Brightest blessings this Samhain


Welcome to my monthly column of all things mystical and magical.

This season stirs mixed feelings in many people’s hearts, as for some it proves to be an isolated and lonely time as our sun moves into the Northern Hemisphere, and our days become short and our nights long.

We prepare ourselves for the cold, dark winter months ahead - the shedding of golden leaves, the gathering of fruit and logs, stocking our larders.

The home fires can be lit to add warmth and light back into your homes, or, if you haven’t got a fire, a candle burning aids peace and tranquility - and can throw interesting images onto our walls and ceilings.

The ancient practise of hollowing out turnips for lanterns - known as Jack O’Lanterns - has now become the well known pumpkin.

There isn’t really anything dark, sinister or ghoulish to this practise, as it was believed by some to be a sign to others that we are acknowledging and remembering our loved ones past.

The light in the window shows their spirits the way home to their families and loved ones.

Traditionally, Halloween (known as Samhain), is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest.

It is acknowledged to have Pagan origins.

Large fires were built, and the animals were brought in from the fields to places of shelter.

Pagans all over the world do keep these traditions, and celebrate this magical time, which is also the Pagan New Year - out with the old, in with the new.

There is evidence that October 31 has been celebrated since ancient time through ‘mumming and guising’, in which the festival involved communities to dosguise themselves in masks and costumes to go visiting in exchange for food.

Divination rituals would also be carried out, the costumes believed to ward off the bad spirits.

For those of us known as weird and wonderful - witches, sages, shamans, druids, and spiritual souls who value peace, love and unity above all things - Samhain is one of the most important times of the year.

Instead of remembering the dead or dying, we prefer to celebrate the life and endless cycle of creation and renewal.

When spring arrives again, we are reminded of that miracle of life once more.

Brightest blessings this Samhain to you all.

Sherry Gewitzke-Tapner

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