Last week the Samhain portal opened with the New Moon and solar eclipse in Scorpio and will continue to be open until we arrive at the Full Moon in Taurus next week. True Samhain falls on November 7th this year, which is when the sun will reach 15 degrees in Scorpio and is the halfway point between Fall Equinox (Mabon) and Winter Solstice (Yule). Samhain is one of the eight High Holy Days in the Wheel of the Year and this High Holy day marks the cross-quarter day, final harvest, and fire festival - it is also known as “Summer’s End” - a time for endings and beginnings. Samhain is also known as the Witches’ New Year - although this is a more modern way of looking at the times.
Samhain along with many other festivals at this time around the world is a time for honoring the ancestors. It is a time of thanksgiving, remembering, and a time of healing. It is also a time when the veil between worlds is thinnest, magic is powerful, and a time when deep rest begins for the winter ahead.
This portal also falls between the last Eclipse season of the year and so that which occurs during this time and comes to a close will be completed in its cycle. These portals around the High Holy Days with an eclipse hold an enormous amount of transformational energy, which can bring times of change.
There are different kinds of eclipses and on October 25th, we had a partial solar eclipse where the new moon passes between the Sun and the Earth. This means that for a moment the light of the Sun will be hidden in some parts of the world. Notice during this time how your shadow is playing out in your life. This season of Scorpio governs the underworld and the shadowy aspects and so combined with the portal of Samhain we arrive at a strong time for healing.
Samhain is often confused or conflated with Halloween, All Soul’s Night, All Soul’s/Saint’s Day, and All Hallow’s Eve; however, these are other traditions that have woven in with the pagan ones. Halloween is often celebrated as a time to celebrate spirits and darker energies and was created to change the emphasis from the ancestors to that of the dark and scary.
The Main themes we are working with during this High Holy Day are Release and Surrender, Reverence for our Ancestors, Death and Rebirth, Transformation, Grounding, and Welcoming the Dark.
Because the veil is thin at this time, it makes it a particularly potent time to honor the ancestral realm and those who have come before us. It is also a powerful time for divination, magic and journeying to the spirit world. Reconnect with your sacred tools such as pendulums, tarot, runes, or scrying. Each will help deepen your own gifts.
There are many ways you can prepare for Samhain and celebrate this magical day, here are a few of our favorite rituals.
Create an altar for your own ancestral line. Bring to it bones, stones, and sticks, as well as old photos, jewelry, or other sacred items that connect you to the ones that have gone before you in your own lineage. Consider writing a poem, putting a sliced apple or pomegranate on the altar, and connecting to each of the elements.
Here are some more suggestions of what would be Samhain-specific altar items:
Nature is our home and each time we give her a little more time and attention she gives back with so much love. Since this is our last harvest festival it’s a great time to make a little ritual to thank the earth for everything she’s provided us this year. After Samhain, we no longer harvest as we give all the leftover nourishment back to the ancestors and the earth.
A great way is to prepare an offering from things you’ve harvested during the year place them on your altar and the next day gift the food back to the earth in thanks.
Connect to your ancestors by wearing something of a loved one, perhaps a pendant, or piece of jewelry, or drinking from a special tea cup.
Fire is a very powerful tool. Use the fire to burn away anything that you wish to release during this time can create final cuts of what you are seeking to release.
Write down on a piece of paper what you’d like to release. Then burn the piece of paper in the fire, watch it burn to ashes, and gift the ashes back to the earth.
Sending much love, and have a wonderful Samhain portal celebration.