Probably the most famous of all Sabbats – Samhain – October 31. Most commonly known
as Halloween, this festival is a celebration of the third and final harvest and is
a time to remember and commune with our ancestors. It is also a time to celebrate
the eternal cycle of reincarnation. This is when the veil between the two worlds
is at its thinnest; a time when we can reflect upon past deeds and to gain advice
from the other side of the veil. It is a time for divination.
The colours of this Sabbat are black and orange and your altar should be decorated
in these colours. I use a black velvet cloth and adorn my altar with black and orange
candles and sprigs of Rosemary and Thyme as these are herbs of remembrance. For
a bit of fun I sprinkle some foil confetti in the shapes of pumpkins and bats over
my altar too! I carve a small pumpkin lantern for my altar and a large one which
is placed in the window. A good incense to use for this night is Patchouli or cinnamon
or use one which increases psychic awareness.
You have an abundance of choice for your Samhain feast: traditionally I celebrate
with a casserole, jacket potatoes and parkin and roasted chestnuts. My altar also
reflects this with pomegranates, apples, chestnuts, which are later taken outdoors
and given as offerings.
This is a good night for getting together with friends and family and having a go
at tarot or some other divination. I always advise not to take this too seriously;
however, the results can be uncanny! Your ritual (whether it is with a large group
or a solitary rite) should include some time for reflection and giving thanks and
remembering those who have passed before us. I include photos of loved ones on my
altar. Never attempt to call back any spirits – however, is they wish to join you
for your celebration they will let you know.
This is also a good time for banishing magic to be done – that is, banishing negative
energies, or negative habits, remember our intentions to harm none, so no attempt
on banishing directed at people, animals etc. should be done!