Southern Samhain

As autumn wraps her cloak around Melbourne
and Carnforth’s garden
Samhain approaches
and I stop to reflect and meditate

Samhain, better known as Halloween, the Celtic Festival of the Dead is celebrated at the end of October in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere we honour the Spirit of Place by celebrating this festival the end of April when we are at the mid point between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice.

Samhain is the eighth and final sabbat in the Great Wheel of the Year and marks the time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. It is a time of endings, releasing and letting go in preparation for the new life and new potentials that await birthing with the Sun at the Solstice. It is also the time to honour the dead and that which has died in our life. Samhain calls us to release the dead wood of the last cycle so we do not carry it into the new cycle that will begin in several weeks when the Sun is reborn from the darkness at the Winter Solstice on June 21.

A Samhaine Supper

Traditionally a midnight supper was held at Samhain to honour the dead. A place was set at the table for the souls of the dead and lights were left burning in the windows to guide the souls of those who had died in the last year in their journey to the Otherworld, found in the Aurora Borealis, home of the Great Goddess Arianrhod. The veil between the worlds was envisaged by the Celts as a turning silver wheel and Arianrhod was the keeper of this wheel. It was said she wove the fates of humanity as she wove her magical threads. At Samhain the veil opens and Arianrhod calls home the spirits of those who have died in the last year so they can await rebirth when the time is opportune.

You may conduct your own special supper with a place set for loved ones who are no longer with you. At some point in the meal everyone present will speak the names of loved ones who have died and share any memories that come to mind. Or you may choose to have a few minutes silence to each remember those who have moved beyond the veil into the realm of Arianrhod. Light a candle for each loved one that has passed away. If you are comfortable you could

  • Encourage recently departed loved ones to move forward into the light and release the ties that may keep them earth bound.
  • Open to memories and messages that may come through from beyond the veil. Samhain is a time for medium-ship and you may find a loved one communicates with you via your intuition or your dreams around this time.

from Astrology Newsletter by Christine Rothwell

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