Known by many as Halloween, Samhain (pronounced "sow-en") for Pagans and Witches is a day to celebrate ancestors, harvests and the coming of the dark time of the year. The veil between the earthly and spiritual worlds is thinnest at this time making connecting with those who have passed much easier.
At some point during the 8th century, the Catholic Church made a calculated move by declaring November 1st to be All Saints Day. It is a day for all the named saints who did not have a special day to be remembered and honored. They called the masses they held Allhallowmas. They hoped to win over the Pagans who were already celebrating on the eve before. All Hallows Eve eventually turned into what we now know as Halloween.
Samhain is the Celtic New Year celebration held at sunset on October 31st. The last harvests have been made, the days grow short, leaves are gone from the trees, the growing season is dead. So, it is a time to wrap up projects from the past year, to give thanks for what has grown, and begin to make plans for the upcoming year.
This is also the time of year that the garden faeries want to head to warmer climates. I have several who choose to winter in my studio. This is a practice which I started as a child and has just stayed. Their little abode set by a southern window and happy giggles always remind me that summer will come again.
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