The Sabbats – Samhain

Samhain falls on the same date as Halloween. Many people, not just Wiccans, believe that Halloween is the day that the veil between the living world and the dead world is at its thinnest.

Samhain is usually celebrated as the New Year in Wicca. It is the final harvest festival and we celebrate that the God (the sun) has left us but he will soon return.

It is also a great time to honour the dead within your altar as well. You may want to set up an Aku altar, which is an altar solely to honour your loved ones who have left this world and moved onto the next. Samhain is also the best time to perform divination as well, so if you have any questions you need answering this may be the best time to ask.

If you are to prepare offerings for the Gods, it would be best if they are seasonal. Stuff such as pumpkins, acorns, conkers, berries… They will be perfect for offerings. I wouldn’t use a whole pumpkin as an offering. They’re quite big so it would probably dominate my altar. What I would do is just carve one out to decorate the house for Halloween and use the seeds as offerings. Personally I try to offer pomegranate seeds as well, to provide food for Persephone in the underworld, which I will explain a bit further on.

The best incense and oils for this time would probably be deep earthy scents, like sandalwood and patchouli. Try burning these beforehand as they can be very strong smells and you may not like them. Personally I love the smell but it is not to everyone’s tastes.

If you want to bring mythology into your practice, you may want to adapt the myths of the pantheon you follow into the Sabbats.

As you all know, my beliefs are rooted deep within the Greek pantheon. As such I adapt the Greek myths into my beliefs.
For Samhain I follow the myth of Persephone. At this time of year, Persephone has been taken down into the underworld by Hades. Her mother, Demeter, is searching for her and as such puts her duty to keep the plants growing on the back burner.
While in the underworld Persephone did not have anything to eat or drink as she had heard that if you ate anything in Hades’ lair you would never be able to leave. She had been starving for weeks until eventually she found six pomegranate seeds. Her stomach ached with hunger and she ate them before she considered the consequences.
Her fate had been sealed.

Zeus saw how distraught Demeter was and he sent Hermes to make a deal with Hades. Upon hearing the news that Persephone had eaten pomegranate seeds in Hades’ lair, Hermes had to think quickly.
He proposed that Persephone would reside in the underworld for six months of the year (from September to March) and for the rest of the year she would reside on Mount Olympus.
Hades considered this and after some thought, agreed.

If you follow a different pantheon you may want to use one of their myths for your practice. I know some people who follow the Egyptian pantheon use the myth of Osiris’ resurrection and the conception of Horus for Samhain. It is entirely up to you, but that is the myth I follow for Samhain.

I hope you enjoyed reading. As always, love and light. Blessed be.

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