Kate Braun : Let the Spirits Dance at Samhain

Photo by Toby Ord / Book Jacket Blog.

Celebrating Samhain:
Let the spirits dance

By Kate Braun / The Rag Blog / October 26, 2011

Under the Full Moonlight We Dance/
Spirits dance we dance/
Joining hands we dance/
Joining souls rejoice.

Monday, October 31, 2011, with Lady Moon in her first quarter, we celebrate Samhain, Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, Third Harvest. Mondays are Moon-days, meaning that Lady Moon’s influence will be stronger than usual. Honor her with songs and dancing; let your feet feel the earth beneath them; raise your voice in songs of praise and exultation. Paying attention to dreams received this night could prove enlightening.

Decorate your surroundings and yourself using the colors orange, black, gold; invite your guests to do likewise. Let cornucopias spill across the table. Enjoy Mother Earth’s bounty one last time before the dark descends, moving us into the “time that is no time” when we, like Mother Earth, lie fallow as we await the coming of the next cycle of giving and receiving.

Samhain means “End of Summer.” On the Wheel of Life calendar, it marks the end of the year and the beginning of Mother Earth’s rest and renewal for the coming year. All Hallow’s Eve is the night before All Soul’s Day, November 1, Dia de los Muertos in Hispanic tradition. It is not unusual to blend the celebrations, with sugar skulls sitting on the table in company with carved jack-o-lanterns and celebrants costumed as film favorites dancing with celebrants costumed as skeletons.

In a healthy contrast to the focus on sugary “treats,” you may choose to create a “dumb supper” in honor of friends and relatives who have crossed over. Place lights in the windows to guide these spirits to you, prepare their favorite foods, set a place for them at your dinner table. Eat this supper in silence, paying close attention to whatever vibrations or spiritual signals may present themselves. If they choose, your invisible guests will find a way to communicate.

Apples are another important feature of this celebration. When we bury apples beside the roadside, we are leaving an offering to those spirits who are lost or who have no descendants to provide for them.

When we capture a bobbing apple in our teeth, that apple becomes a tool for divination: before the stroke of midnight, sit in front of a mirror in a room lit by only a candle or the moon, taking care that neither candlelight nor moonlight reflects in the mirror. Silently ask a question. Then cut the apple into nine pieces. With your back to the mirror, eat eight of the pieces, then throw the ninth over your left shoulder.

Turn your head to look over the same (left) shoulder, and you may see an image or symbol in the mirror that will answer your question.

[Kate Braun‘s website is www.tarotbykatebraun.com. She can be reached at kate_braun2000@yahoo.com. Read more of Kate Braun’s writing on The Rag Blog.]

The Rag Blog

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