Flashback 2003 Samhain

[The Flashbacks will alternate years between WitchesOfTheCraft.com and CovenLife.co]

Samhain/Halloween

Samhain is the night when the veil between worlds is thinnest. It is a good time to communicate with those who have past away, using a mirror. You will need a large mirror for this. It ought to be big enough to show your whole face at once, and preferably part of your upper body.

At least three days before Samhain, cover the mirror. If possible, fast all day on October 31. If you smoke refain from smoking after sunset.

At midnight, sit or stand before the mirror. Have a small bowl or cup of salt water close to hand. Uncover the mirror, and, several times, softly call the name of the person you wish to contact. Concentrate. After a while you may feel contact with that person, and can speak to him or her and ask questions. You can also invoke your younger or older self with this method. When you are done, thank the person, or yourself, say farewell, then dip your fingers in the salt water and draw a pentagram on the mirror to seal the veil. If at any time the communication becomes troublesome, you can break contact in this manner also.

Copyright Magenta Griffith Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2003 Page 67

Flashback 2001 Samhain

[The Flashbacks will alternate years between WitchesOfTheCraft.com and CovenLife.co]

Samhain/Halloween

In many traditions, Samhain marks the spiritual New Year, a time when we want to focus on our connection to the past and the future. To ancient peoples, stones represent the link between ourselves and those who walked our Earth before us and would do so after us. This is still seen today in the New Year’s rituals in the South Pacific islanders and Jewish cemeteries the world over. To honor those who came before us, gather some interesting stones—large, but small enough to carry comfortably—and take them to any place that makes you feel connected to your ancestors. Graveyards, at home, or a piece of land are all appropriate. Speak out loud your desire to connect with those who once walked in this place and invite them to link more closely with you. Place the stones firmly into the ground, knowing that they will be there always, connecting you to eternity of your family tree from oldest roots to newest buds.

Copyright Edain McCoy Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2001 Page 119

The Origin of Halloween by Sliver Raven Wolf – Part 6

[This article will alternate days between CovenLife.co and WitchesOfTheCraft.com]

All Saints’ Day / All Hallows Eve / Hallowmas

All Saints’ Day and All Hallows Eve (Halloween) were first introduced in the seventh century CE. This date was changed to November 1 to supplant Pagan beliefs because those pesky Pagans just refused to cough up their original Samhain. The day was to honor God and all his saints, known and unknown All Saints’ Day later became Hallowmas, a mass to honor the dead. The Eve of All Hollow’s Eve, October 31, became All Hollow’s Eve, which evolved in to the word Hallowe’en. Although the church wished this time to be one of somber prayer and quiet custom, the Celts continued their customary bonfires and fortune telling.

All Saints’ Day is a bit different. The festival falls on November 2, a day to offer prayer and alms to assist the souls of those departed that managed to get stuck in purgatory, an in-between place that is neither heaven or hell. Over the succeeding centuries, Halloween like Christmas, picked up various customs and discarded others, depending on the complex socialization of the times and religious dictates.

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 1999 Pages 24 to 29

The Origins of Halloween by Silver Raven Wolf – Part 4

[This article will alternate days between CovenLife.co and WitchesOfTheCraft.com]

The Advent of Christianity

By the fourth and fifth centuries , Celtic Christianity had oozed into Ireland. St. Patrick has his hands full, and here is where the kettle starts to boil. At, first, the Pagans openly welcomed Christianity, but as Christianity filtered into the Celtic system, church officials had a few problems—mainly the Celtics didn’t want up their holidays or folk practices. The people were not willing to throw out traditions that were ingrained into their social structure. If you can’t get someone to completely change, what do you do? Compromise. And that’s exactly what happened. Samhain was changed to All Hollow’s Eve. To make the Pagan peoples adhere more closely to this new religion of Christianity, the clergy of the day taught the peasants that fairies were really demons and devils (remember, a concept totally unknown to Celtic belief or history) and their beloved dead were horrid ghosts and ghouls. The early Christian erroneously associated the Celtic land of the dead with the Christian concept of Hell.

To help the belief in Christianity along, Druids priestess were systematically murdered. Early Christians also taught the area peasants that their Lord of the Underworld was in fact Satan, which is ridiculous, as the two mythos don’t have anything in common. It appears that Christians misunderstood what the word Samhain meant: because the peasants use this celebration to honor the dead, Christians assumed that Samhain was the incorrect pronunciation of a Pagan deity in the Bible, recorded as Samuel, from the Semitic Sammael, meaning God of the under world.

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 1999 Pages 24 to 29

The Origins of Halloween by Silver Raven Wolf – Part 2

(This article will be posted on an alternate day basis between Coven Life and our affiliated website WitchesOfThCraft.com)

The Celts

Many historians feel that the greatest strength in the Celtic people lies in their collective mythos. Wading through the romanticism to find unmodified information can prove a tricky endeavor. The earliest archaeological evidence we have of the Celts rest in France and Western Germany.  The Celtic people moved into Spain, Britain, and Switzerland between the fifth and first century BCE. They even ransacked Rome in 390 BCE.

The Celtic peoples celebrated four festivals called fire festivals–commonly know today as Samhain, Oimelc (Imbolc), Beltane, and Lughnasadh. Samhain (pronounced sow-in, sow rhymes with now) was the first and foremost a harvest festival relating to animal husbandry and preparations for the winter months. Fire is an element of cleaning, a vehicle of eradication, so it is not unlikely that fire would work itself into any type of religious celebration. Fire among the ancient peoples often represented an aspect of the divine.

What does the word Samhain mean? Well, we know what it doesn’t mean. There is no archeological or literary evidence of a Celtic god by the name of Samhain. This little slip of fact appears to have begum in the 1700s and continues in some misinformed publications today. The word Samhain actually means “summers end”.

So, where did this Lord of the Dead thing come in? Over time, Samhain took on a religious significance through ministrations of the Druids (the clergy of the Celt’s). Legends indicate that on Samhain all the hearth fires in Ireland were doused and then lit again from a central fire maintained by the Druids at Tlachtga. To the Celts, Samhain was a turning point from light into darkness, and it was thought that this break or fissure created easier access to their land of the dead, Tir nan Og.

The Druids

We need to know a little bit about the Druids to continue with our history of Halloween. The Druids were versed in all learning and were considered to have the gift of prophecy. They functioned as judge, ambassadors, healers, and religious leaders. The Druids first named the holiday Samhain.

Copyright 1999 Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook Pages 24 to 29

2019 N. H. Samhain Gathering Wednesday, October 30th/ S. H. Beltane Gathering October 31st

This evening in the Northern Hemisphere celebrating Samhain your ritual was written by  Coven Life and Witches of The Craft High Priestess Lady Beltane who will also lead it.

This morning in the Southern Hemisphere celebrating Beltane your ritual was written by High Priestess Beth of Guild of the Gods located in Lafayette, Indiana, USA. She will also be leading your ritual.

Everyone is welcomed to do both the Samhain and Beltane rituals no matter which hemisphere you live in. As the Beltane ritual uses planting of seeds for part of it those in the Northern Hemisphere might want to empower the package of seeds write down the goals and then plant them in the spring and carry on with the rest of the ritual then.

WHERE:

Anyone who applies to come into our chatroom you have to be approved by Lady Beltane first. Lady Beltane checks for new requests up to 10 minutes before the time the circle is cast.

If this is the first time you will attending anything in Coven Life’s Chatroom please read our Guidelines:

Courtesy Guidelines for All Coven Gatherings and Open Chats

Before the sacred circle starts at 7:00 PM Central Time in the USA anyone entering the chat room is welcomed to socialize with anyone else that is there. Socializing time starts at 6:00 PM CT for Esbat and Sabbat gatherings Ask Lady Beltane or one of Priestesses or Priest questions about lessons or anything else. During Open Chats please come and go anytime you want to. Please check our Homepage under “Coven Life Events” for dates of Esbat and Sabbat gatherings for Northern and Southern Hemispheres and the times of the open chats.

For Esbat and Sabbat gatherings once the circle starts ALL SOCIALIZING AND COMMENTS must stop unless you see the word EVERYONE come up in the ritual feed.  You will get one warning if you break this guideline. If you do it a second time you will be asked to and expected to leave the gathering immediately. There will be no exceptions to this guideline. If you do not leave you will be banned forever from ever entering Coven Life’s chatroom again.

No one should enter or leave the chat room from 7:00 PM CT until the circle is finished. To enter or leave the chat room (your computer or internet provider knocking you out of the chat room during this time is the only exception for re-entering the circle) during this time breaks the circle and whoever is leading the circle needs to take their time and energy to close it up again.

All electronics in the room you are in during the sacred circle part of the gathering should be shut off except for the device you are using to access the chat room.

Anyone attending a gathering is welcome to stay after the circle is done to visit with the others and/or offer other ideas for the ritual performed at that gathering.

No one will be allowed to use hurtful or, discriminatory or foul or rude language in the chat room at any time during an Esbat or Sabbat gathering or Open Chat.  Anyone not following this guideline will be told to leave the socializing time or the ritual immediately and be banned from the chat room immediately forever.

These are simple guidelines and show courtesy to all coven members and visitors. Not obeying all of the guidelines can get you banned from the Coven Life chatroom forever.

Any questions about these guidelines can be sent to Lady Beltane at covenlifescoven@gmail.com with the subject line “For Lady B Guideline Question.”

We host open chats twice a month for people to stop in for as long as they like to get to know others in The Craft, questions and answers about The Craft. or whatever anyone wants to talk about within reason. They are held on the second and fourth Saturday’s of the month for the time please see the banner “Coven Life’s Events”

This is not a place to try to hook up with anyone for a date!

Please read all Courtesy Guidelines above before entering the chatroom for coven gatherings or open chats. Thank you!

Coven Life’s Private Chatroom

WHEN and WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

Look for which Hemisphere you live in:

For the Northern Hemisphere the coven gathering for Samhain will be on Wednesday, October 30th with the social hour will be at 6:00 to 6:55 PM CDT with the circle being cast at 7:00 PM CDT

Samhain is a time for remembering those who have crossed the veil into the Summerlands before us. It is also celebrates the last harvest of the year, with anything not picked or gathered left on the trees, plants, and bushes for the wildlife and Fea Folk to help them through the cold months. Lastly if you follow the Celtic calendar (as we do with the Wheel of the Year celebrating the 8 Sabbats) it is last day of the year. This is the time of year that belongs to the Crone for life and death and rebirth in the spring.
I decorate my altar with a small loaf of homemade bread, a small pumpkin or gourds, fall leaves from my yard and pictures or mementos of my ancestors. Please keep in mind when thinking of ancestors that they do not have to be blood related , they can be anyone who has had a significant place in your life such as teachers, coaches, friends, a boss, etc.
Decide on 2 Ancestors you want to bring into our circle to visit with during the ritual
(SIDE NOTE FROM LADY B: you can set up an ancestors altar for October 31st to honor more of you ancestors if you wish to. I will do a post with some sample pictures for those of you who have not done this before. If you have a question(s) about the altar please write it or them in the comment section as others may have the same question(s))
Something comfortable to sit on for approximately 10 minutes and while the Beltane ritual is being done
2 – 4 inch White Candles
2 Candle holders
A SAFE place to put the burning candles as you will be leaving them to burn all the way down
Atheme, or Ceremonial Knife or Any Sharp Object to carve 1 name onto each candle
Matches or Lighter
Wine, or Fruit Juice or Water
1 Serving of Some type of an Apple or Pumpkin Dessert
2 Small Dishes or folded up Paper Towels
Lady Beltane: I walk this circle three times three as the Maiden and Crone walk with me. To celebrate a time of death and a time of rebirth. I take us from this Earthly plane and time to a place where this is no time and we are kept safe from everyday problems and fears.
EVERYONE: Please introduce yourself with just your 1st Name or your Pagan Name and the State or Country you live in do not put your town in.

This is the time for the Samhain ritual to start, The Beltane ritual will follow

Lady Beltane:  We call upon the Crone and the keeper of the veil between our physical world and the spirit world to lower the veil so we may visit with the ancestors we call upon.
EVERYONE: You will say this incantation 3 times individually for each ancestor. As you are chanting this spell write the name of the person on the candle and light it at the end of the 3rd time as you say, “So Mote It Be”
                       Name of your Ancestor I call to thee
                        Name of your Ancestor I honor thee
                        Name of your Ancestor Come to me
Place a small bite of your fall sweet and pour a couple of drops of your beverage on to it than place this as an offering to the ancestor by placing it in front of their candle either in a small dish or on a a paper towel fold a few times. Now sit quietly as in meditation feel the energy your ancestors brings with them and ask your ancestors questions or tell them a story you remember about the two of you or whatever you want to talk to them about. You will have 10 minutes of visiting time.
At the end of the 10 minutes Lady Beltane will type in done.
EVERYBODY:  Name of the Ancestor you call forth from the Spirit Plane I thank you for                                visiting me
                          Name of the Ancestor you call forth from the Spirit Plane one day I will                                   walk  with you there
                        Name of the Ancestor you call forth from the Spirit Plane I miss thee
                        Name of the Ancestor you call forth from the Spirit Plane until that time you                           go back and I stay here
When you are done type in So Mote It Be.

This is the end of the Samhain ritual. It is now time for the Beltane ritual to start.

If you live in the Southern Hemisphere and would be attending for the Beltane ritual please let me know if you will be attending or not please. If I do not hear from you by 8:00 PM AEDT on your Wednesday 30 October I will not plan on us doing the Beltane ritual. The Beltane gathering will be on Thursday, 31 October with the social part of the gathering starting at 10:00 to 10:55 AM AEDT with the circle cast at 11:00 AM AEDT.

Pillow and/or Blanket for Meditation or something comfortable to sit on for a total of approximately 20 minutes and why the Samhain ritual is being done

Paper and Pen

Packet of Flower or Herb Seeds
Wine or Fruit Juice or Water
Some kind of Sweet Treat
Beltane is a time when you can feel the ground coming to full life.  It is a fertility holiday, but there is so much to that word!  It is creativity, possibility.  It is the vibrance of a new relationship, the inspiration of a new project, the challenge of a new adventure.  It is the day we set things in motion, but the world itself is already in motion.  It’s growing, blooming – filling the ground with green, the trees with leaves, and the air with new smells and possibilities.
On this day we leave the passive time of year, where we rest, learn, and recuperate, and begin the active time of the year.  While the world is drunk on possibility, we embark on our own journey for the upcoming year.  When we do this, we take all the lessons of the year before, all the plans we’ve been assembling, and we embark on a new start.  But stating our intention helps.
I ask you to take time now to ponder the lessons you learned over this last winter.  Pick up your own story, and really look at it.  What is the next step for you?  What is it about this world that challenges you, excites you, pushes you to be more than you were before?  Rather than picturing what you want to accomplish specifically, instead imagine what would feel like home, belonging.  What is the scent of perfection in your own personal world?
It is easy to hide from the real goals we all wish to set, but I invite you to challenge yourself.  Take a moment to sit with me now.
EVERYONE: We are allowing 15 minutes for you to answer the questions below. But remember you can always go back and follow the ritual High Priestess Beth has written here to add to your answers at anytime. Pull up a blanket or pillow to allow you to comfortably sit on the ground, or rest on the earth itself if that’s an easy option.  Feel the earth beneath you, the air around you, and invite all of you into this moment.
Take a deep breath, and feel yourself fill up with the living energy.  Feel your soul breathe, as well as your body.
Take another deep breath.  Relax, and comfort yourself.  Be a good companion to yourself – greet this person who is you, and be kind to him or her.  Welcome him or her into this moment.
Take an even deeper breath, and hold it for a longer moment.  Ask every part of you to be honest, comfortable, and present, relaxed completely.
Sitting with yourself, ask that person who is all of you – what do you want?
What would you love to be, to do, to feel?
What would “accomplishment” feel like to you?
Feel the world growing around you, even right now, and allow the energy beneath and around you to fill you.
How will the next year unfold in a way to help that happen?
How can you help yourself to get there?
Are you brave enough to get there, from here?
Relax deeply into this moment as you listen to your inner honesty.  Whether you see images unfolding, feel a certainty, imagine words, or simply know that certain plans are going to work – stop for a moment.
Take a piece of paper now and write down what you discussed with your inner self. Feel no fear as you set your goals.  Be open and honest about everything you’ve witnessed internally.   Take short notes for now – you can fill in all necessary details later, so long as you remember all the pieces.  If you would like, you can share a couple of words here that sum up what you want to aim for.  If not, be sure to tell us “done” once you’ve got your short notes recorded.
Now take your packet of seeds – and hold them in your hands. Charge them with the intention of what you want from this upcoming year.  Picture the end result from your intentions. Fill the seeds with your energy, so that you can feel them ready to grow.
Now, as we finish our Beltane rite, picture the daily reality of seeking these goals.  Prepare yourself for the actual doing of it.   Pray to the divine as you picture this.  Ask them to help indicate anything you can prepare for, look out for.
Other questions to ask yourself as you journal or meditating on your goals:
What might you find yourself needing along the way?
Will you perhaps need extra support at some point?
Is there anything you can do to help ease the journey?
Are there any specific opportunities you should keep an eye out for?
(SIDE NOTE FROM LADY B: When I do this I pick only up to 3 goals per year and break the over all goal down into smaller parts that will make reaching it more manageable. I keep a weekly journal for what I am doing to reach each step of my goal and how big my plants have grown. When doing a long tern spell to bring about 1 or more goals I need a touchstone of how I am achieving what I want my touchstone is my journal. I use a new journal each time I plant seeds to help my intention reach it’s goal. I also separate the goals by writing each goal as a title than skip about 4 to 8 pages depending on the size of the journal I am using a smaller one I leave more pages in between goals than I do with a larger size journal. Spiral notebooks are good to use for this)
AFTER THE CIRCLE IS FINISHED and YOU FEEL READY: Get a flower pot or two and plant them. If you want to use some symbols or words written in any alphabet on the outside or even the inside of your flower pot to infuse more of your energy to help your intention to manifest go right a head and do it.(SIDE NOTE from Lady B If you want your flowers or herbs to be able to be transplanted outside then I suggest you use a Terra Cotta planter or a cardboard or peat moss starter planters. the first type you will have to break open to plant the dirt, roots, and plant. The second you can just pull it away some from the dirt and root ball and plant the whole thing. Make sure you do not get the cardboard or peat moss containers that do not have growing chemicals in them. Also if you plant herbs after they are a fairly good size try to keep them only SLIGHTLY moist at all time because if they get dry and than you water them they flavor of the herb will not be as strong.)
Put a couple of seeds into the paper, and crumple it small.  Soak it in water, compressing it into a wet ball.  Push the ball down into the dirt – following the instructions on the packet, please, as to the depth and soil type for the plant you’re using.  If you feel the need to preserve your notes, you can put the flower pot on top of the paper, instead.  Either way, be sure to moisten the soil once you’re done, asking the seeds to help your goals grow with you.
As the upcoming year unfolds, tend to the seeds as they grow.  Remember that goals need tending, the same as new plants.  Allow your new plants to remind you that your goals are still with you.  Even if the seeds do not grow, or do not grow the way you expected, know that you have contributed your part to the fertility of spring.  You have asked your goals to take root – the seeds are to remind and represent, but the personal intentions you set are the real destination.
Now, as we finish our Beltane rite, picture the daily reality of seeking these goals.  Prepare yourself for the actual doing of it.   Pray to the divine as you picture this.  Ask them to help indicate anything you can prepare for, look out for.
(SIDE NOTE FROM LADY B: When I do this I pick only up to 3 goals per year and break the over all goal down into smaller parts that will make reaching it more manageable. I keep a weekly journal for what I am doing to reach each step of my goal and how big my plants have grown. When doing a long tern spell to bring about 1 or more goals I need a touchstone of how I am achieving what I want my touchstone is my journal. I use a new journal each time I plant seeds to help my intention reach it’s goal. I also separate the goals by writing each goal as a title than skip about 4 to 8 pages depending on the size of the journal I am using a smaller one I leave more pages in between goals than I do with a larger size journal. Spiral notebooks are good to use for this)
Make a strong mental note of anything that comes up here.  Feel free to record anything important.
(SIDE NOTE FROM LADY B: These questions are one of the reasons I use a journal that I have described above.)
EVERYONE: Please thank High Priestess Beth for being part of our gathering this evening/morning and for the time and work she to bring us a wonderful ritual.
Lady Beltane: I walk this circle three times three as the Maiden and Crone walk with me. To celebrate a time of death and a time of rebirth. I bring us  back to our Earthly plane and time to celebrate life, death, and rebirth. We thank the Crone for her comfort in our time of remembrance and ask her to leave us. We thank the Maiden for blessing our seeds as we rejoice and ask her to leave us. As we will it so mote it be.
The circle is open but never broken go in peace and contentment dear sisters and brothers.
EVERYONE: Now put on a favorite song, and celebrate.  This is not the time to do, not yet.  This is just the first step.  Enjoy it!  Revel in it!  Life is not simply to be lived – it is to be experienced in all its glory.  Take a moment now to fill yourself with thanks for this new knowledge, and look forward to your goals.  Feel the possibility inside you, and let yourself feel gratitude.  Raise a glass of wine or juice, help yourself to a sweet treat.  Welcome that sweetness into your life, and ask for a blessing that every goal you accomplish will come with the sweetness of this moment.  Ask your own personal divine to sit with you now, and throughout the upcoming year.  And smile.
Because you know they will, and you know you will get what you truly need.
This is not a time to mourn those who have gone before us but a time to celebrate their lives. Remember our time with them and rejoice we will see them in the Summerlands or even possibly in the new incarnation in your family or circle of friends. AS you dance and rejoice lift your glass to them and say whatever comes to mind.
Both hemispheres remember to take a piece of your sweet and a sip of your beverage outside to place and pour on the ground to honor the Crone and Maiden for their presence and help with our rituals.