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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thinning of the Veil...

Autumn is such a poignant time of year. It marks the end of the summer and the beginning of the holdiays, starting with Halloween and ending with New Years Eve. But what many of you may not know, is that for some, New Years comes on October 31st. All Hallows Eve. Or in the Wiccan Tradition...Samhain. Most people, (including the popular ebook publisher that shares its name with the holiday), pronounce it 'SAM- HAYNE'. But the correct pronunciation is 'SOW-EN', and it is the Witch's New Year.

It is one of the major fire sabbats on the wheel of the year for pagans everywhere, and represents the time of year when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. The time when we can best communicate with the spirit world. Samhain is a time of transition, as the earth prepares for winter’s rest and we prepare for our journey through the dark of the year. Samhain is a time to reflect and remember loved ones who no longer walk this earth. To honor our ancestors and our past. It is a time to gather around the hearth fires and dream of spring and new beginnings. Just as Persephone descended to the Underworld to guide the spirits of the departed, so we descend into ourselves to find the path our spirits need to follow. Pomegranate seeds, candles and sprigs of bittersweet are just some of the elements used in rituals honoring this time. The year has waxed with the fullness of life and now wanes into shadow. Our souls take rest in the dark as the seasons make their final turn into the fallow and prepare for the return of the sun.

So as Halloween approaches, while we watch our scary movies and dress up as whatever it is we want to be, give a thought to the loved ones we've lost, say a prayer and whisper their names to the wind. Trust me...they'll hear you.

A Blessed Samhain to you all, and a Happy Halloween!

Marianne Morea


  1. I asked earlier but I guess I was late. What I'd like to know is if precession is taken into account with the holiday of Samhain. I know Christmas, which is the winter solstice, goes by the calendar and not the actual position of the stars. It makes sense to me to follow the exact position of the stars. What do you think? I'm curiosity killed that cat. Thanks

  2. Hey Marianne,

    Samhain is the last of three harvest festivals, beginning with lammas on August 1st and then Mabon on September 21st (Fall Equinox).

    I know that the holiday is a quarter mark between the fall equinox and and the winter solstice and follows the sun. But I've heard that it's also linked to Pleiades, a nine star grouping that ascends in the spring around Beltane (May 1st) and descends in the fall around Samhain.

    I hope that helps.

    Marianne Morea

  3. It does, as you are telling me it goes by a calendar and not where the stars actually are in the heavens when it is celebrated. Star movement does come it with the constellation of Pleiades, but given lammas is on August 1st, and Mabon is on September 21, that indicates specific dates.

    Precession really affects a natal birth chart. CNN was saying not too long ago that we needed to add another sign to the Zodiac because it was "off". Not so when precession is taken into account and the stars are placed where they were in the sky when one is born.

    I have always wondered if this "change" made a difference with Holy Days or Holidays. Like the shortest day of the year really isn't the summer solstice (June 21) since the heavens have changed position due to the tilt and wobble of the earth's rotation around the sun. The orbit contributes to this difference, too. If the stars are off, then the day is off. Same thing with every holiday known to man.

    Weather has changed, Mays getting colder (at least where I live) and Octobers warmer. It snowed one Halloween when I was a child. Not so in a very long time.

    Like I said . . . I'm curiosity killed the cat. To me the Stars are God's time clock. Like everything else I've studied, I wondered if their movement affect the placement of the pagan holidays. It seems to me most go by a specific date rather than the placements of the stars . . . except Easter which is chosen by the movement of Earth's Moon.

    Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.

  4. I meant longest day of the year, not shortest. Duhh me!


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