Samhain is just weeks away, and I can hardly contain my excitement!! This is my favorite time of year and Samhain is my favorite holiday! The weather, the colors, the scents, the activities…just everything! My son and I have had fall and Halloween decorations up since the third week of September, and he’s had his costume since his birthday on the 3rd. He’s going to be Spiderman, and told me I am going to be a witch. He’s only 3 so his idea of witches is the pointed hat wearing, broom flying, hackling cackling kind portrayed on television. Knowing he would love it, I purchased a pointed hat – it’s black with sequins and I sort of love it. Trick or treating is one of many things I look forward to – don’t most parents look forward to it? There is so much about this season to be excited about, and as a witch I have even more to look forward to.
In light of the season, (and to make up for failing to post articles for you every week), I decided to design a Samhain series. I have a lot to share with you, and I am so excited! It was not easy to disperse my fun, freaky, festive ideas/activities -mundane and magickal- into different articles. I want to share it all at once, so deciding the order took some time, but I think I’ve finally got a plan I can stick to! I’m the kind of person that has to give someone a gift as soon as it’s wrapped because I’m too excited to give it to them to wait for their birthday. My son loves it- rather than opening presents on his birthday he’ll open gifts as early as 2 weeks before his birthday. But I will restrain my enthusiasm and will publish one article per subject.
It’s believed that the Veil separating the worlds of the living and the dead begins to thin in October, and is so thin on Samhain that the dead, along with the denizens of the Otherworld, can freely roam our world. Samhain is the Celtic New Year, so the Celts would celebrate the liminal time with great enthusiasm, but took care to put protections in place so the evil entities and spirits could not harm or harass them. With protective measures in place, they would honor their ancestors and welcome good spirits, providing offerings to earn their blessings. Hosting a Dumb Supper was a common activity for Samhain. I’d tell you what a Dumb Supper is, but instead I will tell you to subscribe to Spiral Nature so you will be notified when my article about Dumb Suppers is published (of course I include a ritual and offer suggestions so you could host your own). I will, however, share with you rituals, spells and exercises in upcoming articles of the Samhain series. There is such a focus on communicating with the Otherworld occupants, so I will also share divination methods. To keep things from getting too freaky, I’ll also share fun art and craft projects, creative casting methods and activities that the whole family can participate in.
Since this is the introductory article of the series, I want to share some interesting information about Samhain. Our modern day Halloween falls on the Celtic New Year. The ancient Celts viewed the year as having two “hinges”- Samhain was the first and Beltaine was the second. Liminal places and times – places that were “in between”, times of transition from one season/month/etc to another – were considered to be highly magickal to the Celts. Samhain and Beltaine were the most magickal, and possibly the most frightening, days for the Celts. Samhain was the day of transition from summer to winter as well as the advancement into the new year. On Samhain, time ceased to exist; the past, present and future became one. Winter was the Season of Ghosts, and it was on Samhain that they were released from the Otherworld, along with everything else that resided there. The faeries traveled from their summer hillocks to the winter barrows, so it was the one day of the year that people had a chance to rescue any loved ones who were kidnapped by the faeries. Celtic citizens lit fires and set out torches and even wore disguises to protect themselves from evil entities that roamed. To appease their ancestors or loved ones lost, they would hold dumb suppers to honor them – they’d serve the head of the table careful to avert their eyes, eat in silence, then take the food out to the woods to leave out as offerings.
You know how I love to write articles that are interesting and informative, so of course they will be in the Samhain Series. I love learning and love to share what I learn. There will be articles about Goddesses and Gods that may be associated with Samhain, or would be great to work with while we transition into the next cycle of the year. I will share information I’ve learned about the origins of Samhain, and cultural practices through time and location. I will cover some myths, maybe some ghost stories. And don’t worry, I won’t be teaching you by writing long, boring research papers. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but just trust me when I say I will be sharing the information in an interesting, entertaining fashion. 🤓
Decide, Design, Do
The season of Samhain is about transition, growth, perspective and reflection, celebration, preparation, connection, and cycles. While I will be publishing articles covering different subjects, each one of them are intended to help you accomplish the three D’s: Decide, Design, Do.
Decide what your intention(s) is/are for this season. Perhaps you want to learn a new skill, establish a relationship with a god or goddess, heal emotional scars so you are no longer inhibited by fear, trauma or resentment. If you aren’t sure what you want, look back over the past year and ask yourself what didn’t work and why. Ask yourself if there is something you should let go of, or something you should accept. Meditate, communicate with loved ones, with Deity, perform divination, do whatever you need to in order to decide. A new year means a chance to start over…it means the opportunity to shape experiences that are more enjoyable, more enlightening, more exquisite.
Design a plan of action to manifest your intention, and then find or make something that represents your desired results and put it on your altar. If your intention is major, you may want to get a notebook for it. Write your intention on the first page. On the next page write out your plan, or at least list ideas of how to design a working that will manifest your will.
Do what you need to in order to meet your goal. If you aren’t sure about how to accomplish it, then do anything you can think of that will bring those answers to you. Do divination, meditation, seek advice from friends and family – you get the idea.
My intention is kinda complex, but simply put I want to be well grounded with balance established in my life, so I can reach skyward without toppling over. I know, I know – this metaphor couldn’t be any cheesier. You all know I have created a business, and that I have some clients so it’s off to a great start. But I have no balance. I either spend too much time working, or too much time making art, or too much time playing with my son. I don’t devote nearly enough of my time and attention to my spiritual practice, and even less to my witchcraft practice. I want to finish stocking my Etsy store, establish my brand, and start promoting Enchanting Endeavor so I actually sell something. I won’t bore you by continuing to list all of my goals – you get the idea. I’m sure you’re thinking “um, make a schedule?”. I’ve made a number of schedules – it would take me hardly anytime at all to design a schedule that is practical and efficient. The problem is following it. So that is what I will be working on. And since I can’t seem to settle on just one thing at a time, I will have a secondary focus of strengthening my psychic and magickal skills.
Enchanting Endeavor, my Etsy store, will provide a way for me to make art – which I could do as a part of my spiritual and witchcraft practice, and for me to exercise my psychic and magickal abilities when I list spell jars and kits, Oracle card readings, and charmed home decor. So if I learn to tell others no if they want me to do something that interferes with my work, develop discipline to stick to my schedule, and resolve my procrastination problem, I’ll be right on track to a balanced life!