Wiccan Ceremony - Magic - and where it all started.

Discussions into the history as well as the ceremonies involved in the practice of wiccan magic!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Celebrating Samhain, the Wiccan Holiday

The "Wheel of the Year" has eight spokes -- the four major agricultural and pastoral festivals and the four minor solar festivals of the solstices and equinoxes. In common with many ancient people, many Witches consider the day as beginning at sundown and ending at sundown the following day. For example, Samhain starts at dusk on the 31st, ending the evening of the 1st.

Samhain
October 31 - November Eve
The night lengthens and we work with the positive aspects of darkness in the increasing star - and moonlight. Many Craft traditions, following the ancient Celts, consider this the eve of the New Year (as day begins with sundown, so the year begins with the first day of Winter). It is one night when the barriers between the worlds of life and death are uncertain, allowing the ancestors to walk among the living, welcomed and feasted by their kin, bestowing the Otherworld's blessings. We may focus within ourselves to look "through the glass darkly", developing our divination and psychic skills. While working on the development of skills during this season witch's often burn incense to maintain the positive aspects of the surroundings.

The Wiccan holidays are quite involved. There is a lot to know about them. One of the better books I have found is, Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Samhain to Ostara takes a different approach to explaining the holidays by taking an in-depth look at half of the Wheel of the Year. Rather than dissecting each holiday, Ashleen's goal is to take a broader look at them, explaining how and why we celebrate each, along with how the celebration of one leads to the next. The first of two new titles from Ashleen offers a vision of the holidays we celebrate from October to March. This book covers each holiday by first giving us its history and original customs, then explaining its place in modern life. Stories are shared for each Sabbat to reconnect us with our lore and bring new meaning to current practice. Ashleen includes ideas for rituals that are ideal for practicing solitaries, covens, or Wiccan families, with special sections on what children of various ages are ready to learn about these holidays.

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