Gettin’ Witchy With It
by Andrea Watson | October 31, 2020
Hello dear readers, and Happy Halloween! May your hearts be merry and your candy buckets overflow! Today is a special holiday for me and my fellow pagans everywhere because today marks the last of the “light” half of the year and the beginning of the “dark” half. This has to do with the amount of sun we get per day, not positive and negative. The night that falls between October 31st and November 1st is celebrated in the USA by dressing up and knocking on strangers’ doors to beg for candy. But it wasn’t always about that, and to some of us, it still isn’t. Yes, I take my son trick-or-treating on Halloween. But I also keep him home from school if it is a school day because we have far too much to celebrate on this, the day of the ancient fire festival, Samhain.
Today, witches, wiccans, druids, and other pagans are observing the renewal of a light/dark cycle as well as the end of harvest season. We are celebrating the thinning of the barrier between this world and the netherworld; the closeness of the dead and the communion we hold with them. For many of us, Samhain also marks the spiritual New Year and for us, it’s all about giving up what is old, outdated, and no longer useful and taking on things that are new, helpful, and promising. Just like when people make New Year’s resolutions.
Tonight there will be chanting, praying, passing of goblets of wine, feasting, sex, and other such witchy activities. But underlying all the noise and hubbub of the festivities is the reason, and I want to talk about that for a minute. So what am I “sacrificing” tonight in honor of the New Year? That’s a very personal question, but I will tell you. I am giving up my personal belief that I will never accomplish my career goal, and am embracing the fact that I am already on the path to getting there.
To not believe in yourself is a great loss, and to doubt your ambitions is a tragedy. Since I began blogging and writing content, I have gone through every day thinking to myself, “I can’t believe I am doing this. Is this really happening?” And here I sit, day after day, pounding at my keyboard and pumping out words for people to read. And it’s starting to work. I am slowly growing (thanks to you). So it’s time to throw out my disbelief and start going with the flow. I will stop fighting against myself now.
I mentioned the light and dark before. This is an important aspect of the holiday too. During the spring and summer, the days lengthen and things get a lot warmer. This is the light half of the year. During autumn and winter it is the opposite, and this is the dark half of the year. Now the dark half is not bad, as one might think. It is merely dark. it is the very beginning of life, really-the prenatal stage, if you will. Tonight is like that pulse of time that passes between every exhale and new inhale. We are sitting right in that spot, and that is why tonight is so special. It doesn’t happen very often.
I know this post has been sort of all over the place. But that’s how it is-there are just so many aspects to the belief system I follow that it’s hard to really put them in order. So, sorry for that. But the main thing I want to say is, I hope your Halloween is most excellent, and I hope that no matter what you believe, you will be safe and happy this holiday.
6 thoughts on “Happy New Year! (I mean Samhain)”
A few random thoughts as an offering: the tiny pause between each heartbeat when the cells of the heart reoxygenate themselves, relinquishing the comfortable chair of doubt and picking up the plow of hope, a tiny smile as, even if they don’t know why they do it, my Christian friends light fires to warm themselves and roast marshmallows this night, the feeling of your family, transcending time and memory, around you and behind you.
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Beautiful, thank you
Happy New Year Andrea! I wish I could celebrate this festival here too.
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Blessed Samhain, sister! May your New Year bring many fortunes!
Thanks, you too Sister!