Saturday, October 16, 2010
A couple of my non-pagan followers asked me about Samhain. I had written a post about Samhain and my plans for the observance. Samhain, pronounced sow-wen (sow, rhyming with cow), is the last Sabbat of the year. A Sabbat is a religious holiday and in Wicca we celebrate 8 sabbats during the year. Our Wheel of the Year marks events throughout the seasons of the year. Four of the Sabbats are based on agricultural/nature observances: Imbolc, Beltane, Lugnasadh, Samhain. The other four sabbats mark the solstices and equinoxes: Ostara, Litha, Mabon and Yule.
Samhain is also know today by more familiar names, Halloween or All Hallow's Eve. But Wiccans celebrate this sabbat a little differently then non-pagans. It is a religious observance, and is also called the Witches' New Year. Wiccans believe that this is a time to honor our loved ones who have passed during the year, and to remember our ancestors. The "veil of the Otherworld" is at its thinnest at this time, hence a good time to contact, if you will, those who have passed beyond the veil. Do not get spooked by this, it is a loving remembrance, and a soothing riutal. Samhain is also a time to reflect on the year that has passed, and to prepare for the Wheel of the Year to begin it's journey again at Yule (Winter Solstice) when we celebrate Light returning to us.
This is a nutshell description of this Wiccan sabbat. Wiccans love Samhain, a favorite for most. Of course, Wiccans will say that about all their Sabbats...each one is a favorite. Wishing all of you a Bless-ed Samhain, and Happy New Year.