I just wanted to reach out today to wish anyone who celebrates it a most blessed Samhain.
If you want to know more about what this day means to me in the context of my faith, read on. I don’t talk about it often in this forum, but today seems like a good day to challenge that for myself. So here we go!
Pronounced “sow (like a pig, not sew)-when,” this is the most sacred and solemn of all Wiccan celebrations. It is many things to different people — ask any one Wiccan the meaning of anything and you’ll get more than one answer per person — but to me, Samhain is a time of reflection, remembrance, and deep spirituality. Samhain is when I celebrate and remember those who have passed, honoring their spirits. Samhain is when I look into the most hidden of shadows inside myself to understand them and learn from them to help myself grow. And Samhain is when I connect most closely with my patron goddess.
When the secular celebration of Halloween winds down and the costumes go back in their bags and boxes, I will be sitting in my darkened room with candles lit, deep in meditation. I will call the names of those I have loved who have died and honor them and the impact they have had upon my life. I will look unflinchingly at the darkness and skeletons inside my own head so I can understand them better in the light of day. And I will open myself to the wisdom of one to whom I owe deep respect and allow her to guide me.
Tonight, when you see a trick-or-treater dressed as a witch with a pointed hat, give them an extra piece of candy for me. There are some who are offended by the portrayals of my faith and my people, but I’m not one of them. Anyone who aspires to look at the world differently, who dares to break the rules of society (especially where it concerns patriarchal notions of women’s power), who looks for magic amidst the mundane can be one of us. You don’t have to identify yourself as a witch, or undergo the rites to become a priestess, or call the name of an ancient goddess in a sacred circle to touch the same magnificent and mysterious divine that connects us all.
Halloween is for everyone just like meditation is for everyone. But meditation can just be a mindfulness practice or it can bring you closer to whatever it is you believe and whomever you put your faith in. And those cute black pointed hats can just be costumes AND they can be a tiny secret in the dark between those who know what they mean and why they matter.
However you celebrate, whatever you believe, even if today is nothing more than a day to turn your lights out so you don’t have to deal with kids knocking at your door, I hope it is magical for you anyway.