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It's Samhain (aka Halloween) here in the Southern Hemisphere!

Updated: May 2


An old cemetery.  We embrace our ancestors at Samhain.

Samhain/Halloween Blessings, here in the Southern Hemisphere!


1 May, is the day we traditionally celebrate Samhain (aka Halloween), here in the Southern Hemisphere. But if we're going to get all technical and astronomical about it, Samhain changes slightly from year to year. This year (2024), Samhain will be celebrated on 5 May.


And I would note that, rather than thinking of the Sabbats as 'single-day' events of ritual and celebration, I think of them as whole seasons that last for five or six weeks each. This year (2024), the wisdom of Samhain will guide and direct us from 5 May all the way through to Yule on 21 June.



What is Samhain??


Samhain is one of the eight Sabbats or High Holy Days celebrated on the Great Wheel of the Year. Each of these festivals celebrate an astronomical or seasonal event.


Specifically, there are eight major seasonal sub-divisions of the year:


  • the March and September equinoxes;

  • the June and December solstices; and

  • the four cross-quarter days in between them.


Samhain is one of the cross-quarter festivals, and it's celebrated at the midpoint between the Autumnal equinox (aka: Mabon) and the Winter Solstice (aka: Yule).


(If you're familiar with the eight Lunar Phases of the Moon, and you work with these each month, you can think of Samhain as equating with the Waning Crescent phase of the year.)


Samhain is a time that heralds the coming dark and cold of the year. Leaves are falling from the trees. Some animals are going into hibernation. Life is leaving this realm, and Winter is coming.  Death is upon us.


At Samhain, it's said that the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest. It's a time of honouring our ancestors and the beloved dead. (More below.)


I mean, if you stop to think about it, doesn't this make sense to you?


Doesn't it seem odd or incongruent for people to celebrate Samhain (aka Halloween) in Australia in October, in mid-Spring?  Doesn't it feel weird to decorate our homes with skulls, ghosts, and other symbols of death and the Otherworld in the midst of mid-Spring's warmth and the flurry of new life, blossoms, and bees?


Long story, short . . . NOW's the time to dig out your crystal skulls; to carve a jack-o-lantern to ward off mischievous spirits; to create an ancestor's altar to honour our ancestors and the beloved dead; and to dive into our divination practices to seek guidance on the year ahead. (e.g. Dreams, scrying, or casting a tarot or runes spread for the upcoming year). 👻🎃🔮


Let's energetically align with the magic and cycles of Life where we actually live, rather than intellectually, unquestioningly adhering to a calendar that is created for the Northern Hemisphere.



Visioning the Future


Sometimes referred to as the third Harvest Festival, Samhain is also a time to reflect on all that we've achieved over the previous year; to finish off and finalise any outstanding projects; and to start dreaming into our hopes and aspirations for the year that lays ahead.


How will you build on all that you've achieved and accomplished over the past twelve months? And as you begin this dreaming process, I invite you to seek the guidance of the Otherworld.️


Samhain is a time for introspection, meditation, and divination.


Significantly, for many witches, Samhain simultaneously marks the end and the true beginning of the Great Wheel, for it is from this instropective time of stillness, rest, darkness, and divination that the new year will begin emerge at Yule, and then grow.


Samhain officially marks the New Year.️


So . . .️


Happy New Year, Witches!



A witch practising candle magic for Samhain/Halloween.


Celebrating Samhain


Divination


Samhain (and its Sister Sabbat, Beltane) are known as the time of the year when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest.


Spirits can more easily travel between the realms. And we can more easily communicate with the Otherworld, whether this is done through meditation, scrying, divination (eg: casting a tarot or runes spread for the upcoming year), or through the wisdom of our dreams.


(Have you had any intense dreams these past couple of nights?? Pay attention to them! What are they trying to communicate to you?)


Samhain is when we can more readily seek the advice of our ancestors; our own Higher Self; and even the guidance of our former lives. (Whether our former lives are in the ’past’ or the ‘future’ from our current perspective in 2024 is irrelevant!) If you’ve been considering a session with a past-life regression therapist or someone who works with the Akashic Records, now would be a great time.


In fact, this is a great time of year to seek a session with your favourite tarot reader, astrologer, numerologist, or psychic. Personally, along with seeking the guidance of my own astrology/numerology charts, I seek a tarot session with Angelica Walker of Mystical Fool!


Angelica is amazing, and highly recommended! (If you'd like to book in with her, you can find her here.)


We are asked to write down any visions or messages that we receive.


We do this so that our goals and actions over the coming year will be soul-led, and soul-aligned, rather than being guided by whim, or societal / familial expectation.


Perhaps you could take a photo of your New Year tarot or runes spread and place it where you’ll see it frequently throughout the coming year.


I invite you to reflect often on this Divine guidance, and allow these messages to shape your magical work, especially over the next few weeks, between Samhain and Yule.


I also encourage you to consciously integrate this Divine guidance into your goal setting reflections for the year ahead.


A witch with tarot cards and incense, divination.


Ancestor Altars


Samhain is the Sabbat when we honour our ancestors and the beloved dead.


If the term "beloved dead" is unfamiliar to you, these are the people of great significance to us, whom we honour and remember, but who may not be our direct blood ancestors. For example, I remember Carl Jung, Juno Jordan, Dane Rudhyar, Heraclitus, Pythagoras, and Porphyry on my altar (above).


With the thinning of the veil, we invite them to visit us here in our realm.


Particularly, we welcome those who have passed over during the previous year. This is a blessed opportunity to commune with them, and to adjust to their new role in the Otherworld as one of our ancestors.


We can create an altar with their photos, and share their stories with our children. Let’s ensure they’re remembered!


We can set a place for their spirits at our table; toast them; and serve their favourite foods and treats. We can share with them all that is happening in our world, and seek their advice and guidance for the upcoming year. We can also invite them to join us in Circle, if this is part of our spiritual practise.



Pagan Ancestor's Altar, Samhain/Halloween, Great Wheel of the Year
My Altar for the Ancestors and the Beloved Dead

Incense for your Magical Work/Meditation:


Here is an incense recipe from Wiccan High Priestess, Phyllis Curott. It’s specifically created for Samhain, to enhance our psychic powers and spiritual vision.


A witch making a spell, with candles and ingredients.

Grind equal parts:

  • Gum mastic

  • Cinnamon

  • Musk

  • Patchouli

  • Juniper

  • Sandalwood

  • Ambergris

  • Lo-John powder

  • Myrrh.



Add drops of:

Cedar and Orris oil.




Spooky Jack o' lanterns for Samhain/Halloween.


Samhain Traditions:


You may be wondering why people tend to dress up in costumes and carve Jack o’ Lanterns at Halloween?


Sometimes, along with our beloved ancestors, nasty or mischievous spirits may also come through the veil ... or perhaps even the spirits of people that we wronged while they were alive. People may dress up in costumes at Halloween in order to disguise themselves so that these mischievous spirits won’t be able to recognise or trouble them.


This is also why people carve frightening Jack o’ Lanterns and place them in their windows and entrances - to ward off any wandering, mischievous spirits.



And on that note, I wish you all a blessed Samhain!


As always, if you have any questions at all, or insights you'd like to share, please feel free to reach out. I love hearing from you!


Thank you for your company on this path. I am so grateful for it.


And remember, we are all inherently connected. We all benefit when we all shine.


Blessed Be! 🙏🎃👻 Peace Juliette xo



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