Samhain: Being Wiccan on Halloween
For the general public, Halloween is about costumes, parties, candy, and everything fun and spooky. What most don't think about is where it comes from. Sure, some are willing to admit the connection to the ancient harvest, but that's in relation to the Christianized version.
For years, the concept of Halloween always made me angry. Whenever a stranger wished me a "Happy Halloween" I wanted to correct them by saying, "Samhain." I yearned for that look of confusion on their faces, hoping it would inspire them to do some research. I have always known this wouldn't be a likely outcome. People are far too lazy for such effort.
Nonetheless, everyone does acknowledge that it's a holiday, yet they'll never accept witches as equals or learn that it's actually our holiday. I do intend to finish an article I have been working on for about a year, now, on the holidays and their connections to paganism, and why that makes people like myself angry, but I won't get into it, now. Some readers will know what I mean by that while others will be clueless. I know my pagan brothers and sisters tell me what a waste of energy this is, in more ways than one, but sometimes I simply cannot help it. Recently, I have decided to embrace the fun of Halloween, and channel my energy elsewhere. It can't be up to me to educate the entire world on the hypocrisy of the holiday system because of the plagiarism done centuries ago.
October 31st aka Samhain (pronounced sawen) is the New Year for witches. The veil between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest. Since I have already written out how I came to be a Pagan in my article titled "From Jesus to Isis: Journey of a Pagan" I won't do so here; however, as stated in the article, my official Pagan journey began around October 31st 2003 at age fifteen when my interest in witchcraft returned and mother Isis found me; therefore, for me, each Samhain marks another year I have been in a relationship with the Goddess.
How is Samhain Celebrated?
We reconnect with those in our lives who have passed: Friends, family members, pets, and so on. We ask them to come visit with us for a while. We honor them and ask for their advice for the upcoming year. Witches in covens participate in a group setting while solitary practitioners, like myself, can do rituals alone. I have done both.
As someone with atheist family members and friends, it's acceptable to see this as a form of meditation. Personally, when I perform this ritual, it does not feel like a meditation. It feels like I am with the person or people who have passed on. It is especially helpful when going through something difficult that year because confusion and fear are lifted, even when the answers are hard to accept.
On a side note, if you are looking for more information on how specifically to go about this as a solitary, I suggest you contact a trusted high priest or priestess. I am not a fan of sharing magical information, just like I would never write an article explaining exactly how I perform reiki. There are some things that need to remain sacred, but the priests and priestesses can always assist you. Mine were found through Fellowship of Isis, and more specifically through their societies.
Considering for years I have become so angry at the ignorance surrounding the holiday it is damaging in multiple ways. One major way is how sensitive the energy is around this time. With the veil between the worlds at its thinnest, it's easier to be taken over by it all. One way to cleanse the negative energy is by burning a Sage smudge stick. I don't mind mentioning Sage since it is so incredibly common.
Years ago, after one of the times I attended a Witches Ball, my house became frightening. No, plates didn't smash and doors didn't shut by themselves. No, this had nothing to do with some satanic character. It was just a sensation and an energy that I could feel. It was negative energy that needed to be banished, and it was. This is why every year since I have made sure to perform my ritual to ready my house for the holiday; however, the ritual I perform yearly is not something I will share.
Halloween Feline Problems
I would like to mention how disturbing it is to learn that each year cats, especially black cats, are being harmed on this holiday. I'd like to point out that real witches are not the culprits. I do not know who these monsters are, but the Wiccan morality is "An it harm none, do as ye will." Harm to animals is a big "no no" as a witch, as well. Animals are beautiful creatures to be honored and treated with respect. I can only imagine the fake Satanists—I say fake because LaVeyan Satanists do not promote animal sacrifice—could be to blame, but who knows. I wrote an article on Satanism as well, if readers care to learn the truth about that philosophy, not religion: "The Devil: Lucifer vs. Satan vs. Satanism." Regardless of which group(s) is responsible, please keep your pets inside on this holiday.
No Wrong Path
There is no singular way to be a pagan; therefore, my anger over the years has been a waste. It's mostly a defense against so much misconception. If there is no specific way to be a pagan then there should be no specific way to celebrate the holiday. So, who cares if people celebrate Halloween or Samhain? My only wish is that people want to learn the truth about it. My only fear is that people will be ignorant and prefer to remain so, but since I can't control the decisions of everyone in the world, there is no point in spending so much energy being upset about it.
Whatever you choose to celebrate, I hope you do so in a safe manner and harm none, including yourself. Blessed be!
© 2015 social thoughts
More by this Author
Bisexuals have a unique struggle. They don't quite fit into the straight world or the gay world.
An analysis of the reason people either love or hate Valentine's Day, and why they are the same people.
An article that takes a deeper look into the black comedy "Heathers" from 1988.