Here we are on Halloween 2019. I love this time of year: crisply cold nights, kids and adults alike playing dress-up and, of course, the candy.
For Pagans, Druids and Wiccans, it is Samhain (pronounced Sow -win, or Sow-een), the last of the Four Greater Sabbats of the Wiccan Calendar and the last of the harvest festivals. For Pagans, Wiccans and other neo-Pagan traditions, it is spiritual New Year.
Through my 20s and early 30s, I was a practising Wiccan. I celebrated every esbat (full moon) and every Sabbat and cross-quarter day (i.e. Solstices and Equinoxes) on the Wheel of the Year. (see below). I started to fall away from Wicca when I reached my early 30s, as I increasingly felt that Atheism was more true to my nature, however I have never lost my love of Wiccan ritual and, in terms of spirituality and religion, I still (spiral) dance between Atheism, Wicca and the Hindu school of Samkhya.
Saying Goodbye to the Old Year and Ushering in Positive Change
This Samhain falls during a Waxing Moon. The Waxing Moon is a great time for spells that attract positive change, good luck and growth. And Samhain is a perfect time to say goodbye to the residual energies of the year that is now passing. It is also a time for remembering ancestors, as it is said that the veil between worlds is thinnest at Samhain / All Souls Eve/ Halloween (hence all the monsters and spooky beings!)
Today/ this evening, I have been thinking about all of the shit that I need to let go of that has been making me unwell. I want to take my witch’s broom and brush away the detritus of my anger, sadness and disillusionment. I want to usher in positive changes and I want to finally find the courage to let myself grow- to be myself rather than what other people expect or need me to be.
So, what will I be doing this Samhain Eve, as the veil opens and the old year dies? I’ll be remembering my mother, as I have done every Halloween since her passing. I will be burning sage to clear away negative energies, and I may consult the cards. I’d like to cast a circle, but I no longer have my ritual equipment (I really miss my athame and my beautiful dragon- motif goblet tonight!), and I am woefully out of practice when it comes to casting and spellwork.
However, ritual can be as simple as sitting down tonight with a glass of wine or a cup of herbal tea, remembering those we miss and being thankful that we knew them, and, if you believe in the possibility of “somewhere else”, saying hi to those we’ve lost and wishing them well if they’re passing by.
It can be as simple as clearing a space, either physically or mentally, for new, positive changes. And it can be as simple as taking half an hour to sit in quiet repose and accepting the good and bad, the up and downs, the victories and the mistakes of the past 12 months, and looking onwards and upwards to this next turn of the Wheel.
How do you mark Halloween / Samhain? Do you celebrate it at all?
However you spend this Samhain, may good fortune, positivity and a warm hearth greet you.
Blessed Be 🕸 and Happy Halloween 🎃
If you are interested in some simple ways to mark the turning of the Wheel this Samhain, visit Circle Sanctuary for some lovely suggestions. There are lots of things that don’t involve scrying, spells or dancing sky-clad* on a windy hillside. (* sky-clad = nude!)