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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Samhain ritual
Sabbat of Samhain – October 31st All Hallow’s Eve

Halloween stems from the grand tradition of the Celtic New Year. What started as a folk festival celebrated by small groups in rural areas has come to be the second largest holiday of today. There are multitudinous reasonsincluding modern marketingbut I think it satisfies a basic human need, to let your “wild side” out, to be free and more connected with the ancient ways. This is the time when the veil between worlds is thinnest and you can commune with the other side, with elders and the spirit world. It is important to honor the ancestors during this major sabbat and acknowledge what transpired in the passing year as well as set intentions for the coming year.

 

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I'd Like to Live in Halloweentown

So I'm pulling out all the stops this blog and referencing every entry I've written here to date about the truly most wonderful time of year: Samhain/Halloween! I had a close group of fellow pumpkin holiday enthusiasts over last weekend and the powerful positive female energy that flowed throughout the night was incredible. We played great music, crafted tiny spell jars, decorated skull sugar cookies, and even laughed ourselves silly over a witch hat ring toss game. Whether you choose to have a small, masked gathering with your favorite zombies or perhaps honor your ancestors ala Día de los Muertos , there are a multitude of ways to celebrate this weekend. Hosting a traditional Dumb Supper for lost loved ones is a favored activity of local Milwaukee legend Stonie Rivera. Truth be told, I know in my heart I will never be able to top my October 31st spent in Dracula country on the Tours of Terror folks' Transylvania trip. That's a cherished memory that will stay with me forever, and ever, and ever...

Dreams and Tarot Tossing

Be sure to pay special attention to dreams of departed loved ones right now. Chances are good that they may be trying to communicate an important message to you via your dreams. Record the messages and feelings you're left with in your journal for further consideration and meditation. This is the ideal time of year for channeling your witchy side with some divination and imagination. I always find shuffling the tarot cards and seeing what insights they have to share enlightening. They often bring a sharp clarity to complex situations and questions on your mind. I'm still enjoying using "The Witches' Wisdom Tarot," a deck created by my first "Women Who Howl at the Moon" podcast guest, Phyllis Currott. These cards are so rich and multi-layered in their meanings, guidance, and magickal intentions.

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The Deer People Have Come

In the dream, the coven has gathered, ready to begin the Rite of Samhain.

Night has fallen. Turning, I see deer on the hillside: first two, then more, then many.

We have visitors, I say.

We watch them watching us. The Deer People have come to witness our sabbat.

As we watch, one by one, the deer take human form.

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Your Personal Samhain Altar

On October 31, the veil is thinnest between the two worlds of the living and the dead. It is of vital importance to honor the dead. One way to do this is to create a special altar for this day, a tradition that comes down to us from the Celts among others. Create a new shrine just for this occasion with a chest of table in your home where people will see it and acknowledge your ancestors. On the altar, place photos, letters, and any mementos that will bring the energy of your late loved ones close.

 Place candles on the altar and light them during twilight. While it may seem uncomfortable at first, talk to your ancestors and tell them about what is going on in your life. Share memories and speak about whatever you feel inspired to speak of—grief, hopes for the future, troubles, all you need to share. Take as much time as you need with this. Place the bowl of water with white flowers—gardenias are an excellent choice—on the altar and leave it overnight.

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New Year, New You: Metamorphosis and Transmutation

Here is a personal ritual I recommend for the New Year, whether it is Samhain (October 31, All Hallow’s Eve) or Saturnalia (December 17-24). It can also be performed any time you feel the need for renewal or personal reinvention. Like a caterpillar, we can burst out of our old form and shed old skin. Old habits that no longer serve should be released. If drinking alcohol, for example, has become a problem for you, let go, find a Twelve-Step program, and let miracles happen in your life as you release the old and welcome the new. We must let go of the past in order to look to the future. A well-timed ritual can be the process by which you let go of that past. It formalizes the act and marks the time of entry into a new present and new future.

 

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Tales of Paganistan: Killing the Pumpkin

That year, Coven X had volunteered to lead the big Samhain ritual for the Wiccan Church of Minnesota.

Weeks before Samhain, the winds of controversy had already begun to blow.

The folks in Coven X, the new young coven in town, thought of the WiCoM folks as stodgy and regressive, mired in Wiccan dogma. Clearly, their intent with this ritual was to blow some of the cobwebs out of the attic.

It didn't take a seer to foretell where this was going to go.

The day before the ritual, the priestess told me all about it with a glint in her eye.

“We'll show them,” she concluded.

Well, if she wanted a firestorm, she got it.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    My view of ritual is heavily influenced by decades of the Runequest and Heroquest role playing games. To me ritual is a dramatic
Crystals to Connect You With the Other Side of the Veil

A magic cord is a rope that binds magic to your and is ideally made from strands of red wool or ribbon. Nine feet long, it is braided and tied into a loop at one end to represent feminine energy and left loose or frayed at the opposing end to signify the complementary male energy. Crystal beads woven onto the strands of the rope can compound its magical quality. I recommend that you use clear quartz crystal beads, which are energy amplifiers, but you can use special stones for various effects: rose quartz for love, citrine for grounding, jade for prosperity and success in work, blue lapis for creativity, and amethyst for improved intuition and psychic ability. This is the perfect adornment to wear as you celebrate All Hallows Eve when the veil is thinnest between worlds. Other stones to keep at hand to enhance your intuition and psychism are:

Azurite connects you to the astral plane

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