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Wheel of the Year-Celebration Samhain
Tags: Wheel Year Celebration Samhain Parsifal Celtic Life Death Halloween Wheel Year Festival

Followers of Natural religions, and in the Old Days - that were almost all people - committed their Festivals to the Times the Nature determined.
As the beginning and end of the Harvest Season, the Summer - and Winter Solstice, and more.

To Celebrate the Wheel of the Year Festivals helps us us to reconnect with the Forces and Energies of Nature, to hook ourselves in the Rhythm of Nature.

For our Ancestors, it was very important to realize that everything is Alive, Growing and continually Changing according the Cosmic Laws of the Annual Cycle.
Our Ancestors lived and celebrated Eight Festivals during the Year, which found its origin in the Cycle of Nature and the changing Seasons.

We commemorate four Sun Festivals, the Winter Solstice, the Vernal Equinox, the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox.
In between there are the 4 Moon Festivals, which is Samhain, the Tree Festival in November, Brigid, the Festival of Lights in February, Beltaine, the May Festival and Lughnasad, the Reaper Festival (Reapers) in August.
Samhain is the Festival devoted the Ancestors, the Dead, the Unborn and the beings from Otherworld.

It starts the darkest Time of the Year, a time of retreat and silence.
The Festival helps us to prepare for this time that to many often appear difficult.
The Vegetation has been drawn back into the Earth's Womb.
Only survived the Seed and accumulates in Mother Earth strenght for the new shoots in Spring.

Also we turn inward, let everything superfluous die and from the core, the essence of the New arises.
Only through death can occur new life - and so just stands the Festival Samhain for the Eternal Cycle of Life.
At this time the veil to Otherworld and the Ancestors is very thin and we find it very easy to get in touch with them.
We can ask them for advice and ask their blessing and protection for the coming Year.

as the Old Year Starts To Wane, The New Begins. It's NOW !

Halfway between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice (End of the Harvest Season, Beginning of Winter) - is Samhain an important moement since Ancient Times.
Samhain (from Celtic is 'Summer's End)
It is one of the two 'Spirits Nights' each Year, the other is Beltaine.
It is a magical interval when the mundane rules of time and space are temporarily suspended and the thin veil between the two realms temporary lifted.

So, the time around Samhain is described in many cultures as a time in which the separation between the physical and non-physical realms is much thinner.

At Samhain we celebrate the beginning of the New Year according the Celtic Wheel of the Year.
Most scholars are in agreement that 'Halloween' (Hallow Eve) is a christianized feast influenced by Celtic Harvest Festivals like Samhain.
The Gaelic Festival marks the End of Harvest Season is celebrated by more and more people who want to head back to Nature and Her Cycles.

Parsifalrain, October 29                                                                    

Lisa Thiel - Samhain song

Samhain, Samhain, let the ritual begin,
We call upon our sacred ancestors to come in
Samhain, Samhain, we call upon our kin,
We call upon our dear departed loved ones to come in

The Veil between the worlds is thin
Our hearts reach cross the sea of time
To bring our loved ones in
Samhain, Samhain we honor all our kin
We honor those who've gone before
As the Great Wheel turns again

Samhain, Samhain we call upon our kin
We call upon our Sacred Ancestors to come in
Samhain, Samhain we call them to come in
We call upon our dear departed loved ones to come in


Originally, the 'Feast of the Dead' was celebrated throughout Celtic traditions by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the 'wandering dead'.

Samhain was called the time when the cattle and other lifestock was slaughtered and prepared for eating in the ensuing Winter Months.
Any crops still in the field, fruits, remaining on trees and bushes, and left-behind vegetables were considered taboo and dedicated as oblations to the Nature Spirits.

Sacred Fires were burnt to clean the Old Year and to prepare for the oncoming New Year.
For after feasting, the bones were thrown into the fire (therefore called bone-fires), as offerings for healthy and plentiful lifestock and survival in the New Year, also stones were marked with peoples names and thrown in the fire to be retrieved in the morning.
(The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that persons fortune in the coming Year.)
Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.
It was danced around the Bonefires, dances which told stories or demonstrated the Cycle of Life - and Death.
They characterized the Wheel Of The Year, commemorating The Cycle of Life, honoring those who have passed on.
It is believed that the souls are set free from the Land of the Death during the Eve of Samhain.
And thus the Ritual of Samhain would bring about the release of these souls into the physical world.
Although, not all of the souls were refered in days past:
Many were dreaded, for they may return to the physical world to destroy crops or hide lifestock or haunt the living.
So, yet an other reason for the Samhain - rituals were to disguise oneself from these malevolent spirits and to escape their trickery.

Lastly, the Rituals of Samhain were to show Gratitude to the Deities for the passing Year ... and to ask for their blessing for the coming New Year.

ideas for rituals to celebrate Samhain

A ritual for letting go on Samhain:
Remember all the things in your Life that don't work for you.
With this in mind, now walk around somewhere outside and collect fallen twigs or branches; *)
(carefully, never break off, cut or burn parts of Elderberry) -
Each one of these will represent something that you would like to release from your Life.
In a special place build your sacred Samhain Fire, and throw onto it one by one of the sticks which represent so much of your Hearts Desire for Change.
Really feel these things being let go as you throw them into the fire.
Watch these things while turning into ashes and sense how much it would release from your shoulders.
Allow this change in your Life to happen !
Your intention has NOW been released into the Universe !

*) alternatively you can write down what you want to let go on a spell paper and throw it in the fire - proceed as described above.

As mentioned earlier, the veil between Worlds is very thin at that time - making this period ideal for the purpose of communications and all forms of divination with spirits.


The Goddess Tana, (was seen as youthful and beautiful in the youth of the Etruscan civilization, but as it aged, so did Tana, eventually becoming 'Our Mother' and being replaced by a young and beautiful Diana [Di-ana = two-mother] at the height of the Roman culture) as the original Moon/Mother Goddess, Goddess of Inspiration and Higher Love.
Remarkable: In Hindu as well as other forms of ancestral worshipping, there are many similarities to Tara, which is sometimes refered to Dana, Tyana/Di Ana, whose names mean respectively Ancestral Mother and 'Thy Mother'

However, it would lead beyond the scope of this article if we lose ourselves in the historical parallels of deities in different cultures or 'development' of Gods.

High Priestess Robin Wood Tarot deck

High Priestess -- preferably from Robin Wood Tarot (in this Deck, Tana is not sitting between the two freemasonic pillars of Boaz and Jachin or bears a Papal Tiara):
In the Deck of the Tarot Cards, the second Card, 'The High Priestess' (Tana, Mother), represents this aspect of the Goddess.
If you possess A Tarot Deck, take out the Card of the High Priestess and put it on top of a seasonally decorated altar.
Place a BLACK candle upon the card and say with me:

'I call to thee, oh Goddess Tana,
and with you I take this journey.
Now, together we are one for I invoke thee !'

Now gaze into the flame of the black candle ...
and perform a guided meditation journey with the Goddess.

When you're all done, place the Tarot Card back in the Deck and lay a spread for the next coming six Months.

Set down three pairs of cards, mirrored over an imagined horizon line.
The first pair, Life and Death, asks the two questions I hold at the core of most of my readings.
What do I need to move towards and embrace ?
What do I need to let go of and cut from my life ?

The second pair, Courage and Fear, contrasts the fears I manage well with the fears I repress and avoid.
Where in Life am I brave ?
Which fears do I openly face and manage with skill ?
What fears am I less skilled at navigating ?
What do I need to shed light on and tackle next ?  

The final pair, Celebration and Contemplation, acknowledges the odd dual Nature of holidays that jumble festivity and solemnity together.
What do I have to celebrate ?
How can I let go and 'squeeze' the most Joy out of this moment ?
What requires more sober refflection from me ?
What do I have to meditate on ?
If you're in a period of mourning, you could use the 6th card to reflect on what and how you grieve.

Make sure to let the candle burn down in honor of the Goddess.

Samhain tree honoring ancestors - what a wonderful addition to an Ancestral altar. Celebrate the Reunion

suggestions for a Samhain altar

Harvest / Samhain scented Oils
Harvest Leaves
Harvest flowers
offerings for gods
handcrafted statues or offering bowls or plates
Ancestor beads
decorated picture frames

A great way to reconnect with your Ancestors is to create an Ancestor altar

Anything else ?


So at the time of Samhain, the Goddess Tana goes willing into the Underworld to discover for Herself all mysteries including Death.

one of many 'gateways to the Otherword' from whence beings and spirits emerge on Samhain: This can be family, friends and foes, pets and wildlife...

We are called to go with Her on this Journey in order to meet our Shadow Self, stripping away AND eventually renewing our Chakras by embracing our Shadow Selves to become Whole in Time prior the cold Winter Season.
By enacting this sacrifice, we fuse with the enegies of Nature: God and Goddess.

celebrate the Festival of Samhain when alone, without a coven, grove or group (more mindfully and actively honouring and celebrating my Ancestors)
cook up a dumb supper
cook a favorite dish from a family recipe
set a place for your ancestors and provide them a portion
sit in quiet contemplation through the meal, and maybe hear their voice again
burry their portion after the meal under your favorite tree (if available Elderberry or Hawthorn).

create and fill an acestor-box
take a box and decorate the outside with things that say 'ancestor' to you
then place mementos from your ancestors inside and keep it on your altar all year long to remind you of them.

eat a pomegranate and carve a pumpkin
the pomegranate is an ancient symbol of the Underworld thanks to Persephone's choice to eat of its seeds, and pumpkins are a new way to ward off the spirits that march from place to place when the veil is thin.

hold a firewatch
light a fire in your backyardand keep it going all Night
from sundown to sunrise
sing songs, dance and remember aour ancestors
pray to certain ones you remember well
with a candle you can also do this

tell the story of someone who has passed
not all ancestors are our blood and sometimes we are closer to those who live in our hearts than those who share our lineage
tell the story of someone important to you to someone who did not know them:
we live on through our fame and telling their story is the greates honor we can do for the Dead

Samhain Prayer
Samhain prayer, good and simple, for use after the opening of the magic circle on that special Night:

questions that we can ask ourselves to Samhain:

• What will die in me in order to make room for something new ?
• What legacy I want to let go permanently ?
• What does die for me ?
• How can my ancestors support me ?
• With whom ancestors is there still to clarify something ?


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topics that are associated with Samhain
• perceive Life as eternal cycle - without death there is no Life
• withdrawal of all Life on Earth - withdrawal of us Humans in our Inner Worlds
• to face the innermost, deepest, darkest feelings
• confrontation, examination with death and transience
• to end the Old Year - sow the seed for the New Year
• conjunction with the Otherworlds - ancestors, fairies, elves
• appreciation of our own origin

other names
Third Harvest, Shadowfest, Vigil of Saman, Samana, Strega, Martinmas, Day of the Dead, Samhuinh, and later ... The Witch's New Year, Old Hallowmas, All Hallow's Eve, Halloween.

Third Harvest, The Dark Mysteries, Rebirth through Death

Gourds, Apples, Besoms, black cats, Jack-o-Lanterns

fruits and veggetables
Apples, Cypress, Ferns, Hazel, Heather, Mugwort (aid in divination), Mullein seeds (projection for abundance), Marigold, Nuts, Pumpkin, Sage and others, according the season

Samhain - Incense
Mint, Nutmeg, Rosemary (rememberance), Lavender, Helitrop and Patchouli

black stones, Obsidian, Onyx, Jet, Bloodstone, Carmelian

Grey, Silver, Gold, Orange, Red (Scarlet), White and Black

Give praise to the Earth Mother as She dons her Wintry dark cloak and her Autum Rains the Earth will soak.

Loreena McKennitt All Soul's Night

)o( Blessed Be, have a blessed and magical Samhain with lore !


images: thealchemistskitchen, pinterest and lolaelespaciodelalma

related in BOLE

Samhain and 'Halloween'


Autumn Equinox - Mabon - September 21-23


Yule - Midwinter - Winter Solstice - 'Christmas Eve'

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