Samhain begins on October 31st and ends on November 1st. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is the beginning of the dark half of the year. Samhain is the midpoint between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice.
During this time ancient Celts celebrated their crops being safely stored for the upcoming season. Having crops safely stored ensured their survival through the cold dark winter. To celebrate they held a fire festival to honor the families and communities of the harvest. At the end of the festival, a member from each household would take a torch from the communal fire to light their hearth back at home.
Importance of Fire
This ritual of lighting hearths with a flame from the communal fire was done to protect the family from evil throughout the winter months. It is thought that during Samhain the veil between the worlds becomes thin opening the door to the Otherworld. Which made it easier for deceased loved ones, faeries, and spirits to roam the physical world.
The ancient Celts would make offerings to the Otherworld during Samhain. They believed that the offerings would help them to connect with deceased loved ones. Offerings were also used to gain favor with the creatures of the Otherworld, in hopes that they would aid in the family’s survival through the winter.
Ebb and Flow of Life
In this day and age, we aren’t as focused on survival as the Celts were. However, the message of Samhain remains the same that with every new beginning there is an ending. It serves to show that there is an ebb and flow to life.
Samhain is a time of reflection and to recognize the dormant seasons in our life. The seasons when we lack abundance, when we aren’t as productive, healthy, put together, or happy as we would like to be. It is a time to be contemplative and somber.
To celebrate Samhain light a fire to burn away bad energy and negative influences. Decorate with colors of black, silver, and gold. Bring in the energy of the harvest with pumpkins, apples, cedar, and lavender. Set out obsidian, black agate, and bloodstone for your crystal grids. Reflect upon the animal totems of owls and magpies for their messages. Lastly, create sigils for protection.