Samhain in Australia

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The nights are getting longer and the weather is getting cooler. You may feel like you need to grab a blanket to keep you warm at night. During the day the shadows are getting longer. Samhain time is coming around again.

Samhain, the Witches New Year. Its the time of year when the veil between our physical world and that of the other world is at its thinnest. A time when we become aware of our Ancestors and their legacy. Our Ancestors are not just the our blood relations. Ancestors are those who have passed over who have contributed to our lives, or our culture. They can be teachers, neighbors, friends, or anyone who has made an impact on how we live our life. Loved ones our families of choice.

During this time we can also honor our pets who have passed over. They have made a difference to our lives. As children our pets taught us how to care for others. Our pets taught us the meaning of unconditional love.

In Australia Samhain occurs around the same time as Anzac Day. I find this significant as Anzac Day is the time of year that those from Australia and New Zealand remember those who died prematurely in war. Anzac Day is Ritualized across the country with services, parades, people getting together for meals to remember their deceased friends and relatives. Anzac biscuits are eaten and the game of Two-ups is played.

1360871787_anzac_biscuitsAnzac Biscuits.

two-up Two up stick and coins.

As a way of celebrating Samhain we can go out into nature. This could be our back yard, park, or if we are fortunate enough we can get away from the city and into the country. Sit and look around and feel the air around you. Think about your ancestors and those who have been here before you. Think about how they lived. Quietly pay them respect. You can leave them an offering. If they were a casualty of war and you know they would appreciate it. Leave them an Anzac biscuit. If not leave them some food or drink that they liked. If you are unable to stay in the area or its not your home you can place the food or drink onto the Earth as an offering. Visit a cemetery and take an offering of flowers or food.

Have a meal with your ancestors. This is called a Dumb Supper. Its called a Dumb Supper as its traditional not to speak during the meal. You lay our a meal for those who would like to attend plus an extra meal or meals for relatives and loved ones who have passed over. This is done to show respect and to remember the wonderful times that you had with them. Its important to have a darkened room with some candles burning and to be as quiet as possible and not to talk. It is hoped that messages from those that have passed over will come to you.

At home you can make a small altar to your ancestors. Have a photo of them on your altar. You can place objects that you know would appeal to them, crystals, a candle, flowers. This does not have to be elaborate or large. A small altar can be just as respectable or even more respectable than a large one.

You can also decorate your home with Samhain symbols. Use the colours of Orange and Black. Make an Autumn wreath and place it on your front door. Create displays with pumpkins and apples. What are the crops in your area? What plants are flowering where you live? Make a display using what is growing around your home or in crops near where you live. Set candles in cauldrons. A jack-o-lantern is fun to make and looks impressive with a candle in it. Be care when carving our the pumpkin pulp. You don’t want to cut yourself.

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Samhain is the last of the harvest festivals. A Greater Sabbat. The time when the Earth is about to rest for the Winter.

Samhain Music:

Samhain Eve by Damh the Bard-      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcDLcQk1Ntg

Samhain Song by Lisa Thiel-           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC-H9gYFWGc

Souling Song, Samhain Version by Kristen Lawrence-         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j35dvmdse9k