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Holy Daze: Samhain (October 31st, 2012) – Wiccan/Neopagan

October 31st, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Neopagans honoring the dead as part of a Samhain ritual

For many, October 31st marks Halloween, a day for dressing up in scary (and not-so-scary) costumes and going door-to-door trick or treating.  For others though, this day is the most sacred day of the year.

Wiccans and Neopagans celebrate this day as the New Year and end of the harvest.  It is a day when the veil between the corporeal world and spirit world is believed to be the thinnest.  Many Wiccans honour or attempt to contact deceased love ones.  It is a time of remembrance, change, and positive blessings for the future.  The memorial elements of this sacred day share much with the Christian observances known as All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.  For some Wiccans, it is customary to dress in a costume reflecting what they hope to achieve or become in the New Year.  Others may engage in a tradition known as the Silent Supper.

The Silent Supper (or Dumb Supper, less popularly used) tradition entails the preparation of special meal, whereby those who have crossed over in the last year (and indeed other loved ones long since passed) are honoured.  Either one place will be set for all loved ones, or a setting for each person that has passed will be set at the table.  The room is often purified through smudging or other ritual acts.  Guests to the silent supper will proceed with their meal in complete silence as a token of honouring their loved ones.  Following, notes to those who have crossed over may be placed under the place setting of the deceased.  Later, these notes may be burned in a cauldron as part of the closing of the ritual observance.

There are other ritual ancestral observances that some Wiccans engage in, such as setting up an altar honouring the ancestors that may include grave rubbings of the deceased’s headstone and the baking of soul cakes traditionally made as gifts for the spirits of those who have crossed over.

The first video below is an overview of this sacred holiday, while the second is a glimpse at one Wiccan’s family ancestral altar.

Blessed Be!

M. xo

Samhain / Halloween:

Wiccan Altar For Samhain:

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons


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