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 Samhain, the Magical New Year

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jkarrah
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Number of posts : 151
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Registration date : 2008-06-18

PostSubject: Samhain, the Magical New Year   Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:14 pm

October 31st, the Witches' New Year. Samhain (pronounced sow-an) has long been viewed by modern Pagans, Wiccans, and Witches to be the start of the magical new year. It is the third harvest festival and is the date when the Wild Hunt roams the world to collect the spirits of those who have passed away during the previous year and escorts them to their next destination... be that Heaven, the Summerland, Valhalla, whatever. This is also the second holiday where the Veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is thinnest, the other being Beltane on April 30. While the Veil thins and thickens all the time, it is at Samhain and Beltane when it thins enough and stays that way long enough for humans to cross over into the land of the spirit and for the souls of the dead to cross back over and share a brief moment with family and friends once more.

But Samhain, with it's added significance of marking the beginning of the magical new year, is an especially potent time for performing divinations so as to better prepare for the opportunities and challenges of the coming year. It is also one of the strongest magical days of the Pagan holiday calendar. This is the time to thank the gods for the blessings you have received over the course of the passing year as well as the time to lay the magical ground work for the next year. This is the time to "dress for success" as it were. Present yourself to the gods and spirits of the season as you would like to be by Samhain 2010. Ask for their assistance in seeing your dreams and desires made manifest. Instead of dressing in ritual robes... or your usual street clothes if you don't have/care for formal ritual garb...dress according to your new year's goal.

Looking for a new job in a specific field? Dress for Samhain as you would if you were dressing to go to work at that new job. Looking to finally sell that book you've been working on? Dress as you would if you were going to meet with your publisher or to a book signing. Looking to buy a new house? Print a "mock up" of a signed contract complete with description of the house, neighborhood and the maximum monthly mortgage you are looking to pay (be as realistic as possible here... no amount of magic is going to get you a $500,000 house for only $500/month on your payments). Looking to get into shape and improve your health? Buy a new outfit or find something to represent a healthier, more fit you and either wear it or set it alongside your Samhain altar. Let your needs, desires, and imagination be your guide!

Not much for long, drawn out rituals, with fancy poetry and dramatic displays? Don't worry about it. Samhain is a time to honor the gods and the spirits of your ancestors, but it doesn't have to be some big production. Even spell working this time of year can be simple yet still highly effective. Honoring the gods and ancestors can be a simple as lighting a nice candle and meditating for a few minutes. A simple prayer, spoken from the heart is all that is needed. If you want to give something as a offering of thanksgiving, pick up a small loaf of seasonal pumpkin bread, a single spiced muffin, or some of those little decorative gourds sold everywhere this time of year to offer to the gods spirits and ancestors. It is the intent behind the offering that is important, not how opulent the physical object. Another good offering item are.

Write your goals for the coming magical year on a small piece of paper and either burn it to release its energy into the creative realms or place it under your offering. When your ritual is done, thank the gods and all those spirits who attended for visiting with you, and before you go to bed (or to your favorite Halloween party) take your offering outside and leave it for the animals and nature spirits to share and enjoy. If you used the gourds, cut them open first to make it easier for the local critters to eat.

The important thing to remember is that whatever you choose to do to honor the season and spirit of Samhain will be alright in the eyes of the gods and the spirits of the ancestors as long as you are sincere in your intent. Simple or elaborate, quiet meditation or dramatic high ritual, all are acceptable before the gods and the spirits of the season as long as it comes from a loving heart and devoted spirit.

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