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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Your Samhain/Beltaine Musings
What have you been musing about at this time of the changing seasons? What lessons have you learned? What hopes do you hold for the future? How will you honor/mark/celebrate the Holiday? If you have rituals, poems, stories or links to seasonal lore and/or activities, feel free to share them here.
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| Samhein/All Hallows/etc ||Oct 21st. at 2:46:17 pm EDT|
|RainStorm (Gaffney, SC) ||Age: 25 - Email - Web|
I personally plan to hold a very solitary ritual, that I wish to keep to myself. In my thoughts, there is a reason the time is also referred to as Ancestor's Night. It is a time to honor those who have passed before you and ask them for their advice and blessings on your current endeavor, then to do honor for them however tradition demands.
What irked me is when I was hanging around in a chat room and a person logged on asking for advice on Samhein rituals and gatherings, and another person who I've seen making comments to the effect that the ritual should be somber, and what he was describing was to the point of being depressing. He went on about the burning times, describing what happened then in detail, and remembering them. I have a problem with that. Honor them, yes, perhaps even find your own means to call to them, but don't dwell on it. Those were dark times that evidenced what ignorance and religious persicution can lead to, however they were also several hundred years ago. I've seen too many people in our community adopt a hatred for their local Christian organizations because of those horrible events that neither happened to any of us or by their hands.
The point is that past should be remembered, but not revisited. Only an ignorant fool will refuse to learn from past mistakes, but the lesson and the event are seperate issues. Explore the lesson, not the event. The wheel doesn't turn widdershins. Stirring negativity on Samhein will only create potential problems for the circle, and on a night that you don't really want to stir up any problems.
| Lessons Not Learned ||Oct 21st. at 4:23:41 pm EDT|
|Amber Morgaine (New Jersey) ||Age: 26 - Email - Web|
At this time of year, when the night soon aproches where not only the dead can walk right through the veil of the worlds but can also SEE right through it, we should be aware that what has been acomplished and the good that has come from their lives and passing will be seen by them. After the Tragity on 9-11-01, those souls were added to the spirits that can return to this realm on the night of Samhain to see what lessons have been learned from their passing. It saddens me to see that after such a horrible, needless lose of life the lessons for most have still not been learned. People are still discriminating against eachother for their faith, their color, their opinions, etc. Rudness and disrespect is still rampant, even in an America that claims to so united against hate and injustic. While we give the pretence that we are all united together, the petty arguing and disagreements on our own shores leave us vulnrable to hate from others
I feel for those souls that will look and walk through the veil this season and has to see, that their death has still been in vain for many, because the hate that lead to this terrible act still breeds rampant among the masses.
| Loss Is Not Always Negative ||Oct 21st. at 4:54:18 pm EDT|
|watrfae (the suburbs) ||Age: 24 - Email - Web|
From taking down my altar to build something new, to new meditation techniques I am learning that losing something is definately not always negative.
My religious beliefs have always been fluid as my Mother taught me that all faiths were equal, but personally as our year closes I have been seperating the wheat from the shaft at an accellerated rate.
While the sun may not be fully reborn until Yule, I am finding new comfort in the quiet space the dark provides.
| Halloween ||Oct 21st. at 5:13:28 pm EDT|
|lilith (los angeles) ||Age: 33 - Email |
to be honest the long slide into the holiday season usually depresses the hell out of me, and halloween itself is the day i use to try and realign myself in advance of xmas et al.
my actual ritual is private, but it includes taking down my altar, doing a few tarot readings, putting out the picture of my grandmother. the day of the dead is the day i tend to go out, buy food and drink, and go to the cemeteries of those i know and leave a meal for them etc. i will go and dress up and party on halloween night because if one does it in the right spirit one can walk with the dead and living at the same time and thats always fun. since i have family that is christian i do not set up an altar at my back door, which is what i would typically do, with food and light and drink for the wandering dead, nor am i always able to set an empty place at the table which is another custom i have used when i am alone. this year im travelling with food again. but thats okay-- the living and their hangups are important too.
no matter how long i am a witch halloween never feels exactly like the new year to me. i was never allowed to celebrate it as a kid after my parents became born again christians [i was seven at the time]. i think dressing up is a ritual of a sort anyway, so i simply incorporate that element of the day into my spiritual process and that feels pretty good to me at this point. a few people have gotten on my case for this, but i really dont care. everyone's got their something.
be safe, all.
| Halloween ||Oct 21st. at 5:44:07 pm EDT|
|Hazel (Regina SK Canada) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I love this time of year. Halloween was always my fav holiday when I was a kid and continues to be so now. As with the other sabbats, I use this as an opportunity to teach my daughter about the cycle of the year and being a fan of extended celebration, we incorporate the week preceeding into our tradition.
Each day has its focus. We do things like honour pets of the past; a trip to a cemetery; remember loved ones that have passed on; carve pumpkins (of course!); make soulcakes for the local kids; decorate the house. Each night, starting with the 25th, we light a candle in the window. On the 1st, we have a big feast (well, big for our budget=)) made mostly of pumpkin. It is truly amazing how many different things one can make out of pumpkin.
I try for an aura of reverance and acceptance. I want her to learn that death is apart of life. You can't have one without the other.
As for the dressing up and trick or treating, well, I like to steer away from the significance of the candy so we use that as barter. She gets to keep 10 fav treats and the rest we use in baking or give away. I have been known to freeze them and give them away next year. In return for the treats, she gets two brand new books. She prefers to chose costumes like princess, but I always suggest, perhaps a dead princess? This year she is an owl and I think that's a good, scary choice. I'm sure any mouse would agree with me =). My husband and I love to dress-up and usually spend the entire day in costume.
The fact that so many different customs have been adopted or evolved on this holiday makes it that much more interesting. I love history and I don't believe that any of these customs detract from the original intent. They just give it more depth.
| Hecate ||Oct 21st. at 7:55:04 pm EDT|
|Amaliya (Ruidoso NM) ||Age: 24 - Email |
The apple falls
heavy to the earth
the mother spirit calls
ancient, hungry, to rebirth
and as I face that dark door
lips aglaze in nervouse chill
my hands, my whole, a tremble
opening to do her will
the cup exalted skyward
she gleams in ancient charm
A song to echo of her word
To free the fool from harm
let this harvest beckon
the seeker, free from "sin"
to find at last within her
a doorway to begin!
| Autumn In New York ||Oct 21st. at 10:18:14 pm EDT|
|Meredith (NYC) ||Age: 25 - Email |
This is my favorite time of year. It always has been, ever since I was a kid. A time for apple pies and pumpkin bread baking, and jack-o-lanterns smiling from glittering windows.
This year is especially meaningful for me, because certain phases of my life are ending and a new one is beginning as the Wheel turns. I'm returning to the fold, so to speak, and I couldn't be happier.
Blessed be to all on this Samhain. Be safe.
| Beltaine ||Oct 21st. at 11:20:51 pm EDT|
|Mike (Hamilton, New Zealand) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Being 6 months ahead of you in the northern hemishpere makes our ritual dates stand out more. The October 31st Halloween thing is starting to catch on here but, i politely tell children to come back in April.
This Year im putting a big sign on the door, "caution real witch! Go away it's not halloween for another 6 months." Or something like that.
Beltaine is a time when we celebrate the union of the Lord and Lady. Its about fertillity and sex and thats what most of the witches in my coven plan to do. Most of them have cowen partners, but the majority go along with the celebrations and enter into the spirt of it.
We dont celebrate this one as a group for obvious reasons, its personal and private.
| Family ||Oct 22nd. at 2:29:51 am EDT|
|Seana Rain (Missouri, USA) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I have recently begun to come closer to my own spirituality. This is a great time of the year for me to put my past behind me and begin anew. During the next couple of months will be study and meditation for my spiritual rebirth near Yule.
I will be starting on Samhain by focusing on my mother-in-law who passed away two years ago. She was/is one of the most spiritual and complete persons I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Her lived her beliefs (xian) and exuded happiness and acceptance of herself and others...even as she died (ovarian cancer).
A visit to her grave and a small meditative ritual that evening will bring things together for me.
| Musings ||Oct 22nd. at 10:25:54 am EDT|
|Nateseia (Winnipeg, Canada) ||Age: 0 - Email |
A myriad of thoughts often pass through my mind in fragments that I have to capture later and ponder.
I envy, in a strange sort of way, those who simply celebrate 'Halloween' in their excitment for the season....
what there going to wear, who their going out with..etc....I sometimes wish I could join their conversation, and artlessly spill my own plans.
That unfortunatly, leaves a lot more explaining to do, more than I want, with people I don't know that well.
I find this time of the year deeply introspective, where loose ends and emotions get tied up
in preperation for facing the coming year with a fresh perspective. It's a time of finally letting go with peace.
The season is also highly charged with emotion, running from spectrum to the other. The whole process
last about six days for me. I mean, there's no way I can balance the work that I do out in a day.
On a lighter note, what I find incrediably humorus, is the number of friends that want to hang with a
'real witch' at this time of year, even though they do not practice the Craft.
I love them all to bits, and we do have a lot of fun.
| Only Through Death Can Life Be Renewed ||Oct 22nd. at 11:29:24 am EDT|
|owlsbreath (Massachusettes USA) ||Age: 36 - Email |
As autumn approaches i sit by the window and watch as the great mother takes from us the beauty of her life giving bounty. While i am saddened at the passing of summers endless growth I am rejoicing in the knowledge that this was a time of plenty for all of creatures. As the animals gather thier stores for the long winter ahead i am grateful that there is much for them to be busy with. In my minds eye I shall hold fast for the memories past to be renewed as spring will soon be anew and I will once again be filled with awe as she once again poors forth a wellspring of new life. Until then I will now harbor myself for the duration soon to come. Should I come upon you on the path I will stay awhile and share such hopes withuot reservation.
| So Many Things... ||Oct 22nd. at 2:46:12 pm EDT|
|Mothrae (Pennsy USA) ||Age: 37 - Email |
Our family lost a few good people this past year and we will surely celebrate their lives this Samhain Feast. Among the many aspects of this day, our Feast will be the high point, thanking Our Goddess and Our God for all that we have. We will mourn the passing over of Our God yet wait with joy for His rebirth at Yule. We will light the candles in the pumpkins to welcome home the spirits of those no longer in this Realm. We will share our Samhain Feast with them. As part of Feast preparations we will can or freeze offerings left from our garden.
One of us will try to carve a turnip, often with a hammer and chisel! We all have to learn, right?
With the house decorated for the season, we will entertain the kids who like to stop by and see the "real Witches." We will offer more than just candy. Homemade candied apples, warm little cakes from the oven, warm cider (served from a cauldron, of course!), and we will tell the real story of Hallowe'en to anyone who wants to listen.
And we will work in shifts to extort candy from our neighbors!
Brightest Blessings to All! ...Moth
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