, and blooms that evoke a reminiscence) and put out additional plates to signify the individuals you’re memorializing.

Gentle the candles originally of the supper to welcome within the spirits, then eat dinner in silence so you might be tremendous delicate to the vibes within the room—and capable of replicate by yourself recollections and feelings in peace.

Gentle it up

The Celts would collect round a communal village fireplace on Samhain, then take a burning department residence to mild their very own fireplace. These communal fires can be positioned throughout a village to assist information spirits residence. Having your personal bonfire could be a bit bold (though when you’ve got the area, go for it), however you may actually give attention to the lighting in your house. Candles, coloured mild bulbs, new lamps—get all of them out and create a festive temper.

Create a Samhain centerpiece

You probably have a desk, windowsill, or mantel you utilize for decorations (and even an altar), then think about creating a brief Samhain show. Consider it as one thing you may stare upon as you replicate on all of the belongings you’ve achieved this yr. Add orange, black, white, and red candles; crystals corresponding to tourmaline, obsidian, or amber; and fall thrives like colourful leaves, pumpkins, corn dolls, pine cones, chestnuts, and even a Halloween ornament or two.

Inform your fortune

This IS the time of yr to get your fortune informed, both by your self (dig out these tarot or oracle playing cards) or by seeing an expert tarot reader (hi, it’s me!). Focus your questions on what the subsequent 12 months could deliver (or what the previous 12 months have introduced) and search steerage for the yr forward.

Costume up with flowers. Then burn them.

Make flower crowns, garlands, and corsages with dying vegetation and flowers—a form of Morticia Addams aesthetic. Put on them to your dumb supper or collect with buddies to toast the Witches’ New 12 months. Then burn them (the flowers, NOT your folks) in a fireplace, letting go of the outdated yr and welcoming within the new cycle.

Maintain a Moon Circle

Assemble your spookiest, up-for-magic friends and collect collectively within the moonlight on Samhain. Pour salt in an enormous spiral and place a pile of nuts and a candle at its middle. Then stand in a circle, holding palms, on the spiral’s edge. Stroll inwards in the direction of the middle of the spiral, mentally forsaking one thing from the yr simply gone. It’s also possible to do that bodily, by writing belongings you wish to go away behind on paper after which scattering them as you stroll.

On the spiral’s middle, mild the candle. Then, every particular person can take a nut (which represents the seed for brand new power, beginnings and development) and stroll out of the spiral, occupied with your intentions for the longer term.

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11 thoughts on “Samhain Traditions and Lore in Historical Eire and Fashionable Wicca

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