Saturday, October 31, 2009

What Samhain means to me

Today witches celebrate Samhain often thought of as the Witch's New Year and mundanely known as Halloween. I started thinking about writing an article today and instead of the usual history of type thing (there are TONS of those on the web already - just google "Samhain"), I decided to write about what Samhain means to me.

I'm still transitioning between Wicca and Kemetism and finding my true path (which will likely be something in between), but as I started Wiccan, I still feel strongly pulled to celebrate the standard Sabbats, though put a bit of Egyptian in them. One of the things I love about Wicca/Paganism is there are no set rules or defined practices - we are free to find our own way and create our own rituals. As a creative soul, that has always appealed to me and I tend to make a lot of things up on the fly rather than pre-planning (which is I know contrary to Kemetism and Egyptian spirituality that teaches repeating the ancient (or at least same) rituals make them more powerful).

Whatever your path, Samhain is about honoring your ancestors and those
that have passed on during the previous year as well as looking back
and looking ahead. Looking back to release the negative energies that
may have plagued you, and looking forward to draw in the positive
changes you want to make.

While most Witches call on Hecate during the Samhain festivities, I use Anubis as my guide to the underworld and spend some time meditating about those that have crossed over, talking to my mothers (both blood mother and mother-in-law), my grandmother, and others I have known and loved. My favorite method of this in the past few years has been a candlelight bath using the bath water to scrye. I'm not sure what I will do tonight yet. I'll let the spirits guide me though a bath does sound wonderful!

I thought it interesting the other night that the TV show "Eastwick" showed Samhain in a good and positive light (though drama interferred in the final bonfire and I wish they didn't have a huge witch on top of the bonfire! You can watch the episode, "Bonfire & Betrayal" at The part I liked was that their Halloween featured a town-wide celebration where townspeople made small coffins or other boxes filling them with everything they wanted to get rid of from the previous year. Then then burned them on a huge bonfire in the town square. A wonderful representation of getting rid of what doesn't work so you can make way for better things in your life.

While I cannot have a huge bonfire in my backyard, I am planning a small candle and cauldron ceremony tonight burning my negative energy. There have been a number of things this year that didn't go quite the way I expected or wanted them to and disappointment often leaves negative energy and emotions I want to be rid of. So I'll write them on a piece of paper, light it from my candle, and let the paper burn in my cauldron (outside of course - ringing smoke detectors spoil the mood).

However you celebrate Samhain or Halloween, may it be a great start to the new year for you. Blessed be.