Today’s post is brought to you by one of my Discord servers. Below are some discussion questions that were posted for a “witchy chat” that they had on their server. Although I couldn’t attend the chat, I thought I’d answer the questions here.
- Is Samhain a holiday you celebrate or intend to celebrate?
Absolutely. Samhain is a holiday that my sister and I celebrate together each year.
- What does Samhain mean to you?
Samhain is the time of year when the veil is at its thinnest between our realm and that of the spirit world. It is a time to acknowledge and honor our ancestors and those loved ones that have passed on. It is also the witch’s new year, and marks the end of the wheel of the year’s cycle. After Samhain, the world goes into dormancy for a time and will then begin to rouse once more following Yule in December. This makes Samhain a perfect time for letting go of the past and past habits.
- What are your Samhain plans?
Each year my sister and I have a dumb supper to honor our ancestors and loved ones, followed by a ritual with much of the same theme. At the end of the ritual we include spellwork to assist in the letting go of things best left behind as we move forward and step into the energy of a new cycle on the other side.
- Do you consider Samhain to be the start of a new year? Do you have any “New Year” traditions you enjoy on Samhain?
I think I pretty much covered this above. L has shifted her new year to Beltane in the spring, but she still also participates in my celebration of it during Samhain in the fall. So in essence, we’re celebrating two new years, each one distinct from the other. For the fall new year, we often will write out things we wish to leave behind on bay leaves and cast them into the fire to release their energy from our lives. This part of our ritual is something we include each year without fail.
- Do you celebrate any other holidays around the same time as Samhain? What are they? How do you celebrate?
No. My previous holiday was Mabon in September, and my next will be Yule in December. That said, there are a lot of concepts of Samhain that are shared by other holidays in other cultures, a common theme and common thread of beliefs connecting these different holidays around the world.
- What do you think of the way that October has become “the season of the witch”? Do you enjoy that witch-themed things become more mainstream for at least a little while?
I don’t mind it. I guess the commercialism of it all should bug me. But the thing is? It is a time of year that makes it easy to find certain supplies and decor that you just can’t seem to get your hands on any other time of year. It opens society to a more accepting (if commercialized) view, which in turn makes it less dangerous to be a witch in the first place. So, in accepting the good with the bad, I suppose a little “Season of the Witch” each year isn’t an entirely horrible thing.
- Do you separate Samhain from Halloween and celebrate them distinctly from each other?
To me “Halloween” is about candy, parties, and trick or treating. It’s about costumes and fun and games. So yes. It is very much a separate thing from the solemn and respectful theme of Samhain.
I absolutely do celebrate both, sometimes with more leaning on one than the other… but always both.