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Samhain Activities

by Raven and Crone

Here are a few things to do to honor and celebrate this Samhain Sabbat 

-Make a jac-o-lantern! This has been a pagan custom for over thousands of years. They were designed to frighten away evil spirits who were following deceased loved ones and blocking the way back to the land of the living.

-Drink warmed apple cider spiced with cinnamon to honor the dead.

-Since this is also the Pagan New Year, this is a day to make New Year Resolutions. Write them down on paper and burn them. The smoke will take them up to the Gods.

-Bury apples in your yard for the spirits passing by on their way to be reborn.

-Make a spirit candle to burn. Anoint a white candle with patchouli oil. Say: With this candle and by its light, I welcome you spirits this Samhain night." Place the candle inside your jack-o-lantern. If you don't have one, leave it on a table near your entry way or in the center of your dining room table.

-Trick or Treating

-Leave an empty seat and set a place for the silent souls of departed loved ones at your table and lighting their way to your hearth with carved pumpkins and candlelight.
-Make masks to wear and to decorate your doorway.  Masks were used to confuse or frighten away unwanted spirits in times past; today, make them gaudy and glittery, using fabric, feathers, beads, and trinkets to honor the many faces of the Goddess and the God.

-Carve a grinning jack-o-lantern and place it on the front porch or walkway to welcome friendly souls and protect your home from mischievous ones, as our ancestors did long ago.
-All forms of divination are paramount on Samhain Eve.  Dark mirrors for scrying ("seeing" psychically or mentally), Tarot cards, runes, or pendulums are all perfect tools for utilizing the heightened spiritual energies at this Sabbat.  More playful means of divining are derived from Victorian Samhain celebrations.  For example, to discover the identity of your true love, peel an apple in one long strip, let it fall to the ground, and read the initials in the bends and curves; or put acorns in front of a fire, name each, and wait to see which one pops first.  Try this recipe:

Scrying Brew ( NOT for internal use)

1 handful mugwort
1 handful lemon balm
1 handful white rose petals(if you cannot find, use red instead)
1 big pinch yarrow
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch meadowsweet
1 pinch cinqufoil

Place this in a cauldron, and add water. Bring to a boil. and allow the steam to fill the atmosphere. Sit back. and let the visions come. This mix would also be good to use as a simmering potpourri in one of those little pots that you burn the tea candles under to cook. Simply mix up the herbs in a jar and place a healthy pinch in the pot. Add boiling water, and light the candle underneath.Use when doing scrying or tarot card reading outside of the circle. 
-Leave your favorite candy out for all the visiting "spirits" as people left food and wine on the stoop for the faerie folk and the wondering souls on Samhain of old.
-Contemplate the coming winter, and use this time out of time to let die old ways of thinking, outworn beliefs, and negative patterns. 


This article was published on Sunday 25 October, 2009.
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