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It's Samhain (aka Halloween)!

Updated: May 19, 2022

Yes, now! Not in October . . . Let's look at why we celebrate Samhain in May, here in the Southern Hemisphere.

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

Samhain/Halloween Blessings, Beautiful People in the Southern Hemisphere!

Wait, what?? Don't we celebrate Halloween at the end of October?? 🤔

Yeah . . . Nah.

I mean, yes, many people do celebrate Samhain (pronounced sah-win) at the end of October, but that's just because it's when people in America and Europe celebrate it. And our social media feeds get overwhelmed with their imagery and posts about it, at that time.

"But what's wrong with that? Isn't Halloween a set date on the calendar?? Isn't that when we're supposed to celebrate it???" I hear you ask.

Actually, no . . .

Samhain is not a specific date on the calendar. It's not like a birthday that is celebrated on the same day every year, no matter where you happen to be travelling on the planet.

Instead, Samhain celebrates an astronomical or seasonal event. And, therefore, the date we celebrate it changes depending on which hemisphere we're in. 'Cause, as we all know, when it's Winter here in Australia, it's Summer in Barcelona, or Dublin, or New York. Right??

Samhain is a Seasonal Celebration

Samhain is one of the eight Sabbats or High Holy Days celebrated on the Pagan Wheel of the Year. Significantly, for many witches, Samhain marks the very beginning of the Great Wheel. It officially marks the New Year. So . . .

Happy New Year, Witches!

Importantly, each of the Pagan festivals celebrate astronomical or seasonal events. 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. And each of these seasonal events are celebrated on the Great Wheel of the Year.

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).

It's a time that heralds the dark and the coming cold. 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, the veils are the thinnest between the worlds, and it's a time of honouring our ancestors and the beloved dead. It's a time for introspection and divination. 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, and to start dreaming into our hopes and aspirations for the year that lays ahead.

In the Northern Hemisphere, this cross-quarter festival astronomically falls at the end of October, which is why they celebrate Samhain/Halloween, then. But here in the Southern Hemisphere, the midpoint of the Autumnal equinox and the Winter solstice falls at the very beginning of May. In fact, the High Holy Day (or Sabbat) of Samhain is officially recognised on 1 May. But if we're going to get all technical and astronomical about it, Samhain changes slightly from year to year. This year, Samhain was held on 5 May. 🤓

(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. The wisdom of Samhain will guide and direct us from 5 May all the way through to Yule on 22 June. We're about two weeks into Samhain season, right now.)

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 in October, here . . . 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; and to dive into your 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.

Celebrating Samhain

I'll post a separate article in the next couple of days with ideas on how we celebrate Samhain, and some thoughts on what this Sabbat is guiding us to consider. What is the wisdom of Samhain?

And how can we see this numerologically or astrologically?

It's fascinating to recognise the inherent wisdom and connection between these seemingly disparate modalities.

And on that note, I wish you all a blessed Samhain! As always, if you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out. I love hearing from you when you do! Thank you for your company on this path. I am so grateful for it. 🙏🎃👻

Blessed Be! Peace Juliette xo


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