Samhain is known by most people as Halloween. In pagan story, the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest during this day. Our plants are darken, leaves are fallen. The fields are barren. It is a Sabbat to remember, honour, or perhaps contact our ancestors – those who have crossed the river into the land of shadows. It is also the most potent night of the year for meaningful dreaming and divination.
Samhain, also known as Feast of the Dead, Feast of Hallows, November Eve, once marked the time of sacrifice. In some places this was time when animals were slaughtered to ensure food was sufficient throughout the depths of winter.
Indeed all the pegan festivals are very much food related. They are agriculture based and built on nature’s cycle. The pegan wheel of the year is masked by magical stories for people to remember the wonders of the Universe. This myth cycle speaks of the mysteries of birth, death, and rebirth. It also points out our real dependence on the earth, the sun, the moon and the effects of seasons in our daily lives.
At Samhain (31st October), the Wicca say farewell to the God. This is a temporary farewell, and then he will be reborn from the Goddess at Yule. Why is God the son, and then the lover of the Goddess? This is not incest, this is symbolism of an agricultural story that the fertility of the earth is a cycle.
Samhain is a time of reflection, of looking back over the past year. It is a time to come to term that we have no control of death, hence we should live a forgiving life and more importantly make the most of life.