ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Celebrating Samhain

Updated on October 31, 2013

Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year. The Celts divided the year into two seasons: the light and the dark. Some believe that Samhain was the more important festival, marking the beginning of a whole new cycle, just as the Celtic day began at night. For it was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings..

Samhain literally means "summer's end." . It comes from the Scots Gaelic: Samhuinn With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints' Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year, so the night before became popularly known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve, or Hollantide.

In the country year, Samhain marked the first day of winter, when the herders led the cattle and sheep down from their summer hillside pastures to the shelter of the stable and byre. Peat and wood for winter fires were stacked high by the hearth. It was a joyous time of family reunion, when all members of the household worked together baking, salting meat, and making preserves for the winter feasts to come.

Celebrating Samhain: A Prayer for the Final Harvest

Corn has been shucked,

grain has been threshed,

herbs have been hung to dry.

Grapes have been pressed,

potatoes have been dug,

beans have been shelled and canned.

It is the harvest season, and food is ready for winter.

We will eat, and we will live, and we will be grateful.

DIVINATION

Samhain was and still is a significant time for divination. Customs frequently featured apples and nuts from the recent harvest, and candles for adding atmosphere to the mysteries. In Scotland, a child born at Samhain was said to be gifted with an dà shealladh, "The Two Sights" commonly known as "second sight," or clairvoyance.

Things to do on Samhain:

ALTAR: Altar candles should be:

  • orange, representing the magic of fire and the remaining fire in autumn leaves;
  • -black, to absorb light and keep you warm for the coming winter; white, to send out energy;
  • -silver and gold, representing the moon and sun.
  • Decorate with autumn leaves and flowers, gourds, squashes, corn. As this is the meat harvest, you may also include an animal talon, horn or feather.

SPELLS: At Samhain, cast spells to keep negative things from your past (evil, harm, greed, corruption, betrayal) out of your future. Cast spells to contact the dead and receive ancient knowledge.

Scrying: This is one of the best times for scrying. You can use a black mirror or a black or very dark bowl filled with water, if you have a cauldron that would be better. Place lit candles nearby and gaze into the mirror or the bowl.

Dookin' for Apples: Place a large tub, preferably wooden, on the floor, and half fill it with water. Tumble in plenty of apples, and have one person stir them around vigorously with a long wooden spoon. Each player takes their turn kneeling on the floor, trying to capture the apples with their teeth as they go bobbing around. Each gets three tries before the next person has a go. Best to wear old clothes for this one, and have a roaring fire nearby so you can dry off while eating your prize!

If you do manage to capture an apple, you might want to keep it for a divination ritual, such as this one:

The Apple and the Mirror: Before the stroke of midnight, sit in front of a mirror in a room lit only by one candle or the moon. Go into the silence, and ask a question. Cut the apple into nine pieces. With your back to the mirror, eat eight of the pieces, then throw the ninth over your left shoulder. Turn your head to look over the same shoulder, and you will see and in image or symbol in the mirror that will tell you your answer.

(When you look in the mirror, let your focus go "soft," and allow the patterns made by the moon or candlelight and shadows to suggest forms, symbols and other dreamlike images that speak to your intuition.)

Prayer:

On this night of Samhain I mark your passing,

O Sun King, through the sunset into the Land of the Young.

I mark also the passing of all who have gone before, and all who will go after.

O Gracious Goddess, Eternal Mother, You who gives birth to the fallen,

teach me to know that in the time of the greatest darkness there is

the greatest light.

From a book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary... , Scott Cunningham

WICCA AND SAMHAIN

The most important of the Neo-Pagan religions is Wicca (meaning "Wise ones"); Wicca is one of the largest Neopagan religions.

Samhain is one of the eight annual holidays, observed as part of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. Which is a term for the annual cycle of the Earth's seasons because natural processes are seen as following a continuous cycle. The progression ofbirth, life, and death, as experienced in human lives, is echoed in the progression of the seasons. Wiccans also see this cycle as echoing the life, death and rebirth

Samhain is considered by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four 'greater Sabbats'. It is generally observed on October 31st in the Northern Hemisphere, starting at sundown.

Samhain is considered by most Wiccans as a celebration of death and of the dead, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness and death, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the spring festival of Beltane, which Wiccans celebrate as a festival of life and fertility.

Samhain in Edinburgh

The Spiral Dance Ritual

The Celebration of Samhain by Acsbina

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      4 years ago

      Great hub!

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      6 years ago from France

      I also like the ritual to get rid of bad things in your life. It is very easy to do and only involves writing down in a paper all those things that you want to get rid off, after a short ritual, you burn the paper and with it you shoud burn away all those things that annoy you.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 

      6 years ago from Summerland

      Voted up and awesome! Love these Samhain rituals. Might try one out myself.

    • Cresentmoon2007 profile image

      Cresentmoon2007 

      6 years ago from Caledonia, MI

      Thank you for the well informative hub. Real helpful

    • profile image

      dave meneo 

      8 years ago

      Can I purchase a high resolution copy of the woman praying with the moon background?

      meneo@theliquidvenue.com

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      Thanks Angela!

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 

      10 years ago from Around the USA

      Wow, I love this hub. It's so interesting. It definitely deserves a thumbs up.

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      31st Ocotber is also my husband's birthday, so we always have a big party on this day. As we have small children we also "mix" the birthday celebration with a Halloween party, and of course me and some of my friends celebrate Samhain at the same time. This "combo" celebration makes to an amazing party!!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)