Samhain is fast approaching and is a time of change and death to the old self. To me, Samhain represents new beginnings. We can't have new beginnings without endings to old ways. It is a representation of death, but not just death of the physical. I do also honor my ancestors on Samhain and past loved ones. What do you all do on Samhain and what does Samhain mean to you?
I like to do a ritual on Samhain but don't always have the time. However I always remember those of my loved ones who passed on and I look at the past year. All of my changes. I do away the the bad. To me it's like an entire new year. As you stated... new beginnings.
Samhain is on the day of halloween, it is what pagans call the holiday. Many celebrate it in different ways and even feel it means different things to them. No you won't get kicked out for simply asking a question. That's fine. Just please don't pick on us for our beliefs. That is all I ask. Too many times have I and many pagans dealt with this and it's heartbreaking.
Thanks for asking, pinktulipfairie! It's nice to see interest and yet not interest based on judgements. Blessings to you! And if you're looking to find out more about Halloween (what we call Samhain), I recommend Silver Ravenwolf's book called "Halloween". It's really interesting to find out the roots of Halloween and other modern holidays, as well.
Samhain means for me the holiday to honor my ancestors: my nana, my grandparents, my beloved mentor and a good friend. I light a candle and spend some time remembering each of them. I tend to be minimalist when it comes to ritual: for me, it's the frame of mind that matters.
Halloween also means for me the secular holiday where I get cute kids on my doorstep, celebrate their imaginations, and shower them with unhealthy but yummy chocolates. I treat with the munchkins earlier in the evening, my ancestors late.
Both are equally important to me: the past and the future. Which, of course, is a very appropriate, albeit modern, way of celebrating the boundary between old year and new.
I should also say that Samhain means the furry spoiled cat sitting in my lap. I adopted her on 10/31/96, so of course I named her Samhain.
I just posted a big long blog post on Mythphile, my mythology blog, about the meaning of Samhain, but I will spare you the whole kit and kaboodle. There sure are a lot of different traditions! (Hint: look up Scottish "guising" -- I had been trying to figure out where the whole Trick or Treat angle came from, and I think that may explain it.)
That is just beautiful, Greekgeek! Thanks for sharing. Actually this past couple of weeks I've been reading Silver Ravenwolf's book on "Halloween" and it is super interesting to find out where all of our Halloween traditions come from. Even the symbols such as bats, witches, skeletons, vampires & werewolves all come from ancient origins in one way or another. Thanks for sharing your lovely Samhain rituals with us. And blessings to your kitty cat Samhain!
To me it is the time of the year when i can start again. The beginning and the end of yet another year on this wonderful earth! Yes we all have our bad times, and for my age i have been through the hoop so many times i'm surprised i'm still here, but samhain gives me hope again, it is the time where i can start over and have a better year, free of illness and depression and another year full of the joys life brings.
It's also for remembering the dead, my relatives, my friends relative, and the dead in general, it is their time and they deserve respect.
This is usually the time of year I like to honor my family members that have passed (my grandmother and grandfather in particular). I try to do something to honor their memories. My grandmother was a huge quilter, so I try to finish up a quilt around now. My grandfather was a chef, so I usually try to learn a new recipe. These might sound simplistic and childish, but it's sort of my way to remember them.
Samhain to me is a new year - and a new start =] It's the night where the veil between the worlds is the thinnest. It's a Celtic Festival and a Faery Festival as the two cultures were interlinked. It's freaking awesome! It's also a time to remember those who have passed and to get ready for the winter. It's a Harvest Festival
Greek Geek - Trick or treating can be traced back to Souling, which was a bit like Carol Singing. In Ireland people would go from door to door singing to appease the spirits in the area. In return they would be given 'Soul Cakes' as a reward. I believe guising was a similar thing, but the wearing of costumes comes from another Irish Samhain tradition where the young men would dress up as scary spirits to scare away the real spirits, some would also dress up as spirits and monsters to 'blend in' so the real ones would think they were one of them and leave them be =].
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