Samhain — a holiday infused with hope

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October 16, 2023

Pumpkins, beautiful leaves on the ground, longer nights, Halloween costumes and trick-or-treaters — October is loaded with all the icons of fall.

For those of us who take delight in honoring each of the eight sabbats or the wheel of the year holidays, Halloween is known as Samhain (sow-en,) the actual beginning of the Celtic wheel for the year. It isn’t too soon to plan ahead for this potent Samhain sabbat because it really is a magical time. This holiday is infused with hope and positive energy for our planet’s future.

This is one of my favorite seasons as it coincides not only with Halloween but also the Day of the Dead, or All Souls Day, (Oct 30–Nov-1), both celebrating the veil between worlds.

Look for wisdom beyond the veil between worlds

It’s a time for honoring our ancestors and the ultimate mystery of the last doorway.

It is also a time for accelerating the deep inner wisdom that is more available to us during this time of year. Remember, the veil between worlds is thinner now and we can access this wisdom.

The element to focus on for the season is Earth and, because it’s the beginning of the Celtic new year, it’s a reason to dress up. 

Call forth the future you envision

We invoke the future by dressing ourselves like that which we want to become or create for ourselves in the coming year. Let dressing up be our new year’s resolution!

If we want to be filled with beauty, we might dress up as a butterfly or queen. If we want prosperity, we could dress in green or gold. If confidence and strength is needed, then we can dress as a wolf or bear. Many of us are happy just as we are, and so can simply dress as ourselves.

We do not want to focus on or dress as dark or evil aspects of humanity because that is not what we want to bring in for the next year!

The word witch — and let’s face it, who doesn’t think of witches at Halloween — has been wrongly used and equated with evil-doer. This is simply untrue. Witches have always had the motto to do no harm and thus are completely misunderstood. The devil and hell are actually Christian inventions.

Learn from our ancestors of the past

During Samhain we honor our ancestors because our ancestors are our Gods and Goddesses.Those who have died in our family make us aware of the love we have shared and lost but also retained.

Looking in the past helps us see how our ancestors have paved the way for us to grow beyond their shortcomings and difficulties, and we can listen for the messages that will help us break our harmful ancestral patterns.

Grumpy ancestors can be our favorite allies now.

The Samhain ritual brings us understanding that human life parallels the changing of the seasons. Ritual fires are lit, just as they have been for centuries, at dusk (as opposed to dawn for Beltane in spring). The purpose of this bonfire was to destroy anything harmful or negative from the previous year. This is a common ceremonial rite for protection.

Each of us possesses a realm that we create within. This interior landscape is our responsibility to tend and nurture and has the potential to heal the one or the many. The darkness approaching brings with it the seeds for a new beginning.

Let’s begin again,


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