Happy Samhain to all.

Well, maybe happy isn’t the word……

At the end of April we hold Samhain in the Southern hemisphere (some people know it as Halloween).
It’s the time to celebrate the coming of Winter, with it’s cozy fires, hearty soups, specialty breads and family togetherness as we all gather close to fend off the cold. The other side of the coin is that at this time we lose the old, the sick and the ones too young to survive the harsh season (usually roosters, chooks, ducks and sometimes a dog or horse, but humans too). Traditionally we would slaughter our excess stock (not people) now so we don’t have to feed them through the winter.

This Sabbat is all about honouring our dead…..the ones who die so we can live; both the stock we slaughter for food and the old or sick who let go so there is more to go around. We say thank you to those who have made the sacrifice before us and realise that one day it will be our turn to make the decision to let go or hang on for one more turn of the wheel.

In past years we have gathered at a local cemetery to carve jack-o-lanterns (punkies) and put flowers and candles on the graves, before holding a dumb supper (completely silent) and laying out some food for the shades who come to visit. This year, as we are all getting older, we held Samhain in our circle with a huge comforting bonfire and we invited shades to join us through the gate in the West. It’s nice to visit with our departed loved ones (my Nanna is a real entertainment) and to feel that sense of connection to them once more.

This was our western altar. It wasn’t really on its side, it just came out that way. The punkie on the altar was grown in our sacred garden we saved the seed to grow more for next year. 

Another shot of the western altar.

Our expert bonfire builder has been at it again. That fire sure warmed our old bones.

The western altar before we raised the veil and invited the shades to join our feast.

One of our happy little punkies

Nothing beats a warm fire on a cold night.

Our sacred garden in the background, waiting for spring and more planting.

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