Rites of Samhain

The sacred feast of Samhain is an ancient one in the pagan world. It celebrates several events ...

In agrarian societies it signified the end of the harvest season.

It is also the time of the year when the veil between this world and the Otherworld is at its thinnest; when we may be able to communicate with our ancestors or entities in the Otherworld. We use this opportunity to honor our forebears, and to ask for their help and indulgence during the time we have left on this earth.

In these northern latitudes, we have a gathering season. It is a time when summer activities cease. The fish are in, the berries picked. When tools are put away, our summer implements taken care of and laid aside until next year. We prepare for winter.

The first snows are coming, or have already dusted our beautiful land. The animals are starting to hibernate, and the trees and willows have shed their leaves in order to endure the cold, dark winter that is coming. The land is lying down to sleep, the slumber of peace and of rest, and is awaiting the blanket of snow that will clothe her for the coming months.

In the sky, the sun is waning and the days are getting shorter. Each day the sun has a lesser grip on our activities and our spirits, yet it also becomes more and more important. The god of the sun will continue to wane until the shortest day, Yule, when it is at its weakest yet is awakening in power and the days again become longer.

We thank Aurora, goddess of the Sunrise and of the Sunset for the beautiful seasons, and the blessings of the sun on our upturned faces. And we also thank the Moon Goddess for lighting our path with her gentle glow.

We thank our ancestors for having taught us these things, and many more, as we celebrate this glorious day with a feast so that we may be ready for the scarcities of winter.