The Festival of Samhain

Samhain- The Pagan New Year
 
Samhain crone halloween
 
The Crone represents The Goddess as wise woman, healer, and keeper of the mysteriesSamhain is a cross quarter festival which is celebrated at the end of October or the beginning of November.The Sun is now in mid Scorpio.This is the Dark of the Moon.Also known as Halloween, Hallows Eve, All Souls Night, Night of Hecate and Cailleach, Feast of the Dead and Festival of Rememberance.This is summer’s end and the beginning of Winter.Samhain (pronounced Sow-ein) is when the veil of this world and the next thins, ancestors, relatives who have passed over return if they wish.We hold ceremonies to honour our dead, remember them.As a mother and a Pagan, I like to celebrate this night firstly with the children Trick or Treating.Then I spend time in meditation thinking of people close to me who have died.This is when we look inside ourselves and connect with cycles of life.For this is the new year, but with no end and no beginning.Pagans do not see time as linear but cyclic.Just as the Moon has cycles, so does the earth and so do we as humans.On this night some choose to use Divination to predict how bad the Winter will be.Many misconceptions surround Samhain, this night for this is sombre festival unlike Halloween.

Raising Pagans

I like to tell my children the meanings behind the different festivals from non religious view.I feel it’s important for them to learn the true meaning as well as getting into the whole Trick or Treating experience.

Story Telling

Find a story that you feel represents death.They are many lovely stories that I have read to my children to help teach children how to deal with death, as it is a part of life and I feel it’s important to talk about their fears and feelings.The subject should be approached in such a way that you do not frighten them, but help them understand what it means to die.Take in to account your children’s age too, try not to make it too complicated.

Masks                               


Get the children to make an animal mask.Ideal ones would be a bear, a squirrel or a fox.Get them to act out their animal.Do reseach with your child on how animals survive the winter, watch a nature programme, look for evidence in your local envrionment of animal activity.

Carve a Pumpkin

Turnips were originally used to make small latterns, but pumpkins are so widely available now.Mark out your design.Then cut out, remembering which parts are to be removed.Place a candle inside and put outside.This is a tradition of lighting the path to your house to show spirits where you live, if you wish them to visit.
If you have an Altar decorate with appropiate materials.Small gourds, pumpkins, leaves made into wreaths, purple or black candles (REMEMBER: NEVER LEAVE A CANDLE UNATTENDED AND TEACH YOUR CHILDREN SAFETY) maybe lit.Incense maybe burned.

Nature Walks 
 
Every Sabbat I like to take a walk with my children either to the woods, fields or to a local park.We look for signs in nature that represent the season and often bring back what we find.You set up an altar (a window sill if fine) with things that

Hallowe’en
 
We went out trick or treating last night.We only ever go to the houses with a pumpkin set outside or in the window.I was very happy that they had no Nestle chocolate or related sweets.My home made tote bag stayed in one piece and the pumpkins looked great and so did the kids.
Jack Skellington Halloween pumpkin
I entered Chrissie’s pumpkin carving competiton.I didn’t get down to the final 5, we did like Nurture Store’s entry and voted for that one.
We put my pumpkin along with the pumpkins the kids carved with their dad outside.Don’t they look fab?
Only to find this morning we a pumpkin fall out across the road and outside another person’s flat.
Smashing Pumpkins
 
However I did make these *coughs* ok sort of.I had over the weekend tried twice to make some chocolate muffins from the Green and Black’s chocolate recipe book but they were pants.So I cheated and bought some mini ones from Tesco.Caitlin rolled out some cake icing and stamped out the eyes after I cut out several circles.Each eye has one of those silver balls as pupils.

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