I believe this is my third Samhain celebration as one who mindfully follows the Wiccan path. I have long been aware of the ancient origins of Halloween…the Celtic and early Pagan celebrations that were enjoyed. Quite often these days, at this time of year, variations on this history pop up on history networks, scary networks, and …. gasp …. local ‘news’ programs. Here, I would like to share my experience of what it has come to mean to me. And it is multi-fold.
The one that comes easiest to many peoples’ understanding is that of the three Pagan harvest celebrations, this is the last before the longer dark nights of the winter time. In pre-Gregorian calendar times, when many important aspects of life were dependent on the seasons of farming and hunting to provide food and sustenance. Generally across cultures, Fall is a time for recognizing that final harvest and storage of food for the winter. In the older times, this was a primary aspect of survival community-wide. Harvests were shared among the community, providing shared sustainable, and overall care. An abundant harvest meant sustaining the immediate family for the winter, but also fellows in the area who needed the mutual support.
So a great part of Samhain for me is sharing. Sharing what resources are available in one’s viable community to the health and well-being of that community. This abundance does not only mean food resources. It includes financial resources, fulfillment of skills and goals, health of mind, body and spirit, knowledge and teaching….it includes what is needed, but can also include what is wanted. I love sharing what I have and seeing it received. Now, such abundance, as with all things, can have a shadow side as well. I choose to focus on the happier, more helpful things to share and to wish for folks. (Be careful what you wish for…..)
Samhain is also seen and the end of the Wheel of the Year….the New Year. The Wheel of the year being based on nature, the Springtime seasons are early in our year because growth is starting on the Earth. Throughout the season, the crops seed, grow, are harvested…and all for the good of all who feed from it. And then the Earth returns to rest during the cold season….starting on Samhain….until the spring time. During the winter time, there are other celebrations….but that’s for a later blog.
Samhain is also noted as the favored time of the year to relate with those who have transitioned. Passed on. Commonly referred to as a time when communication with those who have passed is most often possible. It’s really about ancestry. Finding it, sensing it, honoring it. The Ancestors went before us, amassing information that based on our connection to them, They can share pertinent information to that end. They can support our journey as one supported theirs. They love us along the way. Our ancestors can be direct by blood line, they can be those who have entered into our journey with such love and support….they can also be previous members of a culture or community that we feel resonant with. And none of them need remain a distant memory. They are available to us always, and indeed, we will become ancestry ourselves at some point. I find it a warm and wonderful sense of comfort.
Overall, Samhain is a wonderful time to honor Earth for providing, Ancestry for providing helpful information, love, and support, and noting the turning of the New Year. Candy is not pertinent. ‘Scary’ is not necessarily necessary. Seeing the colorful leaves of Nature shows me her beauty, diversity, all-inclusiveness, and the next coming season. Samhain provides introspection for the self….how have we come, how does that feel, how would we consider proceeding to change/improve?
So one way or another, Samhain is rejuvenation. Growth. An ending in order to provide the next beginning. Next beginning during the dark evening of winter, Growing again. I experience it as ‘thanks for all the food!!’…’thanks for all the information, support, and love’.
Love and Light to you all, and Blessed Be! )O(