Thursday, November 1, 2012

Samhain

My Samhain altar is always nearly overfull.  I have so many people I want to remember and so little room!
Samhain is my favorite sabbat.  It's not because it's Halloween and I'm a witch (if I could insert a cackle here, I would) but because Samhain represents remembrance for me.  It is a time where the veil between the worlds is thin and when I can feel the spirits of those I love with me.

Aside from my Spirit Tarot and my runes, each item on the altar above represents someone who is no longer with the world of the living.  Each being was very dear to me, or dear to someone in the group of friends who celebrated this sabbat with me.  It was a solemn moment to see how many people we miss as a whole.

Though Samhain is one of the harvest sabbats, I do not celebrate it with a hearty dinner.  For me, being utterly full on Samhain can make me nauseous, so it has been a necessary adjustment for me to serve very little food.  While we did a dinner, I ate very little until long after the ritual.

We did offer a plate of food to the spirits.  Left to my own devices, I will grab a little of whatever it is I consume that day and put it on a plate outside.  With the group, we served a little helping of everything we had for dinner instead.  We also lit a candle to represent each person we were honoring and left a seat open at the table while we ate.

We thought about a dumb dinner but we're... a very loud group, suffice to say.  For those curious of what a dumb dinner is, it involves an evening of complete silence.  Not a single word can be uttered during the dinner out of respect for the dead.  If you're interested, I encourage a quick search of it.  It works well for a small group or a family, and particularly if you celebrate alone.

For the ritual, we focused on remembering our loved ones.  We passed rosemary around the circle and created remembrance trinkets out of string for our altars.  We also recognized Samhain as the witch's new year by writing down one goal we hoped to accomplish and burning it in the fire of the altar.

At the end of the ritual, we left the circle open for divination and general chatter.  Just sitting in the circle was a relaxing feeling for me.  I felt particularly accomplished that day because I had been up for 48 hours, finished all my commissions and had just celebrated my favorite sabbat with my closest friends.

Unfortunately, this is about all I can write about Samhain.  I typically would have something more in-depth to say, but it seems the spirits are seeing fit to bring someone else along to the other side soon.  I could be wrong, but I can feel it in my gut.  I will post more details soon.


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