Oh Great Goddess, Bless us in this sacred time, as we honor the traditions of our Elder Sisters. I open a protected space for myself and for all living creatures on this planet.
So be it.
The Wheel of the Year is the name of the annual cycle of seasons in Wicca, which is a spiritual movement based on ancient pagan religions and redefined by Gerald Gardner.
Wicca includes elements of beliefs from shamanism, druidism, and Greco-Roman, Slavic, Celtic, and Norse mythologies.
The wheel of the year has thirteen moons and eight holidays called sabbath or festival. These festivals are inspired by pre-Christian Celtic and Germanic festivals.
The wheel of the year and these celebrations are inspired by the rhythm of nature and the solar cycle. Festivals are divided into two categories.
The major festivals are the ancient Celtic festivals that celebrate important milestones in the year. These are Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh.
The minor festivals correspond to the solstices and equinoxes Yule, Ostara, Litha and Mabon. For each of these festivals, for each of its seasons, I try to offer you a podcast with some explanations and stories that may allow you to return to the basics, to recognize and celebrate the passage of time and the seasons, to celebrate the sun, source of light and life. I would also invite you to observe the rhythms of nature and to welcome the idea that our internal and personal rhythms are the reflections of these great natural rhythms which are the cycles of the Moon, but also those of the rotation of the Earth around the Sun.
I come today to talk to you about Sahmain, festival of Magic, Celebrating the Ancestors and Portal to other realms.
Samhain marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darkest half" of the year.
Traditionally, it is celebrated from October 31 to November 1, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. It's about halfway between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. It's time to start a journey in the shadows, to cross the darkness and meet our own shadows...
Samhain marks the death of the year and the end of the annual agricultural cycle. Many ancient cultures across the Western Hemisphere considered Samhain their New Year's Eve.
Samhain is the third and final harvest of the calendar of the wheel of the year. After Lughnasadh (cereals and grains) and Mabon (fruits and vegetables), herding communities brought cattle back from summer pastures to be housed or slaughtered for the winter, reinforcing the festival's associations with death.
According to ancient beliefs, the mythical court of a god and goddess symbolized the eternal rotation of the seasons; in Samhain the Goddess, in her old hag or witch aspect, brings the waning or sacrificed God back to the underworld where he will travel until he is reborn in Yule with the promise of spring.
Crone goddesses, such as the Celtic Cerridwen and the Greek Hecate, facilitate transitions and guard boundaries and crossroads. They are the keepers of dark wisdom and herbal traditions who are associated with brooms (for cleaning the threshold and creating a "boundary") and cauldrons (for brewing natural medicines). Halloween “witches” are a modern remnant from this often misunderstood ancient archetype.
Sexy Halloween witches owe their style to the Morrígan, the Gaelic dark mother or raven goddess who presides over death and battle - similar to the Scandinavian Valkyries. In Samhain, the Morrígan mates with the Dagda (the Father of all Gaelics) to bring creation out of chaos.
Samhain is considered a liminal time; when the veil between the mortal and supernatural realms - the living and the dead - is at its thinnest. Ancestors are commemorated and honored with a variety of worldwide customs that continue to this day, such as the Mexican Dia de Los Muertos or All Saints' Day.
Dressing up for Halloween is an ancient tradition with many possible origins and purposes. Celebrants daubed themselves with ashes from ritual bonfires or dressed up to confuse, deter or even marry mischievous otherworldly creatures before parading from house to house collecting donations for the Samhain feast. That is the probable origin of the "trick or treating".
It wouldn't be Samhain without a pumpkin lantern. Squash was the first domesticated plant species and has been used for carving for thousands of years. Pumpkin lamps were carved with spooky faces as decorations; to light up parades and ward off unwelcome spirits.
Mid-Autumn is a time of year when we have to deal with death and dying. At this time of year, the Earth is dying. The harvest is over, the crops have been cut, the leaves are falling from the trees, everything is turning cold and turning to death and darkness.
In autumn, the old is dying and the new is preparing to be reborn. We start thinking and dreaming about new beginnings and what the new year will bring. But before we can enjoy new beginnings in our lives, we need to consider what needs to die within ourselves in order to nurture the new life that will grow in next year's crops.
We begin to withdraw into our inner worlds before being reborn at the winter solstice. This is the time to turn inward, to open up to our inner voice, our intuitive power. This is a powerful time for magick and manifestation.
For this reason, Samhain is a strong time to remember our beloved dead, those people we love who have passed away before us. We can expose photos of these people, and thus be reminded of their presence in our lives. It's the time of year to talk about our ancestors and get to know the people who came before us.
Many people think that on Samhain the veil between the worlds of the living and the dying is at its thinnest. It is believed that for Samhain, our beloved dead can pass through the veil and their spirits can visit us.
The energy themes at Samhain are death, remembering those who died before us, magic and mystery, coming within.
Samhain is the season of death. At this time, nature is teaching us the important role death plays in the cycle of life. The natural world is dying. Things are clearing up, making room for new life to take root.
And it reminds us of the essential role that death plays in our own journeys of personal growth. You can't evolve without letting things, beliefs and ideas die.
Beliefs, stories, outdated habits; relationships that no longer serve you; jobs that crush your mind - those things have to go for you to keep evolving.
Samhain is the season to let things go, to let things die. The energy supports us in this difficult work.
Nature shows how beautiful the process can be. Look at the trees!
There are many rituals you could be doing for Samhain… Collective or solitary, fiery or quiet …
But really, whether it's Tarot Reading, Runes Rolling, Pendulum or Oracles practice, Samhain
is “the” time to use your favourite Divination method.
You will be receptive to the Messages and be able to understand in a deep and impactful way, and to implement the changes necessary to fulfil your desires and plans.
At the time of Samhain, you can question the Cards on all areas of your life, for any questions you want answered.
I suggest pulling 7 Tarot cards to connect with your magick and receive guidance.
1) What is ready to die in me?
2) What shadows will I have to face in the darkness?
3) What might my shadows reveal?
4) What magic is there for me to harness in the darkness?
5) How can I best care for myself this season?
6) What magic is brewing in the growing darkness for my highest good?
7) What message do my ancestors have for me tonight?
So much for today ...
I would be so happy to hear from you about all that.
Thank you in advance for your comment.
See you soon, for my next online adventures!
Until then I send you love, light and gratitude.
PS: I'm opening up spots for Tarot Readings... I offer 3 cards readings (and a Bonus Oracle card!) My readings are precise, fun and bring clarity to a question you are asking yourself! I'm going to up my prices quite soon, so if you want one… grab it fast! https://isayabelle.thrivecart.com/3-cards-tarot-recorded-reading/