Symbolism of Samhain [ pronounced [say – wen]
Third Harvest, Dark Mysteries, Rebirth Through Death
For those who follow the old ways, Samhain is the time when we honor our ancestors who came before us. For the veil is thinnest on these three nights, October 31, November 1, November 2. If we are fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of those who lived so long ago then we are truly blessed. May their wisdom, protection and guidance shine down upon us from the stars above.
Dinner will be late on October 31, for I must attend to the little zombies and goblins who come to my door. As always, my black Persian cat Merlin watches from the window. The children knock loudly and shout “trick or treat.” Merlin yawns, feigns indifference. Each Halloween I am asked the same question, “are you a witch?” My answer is always the same- “why, but of course I am.” The children laugh and scamper away, clutching their treat bags. Sometimes, one child will linger, and ask, “are you really? ” I nod “yes.” At 8:pm I turn off the outside lights, for in our neighborhood, trick or treating is over.
I light the candles for the evening meal. I usually choose gold, russet brown, and sometimes dark green candles. On the left side of the table is a place setting in honor of my Goddess, Gaia. I offer my chalice filled with grape juice, and beside the chalice I place a yellow rose. Yellow for remembrance of her. On the right side of the table are the wedding goblets that belonged to my parents, a symbol of their love and marriage. They walked on when I was young, and tonight I honor them as my parents and my ancestors. Even though I don’t remember them, they remember me.
Dinner is steamed squash with fresh thyme, sweet potatoes with cinnamon butter, roast chicken with fresh sage, and apple walnut bread for dessert. I have my herbs about me, patchouli, sage, fennel, and the fragrance of cloves and nutmeg perfume the air.
We eat and listen to music, celebrating the last day of October. I believe ritual is important when one follows the old ways. We honor the masculine and the feminine, the Lord and Lady. Equally important is a kind heart and a gentle spirit. For our Lord and Lady know what we are thinking and feeling, and nothing is hidden from them. Let us go forth in this new year, full of good deeds and kind words.
Blessed Be, My Brothers and Sisters.
~ Meadow Walker