24.10.09

Wicca and Samhein

Greetings to all the blogland!
I hope everyone is doing well and preparing for Samhein that is only a week away. Samhein is the witch's New Year so it is resolutions time. I love Wicca because it allows us to incorporate modern traditions to our practices and to marry the new with the old. Which brings up the ultimate question. Is Wicca new or old?
Many Wiccans out there are trying to prove and make arguements about the antiquity of our religion, as if the integrity of their spititual beliefs depends on it. I am not one of them. I believe Wicca is as new as it is old. It unites ancient traditions and beliefs from all over the world with new ones. That does not make it less valuable, it makes it more. Scientific discoveries,techological achievements alter our way of life and the basis of our thinking. But we still appreciate meditating and praying(actually now we have scientific proof that it has many health benefits). Our religion walks side by side with our times. It grows as we grow.
It is only natural that we combine different practices in this world of infinite information. I believe Wiccans are eclectic in their core even if they are not eclectic pagans. We choose things that feel right and that does not mean we "do only the easy stuff" as many accuse us of. Which makes no sense because Wicca is a religion based on freedom of spirit and not on restrain. We are not believing because of quilt or because of the fear of damnation. We believe out of love and out of the desire to move into higher spiritual realms. We do not hide from the darkness while searching for light. We embrasse it. At least we try to. We are not perfect but we believe in perfect love and perfect trust.
The fact that Samhein is arriving in seven days just reminds me of how fast this year went by and how small and valuable our lives are. Samhein is the time to honour the past and the loved ones that have crossed over. The veil between the worlds is at its thinnest which makes it perfect time for getting in touch with the spiritual realm. It is time to bring out our quija boards and to cast invocation spells. This is the time when our altars may carry the photos of our deceased as well as black, white and grey candles and a plate of food for the spirits of those who will visit us in this magickal night.
Our altars will be different. Some of them will be simple, some of them will be more elaborate but they will all have something in common. They will be blessed with love, memories and hopes for the future. And as we teach our future generations of honouring the past we embrasse our humanity. Samhein is the night when we celebrate death as a part of life.
I will love to hear of all your preparations, special foods and oils, candles and incenses,rituals or walks to the park, meditation and prays.
Be blessed, be well and have a wonderful weekend.

14 comments:

Autumnforest said...

That was a fantastic post!!! I totally agree. The concept of religion alone is as old as man, and no one complains we don't sketch animals on cave walls or mummify bodies any longer or believe in Zeus or Hera. One of the things (besides a basis in the natural world), that I love about Paganism/Wiccan/Witchcraft, whatever one wants to call it, is the concept of solitary practitioners. When I first started studying and practicing paganism, I was put off by the concept of spellmaking because it reminded me of the Catholic religion.Things had to be done in a certain way with certain things in a certain order and they made me so fearful that I'd do something wrong that I completely walked away from magic. Later, I realized that spells are adaptable and it's truly the use of natural items and the intentions of the practitioner that transcend any spell one creates. You ask any wiccan how they celebrate the Sabbats and Esbats and you'll get completely different answers. Unlike organized religion, a person is free to use the elements that sing to them and since spirituality is about your relationship with yourself, the world, and your creator, it has to be customized. Not one-size-fits-all.

Tavin said...

You always have such a wonderful way with words! Hope all is well in your part of the world.
Happy Samhain
Bright Blessings

CricketSong said...

I just finished setting up my ancestor altar. I am preparing the day's events for our Family Coven.

Bright Blessings to you on this day of transformation!

GreenWheel said...

I too am not one for the antiquity of our religion. I love that it is the newest and oldest. I love that it is not teaching lessons from a bygone era expecting modern people can follow in the exact footprints of its foreparents. Whereas most of people I've come across online or in books of modern NeoPaganism, including Wicca, knows we walk a similar but separate path beside our foreparents.

I do not usually call it Samhain, I like Shadowfest, I adopted that name in my Pagan infancy when I didn't realize there where a million ways to pronounce Samhain, so I could pick one & not worry, but at the time I had no guide & one of the books I found listed Shadowfest as an alternate name for the day, I think it was Nordic in nature, but I don't remember right now.

But more than those two I like Anniversary! *wink* Me & E's anniversary landed on the New Year! Since we cannot legally wed, we decided to use the date we 1st got together. We have been together 17 years come 10/31, If we are able to legally wed (union, whatever, have same rights and legal protection) we will probably solidify that date then.. we'll just have a lot of experience attached to the "We've been married X years, with XX years experience." (!)

I've rambled long enough - )0( bless!

Wendy Hawksley said...

What a wonderful post!

In addition to decorating for Halloween and re-decorating my altar for Samhain, I do quite a bit of emotional preparation.

For me, this point in the year is the one at which we turn inward. I sort of "hibernate" and focus more on mental, emotional and spiritual processes.

Magaly Guerrero said...

This is such a difficult topic. I usually try to stay away from it at all cost, just as I try to ovoid the Wiccan or Witch question. But I'll make an exception and say that I agree with you: the religion is a combination of the two, for every Nature base religion has been alive as long as the Earth.

I'm not Wiccan. I'm an Eclectic Pagan with a taste for the witchy, so I'm no authority on this topic. But like Autumnforest and Mike Nichols say, ask the question of 15 Wiccans and you'll get 15 different answers; through an Eclectic Pagan into the mix and you'll get...

Shadow said...

i think the new needs to blend with the old. as we develop, grown and learn, new things will come into play... not in contrast to the old, but parallel and in harmony...

Autumnforest said...

This is going to sound so weird, but last night (Sunday night the 25th), I had a dream and in the dream I met you. It was almost fairy tale feeling, but I get these dreams often where I travel and meet people. Lately, I've gotten more savvy to try and find out their name so I can look them up--just in case. Last night, I met you and it was so weird because I've never had a dream of meeting another blogger. I was just wondering if you had a strange sense of something about...10-12 hours ago? I know, it's weird. It felt very much like a usual psychic connection, that's why I ask.

Eliza said...

Great post. I had planned Samhain at home butnow I have to work! I'll find sometime for celebration.

Hibiscus Moon said...

So true. We all do it differently, but its wonderful to see how each of us does our Sabbats and altars. I love to see that. Blessed Samhain!

mrsb said...

Wonderful post!

I think, like you, that Paganism and WIcca are both a mix of old and new, and it's silly to worry or argue that they are old or new.

Every religion becomes a mix of old and new over time. Practices, needs and knowledge change every religion eventually.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Congrats on your prize from! A blog makeover rocks!! Can't wait to stop by and see the goods for myself ;)

Bridgett said...

So beautifully said...

And if it's an consolation, I agree 110%. :)

)O(
boo

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