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Samhain a Pagan New Years

Updated on October 15, 2010

Samhain a Pagan New Years

 Samhain a Pagan New Years

By Chuck RitenouR

 

October 31 is traditionally the date we celebrate Samhain (the actual Pagan date is the day which is in the middle of the Summer and Winter Solstice).( As with all other Pagan holidays, the early Christian Church turned it into a Christian holiday, "All Saints Eve".) This holiday is one of the most important and revered in the Wiccan/Pagan calendar.In the agrarian society of pre-Christian Europe,, this was the time of year for culling the herds, slaughtering the excess livestock and saving the best breeding stock. It is therefore occasionally also called the "Blood Harvest". The grain harvest was in, and the farmers were able to accurately assess how many animals they cold reasonably feed through the winter. They also knew how many people they could feed. The frost had come, and winter was coming, so meat would stay fresh longer in nature's refrigerator. In the hunting societies, the "Wild Hunt" was abroad, and the tribe was more dependent upon their hunters for food, as the plants were becoming dormant for the winter.

This holiday marks the time when the souls of all who have died throughout the year pass over to the other side, and all the souls of those who will be born in the next year come into our world. Celebrations are oriented toward mourning and letting go of those who hav died, especially those who have died in the past year. There is also a general remembrance of ancestors who have come before, with the telling of the family stories, personal histories, and coven lore. This is the time of the year when " the veil between the worlds is thinnest." Magick can be very strong and extremely effective.

A common practice at Samhain is the "dumb supper". This is a meal which is shared with those who have gone before. An extra plate is set and filled with food for those who are no longer with us. After the meal, this food is usually set outside for whatever creatures happen along: Wiccans try not to waste. This dumb supper is a meal when nobody speaks, the time instead being used to reflet upon those who have gone before. The Samhain Feast may consist of the root crops, also the last fruits of the harvest as well as many meat and wild game dishes. Some Wiccans eat only meat at this meal.

Mythologically, this holiday is when the Goddess mourns her slain consort, the God, and she contemplates the coming birth of her child by him. The Goddess is also honored in her Crone aspect. This holiday also mythically celebrates the death of the God, as he lays down his life for the community, or as the God of the Wild Hunt, symbolizing the animals hunted for food.

One of my daughter, Megan's friends did this carving......what imagination....what talent!
One of my daughter, Megan's friends did this carving......what imagination....what talent!

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    • Chuck RitenouR profile image
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      Chuck RitenouR 3 years ago from Front Royal, Virginia

      WiccanSage,

      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Puking pumpkins are a riot. Anyway, interesting hub.

    • Chuck RitenouR profile image
      Author

      Chuck RitenouR 6 years ago from Front Royal, Virginia

      meow48,

      thanks for dropping in and your very kind words.

    • meow48 profile image

      meow48 6 years ago from usa

      thanks for following me, i really liked the information in thei hub and how it was presented. thanks for the info. take care.meow48

    • Chuck RitenouR profile image
      Author

      Chuck RitenouR 6 years ago from Front Royal, Virginia

      katiem2,

      Thank you for your kind comment. I would suggest checking out a few books by Scott Cunningham. I'm sure you'd find them interesting.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

      Thanks for sharing Samhain a Pagan New Years with us. It feels like there is more to know about Pagan costumes, rituals and holidays. I look forward to reading more of your work. :)