Halloween; widely recognised in more pagan/wiccan religions, beliefs/faiths. This sabbats official term is Samhain (Sow-een) it is recognised as the end of the harvest season and the welcoming of the winter months.
The roots of Halloween can be traced back hundreds and thousands of years. Here is why I believe this time of year is important.
After all the crops are harvested and the trees have changed colour, we are left with a landscape that looks bear and uninviting. This is quite a negative way to look at the season so instead many wiccans/pagans/druids and other earth led religions see it as a time of death and rebirth.
The preparing of something new, it is largely regarded as the pagan new year. This comes with lots of opportunities, many people at this time of year will write lists about what they have been grateful for in the year previous and a list of wishes and hopes for the coming new year.
Typically, at this time of year fires are lit as a symbol of life still being present, warming the earth and our homes in this time of reflection. Amongst many spiritual practices and religions Samhain is thought of as being the most opportune time to converse with passed loved ones, earth and animal spirits and receive guidance from a universal thought.
On October 31st (northern hemisphere) a friend and I go to Glastonbury, a small English village steeped in mystical lore and prophecy. There is a beautiful garden at Glastonbury called Chalice Well, filled with lots of little gardens, areas to sit and quietly contemplate, meditate, play musical instruments etc. It has a beautiful feeling of tranquillity and at Samhain these gardens play host to a gathering of like-minded people (“weirdo’s” I like to call them, I’m one of them so its okay!)
Between two giant yew trees a fire is lit, we all gather in circle around it, are guided through a meditation and asked to think about loved one’s past. We speak their names out loud then in a period of quiet think about what we are grateful for. We join in singing, are often given applewood pieces to throw into the fire (applewood represents rebirth and reflection) talk to other like-minded “weirdos” and have a steaming cup of hot soup.
Chalice Well sits at the foot of Glastonbury Tor. The whole place is steeped in mystical history, is this place Avalon? Do the waters of the well hold a curing energy? Can you hear the whisper between the trees? For me the answer is yes and more to all these questions, although some people do believe or have faiths in different theories. All I know is that the end of October and beginning of November always feel like a time of reflection and remembrance for myself and how it feels to you will probably be completely different and that is ok!
Now I could go on and on and delve deeper with you on this subject, but I’ll leave it here for now. If you do have any questions or ideas etc regarding what I have discussed, please do not hesitate to talk to me about them!
Like I said these are my thoughts and beliefs and by no means would I want to force that onto anyone else.
What do you like to do in the Autumn months? Do you have any traditions around this time of year? Share them with me, I love to hear what you all get up to.