A time for transformation
By Kate Braun | The Rag Blog | October 31, 2012
“Under the moonlight we dance/ Spirits dance, we dance/ Holding hands we dance…”
Wednesday, October 31, 2012, is Halloween, aka Samhain, Third Harvest, All Hallows Eve. It marks a time for transformation and growth of the soul while in a spiritual hibernation between Samhain and Yule (Winter Solstice, when life begins to bloom again on Mother Earth).
This is the beginning of the agrarian year, a time of “being in the womb of the earth.” We now have time to study, to reflect, to prepare land and soul for the next cycle that will begin at Yule. Honor the Crone (old, wise woman): she holds the tribal lore, stores the records of the clan. Now is the time to listen to the wisdom of the ancestors. Use this knowledge/lore to make plans for the coming year, not only for work, but also for your own spiritual growth and enrichment.
Samhain is also a time of great magick, when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest. Do not be surprised if you sense contact with spirits that have crossed this veil or are in transition between the worlds. If you choose to enhance whatever possibilities of communication might be, there are many methods: you may scry, using either a black mirror or water placed in a dark-colored bowl or cauldron; or contemplate the flame of a single candle in an otherwise-unlit room; or create a dumb supper, to name just three.
Be sure to use the colors black and orange in your decorating scheme. You may also use red, brown, and/or golden yellow as accent colors.
If possible, celebrate outdoors and have a fire. Begin your outdoor activities by sweeping the area with a besom or straw broom. This symbolically cleanses the area, sweeping away the past and opening the door to the future. If you invite your guests to each bring a broom or besom, this could become a group activity that could be turned into a celebratory dance.
Lighting a new candle for the “new year” that is now in gestation is also something that could be incorporated into your activities.
Serve your guests a bountiful feast that may include pumpkins, apples, nuts, turnips, all gourds, squash, beets, corn, mulled wines, cider, beef, poultry, pork. Any crops not harvested by this date should be considered taboo and left in the ground, and it is also taboo to share leftovers at this festival. You may, however, bury apples along a road or path for spirits who are lost or who have no descendants to provide for them. Apples are food for the dead.
Decorate with pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, cornstalks, cauldrons, brooms and besoms, apples, root veggies, images of black cats. Throw any bones from your feast into the fire as an offering to the Gods/Goddesses for healthy and plentiful livestock in the coming year. Then, when the ashes are cool, spread them over your garden. This blesses the land as well as nourishes the soil.
Be aware that various Nature Sprites are out and about and are said to enjoy playing tricks on humans. In olden times people dressed in white or wore disguises to fool these entities; today we put on costumes just for the fun of it.