So in my own “Gemini-split-personality” way, I’ve split this holiday into two distinct and separate things.
Halloween, as I’ve already explained is more about the kids, the costumes, the candy.
Samhain, however, is more about the unseen, the unexplained.
I was asked this year if I was going to be doing a public ritual to celebrate the holiday. I told the ones asking that I keep Samhain as a “family” night, and that it is a private celebration. I normally do the “kids, kandy and kostume” thing early on in the evening, but once that is over, and the kids are all tucked safely in their beds, this is when the real Spirit of Samhain takes over for me.
Samhain is, for me, a quiet celebration. It’s a night when the veil between the worlds is so thin, that you can almost, but not quite, see through to the other side. Spirits of loved ones passed over can cross back and share space with you, sometimes talking, sometimes simply being together again.
It’s a time to sit in the dark, in the quiet stillness, and gaze into the flickering candlelight, letting yourself go, stretching your spirit out, communing with the Goddess and God. It’s a turning point on the Wheel of the Year, signaling a return to darkness and introspection.
It’s a night to take stock of what you’ve accomplished over the year, “count the harvest”, so to speak, and prepare for the winter to come. Time to plan, to accomplish that which can be accomplished, to set aside that which must wait, and to dream of what can be.
And it’s a time to be silent. As though Nature holds its breath, just for a moment, and all is suspended, poised for the Wheel to begin turning again, when dawn breaks.