And a Happy New Year!
For many who follow Pagan type faiths, this time of year is their New Year! So if that is you, happy new year my friends! Personally my new year comes at Yule 21st Dec.
Many call the time around Halloween the Witches New year but it has another name- Samhain (pronounced Sow-een) Which is the Sabbat that is observed 31st Oct-1st Nov.
It's such a beautiful time and so I wanted to share a little about it with you and how you can easily join in regardless of your faith or beliefs!
For me, Samhain is for EVERYONE!
This time of year is a truly magical one! Not only are the colours stunning, with their reds and oranges and yellows, but its Halloween and Samhain too!
As I said, This Sabbat falls between 31st Oct - 1st November and is traditionally the time when we would have brought in the final harvest from the fields, cooked up feasts, salted and preserved foods, and gathered together to celebrate the bounty of the harvest and all that had happened in the seasons before.
It was also a time of reflection, as many would not make it through the cold winter and the ancestors that came before, were honoured.
It is considered the time of year that the veil between the living world and the afterlife is thinnest and a time of feeling loved ones around us and communicating to gain insights and guidance for the long winter ahead.
Fires burned, candles were lit and families and friends joined each other in love, company and joy.
**Here comes some history stuff- Feel free to scroll down to the top tips for celebrating, if history makes you zone out!**
Let me take you back 2000 years ago in Britain. At that time the some peoples New Year was celebrated on 1st November, as a part of the turning of the wheel (changing seasons and observance of mother earths changes) that was enjoyed by our ancestors. It was the end of the summer and the beginning of the cold dark winter, a time of death and rebirth, Often physical death too with those freezing winters!
That night was a night of ghosts, goblins and naughty spirits, so huge fires were lit, using crops and sacrificing animals that would not survive the long winter- in the hope that the deities would be kind. On this night many wore costumes to celebrate, as well as to confuse and scare off the naughty spirits- with the home fires being lit from the giant bonfires to bring protection for the winter ahead.
Are you seeing anything you recognise yet?
Lighting fires, costumes, celebrating, feasts...No? Okay read on......
Samhain was later blended with the Romans holiday of Feralia ( a day to commemorate the dead) then, blended further to become All Martyrs day and again......to become All Saints day! (honouring all Saints and Martyrs)
Later, via the church, The 2nd Nov became All Souls Day- A day to honour the dead and the day and night before, All Saints day was the 1st, and the night before, became known as All Hallows Eve (Halloween)
Aaaaand breathe! Okay, we are back to the juicy stuff friends!
Samhain is a simply beautiful time of year and I would love you to join in the awesome cel