Monday, October 30, 2006

Samhain Celebrations

While visiting some of my favorite blogs this morning I popped into Nio's
She seemed to have some concerns about not having a ritual prepared for tomorrow night (Samhain). I tried to leave her a comment about it, but for some reason my wordpress and blogger accounts are messing each other up and they don't always recognize the other address, so it tells me I have an invalid entry.
Anyway I am sure others have out there are having the same problems (the ritual, not the computer) so I thought I would talk about some of the things I plan to do or have done in the past to celebrate Samhain.
I don't worry about a ritual. Usually the only time I do one is when I celebrate a Sabbath with a group. I tend to be much more low key here at home. Other than decorating the house and taking my grandson out trick or treating, I don't a lot planned. I probably will do some type of a dumb supper
The traditional Dumb Supper honors our beloved dead with a dinner observed in utter silence. I do not take it that far, because first of all I like to talk, and second I will probably have to tell one of the animals to get down and stop begging. I will however set an extra plate out.

Just in case you didn't know this already
"Ritual offerings of food for the dead have been made throughout history, showing the near-universal belief in an afterlife. Paleolithic humans have often been found buried with food. The Egyptians gave food to their dead in honor of the god, Osiris, while the Celts did so at Samhain—a magical time now known as Halloween. On the Roman holiday of Feralia (February 21), worship of the gods was suspended and the Romans made offerings of meat and cakes as a manner of appeasing the spirits. The Japanese thought it advantageous to provide the dead with their favorite foods. Modern religions observe this practice as well. Buddhists present food to the “Pretas”—lost, goblin-like souls—for the purpose of relieving their ghostly pains. Catholicism holds three days of observance for the dearly departed at All Saints Day on November 1, a practice inherited from the Celtic Samhain. The dead do not consume the food itself, but rather absorb its spiritual essence. Still practiced today, dining with the dead is an ancient tradition that honors our divine ancestors." (copied from the internet)


Here are a few more ideas for a Samhain Celebration:


Bob for apples. There were many divination practices associated with Samhain, many of which dealt with marriage, health, and the weather. Ducking for apples was a marriage divination based on the belief that the first to bite into an apple would be the first to marry in the coming year. This is similar to the wedding tradition of the throwing of the bride's bouquet for women and her garter for men.
Apple peeling was another type of divination to determine how long one's life would be. The longer the unbroken peel, the longer the life of the one peeling it the rind
Carve jack-o-lanterns to light the way for the spirits who walk during this night.
Finish any incomplete projects and pay off lingering bills (if possible) to close out the old year and begin the new year afresh.
Set aside some time for scrying or other form of divination. Or if you don't divine yourself, get a reading.
Leave food out for the birds and other wild animals.
Put pictures of ancestors who have passed on your altar or festival table. Light a special candle for them, to show them the way to return and celebrate with you.
Visit the graves of your ancestors or, if this isn't possible, the nearest cemetery. Be still there, and listen for the voices of those who have passed.
Leave offerings of food and drink for them, and for the animals.
Tell ancestral stories and tales around the fire, or at the dinner table.
Have a mask-making ceremony in which you create masks to represent your ancestry.


No matter what you do remember to have a happy and safe Halloween/Samhain

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4 Comments:

Blogger Carrie said...

I'm carving our jack-o-lantern tonight!

October 30, 2006 at 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Nio said...

My post was more about my inability to find a welcoming Pagan community. You know, the one we read about in all the Pagan books, on all the websites and blogs.

Although I've been identifying as Pagan for the last decade, I haven't practiced it like I do now. I do not feel that I know enough to write a ritual on my own. Magic is powerful and I don't want to call upon a deity/power/whathaveyou in error. Or through ignorance.

Quite honestly, I have never participated in a ritual and it isn't from lack of trying. I have been seeking out a coven/group for 2 years now and have not been successful in finding a warm, welcoming group.

Because I have never participated in a group, I have no template to write my own ritual. Sure, I have books, but books aren't reality. I need to see, feel, taste, smell, hear a ritual before I can write one.

October 30, 2006 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Tashaaaaaaaah said...

We had a Dumb DInner tonight, however, when you have a four year old and a one year old, you cannot do silence, so we just served the Beloved Dead in silence and then we had discussion thorugh dinner about them. I will post pictures about our three days of Samhain celebration on Thursday.

Nio....I hear you completely. It is so hard to find fellow Witches who are not bitchy. I have yet to meet one in real life and get to know, really know that person and have her not be bitchy eventually. It is a little sad.

October 30, 2006 at 10:33 PM  
Blogger Ligeia said...

You are so right about the celebration aspect of Samhain...or any other celebration. It is what is in our Heart/Soul/Spirit that counts, not that we have the 'right' foods or the correct prayers.

Thank you

November 3, 2006 at 8:11 AM  

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