Thursday, October 27, 2011

Samhain Time is Here!

Welcome to the dark half of the year! Some of you are rejoicing, the long nights and warm fires are your cup of tea (pun intended). Some of you will bundle up and soldier thru, waiting for the melting snows of spring. The winter time has it's own joys, cold toes are balanced by hot cocoa...

Samhain (say it Sow-ann) is an ancient harvest fest, the third and final harvest of the year. It's a fire festival, and peoples believed that the divide between the dead and living was lifted, and the spirits and gods were able to come among us. It is a time to honor ancestors, to celebrate the bounty of the year, and to prepare for cold months ahead.

Before pumpkins were introduced in the new world, the Celts would carve turnips into faced lanterns to scare off wicked spirits (must have been some awfully big turnips!) People would dress in disguise to hide from ill meaning beings. The hearth would be extinguished and re-lit from a communal bonfire (so called because after a feast, the bones were tossed in the fire as a blessing to the fertility of livestock, "bonefires").

As for today? I feel this is a very important time of year, the blessings of a good harvest are often lost on us in an era of grocery stores. Consider the fruits of a backyard garden if you have one, visit a local farm, go out to the country to see the tractors pulling in this years crops. We must not forget that many hands work to keep us fed!

And weather or not you believe that All Souls Day is a time to commune with the dead, it is a time to remember them. Our ancestors gave us the world we have today (for better or for worse!) and this is a good opportunity to remember their work and lives.

Keep it simple, this card from HeadCasePress is the true spirit of the season!
The sight of a harvest moon always makes me nostalgic, photo be ItsElemental.
A wonderful embroidered cloth from RainFeather13, use it on an alter, use it on a feast table, use it on a shrine, or just admire the beauty!
Illuminate an alter or just a room, this is a changeable lantern from Vermorlian.
Ritual candles from Whitemagic, a lovely color, and just imagine that Dragon Blood scent!

I hope you all enjoy the third harvest. Dress oddly, eat candy, light candles, and enjoy the changing season!

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