ALL HALLOWS EVE / SAMHAIN
31st OCTOBER - 1st NOVEMBER


The Changing of the Seasons

Summer into Winter

"ALL HALLOWS MASS"
ALL HALLOWS EVE - HALLOWEEN
All Souls Eve and Day

This is the Pagan New Years Eve
The Wheel of Change Turns...
HAPPY SAMHAiN




Samhain is the passing of the full season. 'Tis the TiME to celebrate the year passed and to touch the spirits of friends and relatives gone before. The Ritual takes the form of a "Feast for the Dead" and the burning of Ritual Fires.
November 5th (Guy Faulkes Night) is the attempt by the Christian/ Parliamentarian establishments to erase the Pagan fire-burning Rites of Samhain. They have also tried to hijack Halloween by renaming it All Saints Eve followed by All Saints Day.

THE RITE OF SAMHAIN

The Celts worshipped nature and had many Gods. The Sun God LUGH, and Goddesses Etain and Grian commanded their work and their rest times. It was they who made the Earth beautiful and the crops grow.

The Celts celebrated their New Year on November 1st. It was celebrated every year with a festival and marked the end of the "season of the sun" and the beginning of "the season of water." The Celts believed, that during the winter, the Sun God/desses were taken prisoner by Samhain, the Lord of the Dead and Prince of Darkness.

On the eve before their new year it was believed that Samhain called together all the dead people. The dead would take different forms, with the bad spirits taking the form of animals. The most evil taking the form of the Cat, the Wolf, the Crow and the Raven.

After the crops were all harvested and stored for the long winter the cooking fires in the homes would be extinguished. The Druids, the Celtic priests, would meet in the hilltop in the dark oak forest and would light new fires and offer sacrifices of crops and animals. As they danced around the the fires, the season of the sun passed and the season of darkness would begin. When the morning arrived the Druids would give an ember from their fires to each family who would then take them home to start new cooking fires. These fires would keep the homes warm and free from evil spirits.

The November 1st festival was named after Samhain and honored both the sun god and Samhain. The festival would last for 3 days. Many people would parade in costumes made from the skins and heads of their animals. This festival would become the first Halloween.


During the first century the Romans invaded Britain. They brought with them many of their festivals and customs. One of these was the festival know as Pomona Day, named for their goddess of fruits and gardens. It was also celebrated around the 1st of November. After hundreds of years of Roman rule the customs of the Celtic's Samhain festival and the Roman Pomona Day mixed becoming 1 major fall holiday.

The next influence came with the spread of the new Christian religion throughout Europe and Britain. In the year 835 AD the Roman Catholic Church would make November 1st a church holiday to honor all the saints. This day was called All Saint's Day, or Hallowmas, or All Hallows. Years later the Church would make November 2nd a holy day. It was called All Souls Day and was to honor the dead. It was celebrated with big bonfires, parades, and people dressing up as saints, angels and devils.

But the spread of Christianity did not make people forget their early customs. On the eve of All Hallows, Oct. 31, people continued to celebrate the festival of Samhain and Pomona Day. Over the years the customs from all these holidays mixed. October 31st became known as All Hallow Even, eventually All Hallow's Eve, Hallowe'en, and then - Halloween. The Halloween we celebrate today includes all of these influences, Pomona Day's apples, nuts, and harvest, the Festival of Sanhain's black cats, magic, evil spirits and death, and the ghosts, skeletons and skulls from All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day
SOURCE - http://www.holidays.net/halloween/



Even after November 1st became a Christian feast day honouring all saints, many people clung to the old pagan beliefs and customs that had grown up about Hallows Eve. Some attempt to foretell the future on that night by performing such rites as jumping over lighted candles. In the British Isles great bonfires blazed for the Celtic festival of Samhain. Laughing bands of guisers (young people disguised in grotesque masks) carved lanterns from turnips and carried them through the villages. Pumpkins were traditional part of the Celebration and Feast. They were used to create pumpkin soup, sauces & cakes. The hollowed out Fruits were carved with faces and symbols with lighted wicks or candles put inside to ward off unfriendly spirits and Symbolic Candles were lit to guide the way for friendly ones. Masks, Fancy Attire and Protection Symbols are used by invited party goers to enhance the Celebration.

INGREDIENTS


At dusk, light the Ritual Fire to burn the old
Celebrate your Ancestor's LiFE, your Own & those Newly Born
Welcome ALL unto the fold.
BID HAPPY NEW YEAR & PARTY TiLL DAWN

Dance a Circle singing...

THE LORD IS HOLLY. THE LORD IS OAK
TWO SIDES OF THE ONE
THE OAK LEAVES - THE HOLLY STAYS
TO GUiDE US THROUGH THE WiNTER DAYS
WE SACRiFiCE THE YEARS EXCESS
THAT ALL MAY SHARE MUTUAL SUCCESS
WELCOME
HERNE OUR HOLLY LORD
PROTECT US THROUGH THE SEASONs HARM
WELCOME
CARLiN OUR LADY OF RENEWAL
GRANT US SAFETY BEYOND YULE
GiVE PRAiSE TO THE TURNiNG WHEEL
OFFER YOUR PLEDGE, THE EARTH TO HEAL
BLESS THE OLD AND BLESS THE NEW
BLESSED ME AND BLESSED YOU


Put Potatoes and Apples into the fire to cook.
Roast meats on controlled fires, Spit Roast or Bar-B-Q
Play "BOB APPLE" and other party games...

Prepare a table for the Feast of the Dead.
It should be covered with a black table cloth.

Oils of Frankincense and Sandalwood
Herbs of Thyme and rosemary
Sprigs of Holly and Oak

Tarot Symbology
13 DEATH/REBiRTH

also
10 The WHEEL of CHANGE

For Symbolic purposes & indoor Rite
Use Orange, Purple, Gold, Silver, Black & White candles.

Other Colours may be incorporated to suit the personalised needs of your Ritual

Place a chair at the head of the table, draped in a black cloth to represent the spirits of those gone before, absent friends, relatives and familiar spirits...
The spirit's place is marked by a White votive candle

Set places for each of the living awaiting the feast of...
Hot potatoes, apples and cooked meats, bread, fruits, vegetables, nuts and juice, water, ale & wine...
Do likewise with the Spirits Plate. Offer the Same Food as the Living Guests. After the Celebration place the Food Outside your door.

Light the candles and dim the lights

Sing the Witches Rune

DARKSOME NIGHT AND SHINNING MOON
EAST THEN SOUTH THEN WEST THEN NORTH
HARKEN TO THE WITCHES RUNE
HERE I COME TO CALL YE FORTH
EARTH AND WATER AIR AND FIRE
WAND AND PENTACLE, FEATHER AND SWORD
WORK YE UNTO MY DESIRE
HARKEN YE UNTO MY WORDS
CORDS AND CENSER, SCOURGE AND KNIFE
POWER OF THE WITCHES BLADE
WAKEN ALL YE INTO LIFE
COME YE AS THE CHARM IS MADE
QUEEN OF ASGARD, VANAHEiM & ALFHEiM
HORNED HUNTER OF THE NIGHT
LEND YOUR POWER UNTO MY SPELL
AND WORK MY WILL MY MAGIC RITE
BY ALL THE POWER OF LAND AND SEA
BY ALL THE MIGHT OF MOON AND SUN
AS I DO WILL....SO MOTE IT BE
CHANT THE SPELL AND BE IT ...DONE...


Call the quarters
Cast a circle
Ask the Guardians of the Watchtowers to witness and protect your circle


Invite your Deities
Invite your favourite God/desses. It is especially important to invite them on Samhain, as you will want to thank them for their help during the past year, and of course, ask that they continue to help in the coming year.

Light the candle on the plate of the spirit.


Raise your Chalice to the empty chair...

Salute the Spirits

Acknowledge their help in providing the feast before you , and the life we live to enjoy...

Give thanks to the Deities you have invited by offering them food.
Put the offerings on and around the plate of the Spirit


The feast should have a period of silence so that you can contemplate your departed friends and relatives on a personal level. Think of their passing and your hopes for their well being and ultimately a joyous reunion. If someone is recently departed, try to put aside your sadness and think of that soul as well and happy in the presence of the God/dess.
Feel the presence of those who have joined you and rejoice in their presence. Allow them to speak to you of whatever they want to communicate listening and speaking to them in silence.


RiTUAL EXTRA
For those Celebrating this Hallowed Seasonal Event, the Witches of Ely invite the use of this Earth Healing Chant...

Mother
Help control my Greed
Many are in basic need
Let
me make the Sacrifice
To show by example
The Path to sustainable LiFE
That we may with Dedicated Will
Preserve the Hallowed Circle
Of LiFE ETERNAL
And Suffering may end
for us and for our
children's children's children

Blessed Be


"ADD TO THE EARTH HEALiNG SPELL"
EarthHealing@witches.org.uk


Personal Banishing and Resolutions
Now is the time to
banish the things that you want that you want to to carry over to the New Year, bad habits and addictions, unkind feelings toward others, unkind feelings toward yourself...
You will have already prepared your written list... Light a black candle and burn it, asking the God/dess to help you get rid of these and all negative things in your life. If you prefer, you can use a cauldron to burn your list of banishment's and resolutions. Invoke your deities about your sincere wish to remove these things from your life using a banishing Chant or Spell...

Take MY burdens from my mind
Leave afflictions far behind
Help ME ease my irksome strife
And bring forth Balance to MY LiFE

Chant whilst buning your list of woes and vices in the flame of a Black Ritual Candle or your Cauldron.

Now you should speak to your deities about those things you want to bring into your life in the New Year.

Asking the deities for future rewards should be accompanied by resolutions as to how you will accomplish your goals. They will help you if you are sincere in your efforts to help and heal yourself by making the nessesary Sacrifices. When considering your requests, take the time to set them out in prose and rhyme.


Divination
Divination is used to see what lies ahead in the future. Because the two worlds are so close at Samhain, it is the perfect time for divination. Some prefer to use a cauldron of water this night for scrying, since the cauldron seems to fit the mood of Samhain. You may prefer Tarot cards, a pendulum, or runes... whatever method works best for you.
Scry for your friends and let your friends scry for you, above all, have fun and don't get to morbid or serious...You have made it thus far...

Meditation
This is when to ask your personal God/dess to help guide, advise and generally keep you on the right path. Use this time to thank them in a more personal way. This part of the ritual takes the form of a shamanic journey in which you are taken to a spiritual place, somewhere you may be given signs that will help you know what you should do in general or specific situations. Take as long with your meditation as you need.

End the Rite & Thank the Olde Ones
Release the Circle
Thank and dismiss the Guardians

Blessed Be!


Ritual produced by The Witches Tree
Inspired in part by ShadoeRose




"ADD TO THiS RiTUAL"
Samhain@witches.org.uk

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