October 31st marks the pagan holiday Samhain, not pronounced how it’s spelled, even though I usually still read it that way in my head after over 15 years. The standard Irish pronunciation is “sow-in” with the “ow” like in “cow.” Other pronunciations that follow with the many Gaelic dialects include “sow-een” “shahvin” “sowin” (with “ow” like in “glow”).
However you pronounce it, it’s a time of reflection, the time the harvest ends, and an opportunity to get in touch with your ancestors.
Celebrating Samhain is about honoring Mother Nature’s cycle. It is the end of the growing season, the leaves are no longer green, the flowers stop blooming, the grass stops growing, and the frost starts creeping in bringing death with it. The Earth turns within itself, things start getting ready for hibernation, to sleep.
It is a bit of a somber time, one for reflection and grief.
Some choose to celebrate Samhain on November 1st, after one last night of Halloween revelry and then turn within the next day.
On this day the veil between the worlds, that of the living and that of the dead, is thinnest. A lot of divination is done at this time, as it is easier to connect with otherworld energies and guides.
This would be a great time to honor your ancestors and ask them to guide and watch over you in the coming months. There is no wrong way to honor your ancestors, as long as it feels good and right to you.
Do spell work to break negative habits or let go of things you no longer need in your life. Need some suggestions? Write what you want to let go of on a piece of paper and then burn it in a fire-safe container or carve words into a candle and then let it burn out.
Spellwork: Divination, seeing clearly, endings, honoring the dead, releasing bad habits, banishing things from your life, past life, protection.
Symbols: pumpkins, the waning moon, skulls, fall colored leaves, autumn flowers.
Foods: Apples, pumpkin and squash, turnips, apple cider, root veggies.
Goddesses: All Crone Goddesses carry great wisdom and influence at this time of the year. Goddesses of death, rebirth, transformation. Cerridwen, keeper of the cauldron, Hecate guardian of the crossroads, Persephone Queen of the Underworld are just a few.
Incense: Sandalwood, sage, sweetgrass, patchouli, rosemary
Stones: Black stones like obsidian, onyx, and jet. Bloodstone, smoky quartz, or third-eye opening crystals like amethyst.