October 30, 2008 at 10:37 pm #29517
Hello, this was sent out on a mailing list from a person named Zarchian. It’s three articles about the spirituality of Halloween.
Samhain (October 31)
Also known as-: Shadowfest, All Souls, All hallows Eve, Halloween
Associated Deities-: Hecate, Pan, Persephone, Hades, The Morrigan
Associated Herbs-: Bay Leaf, lavender, mugwort, nutmeg, sage
Associated Stones-: Obsidian, black onyx, bloodstone, amethist, opal
Pronounced as ‘Sow’ain’, the most important festival in the witches year and marks the end and the begining of the wheel of the year, just the same as new years eve. Rituals begin after dark peaking at midnight and often go on into the next day, 1st of November, which is the new year.
Samhain is linked with the death process as the warm months die out and the cold winter months step in. In the past people often took stock of their supplies ready for winter, grain they had and animals they had. Where there were short supplies, animals which were thought unable to last the long winter months were slaughtered for meat and preserved. Farmers put their fields to rest for the winter and everything that was not needed was given back to Mother Earth to rot.
Samhain is also a time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinest, a time when the spirits of loved ones can return and so a special place is set at the table for any who so wish to join the feast. Traditionaly a candle to guide the spirits of loved ones home is lit in the window and also deters any unwanted spirits and is the origins of the pumpkin or jack-o-lantern. The spirit of the loved ones recently departed are then guided to the Summerlands which is where the spirit rest until it is time to move on. It is also a time when the spirits can talk through us more easily and all types of divination such as scrying, tarot, runes etc are used.
It is a time when witches celebrate the wild hunt and the Horned God gathers the lost souls who linger or are unwary. The Godess takes on her role as the Crone or Wise One and so we look for wisdom and guidence. A time to tie up loose ends, pay unpaid debts, finish arguments etc, a time to put everything to rest. Look at the changes in the weather, changes in nature and how things now begin to rest and die and decay to make way for new life and growth after the winter months.
Ideas for celebrations-:
Alters can be decorated with pomegranets, marigolds, chrysanthumums and jack-o-lanterns. A black and white candle can be placed there to mark the old and the new year and divination tools are a good idea.
Ask the four elements to be present with you-: Air (east), Fire (south), Water (west, Earth (north)
Visualise the Horned God as hunter and the Godess as Crone and ask them to join you.
Light the black candle that represents the past year and think about your life in the past year. Give thanks for all the successes and the good things. Concider the lessons you have learnt from failures and problems. If you have any bad issues or charecteristics you need to dismiss write these on pieces of paper, think about them and burn them in the cauldron. Remember all those who have passed, animals, friends and family.
Light the white candle to represent the new year and think about what you want to achieve or happen. ask the Lord and Lady to bless these endeavours. Now is a good time to use whichever divination tools you choose and any Magik you wish to conduct.
Put out the black candle and say farewell to the old year and goodbye to the sun as he goes to rest to be reborn again at Yule. Bid farewell to the elements and thank them in the order you invited them in and say thankyou and farewell to the Lord and Lady for their presence. Let the white candle burn whilst you eat and drink something to ground yourself, but leave some to put outside when you have finished, for libitation, lastly close the gate between the worlds.
PLEASE NOTE-:NEVER LEAVE CANDLES BURNING UNATTENDED
Halloween does have a spiritual side
By Jack Bray, guest columnist
In print: Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Trick or treat!
We’ll be hearing a lot of that pretty soon. Halloween! The holiday that begins the holiday season is upon us. BOO!
There was a time when the fall season was announced quietly and beautifully by all the leaves changing their colors and then softly floating to the ground.
Now, it seems, the fall holiday season is shouted loudly by the sudden changing of decorations in all the stores. Have you been to Wal-Mart lately? Here come the shoppers! Let the madness begin!
The celebration that is Halloween today began almost 2,000 years ago in what is now Ireland. The Celts, the original inhabitants of Ireland, celebrated their new year on Nov. 1. It was the end of summer and the beginning of the long, cold winter. On the night before, they celebrated the festival of Samhain. On that night, they believed the souls of the dead returned to Earth and these spirits would help the Celtic priests (Druids) make predictions about the future.
To celebrate the night, the people built bonfires, wore ghost costumes and left food outside their houses to appease their deities. Otherwise, they believed, the spirits would play “tricks” on their houses. They protected themselves against ghosts by masquerading as one of them and blending in unnoticed. And so, Halloween masquerading was born.
Around A.D. 43, the celebrations got bigger when the Romans conquered most of the Irish lands. The Romans combined their feasts of Feralia (the passing of the dead) and Pomona (the goddess of fruit and trees) with the Celtic feast of Samhain. Pomona was symbolized by carrying fruit and wearing a crown of apples, which might explain “bobbing for apples” at Halloween.
When the Irish emigrated to America, the turnips that they used to hollow out and light with candles to ward off the evil spirits were not as plentiful as pumpkins, which were everywhere in winter. The origin of the term “jack-o-lantern” is a fanciful modern myth about a drunk named Jack who made a deal with the devil.
For Catholics, Halloween is the eve of All Saints Day (“All Hallows Day”) or “Hallow-een.” Surprisingly, All Saints was not declared a feast day in the Catholic Church until 604, when Pope Boniface IV introduced All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs and replace the pagan festival of the dead. In 835, Pope Gregory IV moved All Saint’s Day from May 13 (original date) to Nov. 1. For Christians, this became an opportunity for remembering before God all the saints who had died and all the dead in the Christian community. Oct. 31 thus became All Hallows’ Eve (“hallow” means “holy”).
And so, what began as a time of fear of the dead and attempts to ward off evil spirits became, over the centuries, a time to respect and pray for the dead.
But it became a night to have fun as well. So, buy your bags of candy and fill your bowls by your door. Get ready! The kids are coming!
Jack Bray, a former resident of Dunedin, is a retired broadcasting executive who now lives in Alabama.
OCTOBER 31, 2004
Spiritual Halloween: By Cheryl Glover: New Thought Kabbalah
There are tons of articles on Halloween. They are either historical, mythical
or designed to stop mis-beliefs. This one is spiritual.
First, let us lighten up. This is a holiday that is supposed to be fun. Fun for kids, fun for parents,
fun for adults. If I read one more article on the pro’s or con’s of Halloween– I’m going to scream.
One more article on Pagan vs. Christian vs. Jewish VS. The Celtics??? It sounds like football game.
And maybe that is all it should be.
The spiritual truth behind Halloween is that all religions have ways of honoring their ancestors. YES, that is what Halloween is about. It is a time to honor and pay attention to the lessons that your ancestors have given you. Eve of the Hallows. Remember Grandma and Grandpa and what legacy they left on this planet. Remember their struggles so you may learn from their lessons and life may be easier for you. Remember their LOVE, their warmth, their light and their words.
Halloween is a time for meditating on what gifts your loved ones have left you. May we never live in a society that forgets their dead. Such a society would be prone to forget their lame, their handicapped and their not so fortunate. May we remember our forefathers and foremothers of our country, our ancestor nations and our various religions. May we always remember the patriarchs and matriarchs and may we learn from them.
May we use the memory of those who have gone before us to build stronger futures for ourselves and our children. May we remember the wars– so we do not repeat those mistakes. May we remember the love–so that we may hope. May we remember the pain–so that we may live in joy.
Halloween is a celebration of legacy. We celebrate what our ancestors have given us. We remember the dead and know that our children will remember us. This allows us to celebrate LIFE. Lichaim. For Life. Most of all this is a holiday to count your blessings. For the road behind you is rich in tradition, wisdom and experience. And so is the road before you. Lichaim, Blessed Be & Shalom.
Copyright @ 2004 Cheryl Glover, Reprint with links back to: http://www.newthoughtkabbalah.com
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