“Samhain is an ancient Celtic festival that marked the end of one year and the start of the nextThe name mean “summer’s end” and marks the start of the dark half of the year. The herds now return to the village, and all plants had to be gathered. All necessary herbs, fruit, nuts, and berries were collected for winter’s store.
With the veil between the worlds at its thinnest, interactions between humans and the sacred other world of occurred on Samhain. As a New Year’s festival, many special ceremonies took place and offerings were made to the gods. Purification rites helped prepare for the year to come. Sacred myths were recited – what had been in the past was being re-created once more. And finally, divination took place to see what was to come.
At Samhain, prepare yourself for the next sacred cycle. Take an oath to the gods to give up or do something special, as an offering. Speak your oath aloud three times in the presence of a sacred flame. Then take a purifying bath and put on your finest garb. Stand before the Old Gods with respect and humility, and ask them to give you a vision to guide you on your path.”
Copyright Sharynne MacLeod NicMhacha Llewellyn’s Witchces’ Datebook 2012 Page 115
Posted by Arthur Hinds:
“For the sacred ones, I stand and call with raised arms
I honor the names of the dead who shine in my heart.
I honor the names of the dead who shine in the hearts of those I love.
I honor the names of the dead who shine in my mind.
I honor all the dead whose names are unknown to me.
I am here and who I am because of you and the steps you walked.
I honor you and raise my hands to you.”
“The Feast of Beltane marks the beginning of the bright half of the year. At this time, the herds and flocks are moved from the village up into the hills and mountains, where they will have fresh grazing all summer long. It was a time to celebrate and to preserve the abundance and fertility of earth and its creatures.
Huge bonfires were created from nine types of wood, and the animals were run between the two fires to protect them. People also passed between the fires – some even jumped over the Beltane fires – for protection and good fortune. Wildflowers, especially yellow ones, were gathered and brought into the home. Healing plants picked at dawn on Beltane were believed to have great power.
On Beltane, light two candles – yellow, white, or green – and place them on two separate tables or altars. Decorate the altars with freshly gathered spring flowers and place a plate of sacred cakes nearby for the gods and goddesses. Circle the table three times, sunwise, thanking the gods for their blessings and abundance. Then walk between the candle for protection and good fortune to ensure your prayers are received by the Acient Ones.”
Copyright Sharynne MacLeod NicMhacha Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2012 Page63