Good Morning Witches! Tis the session when are ranks are unexpectedly swelled and all of a sudden every one thinks it’s cool to be a witch! Go and play some where else with your pumpkins and leave us alone I hear the cry.
What the Mundane’s are celebrating was made up by the early christian church, although a thousand and one christian priest would argue that it wasn’t. Hallowen is actually All Hallows Eve – the day before All Saints day. What’s interesting is that the early church felt it necessary to invoke all the Saints at this time of year. Because it was to counter act the fest of the Dead / Ancestors which involved in to our Celebration of Samhain. It was a smart move to counter the pagan act of honouring and remembering the dead by first honouring the Saints, which are all church appointed by the way. Although it is still in the church’s calendar the fest of All Souls, which is day after All Saints day is usually over looked and forgotten about by your average parish priest because it’s more important to get the faithful to honour the Saints before remember loved ones who have passed over. The only time through out my christian carrier I saw All Soul’s marked was my time in the Monasteries. And even them it was wasn’t a made a big deal of.
So the American style celebration of Halloween could be seen as a two finger salute to the Church before you where dragged in to the pews to celebrate church appointed saints. And I kind of like that idea. whilst it doesn’t actually keep in with the old ways of the Pagan it does challenge the authority of the church. But these days, like most other things, the mighty power of the ad men and retailers have commercialised the hell out of it. The same as they have done for Christmas.
It is thought that at this time of year, the veil between the worlds thins and soul’s of the dead move more freely between Spirit and the earth realm. Now you would have thought that for those of us with the gift of mediumship would find it easier to communicate with them at this time of year then you would normally. I personally have never found that to be true. If you regularly flex the mediumship muscle and keep up with your meditation and mindfulness practices then cross the bridge to Spirit can be done at any time. Something the Hedge Witches have known and practiced for centuries.
So what really makes this time of year the perfect time to honour the Ancestors? This is when the world seems to die. As we turn in to full Autumn, the leaf’s shed their leafs the flowers draw back in to the earth, the weather gets cold and misty, it feels like the life force is leaving and soon all around us will be seemingly dead and the glory days of summer have passed. But we also have full store rooms from the harvest and the chances of us surviving the winter are good. We are on a high right now and it’s the perfect time to lay an extra place at the table for the Ancestors to join us for a feast as we remember those who have gone before us. So we invoke the spirit’s of the dead to come and join us and bless us so that we can get through the winter months and the re-birth of the earth when plants start to grow again and everything becomes green and lush again.
By the way, the tradition of placing a carved pumpkin at the door isn’t to keep away the spirits of the walking dead, it’s to guide them home…..so point that out to your neighbour and see the reaction if you’re feeling a little bit mischievous.
So does the fest of the Ancestors still have a place in this modern world? Absolutely it does. Whilst death and dying are still taboo subjects in the modern western culture I think it’s incredible important to honour the work and love of family and friends who have died. We don’t stop loving them, missing them just cause they en’t here no more. And I would think even more so because of recent times, when people have lost loved ones to early due to Covid I would think it’s important for your own well being to mark the day in some way. Light your candle, set an extra place at the table, spend some time walking with them in the woods, remember those you have loved and lost, honour their memory and give thanks for their life and love. Remember the things they taught you and be happy that you knew them. Don’t moan their passing, honour that they where a part of your life and you loved them.
Their are many aspects to Samhain from many traditions and it’s true that Modern Witches have turned it in to a time to celebrate us and our craft and what we hold to be true and I’m all for that. And to be true to that we have to remember those who have gone before us in the craft, be that a taught or family tradition or your own solitary path, you can’t honour being a witch without remember those who have laid the foundations we now build upon for those who follow us and will remember us when they step in to their own power at the right time. So it’s right we remember those who have gone before as those who follow will remember us.
I expect I’ll expand on Samhain as the time draws closer, it is my favourite time of the year and one of the celebrations I look forward to. This year I’ve not planned a big garden display as I’ve struggled with my mental health for a bit but my indoor traditions are well in hand and I”ll be tracking down and getting hold of the things I need in the next week or so. Which is fitting as it’s new moon this week too.
Have a blessed week, laters witches.