A fun evening the night before.. 💙newworldwitchery | New World Witchery – the Search for American Traditional Witchcraft

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This site explores the Witchcraft, traditions and lore of the early American settlers.

If you like history and early American folklore, you will find New World Witchery very interesting.

Brightest Blessings Sisters and Brothers,

SunRay Sorceress💙

Samhain Lore (October 31st)

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Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.

It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort.

Originally the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”. Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.

This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person’s fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Also known as All Hallow’s Eve, (that day actually falls on November 7th), and Martinmas (that is celebrated November 11th), Samhain is now generally considered the Witch’s New Year.

Symbolism of Samhain:

For the rest of this article please click on the following link: https://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/samhainlore.htm

The Quite After Samhain

I so look forward to Samhain every year and visiting with people to content, shy, weak (Usually people who have died violently are weaker and/or very scared for a short time after they cross into the spirit world. Some do take a lot longer to recover and trust others again.), lazy, etc that I might not otherwise have chance to meet. Now that the veil is thick again I have to wait again to visit with some old “friends” and meet new ones. Even being a full medium, meaning I can talk with just about anyone who has crossed into the spirit world, but it is not as easy as it sounds or that TV, the movies, or books make it out to be. For me personally without the wards I have up I would hear a party (for lack of a better word) in my head day and night and in my sleep. So I pick when I open myself up to the spirit world and have specific rules on how spirits can contact me and for how long when I do. I do leave an opening for ancestors and close personal friends year round. It is nice in a way to have the quite back but in another it is lonely at times.

For those of you who have a harder time contacting those who have crossed, especially with the veil thick again, but still want to talk to loved ones and ancestors here are a couple of suggestions. Try asking a specific person a specific question, keep in mind they do not usually answer questions like “Did you hide anything valuable oe where is it?” Instead, keep your questions about personal things, like “Did I do you any wrongs while we were here together?” After asking the question either meditate for the answer or just wait for it to come to you. Put the question completely out of your mind do not dwell on it or you may fabricate an answer from your sub-conscious. Another way to hear from someone on the other side is to tell them how you felt about them when they were in this world or ask them to come to you. When a spirit comes it is not usually cold again like the media would have us believe but it can be a feeling of being surrounded by warmth, maybe a little flip or tug on your hair, a electric light or candle burning brighter all of a sudden or just a feeling of that person being close to name a few ways spirits make their presence know to us. Remember just because the veil has thickened again does not mean your love one has gone far from you even if you are separated by the veil between this world and the spirit world.

NOTE: I will not take requests to contact a spirit for others, so please do not ask me to. Thank you.

What is the Reason for Rain on Samhain?

I have often wonder why it almost always rains and is cold on Samhain. Where I live, in the central United States, it usually nice the day before and the day after but rarely the day of.

This morning my Guides gave me an answer to this question that seems so right I have no idea why I never thought of it. It rains on Samhain because the veil between our world and the Summerlands is very thin allowing those residing in the Summerlands feelings to come into our world and our feelings to go easier into their world.

Just as we weep for loved ones lost because we miss the person they were in this lifetime they weep because they miss us also so. The rain we experience is in reality their tears. The cold is because they do not need heat to keep a incarnated body warm like we do in this world.

When honoring your ancestors this Samhain remember to take into account their feelings and try to explain yours to them. Communication is not just important when we some someone face to face it is important when dealing with those who have crossed over too.  Do not think the dialoge has to stop when Samhain is over, it may not be as easy to hear them but if they have something you really need to hear you will. Talk to them, ask them questions, tell them things. Just because they no longer have a physical body does not mean they are not interested in things going on in your life.

When helping those who passed away this past year cross into the Summerlands remind them of the happiness, rest, joy and love they will feel there instead of the cold uncertainity of roaming this world with no physical body. If you feel they are hanging on to something in this world or have unfinished business they want to take care before moving across the veil ask how you can help them let go or finish the unfinished business. It is important for us all to cross into the Summerlaands after ourphysical bodies will no longer support life in this world, so we can rejuvaniate and be reborn into our next life time.

Talking with my mom today and helping her to finish something she left undone (this I will not share as it was very personal between the two of us) after dreaming about her the other night for the first time since she passed brought a calm to me I have not felt since the day before she passed. I knew the mooment my mom passed as I felt a pull on both my heart and root charkas the two most connected to parents and our children. She is happy and excited to be fully reunited with my dad, he refused rebirth until she and he could have some time together alone and with my eight siblings, who all passed away shortly before or after birth, in the SUmmerlands They both told me today that they will wait for me to join them in the future when it is my time to return to the Summerlands before they consider another lifetime in this world. WHich made me feel very loved and special. You see my dad crossed over the veil wexactlly one month before my twelfth birthday in 1970.

I am sorry if this post seems to ramble some but I was typing as it came to me and had a couple of interuptions for trick-or-treater, all the kids in the neighborhood love to come to the Witch’s house because she gives out good treat if they do not trick her ;o}

May your Samhain be blessed,. May your time with your ancestors be joyful. My your New Year be filled with everything you need, a warm home, loving family and friends, enough food to keep hunger at bay, clothing to keep you comfortable and even bring you a way to get a couple of things you just want.

Copyright 2015 Lady Beltane

 

Harvest Festival RItual and Celebration on the Night Before Samhain for Covens or Families

This ritual is for the third harvest festival on the night before Samhain. It does not include anything towards horoning our ancestors but is enjoyable for children just learning the Pagan path.

What you will need:

A Space outdoors

Some type of Fire

A Pumpkin carve by each person participating

An Altar set up with minimal tools (Atheme or Ceremonial Knife, Cauldron, Autumn fruits and or vegetables your family or coven members will like to eat raw Something to represent each Element and the Goddess and God you choose to invite to celebrate with you. For suggestions check out this website http://www.goddess-guide.com/harvest-goddess.html )

A Cutting Board

The Ritual Ideas

Please make any changes to this ritual that would fit in with your personal path better.

Start the fire in the middle of where the sacred circle will be made. Set up the altar approximately 5 to 6 feet or more in behind the fire (you want enough room between fire and altar for people to be able to walk through safely). You want the South part of the altar to be in line with the fire you have made (in some places this may have to be done in a grill because fire pits or rings are not allowed.) Remember it is safety  and abiding by locals laws that must come first when first lighting the harvest fire. Set the Altar up as you would for any ritual using the friuts and vegetables to decorate it.

Next make a path wide enough for two adults to walk it side by side using the carve pumpkins on either side of it to light the way to where the circle will be. How far apart they are depending on how big of a space you have to work with, how many carved pumpkins you have and how far apart they are to be spaced. (Some years we have each had to make to pumpkins because we were given a large field to use for the night and it was almost a mile to where the circle was being held. Another year with my children our six pumpkins were about a foot apart because the path to our backyard was so short.)

This is also a fine night to dress in a costume as this is more a festival ritual to have fun and celebrate the last harvest then a serious ritual to honour our ancestors. Make sure if costumes are worn especially by children that the distance between the fire and altar is large enough that a stray sash, cape, skirt, etc can not catch fire on accident.

To walk the path of pumpkins start with the High Priestess and High Priest walking side by side, then next comes the Priestess and Priest and then the rest of the coven preferably in man and woman couples if possible with any children walking in front of adult coven members or paired with them.

If this is being done by your family have mom and dad or whichever parent or whatever adult is the head of the household be first in line, the children will follow with another adult at the end of the procession to the circle.

Everyone enters into where the sacred circle will be cast around the altar and fire entering from the south. The High Priestess and High Priest stop at the opening to the circle area and welcomes each person with the words “Merry meet may you enter into this sacred space with perfect love and perfect trust.” (The people do not have to have perfect love and trust in the High Priestess and High Priest but in the ritual that is taking plaace and their own spiritual path).

Once everyone has entered into the area the High Priestess will cast the circle and High Priest will call the Watchtowers. If you are doing this as a family you can decide who does these things.

Now the High Priestess blesses the Fire and altar. Using these words –

I bless this fire to keep our home warm and the lights on through out the cold months to come. To purifiy and prtect us. So mote it be.

Next the Fire Element on the Altar is blessed with the same words.

Next in a single file line each person passes through the area between the fire and altar fire. After a person has passes through the fires they go back to where their place had been in the circle.

The High Priestess and High Priest stay behind the altar to bless the fruits and vegetables and to call upon the harvest goddess and god to do the same. The High Priest blesses the furits and vegetables by say “From Mother Earth and the Elements we have been given this great bounty. We thank them for the nourishing things that will help to sastain us through the long, cold months. So mote it be.” The High Priestess then calls upon the harvest goddess to enter the circle and bless the harvest. USing these words “_________ please bless this food and empower it to help nurish and sastins us through the long, cold months.” The Hig Priest calls upon the harvest god to bless the harvest. Using these words “________ please bless this food and help empower it to help nourish and sustain us through the long, cold months. So mote it be.”

Next the fruit and vegetables on the altar are cut into individula pieces so each member of the coven or family gets a piece. With one small piece of each left over as an offering to the Goddess and God called up, Mother Earth and the Elements. After everyone has finished their portions the entire coven says “This is or offering to Mother Earth, the Elements, Goddess called in and God called in foour thanks for your help in the growing of this food and for the havest that it brought to us. We thank you for your power and help in making this food to help us through the long, cold winter months. So mote it be.” Place the food offereing on the ground to be eaten by wildlife.

After this the High Priest will dismiss the Watchtowers and the High Priestess will close the circle. Now it is time to take down the altar and stoke up the fire. Have some warm cider or hot chocolate or whatever you feel like drinking, enjoy the fire, tell stories or sing songs. This is a time for jubliation and merriment in celebration that the harvest season is over and help keep you warm thoughout the cold months from the love and postitive energy being brought about by spending timwith friends and/or loved ones.

Samhain – 2015

“Samhain – Endings and Beginnings”

“The third and final harvest festival, as know as “The Witches” New Year, celebrates both the end of the old year and the beginning of the new, On this day, the veil between world is at its thinnest, and so we use this time to speak to those who have come before us: our ancestors, our beloved dead, all who are no longer with us. Some celebrate with a Dumb Supper, a traditional meal eaten in complete slience, with plates set out for those we have lost. Others set up a special altar with candles honoring the dead, often decorated with pictures or tokens to represent each individual. Some use this night for divination, which is enhanced as the veil is thin.

This is a bittersweet holiday when we say goodbye to those we’ve lost in the year gone past as well as mourn whatever goals we didn’t achive, But it is also a celebration of the coming year, full of hope and anticipation. We wipe the slate clean, dancing around a bonfire in celelbration of the Goddess in her Crone persona; full of wisdom and ready to sustain us as we move inti the darkness of winter. She teaches us that dark is nothing to fear, only a quite place where we can rest until we are ready to begin again.”

Copyright Deborah Blake Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2015 Page 113

Samhain – Flashback 2014

“Samhain – Divining the Unseen”

“At Samhain, the veil between the worlds is thinnest. The ordinary and extraordinary meet. Death and life touch at the edges. Mysteries drop hints. These factors make divination easier now, and traditional Samhain activities include various forms of it. Nuts may be placed in the coals of a fire to divine the future of a relationship. Scrying in a mirror or bowl of water is another popular option. An apple peel thrown on the ground reveals symbolic shapes. Of course, tarot cards also suit the occasion.

Celebrate the mysteries this Samhain. Choose from mystical colors such as purple, gold, silver, and black. Decorate the covenstead with lace veils and velvet drapes. Cobwebs of paper, string, or floss evoke the Fates who spin the thread of the future. The Norse god Odin traded an eye to the Norns to gain wisdom. In Greek mythology, Apollo is associated with the oracles. The Sumerian goddess Inanna also relates to prophecy and visions.

Consider a ritual that enacts visiting a sacred oracle. Lead coveners into a softly lit space where they can consult a priest or priestess who is skilled in divination or psychic arts. Use drums or bells to summon people back out..”

Copyright Elizabeth Barrette Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2014 Page 115

Samhain Altar in a Cup

Samhain Altar in a Cup photo

Samhain Altar in a Cup

Rosemary (for remembrance of our ancestors), Mullein (abundance), mugwort (to aid in divination), calendula (to encourage emotional warmth and tolerance, compassion and the ability to truly listen to what others are saying) and a dash of Florida Water to banish negativity. I was going to include some acorns but couldn’t find my stash of them!

At Samhain, witches once gave one another acorns as gifts. During the Burning Times, giving someone an acorn was a secret means of telling that person you were a witch. Acorns are fruits of the oak, one of the most sacred trees to the ancient Celts. They are symbols of protection, fertility, growth, values, and friendship.

© 2015 Wolf Woman Ways

Samhain – Flashback 2013

“Halloween decorations are rife with symbols of the Crone goddess, and these trendy dark and gothic trappings are great for working transformation magick with her. Consider those ebony and amethyst candleholders, sparkling black tapers, candles shaped like skulls, silk but real looking ravens and crows. This Samhain, why not go all out with a Crone altar dedicate to the Greek goddess Hecate? Hecate is a Triple Goddess and also patron of Witches, sorcerers, and magicians, Tonight the veil between worlds is at it’s thinnest. Spirits walk, the Old Ones are out among us, and magick is ripe. Call upon Hecate for the wisdom to work with these types of energies.

Samhain has come, the veil between the worlds is thin,

Chilly winds now blow, and fallen leaves do spin.

With this Crone altar, I celelbrate your special time,

This Samhain spell is now cast with the sound of rhyme.

Hecate, light my path on this magickal night,

Grant me your courage and grace, wisdom and insight.”

COpyright Ellen Dugan Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2013 Page115