Todays #WednesdayWishes falls on Samhain. So to say, this post comes in its own topic naturally.
Samhain, pronounced SA:WIN, closely related to Halloween, All Saints’ Day and Day of the Dead, is one of the four Wiccan/Pagan holidays that mark the change of a season. It falls between autumn equinox and winter solstice, celebrates the harvest and also welcomes the beginning of the dark half of the year. It is affiliated with other holidays that are popular around the world and that share similarities. A lot of Neo-Pagans celebrate it as their New Year, though Imbolc is also an option.
Because of the lack of written documents of the ancient period, we can’t be sure how it was celebrated. Most probably, the harvest would be collected and then a feast would follow. On a spiritual level, over those days the boundary between this world and the next thins, so a lot of creatures from beyond are able to appear in our world. Priests would make large bonfires: to cleanse both the landscape from the fallen leaves, and the areas from evil spirits and influences. The tradition of disguising in costumes and impersonating evil creatures from the beyond got mixed and transferred to modern times in today’s Halloween trick-or-treating. I can safely say that all parts of the world have this dressing-up in some form. It is used to scare the evil spirits back to the beyond.
Divination is a ritual typical of Samhain. In it, various magical objects and rites can be employed. One simple way of doing it is by means of a Tarrot card deck. Using Runes and various types of seeds or beans is also possible. Another way is by opening the Bible on a random page and reading the first verse that your eyes fall on. Read and think what that speaks to you. I remember reading about this in Tess of the D’Urbervilles and doing it right away. I was still an impressionable young girl back then. I remember the holiday for which Tess did it wasn’t Samhain, of course. She was a devout Christian, and it must have been Michaelmas or Candlemas. I promise I’ll look into the matter sooner than later. Wink.
Out of the other ways to celebrate, I chose to mention two more: decoration and renovation. Decoration is easy – put an autumn wreath on your door and decorate your house and yard with the fruits of nature characteristic of the season, keeping to the orange and black colour. Use pumpkin, yellow and red leaves, chestnuts, twigs and dry grass, in short what you can think of. Renovation captured my attention. Choose an area of your house, or life, and think of how you can improve it. Consider what state it is in right now, and try to imagine what it could be, what you’d like it to be. Discard items you no longer need and use. Make place for new items, or just leave some empty space to enjoy.
Happy Samhain! Get rid of all things dirty and live free! Share some photos of how you celebrated whatever holiday you chose to honour this year.