Happy Samhain

Jack-O-lantern
Jack-O-lantern

Samhain

Samhain is the final harvest Sabbat of the year. At this time the last crops are gathered and put into storage for the cold winter’s months. The god makes his ultimate sacrifice at this time. But fear not his sacrifice is a willing one, for he does this for his children. The god is symbolized by the last of the harvest. He (the god of the harvest) is cut down (sacrificed) at this time so that we may have food to last us through the winter. The “Johan Barleycorn” songs came from this.

At this time of the year, the cattle and pigs are culled keeping only the ones strong enough to weather the harsh winter months. The meat is then salted and cured so that the people would be able to survive the long winter.

Samhain is also known as the witches’ New Year. The Celts felt that this was the beginning of the year. The reason for this is they believed a new life started at death. You needed to die to be reborn into a new life. That is just what the god has done with his sacrifice. He now resides in the underworld awaiting birth at Yule.

Samhain is also the time to communicate with the dead, The Veil between the worlds is the thinnest at this time. The Veil is the doorway or curtain that separates the land of the living with the land of the dead. Contact between the two worlds is now easily accomplished. So contacting past loved ones is common on this Sabbat. The dead are honored at this time. An example of this in today’s modern society is Mexico’s day of the dead.

The Wheel turns to represent death at this Sabbat, only to continue turning at Yule, to the beginning, representing life and rebirth. The eternal cycle of reincarnation is celebrated during Samhain. The old god dies to be reborn at Yule.

Blessed be,

Moonwater Silverclaw

Sabbats – Mabon

Happy Mabon!

Stop Sign
Stop and Tell Me What You Did Today!

Mabon is a time of balance between light and dark. It is the autumn equinox when the days continue to grow shorter and the dark begins to take over the light. With the nights becoming longer, the power of the God is waning.

As the second of the three harvest festivals of the year, Mabon is also known as the witches’ thanksgiving. We give thanks to the God and Goddess for all the bounty and sacrifices they have made for us. On this Sabbat we have friends and family over for a meal of thanksgiving. Foods that are in season at this time of year make great dishes for the feast. Enjoy bread, corn, squash, other autumn vegetables. Don’t forget wine, beer, and mead.

Some witches pour some blackberry wine on the ground as a sacrifice to the Gods. This ritual gives us hope of keeping the God alive until Samhain, when the God makes the willing sacrifice to keep us alive.

What did you do for Mabon this year? Share your experiences of the day with me here in the comments.

Blessed Be,

Moonwater Silverclaw

What is Wicca?

Merry Meet. As we talked about in the last post, this is a blog for the neophyte. So we will start at the beginning.

What is Wicca?

Wicca, also known as Witchcraft, has been practiced throughout history. Some practices of Wicca or Witchcraft have their roots as far back as the stone age. This is why it is also known as the Old Religion. It’s also known as “the Craft.”

Wiccans honor the cycles of the Earth and Sky. We honor the seasons and the cycles of life and death. We perform Sabbats to honor these cycles. The Sabbats express the life cycle in the seasons, and the turning of the year.

The term “turning of the year” comes from the way we look at a year. We see it as a cycle or a circle. Never beginning, never ending, it’s an ever-turning wheel. This is why we believe in reincarnation. It will be clearer when we look at the different Sabbats and the roles they play in the life cycle.

Wiccan Wheel of the Year
Wiccan Wheel of the Year

As I said before, the cycles of the year are marked by the Sabbats. We as Wiccans strive to attune ourselves to these cycles at the Sabbats:

  • Yule (Approximately Dec 22,  Winter Solstice)
  • Imbolc (Approximately Feb 1 or 2nd)
  • Ostara (Approximately March 22nd,  Spring Equinox)
  • Beltane (May 1st)
  • Litha (Approximately June 22nd Summer Solstice)
  • Lammas (August 1st)
  • Mabon (Approximately Sept. 22nd Fall Equinox)
  • Samain (Oct 31st)

Now knowing a little about what Wicca, we will discuss how to practice Wicca in my next post.

Blessed Be,

Moonwater Silverclaw