At Samhain, October 31st, the Wicca say farewell to the God even though he readies to be reborn at Yule.
This grand sabbat, also known as Feast of the Dead ,Feast of Apples, All Hallows, and of course Halloween, once marked the time of sacrifice. This was the time when animals were slaughtered to ensure food throughout the winter. The God fell as well to ensure our continuing existence. This is a time of reflection and coming to terms with the one thing in life which we have no control – death.
Wiccans feel that on this night the separation between the physical and spiritual realities is it’s least guarded and it’s veil the thinnest. It is a time for dimensional openings and workings, and also the celebration of the death of the year king. It is a somber holiday, one of dark clothes and thoughts for the dead, it is said to be the time when those of necromantic talents can speak with the dead and it is certainly a time to remember ones dead. It is a time of endings of relationships and bad situations and it is the time when one can see the glimmer of hope in the future.
There are as many concepts attached to this holiday as any other, truly a time of remembrance of our ancestors and all those who have gone before.
The last of the Pagan Harvest festivals. We now take in the last of the cold crops and take stock of that we have, ensuring there is enough to last us through the coming coldness of winter. We make the last of our preserves, dry the last of our herbs, can the last of the fruits and so on. It is the night when the Sun-God enters the Summerland bringing the souls who have departed that year with Him. It is the night we celebrate our Ancestors, Those Who Have Gone Before. The night when we ask Those to speak with us, to tell us of themselves, to show us our paths and for High Divination purposes.
ACORNS--at this time of year they are symbolic of the Life Within, the life yet to be fulfilled.
APPLES–are used in the Feast and the bark from the tree is ground and used in the incense. They are considered a Religious herb and when eaten in this form on this night it is said to add a higher magickal dynamic to the ritual and it is then possible to bring out deep personal internal change. Bobbing for apples is very appropriate…and fun!…on this night.
CORNSTALKS-– help to set the mood and add an imaginative element.
DITTANY OF CRETE–should be tossed into the fire to share with those who have passed. It is used also to seek the wisdom from those who are still between lives, teachers, guides, loved ones. It is used to invoke Persephone and Osiris both deities of the mystical Otherworld.
FUMITORY–is used in the incense. This herb is associated with the Otherworld and legend proclaims it sprang from the gases of the earth being born of the Earth’s inner self and spirit rather than from seed. As an incense it purifies and is especially good to purify the Sacred Space and cleanse it or distractions and negative energies.
MULLEIN–should be gathered in advance an dried. The tops are soaked in oil or fat and then lit on this night, they make wonderful torches. Be sure to soak them for at least fifteen minutes before lighting, attach them to a heavy metal rod if possible. They may also be picked and dipped in Candle Wax….use your leftovers from your Candle Spells for this purpose.
NIGHTSHADE (DEADLY, BELLADONNA) is gathered this night. It is the one night when the negative energies which be cast aside Their eyes from this plant and will not see you take it. Do not eat it!
OAK--adorns the altar and the male members of the Coven.
PUMPKINS–make those Jack-O-Lanterns! Place them all around your Circle and your altar.
SAGE–is used in the ritual cup.
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