Meghan KaLeen Darrah Widdison October, 2009
To Hone In On Tradition
Hello my dear friends and wonderful readers. I trust that the Goddess has blessed you
with a bountiful harvest in your life this past Mabon. Fervent wishes that your celebrations were
merry, joyful, and full of love and family.
This month is a special time of year for the witch, druid, or any pagan. It is the month of
Samhain, the second time of year when the veil between the mundane world and the world of
mysteries is lifted, and those who have traveled forth and those who continue on the earthbound
path can bless eachother with their presence. A time of dark mysteries. A time of the mother
crone and her consort.
Many a tradition lay upon the month of Samhain. Nearly all of mankind is familiar with
the treat giving and costume dressing that falls upon this celebration eve, but not as many dig into
deeper tradition. Most of Samhain is viewed as a time to frolick about carelessly, a time of pure
play. Certainly nothing wrong with that of course. However, I would like to introduce those of you
who are not familiar with the “other” traditions to a new outlook, a fresher vision on the subject.
For those of you readers who are aware and are in practice, please feel free to help pass along
our knowledge, for we learn from one another.
Samhain, also known as Halloween, or Summers End to others, is a time that has been
rich in celtic traditions. In the deep country, the folk who raised herds of cattle and crops would
prepare for winter, as Samhain was symbolic of the bringing of the first day of winter. Firewood
was redied, hay was bricked, and herds were moved from the grazed over hillsides to the safety
of the shelter near the homes. This was a time when families began to come together after a
long summer of fun and frivolity.
In the early days of Ireland, people would gather in celebration during Samhain, as this
day marked the principle calender feast for them. throughout many homes, hearth fires were
put out, and people would wait for the druids to come and light the new fires, symbolising the
beginnings of the new year. This time of year also represented a time of offerings, of thanks
and even personal sacrifices, given in hopes of a new beginning. A time of hope for many.
Samhain fires throughout the celtic region blazed each Samhain for many years.
There were reports from travelers who spotted the beautiful and festive bonfires all the way from
the 1860s to the first world war. The townspeople would burn these festive fires in a circle of
magic, and after, they would sprinkle the ashes over thier crops to protect them from the
harsh and bitter winter months.
Samhain was, and still remains to this day, a time of mysteries and divination. Since
the veil between the worlds is lifted, it is believed that the “gifted” are more in tune with the
world, and all of its many visitors. It was believed that a child born on Samhain would be
gifted with “the second sight”, or more commonly known as clairvoyance.
The feast of Samhain, which was and still is a time honored tradition for many,
is representative of food offerings for those who have passed on before us. Some households
would set an extra plate of food at the dinner table and eat in silence in reverence to the
deceased, and others would set up alters outside for which to leave offerings upon. Apples,
which are in abundant harvest during the season of Samhain, were often buried under ground
as offerings to the traveling dead.
Other names for this celebrated time of year are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the
Dead, Hallowmas, Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest, and Samhuinn. Throughout many newer tradtions,
this time of year is referred to as the Witches New Year.
The sybolism, herbs, foods, colors, and stones of Samhain are many, but I would like
to list some of them here to help you integrate these as part of your celebrations if you so
Samhain symbolises the third harvest of the year, a time of great mysteries, and time of
death and rebirth. Gourds, apples, cats, jack-o-lanterns and besoms are a few of the many
symbols of this time of year. Mugwort, Allspice, Mandrake, Deadly Nightshade or Belladonna,
Oak and sage are among many of the herbs and plants integrated into this time. People set
much of their feasts on turnips, apples, gourds, nuts, mulled wimes, beef, pork, and poultry.
Many people wear black, white, orange, silver or gold garment in commemoration of Samhain,
and stones of black such as obsidian are set forth as symbols of the Third harvest.
As we can see, this next month follows rich in tradition, and a time of blessings.
It marks the beginning of a new season, a time for many a preparation, and even a time
to honor those who have come before us, those who have taken some small part in the
shaping of who we have become.
I wish you the most wonderful blessings on this time of year, and i hope that
you enjoy not only the festivities of the season, but that you also remember the tradition
that lies deep beneath. Not only will this make Samhain more fullfilling, but it will also give
you a whole new, fresh set of eyes to view a new beginning of the year with. For if we see the
world with a fresh set of eyes, we see fresh possibility, which can lead ot a great many
abundances and advances in our lives.
Until next we meet …….
Brightest and most fervent blessings
If you are looking for advice on pagan matters write to Naiyeetu at Naiyeetu@email.com