Wicca Samhain
Samhain: October 31 by Mike Nichols

copyright by MicroMuse Gang This grind contains 10 hobo articles by Mike Nichols. They may be without a template long-winded provided that the following terminology are met: (1) No fee is charged for their use and stem and no trade use is completed of them; (2) These files are not converted or reduced in any way weakness the author's permission; (3) This get hold of is not sophomoric. An unit may be long-winded as a individual grind, provided that this get hold of is mindless at the beginning of each such grind. These articles are now and then simplified by the author; this sketch out is current as of 9/28/88.

Halloween. Sly does it. Boundary catspaw. Raceway and seep. But why? At the same time as for? How? Who? When! Where did it all begin? 'You don't know, do you?' asks Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud mountain climbing out under the envelop of foliage under the Halloween Tree. 'You don't Enormously know!'

--Ray Bradbury from 'The Halloween Tree'

Samhain. All Hallows. All Hallow's Eve. Hallow E'en. Halloween. The utmost magical night of the rendezvous. Brusque back up Beltane on the trail of the rendezvous, Halloween is Beltane's dark alter ego. A night of spring jack-o-lanterns, bobbing for apples, famous or treats, and dressing in rub. A night of manifestation stories and seances, tarot card readings and scrying with mirrors. A night of power, later than the unseen that separates our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest. A dynamism twilight, as they say in Wales.

All Hallow's Eve is the eve of All Hallow's Day (November 1st). And for following, even drop tradition remembers that the Eve is extend basis than the Day itself, the traditional celebration focusing on October 31st, beginning at nightfall. And this seems only fitting for the awe-inspiring Celtic New Year's holiday. Not that the holiday was Celtic only. In fact, it is scary how various ancient and self-determining cultures (the Egyptians and pre-Spanish Mexicans, for fashion) horrendous this as a holiday of the dead. But the majority of our modern traditions can be traced to the British Isles.

The Celts called it Samhain, which burial 'summer's puzzle, according to their ancient two-fold division of the rendezvous, later than summer ran from Beltane to Samhain and winter ran from Samhain to Beltane. (Specific modern Covens resonance this scheme by let the Distinguished Rector rule the Coven beginning on Samhain, with rulership returned to the Distinguished Priestess at Beltane.) According to the final four-fold division of the rendezvous, Samhain is seen as 'autumn's puzzle and the beginning of winter. Samhain is horrible (depending on where you're from) as 'sow-in' (in Ireland), or 'sow-een' (in Wales), or 'sav-en' (in Scotland), or (unavoidably) 'sam-hane' (in the U.S., where we don't speak Gaelic). Not only is Samhain the end of autumn; it is exceedingly, extend remarkably, the end of the old rendezvous and the beginning of the new. Celtic New Year's Eve, later than the new rendezvous begins with the initiation of the dark phase of the rendezvous, fair-minded as the new day begins at nightfall. Exhibit are various representations of Celtic gods with two faces, and it definite basic sustain been one of them who reasonable command out of the frame Samhain. Neediness his Greek correspondence Janus, he would straddle the reduce, one face turned on the way to the former in tribute of individuals who died within the raid rendezvous, and one face gazing hopefully on the way to the well ahead, mystic eyes attempting to pierce the unseen and divine what the coming rendezvous holds. These two themes, celebrating the dead and divining the well ahead, are implacably entangled in Samhain, as they are probable to be in any New Year's celebration.

As a f?te of the dead, it was alleged the dead might, if they wished, return to the land of the living for this one night, to celebrate with their kinfolk, hurry, or relations. And so the awe-inspiring cash mounds of Ireland (sidh mounds) were opened up, with lighted torches pool liner the parapet, so the dead might find their way. Surplus chairs were set at the participate and supplies set out for any who had died that rendezvous. And portray are various stories that spot of Irish heroes making raids on the Criminal world epoch the gates of faery stood open, although all basic return to their right and proper chairs by daylight.

As a f?te of forecast, this was the night par merit for peering indoors the well ahead. The slang for this has to do with the Celtic view of time. In a culture that uses a linear create of time, the same our modern one, New Year's Eve is basically a attraction on a very aspiration footpath that stretches in a straightforward line from opening to death. And so, the New Year's holiday is a part of time. The ancient Celtic view of time, tranquil, is repeated. And in this frame, New Year's Eve represents a pose all-embracing of time, later than the natural order of the construction dissolves back indoors old-fashioned confusion, first to re- establishing itself in a new order. And so, Samhain is a night that exists all-embracing of time and thus it may be used to view any other pose in time. At no other holiday is a tarot card reading, crystal reading, or tea-leaf reading so probable to be successful.

The Christian religion, with its beat on the earlier Christ and his act of redemption 2000 soul ago, is hurdle indoors a linear view of time, where 'seeing the well ahead is an capricious tender. In fact, from the Christian perspective, any probability to do so is seen as inherently evil. This did not spell the medieval Priestly from co-opting Samhain's other typeset, tribute of the dead. To the Priestly, tranquil, it might never be a f?te for all the dead, but only the blessed dead, all individuals sanctified (completed holy) by drill to God - so, All Hallow's, or Hallowmas, final All Saints and All Souls.

Exhibit are so various types of forecast that are traditional to Hallowstide, it is discretionary to passage only a few. Girls were told to place hazel loopy miserable the front of the firegrate, each one to characterize one of her suitors. She might for that reason divine her well ahead companion by chanting, 'If you love me, pop and fly; if you detestation me, roast and die.' Dissimilar methods used the apple, that utmost drop of Halloween fruits. You necessity stuff an apple through the equator (to reveal the five-pointed star within) and for that reason eat it by candlelight before a mirror. Your well ahead companion force for that reason healthy out of the frame your have. Or, cut an apple, making reliable the coming off comes off in one aspiration line, reciting, 'I condemn this apple fly around and fly around again; / My sweetheart's name to come into flower on the plain: / I fling the continual paring o'er my bubbles, / My sweetheart's communication on the induce to read.' Or, you break down set a snail to stampede through the ruins of your inglenook. The sweet-tempered depleted creature force for that reason spell out the head communication as it moves.

Perhaps the utmost extreme icon of the holiday is the jack-o-lantern. Scores of creation charge it to either Scottish or Irish origin. Yet, it seems conspicuous that it was used as a lantern by nation who traveled the footpath this night, the unsettling face to oppressor apart spirits or faeries who break down by lead one disoriented. Set on porches and in windows, they cast the exact spell of protection out of the frame the family circle. (The American pumpkin seems to sustain until the end of time Christ and his actsuperseded the European gourd as the jack-o-lantern of untouchable.) Bobbing for apples may well cruel the relics of a Pagan first use rite called a 'seining', according to some writers. The water-filled tub is a latter-day Cauldron of Rekindling, indoors which the novice's bubbles is covered. The fact that the celebration in this folk game was as normal blindfolded with hands fixed lay aside the back exceedingly puts one in watchdog of a traditional Ship initiation show.

The use of dressing in rub and 'trick-or-treating' is of Celtic origin with survivals notably strong in Scotland. Yet, portray are some basis differences from the modern sketch out. In the crucial place, the use was not relegated to children, but was actively indulged in by adults as well. Both, the pardon which was fringe was often one of spirits (the suspension tell somebody to). This has completely been re-energized by college students who go 'trick-or-drinking'. And in ancient era, the roving bands would sing hobo carols from friendly society to friendly society, making the tradition very faithful to Yuletide wassailing. In fact, the use acknowledged as 'caroling', now united lock, stock and barrel with mid-winter, was following skilled at all the critical holidays. From top to bottom, in Scotland at token, the tradition of dressing in rub consisted just about lock, stock and barrel of cross-dressing (i.e., men dressing as women, and women as men). It seems as although ancient societies provided an be revealed for nation to roll on' the gift of the back up sexual category for one night of the rendezvous. (At the same time as in Scotland, this is admittedly less theatrical - but extend confounding - such as men were in the craving of now skirt-like kilts lucky. Oh well...)

To Witches, Halloween is one of the four Distinguished Holidays, or Pompous Sabbats, or cross-quarter days. In the same way as it is the utmost basis holiday of the rendezvous, it is sometimes called 'THE Lofty Sabbat.' It is an dry up fact that the newer, self-created Covens own to use the aged name of the holiday, Samhain, which they sustain bare through modern explore. Seeing that the aged present at birth and traditional Covens often use the newer name, Halloween, which has been handed down through vocal tradition within their Coven. (This is often holds true for the names of the other holidays, as well. One may often get an presage of a Coven's antiquity by noting what names it uses for the holidays.)

Afterward such an basis holiday, Witches often hook and eye two diverse carousing. Firstly, a vast Halloween group for non-Craft friends, often reasonable on the ancient history weekend. And report on, a Coven ritual reasonable on Halloween night itself, postponed copiousness so as not to be periodic by trick-or-treaters. If the rituals are performed favorably, portray is often the imprint of imperceptible friends plunder part in the wake. Distinctive get which may be utilized in notion carousing is the actual cross-quarter day, or Old Halloween, or Halloween O.S. (Old Fit in). This occurs later than the sun has reached 15 degrees Scorpio, an astrological detain pose symbolized by the Eagle. This rendezvous (1988), the get is November 6th at 10:55 pm CST, with the celebration beginning at end of the day. Temptingly, this get (Old Halloween) was exceedingly appropriated by the Priestly as the holiday of Martinmas.

Of all the Witchcraft holidays, Halloween is the only one that torpid boasts anything roundabouts to drop celebration. Direct although it is customarily relegated to children (and the young-at-heart) and observed as an twilight entity only, various of its traditions are humorlessly surrounded in Paganism. Temptingly, some schools sustain completely attempted to do away with Halloween parties on the persuade that it violates the drifting apart of traditional and religion. Words as a Pagan, I would be saddened by the be successful of this move, but as a fan of the create of religion-free customary schooling, I worry I basic meet halfway the pose. Nevertheless, it seems only appropriate that portray Poverty be one night of the rendezvous later than our minds are turned on the way to intelligence of the magnetism. A night later than all Pagans and non-Pagans may consider the mysteries of the Otherworld and its fill. And if you are one of them, may all your jack-o'lanterns roast dazzling on this All Hallow's Eve.

by Mike Nichols