Samhain is coming up for the Northern Hemisphere on October 31st – November 1st and this post below describes what its significance is, what it means to me and some things you can do to honour this time…
Samhain also known as All Hallows Eve, Feast of the Dead and Halloween is the historically Gaelic festival and in a literal sense means summer’s end, marking just that – as it signifies the start of winter and the end of the harvest season. It falls between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice and is a time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest due to it being a liminal/threshold festival. In the 19th century it was suggested to be the “Celtic New Year” and in modern time this became the “Witches New Year”. This year in the Southern Hemisphere calendar it falls on the 5th of May at 4.36pm. Gods such as Hekate, Hades, Persephone, Osiris, Crom Cruach, Cerridwen, Lilith, Kali, Ishtar, Persephone, Oya, Innana, Pamona, Cailleach, The Morrigan, Nephtys, Rhiannon, Herne, Anubis, Odin, Bran and Cernunnos can all be honoured during this time of year.
In the latest issue of Mystic Tribe Magazine, I have written an article called “Apophyllite, Crystal of the Healer“which describes what it is, what it does spiritually/magickally and how to use it. Get your FREE copy below:
Unknown to me at the time, I first started working with the blessed dead as a young child. I call them the blessed dead because they have provided me with messages to aid the living, insight or knowledge applicable in life and guided me on my magickal and spiritual path. The blessed dead is a term I use, as it’s a name used for our ancestors and deceased loved ones in the Kemetic tradition I am a follower of.
It all started in the middle of one night when I was woken up by a loud voice talking to me. When I opened my eyes I was at first startled when I saw a tall middle aged man standing at the foot of my bed, but as I focused, I realised he was familiar to me and so I wasn’t afraid. He was talking to me without moving his mouth…
In the first issue of The Scottish Goddess Conference Magazine – The Faces of The Goddess, I have written an article called “Hathor (Het-Hert)“pg 106-108 which describes who she is, her place in Kemetic practice, cult centre, titles, my connection to her and an invocation I wrote to her. Get your FREE copy below:
The Spring Equinox also known as Ostara or the Vernal Equinox isthe day which symbolically marks the first day of spring. The day and night are of equal length and from this point onwards the days get longer as we head towards Beltane. The Spring Equinox happens when the sun crosses the celestial equator moving – south in the southern hemisphere and north in the northern hemisphere, which causes the days to lengthen and the temperatures to go up. Vernal itself means fresh or new like the spring and this time officially marks the time of spring. Ostara is derived from the German goddess Eostre who represents new beginnings in conjunction with spring.
This year in the Southern Hemisphere calendar it falls on Thursday the 23rdst of September at 5.20am. Gods such as Ostara/Eostre, The Green Man, Mother Earth/Gaia, Hekate, Persephone, Demeter, Osiris, Geb, Ver, Flora, Freya, Brigid, Jarylo/Yarylo/Iarilo/Gerovit, Eiar, Ba Jia Jiang, Ashanti, Saraswati, Cybele and Morityema all can be honoured during this time of year.
I have celebrated Spring with groups of people in various magickal settings and the one thing which I found linked them, was the coming together to celebrate the flourishing of the land. Something which I have experienced often during this festival day is the acknowledgement of the bounty of the earth.
One of the fondest memories I have during this time of year is celebrating the Spring Equinox through colouring eggs. It’s something I learned from my mother who would prepare them for Greek Orthodox easter. When I started observing the Spring Equinox I would make them in September to correlate with the southern hemisphere and would make them exactly like my mother did. I did this by taking chicken eggs which had been wrapped in panty hose, keeping leaves or flowers in place to make a stencil of them appear on the eggs and using red Greek egg dye and vinegar to boil them. When they had cooled I would buff them with some olive oil to give them a nice shine. Soon after my first few attempts I started to make eggs in elemental colours for the elemental quarters.
In my coven and magickal groups thereafter we would occasionally make painted eggs which had been blown out from raw eggs and could be used as magickal symbols of spring. We would also occasionally make floral or herbal wreaths to adorn ourselves with.
As an avid herbalist during this time of year I notice that my garden is coming to life. Plants, herbs and trees which have been dormant over the fallow period of the winter are blossoming, new shoots are being birthed or are regenerating. I like to acknowledge and thank my garden and the Devas of the land and its blessings by leaving herbs, trees or plants, offerings especially those who are decades old or have personal significance. Such as a fennel plant which was planted by my mother and which is now decades old, plum trees which were part of the original farm which existed way before houses were built in the area, an aloe vera plant which was gifted to me by a coven sister in our youth, succulents gifted by an old friend who is no longer living in the country, a lemon/lime tree which my father created and planted which had stopped fruiting until recent years and a lemon tree I planted which was dying and which has regenerated recently. Of course I adore and respect all the trees, plants and herbs I haven’t mentioned especially since they bring in local birds, insects and bugs which help pollinate and sustain them due to my garden being biodynamic.
During this time of year I also tend to cook a lot especially with the locally sourced organic produce available and gift items such as bread and biscuits to loved ones. I also tend to food craft for my patrons (specifically Hekate, A’set and Sekhmet) which I then offer upon their shrines and altars during their devotionals.
I personally feel that Hekate resonates with this time of the year. Persephone has come back to her mother Demeter with the guidance and aid of Hekate, after being trapped with Hades during the dark part of the year when the earth lay dormant. The earth is waking up due to Demeter’s great joy in being reunited with her daughter Persephone. What this signifies from my perspective is that Hekate can be the enabling force for us to come out of and move on from of the dark and fallow experiences we have endured. Now we can move onto new beginnings, opportunities and illuminate that which we should focus on to bring the blessings we want and need in our lives.
Hekate can be a guiding force for change and movement. Hekate can help us tap into the potential of this time as she lights up way which allows us to take a more beneficial path on the crossroads we might find ourselves at. She encourages us to take the first step towards renewal and rebirth and the promise of new beginnings. Hekate encourages us to engage in this movement onwards and upwards and use it for the power it contains – the promise of shedding the old and embracing the new and the power (internal and external) it contains.
I personally like to honour Hekate during this time and make offerings of eggs, herbs (mint, sage, iron wort, lavender, wormwood etc – herbs of hers which are growing now), seeds (for planting), lavender flowers, sage flowers, saffron, corn flowers, edible flowers (violet, chive, clover, lilac etc) bread, apples, pomegranates, dandelions, wine, grape juice, honey infused tea/milk and substitutes such as oat or almond milk, onions, black garlic, grains such as barley, wheat husks, pomegranate cakes, cheese, legumes, beans and meat (lamb, rabbit and goat).
Vegetables such as beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, endive, leek, lettuce, onion, parsnip, pak choi, peas, radish, rocket, silverbeet, snow peas, spring onion, strawberry, corn and tomato.
Herbs such as chives, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, sage and thyme.
Flowers such as alyssum, asters, begonias, celostias, chrysanthemums, cinerarias, corn flowers, geraniums, petunias, daisies, carnations, lavender, marigolds, snapdragons, pansies, foxglove, sunflowers, gazanias, impatients and dahlias.
Some things you can do to honour and mark the Spring Equinox in your personal practice (or with a group of likeminded individuals) can be:
Make food usually consumed during this time and partake or share with loved ones, as well as leave as offerings to your gods or gods of the season: meat (lamb/rabbit/goat) or legume and bean stews, egg dishes such as quiches or boiled coloured eggs, cheesecake, yogurt, cakes and anything which can be shared and is seasonal.
Make coloured eggs or decorate wooden/ceramic eggs and leave them as offerings to the earth, seasonal God/dess or your patron/matron.
Rituals, spells and magick for new beginnings, fertility, rebirth, renewal, new opportunities and endeavours (especially at dawn).
Plant seeds for the future whether they be physical or metaphoric.
Clean and refresh your home or ritual/magickal space ie spring clean through cleaning, decluttering and revamping.
Rebirth rituals which can include taking devotional vows for a specific tradition or God/dess.
Get up at sunrise and bask in the first light of the day in nature, whether you do so in your own backyard, local park or nature reserve.
Feed your local wildlife appropriate offerings such as bird specific feed for your local natives.
Take the day off if you can and spend the time in nature ie a picnic or hike.
Light a fire (bonfire or fireplace) or candles to celebrate and honour the light of the sun during this time.
Make wreaths from seasonal herbs and flowers to adorn yourself with.
Craft some items which resonate with the season for you.
Prick some flowers or treat yourself to some from a favourite florist to bring spring into your living area.
Start a new hobby or lifestyle change (such as exercise) you have been wanting to or reconnect to.
At dawn light candles to mark the passage of time from winter to spring and also to honour the Gods of this season (in gold, green, pink, yellow, blue and purple).
So work your magick this Spring Equinox, honour the dawn, nature and new beginnings and opportunities which are available to you and ask for what you want to blossom in your life.
In the latest issue of Mystic Tribe Magazine, I have written an article called “Crystal Obelisks“which describes what they are, what they do, how and where to use and how to charge and program them. Get your FREE copy below:
Hekate’s Deipnon is Hekate’s main day of veneration and adoration which falls on the Dark of the Moon. This works out to be at the end of the month in the Athenian Calender (aka Attic Calendar) and any time before the first sliver of the new moon appears in the sky. The word Deipnon means supper/evening meal which *traditionally was the biggest meal in the day.
Hekate’s Deipnon is a time to:
Venerate Hekate and keep the restless dead at bay;
Clean and purify the home, shrines, altar and ourselves in preparation for the Noumenia (New Moon); and
Make up for slights or offences caused to Hekate, as she won’t grant your boon or bless you unless you make amends.
Making and leaving offerings during the Deipnon is a beautiful hands on approach to honour Hekate and is a very important aspect of ritualised practice in her name. It’s…
Before our modern throw-away culture – people rarely threw or tossed things away simply because they had outgrown their use or were broken and battered. What they did was re-purpose, re-use or recycle – not only to save cost – but to reduce waste. Some places and people still maintain this kind of living and now more than ever, as our world is being suffocated by waste cluttering our seas and landfills, it’s only environmentally conscious to do the same.
I like to challenge myself to learn to make my own devotional items, especially since I prefer to tailor things for my own spiritual and magickal needs/wants. I find all you need is a can-do attitude, patience and practice – which is essential in developing your crafting skills.
Making your own magickal items for your workings can also ensure the ingredients you use are…
One of the things I always do whilst honouring Hekate during my regular devotionals, is the use of hymns – in and with her name. I find it connects me to Her within seconds of reciting a hymn and I can feel Her flames of power coursing through the words.
Hymns can be used to evoke or invoke a specific Divinity in a ritual setting, during magickal work like spellcraft or when wanting to connect to the energies of a particular God (or multitude of Gods) for any other specific purpose. A hymn is a praising, adoring and devotional prayer to a Divinity which can be recited internally, out loud and even sung, written on various mediums and buried, tied to a tree, burned or thrown into a body of water or to the wind.