Candle making!

Candle making! In preparation for Imbolc next week, we made candles today. Time to take stock of what we have and assess our needs for the coming year. I love that all day there is warmth and humidity and my house filled with my loved ones.

Candle making is a whole day event. Set up, making, and tear down take about 12 hours. For me it is a labor of love. I take old wax from those whole community and turn it into new candles to use in the future. It is a very tangible way of spreading the light through the darkness and a reminder to me that moving forward means building on what has come before.

Another thing that is very traditional as an activity for Imbolc prep is cleaning of tools. Lapis pulled out our coven sword and gave it some much needed attention. Reorganize the tool cabinet and generally sprucing things up is a great way to start off right.

Imbolc is the cracking of the ice of winter. Our days are perceptibly longer and spring will come soon. Sometimes not soon enough. These are the things we do to prepare ourselves for the coming year.

Samhain Comes

Just a couple more days until Samhain.  And just to be clear, that is NOT Sam-hain.  It is Sow-en, like a female pig (a sow) plus en.  Sow-en.  Samhain.  A while back, I was binge watching Supernatural.  And it was the Samhain episode... and they must have said Sam-hain about 53 million times and each time my head exploded.  I'm nearly positive that they did it on purpose to drive me crazy.  Sure of it.  ;)

Now... On to less crazy things...

Just a couple more days until Samhain.  This is always a very busy time of year.  As you know from my previous post, it is a hinge for us.  That means there is work to do.  Basic running of the coven sort of work to do.  Plus, it is one of the high holidays.  And that means BIG ritual stuff going on.  This year of course is no different.  With kids, it becomes a little extra tricky because Samhain is one of those sabbats that you really like to do ON the sabbat.  This year, we are doing trick or treating first and then late at night (for me at least), we are doing our Wellspring Samhain ritual to do the work part of things.  Then on Sunday, we are hosting a Dumb Supper.  Then next weekend, we are also participating in the Covenant of the Goddess public Samhain ritual.  There is an anniversary party and a birthday party in there too.  

So what exactly is Samhain?  I know that if you are reading this on the internet then you've probably read a lot of different resources that will tell you what Samhain is... technically.  So I'm going to share with you my own personal views, interpretations, and experiences of what Samhain is.  

In Blue Star, we have some people that are very tied into the world of the fae.  And most of my imagery comes from that.  And in my head there is a mixing of two goddesses and two different mythos that defines Samhain for me.  

First there is the collecting of the souls of those who have passed in the last year.  This coincides with the imagery of the ride of the faery queen.  I see her all dressed in black, flying on the wind with a huge black horse, and collecting the souls as she races by.  And she takes them home to the Summerlands where everyone is young, beautiful and vibrant until they come again to our plane.  

And Hecate does much the same in my experience.  But I see it more of she is a beacon to which the souls are drawn to her and she leads them into Hades.  She must work very hard to keep that beacon shining brightly so that the souls can see her in the darkness and find their way home.  

That is the first part of the sabbat.  The second part is that this is when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest.  It is when the spirits can communicate with us most easily.  It is the time for connecting and honoring those that have passed before us.  It is in remembrance that we will have our dumb supper.  It is in remembrance that we set up the ancestor shrine and call out to our loved ones.  We let them know that they are loved and they are remembered.  

For me, this is the meaning of this holiday, this sabbat.

But truly, there is a third part.  It is the beginning of the new year for most witches.  It's still difficult for me to let this be the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year.  Often times, there is a great deal of fortune telling or peeking into the future to see what the new year will bring.  There is the letting go of unnecessary burdens and pain from the old year so you enter the new year clear and free.  

Whatever your celebration entails, whatever calls to you, may you have a blessed Samhain.  And may you know the love of your departed ones again.

All the best,