It’s October! I am squeaking this in a high pitched voice at my partner who stares back at me blankly- he doesn’t get it. October to me is one of the best months of the year, Summer is definitely over and Autumn is in full swing. I often hear people express their love for this magical time of year when the days are getting cold and the sky is still a brilliant blue, it is just wonderful. There is a smell in the air and a change in the earth like it’s preparing itself for the winter, I can feel the apprehension and excitement growing for the celebrations to come.
Of course, for those who chose to follow the Pagan path will know, on the 31st October we celebrated Samhain or more commonly known as Halloween. Samhain is when the veil that separates each world is at its thinnest, meaning the spirit and Fae may walk among us. Some may also choose to celebrate this as the old Celtic New Year. For me, it is the time to think of loved ones and also to acknowledge the year that has just past. It is the final harvest in the cycle, the sun is fading and here the God dies away to be reborn later in the year.
It is a wonderful time for feasts and fun. One of my favourite and most important things to achieve on this day is the carving of a Jack’O’Latern. This is a very old Celtic tradition that has lasted the test of time. Originally those seeking protection from the wandering spirits would carve a face in the turnip and place the lantern in the window of their home to ward away any unwanted guests. Today we more commonly use pumpkins, but the tradition of carving a scary face and placing it outside our home still exists.
I chose not to dress up anymore for this night unless of course, it is called on me to do so. When I was young this was one of my favourite things about the holiday; I was a pumpkin, witch, cat, death, monster and the devil. Again this tradition bears its roots from when people would disguise themselves as ghouls and ghost, to blend in and not be spotted by those spirits who may venture onto this earth plane on all Hallows Eve.
Wiccans may also set extra places at their table to ensure old ancestor will have somewhere to eat when they visit, for if the dead walk freely tonight then it is best not to be rude. A candle can be placed in the window to shine a guiding light for those nearest and dearest to find their way home.
On this day, as well as fun, feasting and pumpkin carving I will also perform a small ritual and for this, I use a black candle and a white one. I won’t go into too much detail but by burning the black candle you are visualising saying goodbye to the past year, I appreciate all I have accomplished however small. And if there is something I particularly wish to get rid of; I will write this down before burning the paper in the flame (in a safe and secure way making sure I have somewhere safe for it to burn out). I will then light the white candle and visualise the upcoming year and what I wish to achieve. If there are a few goals I will write them down and keep them safe to remind myself very now and again. After I have finished the ritual, I place the white candle in the window for the reason I have stated above. It is a personal and private time before the celebrations begin.
I hope you have a wonderful Halloween however you chose to spend it,
May the Lord and Lady bless you.
P.S Before I post this I just wanted to add; I went for my walk in the forest today to spend some time in nature and with the God and Goddess on this important day. It is a mild day, I was able to soak up all the goodness from the sun and the forest just took on a wonderful beauty, it seemed to be reflecting the magic of Samhain. To top of the journey, Rey and I were joined by a forest pony who walked straight up to me allowing me to pay my respects. It was an incredible moment and, I believe, a gift on this magic day of Samhain. I have included some pictures I took while out today, but unfortunately, the do not do it justice.