Within modern Paganism, Samhain (a Gaelic word that is pronounced “SAH-win”) is a time when the veils between the land of the living and the realm of the dead are at its thinnest. As such, it is a time for remembering our ancestors and our departed loved ones. It is often considered to be a rather solemn time that is set side for contemplating the mysteries of birth, life, death and even rebirth as is found within the sacred teachings of many spiritual and religious practices. This cycle is also seen all around us in nature.
Within the seasonal mythos contained within contemporary witchcraft, the God (the divine masculine) transforms from the Lord of the Wine to the Dreaded Lord of the Shadows, represented in the third and final harvest (that of blood and animals) encouraging us to make final preparations for the coming colder months.
Samhain is a time of introspection, of emptying the false from the mind, heart and soul. It is a time to heal the source of our deepest wounds, and those we have inflicted upon other people around us, before time fails us. This inward reflection and contemplation teaches us how to see things more clearly.
Within contemporary witchcraft Samhain is supposed to mark the gateway to the colder, winter months. Last weekend, however, as I hosted an observance on this sabbat, it was a rather summery 26C. This did not deter us as we honoured those who have passed through the veil in the hope that they will continue to guide us in this life.
It is a spiritual cleansing of those aspects of our life, which we have grown out of or no longer need. It is a time for divination and looking into the future, and a link with the dead. We have come to a place of rest and rewards, all our labours and harvest complete for the time being. This is also a time of giving thanks for all that you have accomplished, been gifted with, brought to completion so far this year.