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Samhain: Happy New Year, Witches!

Image: With thanks to Unfettered Wood for this beautiful image of their ancestor altar.

Happy Halloween/Samhain (here in the Southern Hemisphere) for two days ago, beautiful people! Sorry this is a little late. Samhain (pronounced: sah-ween) is one of the eight Sabbats or Holy Days celebrated on the Great Wheel of the Year. It marks the beginning of the dark half of the year, a time for releasing, introspection, and turning within. Significantly, for witches, Samhain marks the very beginning of the turning of the Wheel. Happy New Year, witches! With the Great Wheel beginning its cycle, yet again, it’s a time to seek guidance for the year ahead. Traditionally, this is done through dreams, scrying, and divination (eg: casting a tarot or runes spread for the upcoming year). Have you had any intense dreams these past couple of nights?? Pay attention to them! Samhain is also 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 (which exists beyond our sense of time). This means two things for us: 1) 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 2020 is irrelevant!) If you’ve been considering a session with a past-life regression therapist, now would be a great time. We are asked to write down any visions or messages that we receive, either through our dreams, divination tools, or by communicating with the Otherworld. Perhaps take a photo of your New Year tarot or runes spread, and place this where you’ll see it throughout the coming year. Can we reflect often on this guidance, and allow these messages to shape our magical work, especially over the next few weeks, between Samhain and Yule? and 2) Samhain is the Sabbat when we honour our ancestors. 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 ancestor 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. Incense for your magical work/meditation: Here is an incense recipe from Wiccan High Priestess, Phyllis Curott, if you’re interested? It’s specifically created for Samhain, to enhance our psychic powers and spiritual vision. Grind equal parts: gum mastic, cinnamon, musk, patchouli, juniper, sandalwood, ambergris, Lo-John powder, and myrrh. Add drops of cedar oil and orris oil. . As an aside, 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! Happy New Year! Peace Juliette xo Image: Thanks to Unfettered Wood for this image of their ancestor altar.

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