Samhain

Date: October 31

Other Names: Halloween, New Years, Feast of the Dead, Shadowfest, Martinmas

Goddesses: Hecate, Alcyone, Ereshkigal, Hel, Nepthys, White Lady

Gods: Carneios, Cel, Dagda, Hades, Odin, Osiris, Tuoni

Colours: Black, Brown, Orange, White, Silver, Gold

Foods: Apple, Turnip, Gourds, Nuts, Mulled wine, Cider, Pumpkin, Beef, Pork

Herbs: Acorn, Oak, Apple, Arborvitae, Corn, Dittany of Crete, Fumitory, Mullein, Nightshade, Sage, Wormwood

Incense: Rosemary, Pine, Bay, Apple, Patchouli

Oils: Rosemary, Pine, Bay, Apple, Patchouli

Stones: Jet, Obsidian, Smokey Quartz, Hematite, Onyx, Amber, Pyrite, Garnet, Clear Quartz, Marble, Sandstone, Ruby

Animals: Cat, Owl

At Samhain the God leaves his physical existence and is bid farewell to. It is not a time of great sorrow however as he does not journey into a black void but instead is readying himself to be reborn to the Goddess. Samhain was once a time of sacrifice, animals were slain to make certain people survived the winter. The God also dies to ensure our continuing existence. The Moon Goddess is now the truly dominating figure and she is honored and respected.

This is a time for reflection and contemplation. We must look back over the past year and also learn to deal with one of the natural phenomenons which we have no control over – death. Death is not seen as an end, nor is it to be feared. Pagans know that from death comes rebirth and a new life. It is part of the natural order of things and must be accepted.

At Samhain the veil between this world and the next is at it’s thinnest and Pagans acknowledge this by remembering their ancestors and all who have gone before. Plates of food are set out for people who have passed away within the past year, as no-one should be left out of the bountiful harvest. Divination and contacting the dead are very popular at this time and are very powerful.

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