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Blessed Be everyone!
Next week is one of my favorite holidays, Samhain! (Pronounced “sow-en”)
What is Samhain you ask? You probably know it better as Halloween or All-hallows-eve. Every year on October 31 (or May 1, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) the Pagan Sabbat called Samhain gives people the opportunity to celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth. For many Pagan and Wiccan traditions, Samhain is a time to reconnect with our ancestors, and honor those who have died, similar to Dias de Los Muertos.
It is also considered the Witches New Year because according to the Celtic calendar, Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. “This is a good time for us to look at wrapping up the old and preparing for the new in our lives. Once you’ve gotten all that unfinished stuff cleared away, and out of your life, then you can begin looking towards the next year” (Patti Wigington).
One of the things me and my family like to do is create an ancestral alter with images of our loved ones who have passed and decorate it with leaves, gourds, some food like homemade bread as an offering and 1 lit black candle to honor the dead. We also sometimes have a big bonfire outside, but this year we might not since there’s been so much rain lately, and I’m going to try to create a besom!
But the best thing we do is take a road trip to the cemetery and visit my mom’s relatives. It feels surreal when you go to a cemetery on Samhain. I would describe it as a weighty feeling on your chest and a warm prickly feeling on your skin. Every time we leave after leaving offerings on the graves, I have a head ach that won’t go away until we get home. But then a sense of peace washes over and the pain is forgotten. I don’t know why that happens but I’m okay with it.
This year’s Samhain is…going to be rough because I’ve finally gotten up the strength to put up my Mush-Mush’s picture up on my alter this year. It’s an old Polaroid of her smoking a cigarette and wearing my favorite shirt she had: a tank top with all of the classic movie monsters on it like The Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein and others. It’s almost been two years but every time I look at it I can’t help but get misty eyed.
Well…I’ll keep you guys posted as to what happens and also I’ll be posting something really cool this weekend so expect that…
My parental units came home with gifts from Wally World for me and Middle Brother (he’s techically my little brother but what can you say to a seven year old with a Napolean complex?) I had to share because they are so cute! Let the fashion show begin!!!
To the right (at least my right) is an orange t-shirt with a coven of witches out and about causing the Goddess only knows what mischief with the words “Girls Night Out”. I love it!
To the left (my left people) is a lovely purple t-shirt that bears the words “Witch in Training”. My mom’s idea of a joke 🙂
Sadly, I couldn’t find an image of my most favorite of the lot my “Werewolf” t-shirt but picture this with me…picture a brownish grey backdrop with a larger than life black outline of a werewolf’s head right ou front, ready to rip the throat out of anything or any one. At the bottom hem we have smaller black outlines of a eery forest with a werewolf howling to the full bright moon…Dracula eat your heart out!
For the past 3 weeks I have been witness to the epidemic that has struck my town and it could be starting in yours. I have been seeing grave stones popping up in front of houses, skeletons swaying jauntily in store fronts, and 16 ft tall inflatable pumpkins and Grim Reapers barely balancing on the front lawn. Yes, it is….premature decoration!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Halloween/Samhain…I mean LUV IT!!! I’m talking wearing witch stockings year round loving it . It’s my favorite holiday of the year. But check the date, it is September. Not October.
I don’t know why it perturbs me so much, but when I see green still on the trees and feel the warm summer breeze on my sun burn, it just doesn’t scream (literally!) Treat or Treat. You are allowed to prepare the decorations, make plan out a strategy on what you’re going to do for decorations and what goes where. But PLEASE don’t bring out the spider webs and blow up dolls till October 1st.
I understand that everyone is excited and wants to ‘get it done’ by early September, but try to hold out as long as you can. I’m going to tell you what Queen Victoria told her subjects over hundred years ago.
Think of England and everything will be okay:)
Now with that being said…YAY HALLOWEEN!!! October is my favorite month of the year and I can already feel it coming. For many reasons: the cool beauty of Autumn, the sweet taste of candy corn, warm apple cider, and the 24 hour blood and gore horror images on every channel!! Even on Discovery. Some of the stuff they show daily is scary enough ( the mating of parasites *shiver*), I love watching the Extreme shows that show the Extreme Haunted Houses, Extreme Halloween, The Most Haunted Places in the World *sigh dreamily* It’s awesome.
Also it’s the time of year for Samhain. I and my mom pronounce it SOW-IN but some people say SAM-HAIN it’s all good. Samhain is known as the Witches New Year, the most important harvest festival of the year. The sun is dying and the world is becoming darker, going to sleep to be reborn at Yule (Christmas). Me and Mom aren’t really sure what we’re going to do this year but i will update on that! We usually get the altar set up with gourds and little kick-knacks that represent different things. We visit the cemetery to pay homage to our ancestors that have passed, similar to Day of the Dead, and come home and watch every B-rated horror film known to man. Perfect end to an autumn night…good times.