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New Moon Ethics: Musings on the Morals of Paganism

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

wish.

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 [email protected]