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    Samhain

    Hi there!
    So tonight it's Samhain if I'm correct.
    My question is, who of you celebrates Samhain and how do you do that?

    #2
    Re: Samhain

    Originally posted by DeOndergaandeZon View Post
    Hi there!
    So tonight it's Samhain if I'm correct.
    My question is, who of you celebrates Samhain and how do you do that?
    That it is! There's a thread right over here ----> http://www.paganforum.com/showthread...0928-Halloween for all the answers you seek! Enjoy!

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      #3
      Re: Samhain

      Oh, thank you! Should've looked further for it.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Samhain

        I believe Samhain and Halloween to be separate things and will be celebrated differently depending on who you ask. Plus, the Halloween thread is in the Holiday section. This thread is in Celtic Traditions, therefore I expect the answers to differ based on that alone.
        ´┐ŻExperience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.´┐Ż
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        Avatar picture by the wonderful and talented TJSGrimm.

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          #5
          Re: Samhain

          Hallowe'en is completely different. Samhain was on the 28th. All Hallow's Eve is a non-pagan Christian fasting day (which always happens before a feast day/period) before the feast day All Saint's Day, November 1st which was made so in the 4th century when a bishop consecrated a chapel in northern Italy in, I believe, the 4th century. There is nothing, not a jot, pagan about Hallowe'en.

          Sorry it appears there is disagreement over the dating of Samhain. The important thing is that it is completely unrelated to Hallowe'en, founded by people who hadn't come across such a festival in a part of the world where it wasn't being celebrated, and for a completely different cause. The modern Hallowe'en with "evil stuff" is fairly recent, post medieval.

          - - - Updated - - -

          I'd be interested to know the basis for October 31st every year for Samhain regarding a culture which did not use our calendar but a lunar calendar and no written evidence. "October 31st" is rather meaningless in such a calendar. Can anyone explain?
          Last edited by Briton; 31 Oct 2015, 09:53.
          I'm not one to ever pray for mercy
          Or to wish on pennies in the fountain or the shrine
          But that day you know I left my money
          And I thought of you only
          All that copper glowing fine

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Samhain

            Originally posted by Juniper View Post
            I believe Samhain and Halloween to be separate things and will be celebrated differently depending on who you ask. Plus, the Halloween thread is in the Holiday section. This thread is in Celtic Traditions, therefore I expect the answers to differ based on that alone.
            Very true. I didn't realize this was in the Celtic section earlier. My bad

            - - - Updated - - -

            Originally posted by Briton View Post
            Hallowe'en is completely different. Samhain was on the 28th. All Hallow's Eve is a non-pagan Christian fasting day (which always happens before a feast day/period) before the feast day All Saint's Day, November 1st which was made so in the 4th century when a bishop consecrated a chapel in northern Italy in, I believe, the 4th century. There is nothing, not a jot, pagan about Hallowe'en.

            Sorry it appears there is disagreement over the dating of Samhain. The important thing is that it is completely unrelated to Hallowe'en, founded by people who hadn't come across such a festival in a part of the world where it wasn't being celebrated, and for a completely different cause. The modern Hallowe'en with "evil stuff" is fairly recent, post medieval.

            - - - Updated - - -

            I'd be interested to know the basis for October 31st every year for Samhain regarding a culture which did not use our calendar but a lunar calendar and no written evidence. "October 31st" is rather meaningless in such a calendar. Can anyone explain?
            Basically, it blends into the concepts brought up in the Pagan Cultural Appropriation thread. Since there is so much of a disagreement as to the date, whether it's a set day, or timing based off of moons, or the day after a certain frog fats seven times before sunrise, or whatever, it's really just very much simpler for folks to use the day of Halloween. After all, who knows just how much holidays have REALLY shifted since we added in daylight savings time and all that jazz, plus leap year. Which really, if you think about it, it's interesting that a Christian holiday venerating the Saints and the Dead aka All Souls Day, comes right around the same time as a pagan celebration for the dead, which was around long before the Christian shindig got started.

            As for the day, Well, see above.

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              #7
              Re: Samhain

              The "thinning of the veil" or the time that "spirits have access to the physical realms" is celebrated at the same time of year in many different cultures. When or where it started is a good question which might be debated for years. The specific names are all different due to the different languages (just like the names of deities) but I find it "interesting" that the practice is often around the same time of year.
              The Dragon sees infinity and those it touches are forced to feel the reality of it.
              I am his student and his partner. He is my guide and an ominous friend.

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                #8
                Re: Samhain

                Originally posted by Munin-Hugin View Post
                Very true. I didn't realize this was in the Celtic section earlier. My bad
                I thought you didn't. Nevertheless, there are a few Samhain related posts in that thread so it was useful.

                As for the date, multiple sources said it to be today. (More or less) Briton, why do you think it's on the 28th? If they used lunar calendars (and they did), wouldn't the date change each year anyway?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Samhain

                  Well I am celebrating it today, lol.

                  I took a hike on top of a ridge above my campus--was a bit difficult to get up there, but once I got to the top, I was kinda blown away by the view! I hiked over to this big tree which really stands out from down below, and students call it the "tree of life." It doesn't look unlike its namesake--I figured it would be a nice place to visit, and it was.

                  On the way, I saw some dark stones, so I took them, and when sitting underneath the tree, I made a little altar type set-up, and meditated. I put one of those green pine needle fan type things on the ground at the base of the tree, then on top of that the 3 dark stones, and then an apple I brought with me, on top of that as an offering. I also burned some incense and mediated; I was thinking about my grandfather who deceased years ago. If I had the right booze, I would mix up one of his Manhattans and drink it in his honor! But he wasn't foreign to whiskey so that will do!

                  Also I didn't think of it as connected to Samhain, but today I successfully baked my first batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, a "famous" (among my friends) recipe of my mom's, without any help, and I will share them with my living community.

                  I believe that there was an English tradition, regarding "soul cakes"--not sure if there was any connection to old Pagan traditions there or what, but there's that.

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                    #10
                    Re: Samhain

                    So my wife and I went to Avebury tonight and it was brilliant. A very enjoyable experience. We will go again next year.

                    I wanted to go light a candle and some incense up at the back of the West Kennet long barrow but it was very foggy, late (about 10pm) and the only other vehicle parked was a battered white van. It was basically a horror movie script mixed with the local paper's next headline.

                    Soul cakes are Christian.
                    Last edited by Briton; 31 Oct 2015, 14:29.
                    I'm not one to ever pray for mercy
                    Or to wish on pennies in the fountain or the shrine
                    But that day you know I left my money
                    And I thought of you only
                    All that copper glowing fine

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Samhain

                      Originally posted by DeOndergaandeZon View Post
                      I thought you didn't. Nevertheless, there are a few Samhain related posts in that thread so it was useful.

                      As for the date, multiple sources said it to be today. (More or less) Briton, why do you think it's on the 28th? If they used lunar calendars (and they did), wouldn't the date change each year anyway?
                      Most neo-Wiccan sources will say that Samhain is traditionally about midway between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice, though I can never remember if it's supposed to be attached to a moon phase or not. But I have also read that it was November eve as a way to mark when the harvest ended and the livestock slaughter began. If it's the former, the date would change every year... but modern neopaganism has made it standard and acceptable to approximate the dates of the Cross Quarters to set dates.

                      Here in Australia, Samhain should technically be around the start of May, and today should be Beltane. I don't celebrate the neo-Wiccan Wheel of the Year though, nor the Celtic festivals. I don't even celebrate the Germanic or Scandinavian festivals. I'm a bad pagan lol. Not really... I just don't feel connected to European seasonal festivals which have almost no connection to the seasonal changes here in southern Australia; and my husband and I haven't quite gotten around to organising ourselves a modified calendar that fits our practice(s) and our seasonal changes.

                      If I were to celebrate Samhain though, it would be in May, and I would do Ancestor work and a dumb feast, I think. I do like the symbolism of seasonal food and using the last of the harvest produce. I would also maybe do something with the wight of my local pine-plantation-turned-forest (Kuipto Forest)... I've only recently connected with it and seems like the sort of spirit that would find Samhain significant (unlike most Australian landwights, for whom that time of year does not match the European autumn/winter symbolism at all).

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                        #12
                        Re: Samhain

                        Originally posted by Briton View Post

                        Soul cakes are Christian.
                        Gotcha, thanks. Thought it might.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Samhain

                          Originally posted by DeOndergaandeZon View Post
                          I thought you didn't. Nevertheless, there are a few Samhain related posts in that thread so it was useful.

                          As for the date, multiple sources said it to be today. (More or less) Briton, why do you think it's on the 28th? If they used lunar calendars (and they did), wouldn't the date change each year anyway?
                          "Sources" have standardized it to October 31st for every year. It's not that Samhain can't fall on the 31st, it's that it doesn't make sense for it to fall on the 31st every year. I do not say that it is the 28th every year, I said 28th this year. Regardless it would not have been October 31st every year as per the Gregorian calendar, as our calendar was created in order to put the Christian Feast Day of the Resurrection back to near the date used by the early church, as the calendar they used was causing the day to drift further and further. Obviously, there is no reason why Britons (Samhain is, as far as I can tell, wholly of the British Isles) would invent such a calendar up to 2,000 years (or 500 before Jesus was even born) earlier.
                          I'm not one to ever pray for mercy
                          Or to wish on pennies in the fountain or the shrine
                          But that day you know I left my money
                          And I thought of you only
                          All that copper glowing fine

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Samhain

                            Some nice ways to celebrate Samhain Unfortunately, there's no forest (or even trees older than 15 years) or historical sites in my region to visit. So I only light candles to honour the dead.

                            Briton, I understand. I'm just curious why you celebrated it on the 28th this year.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Samhain

                              When Samhain should be celebrated depends on what tradition one is and the rationale for when they date the holiday.

                              The astrological day of Samhain is the sun at 15 degrees in Scorpio--November 8, the cross-quarter date (the midpoint between Yule and the Autumnal equinox) is the November 7. In some cases, Samhain is celebrated at the first frost (it is, after all Summer's end)...which might be never, depending on where you live...and usually not until December or January here.

                              Actually...this is one of the cases where wiki has a decent post on the subject...
                              Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of HistoryPagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible
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