Things to do Samhain

pumpkin samhain blessing

There are several things to consider doing during this time of the year.

  1. Take a meditative walk in a natural area near your home.  Experience yourself as part of the Circle of Life and reflect on death and rebirth as being an important part of Nature.
  2. Contemplate on what things have to die in your life so that other areas can live…ex:  habits, relationships, past, guilt, anger, grief, fear….  Then call forth what you want to replace it with.. self-control, positive outcome and future, love, joy, peace, etc….Meditate on it.
  3. Look for signs of death on your nature walk…. fallen leaves, fallen branches, flowers dying,etc..
  4.  You can do a genealogy research.
  5. Ancestors Altar: Gather photographs, heirlooms, and other momentos of deceased family, friends, and companion creatures.   Arrange them on a table, dresser, or other surface.
  6. Prepare a Samhain dinner.  Include a place setting at your table or nearby the altar of any deceased loved one.  Add an offering of each beverage and food being served to the extra place setting.  Invite your ancestors and other deceased loved ones who come in love to come dine with you.  After the feast, place the contents of the plate and cup outside in a natural location as an offering for your deceased loved ones.  You don’t want them to get to comfortable inside and decide to stay.
  7. Ancestor stories:  Learn about family history.  Contact one or more older relatives and ask them to share memories  of deceased family members.  Record them in some way and later write accounts of what they share.  Share what you have learned and have written with other family members and friend.  Feel free to share any of your favorite stories of the deceased loved ones as well and invite your kids and friends and family to share.
  8. Recall any of the characteristics, strengths, or attributes of your deceased loved ones that you can learn from or admire.  Go around in a circle or perform as a private meditation.
  9. Cemetery Visit:  Visit and tend the gravesite of a loved one at a cemetery.  Call to mind memories and consider ways the loved one continues to live on with you.  Place an offering of fresh flowers, dried herbs, or water.
  10. Do meditations to release the fear of death and just be at peace with it.  Envision when the time comes that it is a graceful and painless experience and you will have left this place fulfilled and happy with the life you have lived.  Where you view it as a transition into a lovely beginning of something wonderful and not just the end.
  11. Do a meditation where you try to contact a deceased loved one for guidance or to be at peace with their passing on.
  12. Divinatory Guidance:  Using Oracle cards, runes, scrying, or some other form of divination, seek and reflect on guidance for the year to come.  Write a summary of your experience and any messages received.  Select something appropriate to act upon and do it!  Give Thanks for the messages received!
  13. Sit outside and just marinate in the Samhain energy.
  14. Meditate on your positive transformation and the positive changes you can do that will promote it.  Make a list.  Look for new habits and things to do or people to hang out with.

blessed samhain quote

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Ostara

breath of life                       

 Eostre otherwise known as Ostara, is the pagan holiday that celebrates the return of spring and the balance between light and dark on, or around, the Spring Equinox. Eostre was the Pagan goddess of dawn, fertility and new beginnings.  This lovely Goddess is depicted as a young maiden who strides gently on the seedlings of Spring. She represents the awakening after a long deep sleep. She is the beauty of life and rebirth which happens at this time of year. Flowers in her hair, babies in her arms, flowing gown, and bright smile…Ostara is the embodiment of the glorious reawakening after a long slumber, the new life after a cold dark, necessary winter.

Many pagan holidays are symbolically tied to the cycles of the Sun and how it affects the Earth.  For example, during Spring in most places of the Earth, the temperatures are starting to warm up, thus warming up the Earth.  The Sun is moving from out of the shade into the light. With the snow melted and more sunshine warming the Earth it allows the seeds from plants to germinate and other plants to grow up from out of the ground, which weren’t able to before because the snow and not enough sunligh, since we were in the shade.

At the end of April, the Christian celebration of Christ’s rebirth, Easter, is also celebrated around this time and got its name from Eostre.  Easter symbolizes death and rebirth.  Jesus death at the cross and then he rises from the dead 3 days later.  This can be seen in the animals and plants that wake up from hibernation during Spring from resting all winter long.

pollinatorsThe flowers on the plants begin to bloom and the bees and butterflies come out of hibernation and are hungry. They eat the nectar which is found in the center of the flowers.  As they are busy buzzing around the flower they are unaware that their legs and faces are collecting the pollen from the flower, which they will then transfer to the next flower they go snack on, thus pollinating the flowers.  This is very important to the existence and survival of flowers and plants.  Without hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees and other pollinator animals, the reproduction of plants would not be possible.  They help spread the seeds of the flowers fertilizing them so that they can keep reproducing and growing.

The colors yellow and green are associated with the Spring time. Pastel colors are also used for decorations or are worn by people during this time as well. Pastels are the softer shades of color because life is still young and will not be in full force until later on in the year such as Summer, where you will see the louder and brighter colors.

In Spring, typically animals become pregnant in the fall, to give birth in the Spring. Often around the farm, babies of all species are bouncing around in the warm Spring mornings feeding on the new grasses and foods available. This of course makes sense since animals rely upon what nature provides, and in places that have harsh cold winters, spring promises life for their young. Life reborn! Ostara is represented by the procession of new life, a reminder of her care for new life in Spring! The eggs symbolize new beginnings and the rabbit symbolizes fertility.  The flowers are beginning to bud as the Earth is finally awakening and emanates new life.

Ostara is the time of awakening after a long sleep. Our time during Winter is still meditation. Winter is the time to reflect, ponder, and meditate. As our minds awake, we take the regeneration and use it as a catalyst for change and growth. The rebirth of our Soul! Ostara aids in our rebirth with bringing us back to beauty, life and awakening with her gentle touch, like that of a mother waking her children from a long slumber. Hail the reawakening!  We feel the need to “spring clean” and begin our gardens.

Pagans celebrate Ostara with various rituals celebrating fertility, nature and new growth. Egg races, egg hunts, egg eating and egg painting are common activities. A man and a woman might be chosen to act out the roles of Spring God and Goddess, playing out courtship and symbolically planting seeds.

Neopagans also celebrate by eating fresh spring foods like sprouts, dandelion greens, and nettles. Some undertake a fast during this period, to clear away the toxins of the winter. Many Wiccans plant an herb garden (for later use in spells) on Ostara. Home altars might feature spring flowers, seeds, jasmine or flowery incense, and the gemstone of jasper.

This is a great time to bless any seeds you wish to plant in the near future.  Following the rhythms of nature this is a perfect time to start a new project or to access new ideas.  Think NEW

This is the time where we are invited to step through the doorway and allow our light to shine.  It is time to plant your seeds of intention.

spring altar