The Witches' New Year

Samhain is a time for both honoring the dead and celebrating renewal.

Rowan68

10/31/2006 12:45:33 PM

My "Circle" has a ritual every year. We had it on Sunday this year. Tonight I will have a more private ritual at my home and honor my Beloved Dead.

sventare

10/29/2004 03:57:01 PM

This is my first year. I've been writing "Wiccan" in the "religion" boxes on questionnaires for years now, but have mostly been non-practising. I recently moved to the United States from England and suddenly I feel more Wiccan than I ever have before. I was delighted to see how enthusiastically all Americans celebrate Hallowe'en/ Samhain. It seems to be a festival uncomplicated by the need to reconcile the spending of ostentatious amounts of money with a contrary belief system. Instead people dress up, eat, drink and scare themselves and each other just a little bit - all good ways of expressing, enjoying and confirming our humanity. So this year I'm going to build my Samhain altar, have a chat with my recently departed grandmother, grab my lantern and pumpkin and dance on the green.

La_Estrella

10/31/2003 11:04:38 AM

I do kind of miss celebrating Samhain. It's one of the things I really enjoyed when I was Wiccan. Maybe it was because it attached grown-up meaning to a kids' holiday (Halloween) that I was getting "too old" for. Or maybe I just have ancestor-worshipping tendencies...

Harvardbound

10/20/2003 10:27:28 PM

its not that we're all wiccan, its that most of us are. Because most of us are, more people know who we are. So its easier to say you are a wiccan than say you are a shaman and explain the intricasies, when more people have a general idea of what a wiccan is.

Kestrel

11/11/2000 10:49:25 PM

Punkyboy -- I'm Pagan and not Wiccan, so there is at least one "other" here. ;D

Kestrel

11/11/2000 10:49:02 PM

Wombat -- nothing "dogmatic" to it. It simply IS. Do some research for yourself. Education does wonders for folks.

punkyboy

11/08/2000 11:35:00 PM

hmmmmm.... Wiccans seem to be the only pagans here...

mystsinger

11/01/2000 03:18:48 PM

I go into Napster, where my New Age/Wiccan/Pagan music is all stored, play some music and dance. I celebrate the gods in what I am good at: Dancing, art work. I am still learning, so... I burn inscence and dance.

wombbat

11/01/2000 12:42:31 PM

Kestrel, watch your dogmatic attitude, honey. Most of us fled mainstream religions to escape that attitude of only one "right" way. Sheesh! For Samhain, my circle paid tribute to our ancestors by communing with them. I met with my maternal grandmother and she reminded me to prepare ancestor plates for her and other ancestors using her kitchen cereal bowl. I took it from her hands and ate as a tiny child -- now I use it to honor her and others. We also danced, sang, celebrated, discussed the coming dark time, made offerings, and asked for the assistance of guardians in healing residual ancestral pain/grief/dysfunction that lives on in us. Blessed Be! What a great holiday!

Kestrel

10/31/2000 03:34:24 PM

Windsinger -- Maybe for you Halloween and Samhuin are the same celebration, but for many, many other Traditional Pagans and Cunners like myself, it is NOT. Period. And to state that it IS as the only fact is incorrect and is certainly misinformation. They are two very seperate holidays, always have been. Halloween being a very recent occurence, strictly and uniquely American tradition -- a hodge-podge of beliefs tossed together. Samhuin, on the other hand, is a Holyday, and has been observed and celebrated on or about the first week of November throughout most of Pagan Europe's history.

Windsinger

10/31/2000 01:17:05 PM

saving is good. Sometimes you get hungry later.

agape0001

10/31/2000 12:21:39 PM

I would also like to apoligize for any rude comments by Christians. I myself am a Christian, and I do not agree with Samhain, but I also do not agree with hypocrysy and judgment. I believe in the love of Christ. Please realize that true Christianity does not judge. It saves. :-) Have a nice day.

Windsinger

10/31/2000 11:08:06 AM

But Samhain DOES fall on October 31st for many people. For CM purposes, it's next week, but still most celebrate tonight. So it's not misinformation.

berwynne

10/31/2000 09:55:47 AM

There is one more thing I would like to add: I would like to apologize to anyone who has been rebuffed by any (there is simply no other way to put this) conservative mainstream religious chastising. I have consciously chosen to stay within my Christian tradition, as has my family, but we have enriched, enhanced, and expanded our faith lives by incorperating much from Wicca and other earth-based traditions. I live in a conservative rural area, and I have tried to educate others about the real significance of this time of year -- but to no avail. In light of some other earlier posts by certain other posters, let me say that we are not all like that, nor do we all believe such things. I am thankful that I have never had to be subjected to such a narrow way of thinking. Bless you all, and again, all Samhain greetings! Berwynne

berwynne

10/31/2000 09:39:40 AM

As I told the people in the discussion group that I am involved in, my family had a lovely Samhain celebration; we had to celebrate it a little early as my father had to go on a business trip. My mother and I prepared special foods which had significance at this time of year. We lit white candles, and then my husband, mother, father, and myself each took turns reading from a sacred scripture concerning the cycles of life and death and rebirth. We read from Lao Tzu, the poet-saints of India, the Qur'an, and from the book of Psalms (I love Psalm 104). It was really special and lovely. Blessings to you all; Happy New Year, and Happy Halloween! Berwynne

Kestrel

10/31/2000 09:36:04 AM

I just wish Beliefnet could get it righ... Samhuin is NOT the same as Halloween. Samhuin does NOT fall on October the 31st. I get so tired of misinformation.

AmaraS

10/31/2000 08:20:23 AM

Blessings to all this Samhain day! Yes, Windsinger, she hounded me for a month until I made the costume! Not that I minded, I do seem to love sewing these days. I made the most beautiful (if I do say so myself) cloaks for my coven as gifts this Samhain, each of them lined in a beautiful satin of the owner's color choice. Then, karaleensmom (my sister-in-law) painted our group's symbol on the back of the black side of the cloaks (a unicorn laying within a circle). It was incredible... Anyway, the Pikachu child is bouncing off the walls already waiting for tonight...

oinniun

10/31/2000 08:15:27 AM

Being interested in spiritual stuff but not active in the pursuit of any particular brand of worship; I intend to pursue many spirits, particularly Celtic ones to celebrate this misunderstood holy day. I intend to celebrate this day by praising the spirits of scotch, poteen and porter until I hear voices. Slainte and a very Happy Halloween to all.

Windsinger

10/30/2000 06:27:14 PM

Apologist- You were never Wiccan. Now you are a liar, too. But you know what, I forgive you. Happy new year.

nightsjoule

10/30/2000 06:23:30 PM

I think people in general will always say something about religions they do not know. Like wicca or others....I mean to most people who practice one special religon they will not be aware of exactly how many are out there. But I do not think its right to invite them to a chat and exploite(spelling) "us" nor do I think it is right to say one is better than the other. Orginally I came to this link beecause it was a topic about halloween or as I know it Samhain. because I hardely see anything about. blessed be! :o)

LadyWitchWolf

10/30/2000 05:06:05 PM

Praise be to Beliefnet for acknowledging Wicca/WitchCraft along with other religious beliefs! To the Witches, I wish a Blessed Samhain. To the Christians who never gave up on the "fun" of the day, a Happy Halloween. How will I celebrate Samhain this year? By trapsing through the neighborhood with my daughter, Little Wolf, who will be dressed as a witch :) and passing out candy when I get home (Mom's handling Candy Duty until then). Tonight, we will carve out six pumpkins and light them tomorrow. Simple...but that's the basis for any holiday, right? Blessed Be to All!

steward

10/30/2000 05:05:59 PM

Ember wrote: "To B'net: why is this kind of harassment being permitted here--on a thread dedicated to what is for many Pagan traditions the most sacred holiday of the year, Samhain..." I've complained to B'net about such in the past and gotten the response that since the group seemed to handle it ok, they would not take any action. In short, if you engage the disrupters in discussion, you legitimize them. Or as it's put on USENET: Don't feed the trolls. B*B steward

KarriAllrich

10/30/2000 04:39:50 PM

To Apologist: To assume that those of us who walk the path of the Goddess walk in "darkness" while you, as a Christian walk in "light" is dangerous thinking. True Druids, Wiccans & Witches embrace the wholeness (holiness) of life by acknowledging both dark & light, masculine & feminine, the inner & outer worlds. We honor ALL of life: body & spirit. Light & Dark define & create each other. Both are valuable, & are expressions of the "whole". By aligning only with the "light", we run the risk of imbalance, elevating head above heart, spirit above body, reason over intuition. It may be the accepted way of a patriarchal Godhead, but for those of us seeking our own spiritual truths in wholeness, there is a deeper form of expression in recognizing Goddess and God. The Divine is not one above the other...it is energy that is ALL things. Every bit of creation is sacred. Even the dark! I plan on honoring both this Samhain as I look ahead into Winter's time of introspection and silent nurture. Blessed Be!

peteshea@NH-Reiki-Fellowship

10/30/2000 03:27:47 PM

Peace to you all: Leebra has struck gold in her comments to TheApologist. The walk of one following Wicca does nothing show a reverence for life and a solumn love for those currently alove and a respect for those who have walked the same soil we do, looked at the same stars we do. Those whom clain Wicca as a belief should stir no fear in you, just a feeling of joy that people care so much. Blessed be

Leebra

10/30/2000 03:05:37 PM

Thank you to Beliefnet for sharing information about Samhain and its celebration. To Apologist and others of the same... Why is any invitation to discuss spiritual beliefs and practices seen as an opportunity for you to proselytize? As you will note on the left side of this page, Christianity IS NOT THE ONLY RELIGION listed. There ARE other widely-accepted religions being practiced in this world. To quote a fabulous bumper sticker I saw in Cocoa Beach, Florida: GOD IS TOO BIG FOR ONE RELIGION. I will celebrate Samhain with the lighting of candles and incense on an altar dedicated to my ancestors, some chanting, some prayer, and some meditation. Despite popular belief, Satan IS NOT invited. Blessed be.

TheApologist

10/30/2000 12:31:36 PM

Finally, I envite you to come to any Christian web discussion on any host site to share your beliefs. I am here to shine the Light of the Word Of God, who is Jesus Christ, into darkness. It is impossible to shine darkness into light. That is why this discussion cannot be private. While I know Wicca, at least what it was while I was involved, I have found what a lie it is. I come not to condemn anyone, but to lend a hand to pull anyone out who would like to come. If there is no one, I will stand on the edge of the Abyss until the last day, offering my hand in love, and answering any question that I can. In the Love of Jesus Christ - The Apologist.

TheApologist

10/30/2000 12:27:57 PM

PhoenixFyre, Please check www.blueletterbible.org for some insight into the original Hebrew text which Wescott & Hort so poorly translated into English. The death referred to by the LORD, occurred. Both Adam and Eve were given a choice to obey, obviously, or they would not have disobeyed. This is the same choice that you have. If you will look at Leviticus, this is the first encodement of the Law of God, where what is proper to sacrifice was clearly listed. Before Noah, meat was not to be eaten, lambs were raised only for sacrifice, Cain had lambs, but chose to withold his best from the LORD and only give grain, which is permissable when you cannot afford to do otherwise, Cain could. If there is one thing the the LORD is, that is Just. The lamb had to die to keep men from having to die for the sin, the blood covers sin. All pages in the Bible point to the comming Messiah, or the returning Messiah. The sacrifices are a foreshadowing of what is to come. Messiah shed blood, not grain!

Aleta

10/29/2000 01:43:46 PM

Denna - Your remembering him honors his life. To me, this is true immortality.

Windsinger

10/28/2000 11:31:13 PM

Amara- Yours is a Pikachu, too, huh?

starrcross

10/28/2000 09:24:52 PM

This will be my first time going to an open circle being held at my favorite pagan shop. I have always loved this holiday (my mom, too, bless her) and I will be releasing my negative energies, refocusing my mind on the path ahead, remembering and welcoming my ancestors and leaving food for "them out there". Later, I will sit beneath the night sky and wonder about life, death, my loved ones, maybe have a good cry, listen to the last of the crickets, and when I finally get too cold I'll snuggle into a warm bed and thank That Which Knows for everything. Peace and blessings to you all.

Aleta

10/27/2000 08:16:22 PM

I combine elements of mainstream Halloween and my Wiccan interpretation of Samhain. Tomorrow, I'll be a witch in a haunted house and costume contest at our local Dairy Queen. Monday, I'll be a Witch in a small local gathering of women. I sometimes incorporate elements of the Spanish Days of the Dead, decorating an altar with Mexican paper mache skeletons and paper decorations. No matter what you call it, this is my favorite holiday! Blessed be.

Cearrai

10/27/2000 07:28:41 PM

I've always loved Halloween, and the mood and energy around that time of year. I go to parties and consume lots of chocolate, but I've also incorporated elements of remembering my ancestors and the recently departed. Why my fellow Christians are so afraid of Halloween, I don't know. Why does "pagan" necessarily equate to "evil/Satanic", any more than any other spiritual tradition? These are the ways of our European ancestors, and most people have no use for celebrating anything evil in their folkways. Death in pre-Christian Europe did not have the "evil" associations that the Christian overlay placed on it. My ancestors did acknowledge a relationship between our world and the world of the ancestors, without fearing it or trying to banish it. Slainte-- Cearrai

AmaraS

10/27/2000 04:35:38 PM

My favorite part is that I get to play the Crone (I'm the oldest in my coven at 32!) which means I also get to hand out the "gifts" for the coming year. Everyone has been asked to bring a small "found" item...a rock, feather, pine cone, etc...and they will be collected as everyone enters for the ritual, then as the ritual is ending, I get to hand them out as simple divining type gifts.... Anyway, that's what we'll be doing Saturday night. Tonight I'm volunteering at my neice's school Halloween carnival...Sunday I'm finishing my decorating in the yard and Tuesday I'll be manning the candy while my sister-in-law takes the Pikachu child trolling for candy....I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!!!

AmaraS

10/27/2000 04:35:11 PM

I will be celebrating this Samhain with my coven, as well as with a larger group of El Paso area pagans as we host our first open circle event. As a part of the ritual, we are having a web-weaving in three parts. The God will call us to share ourselves and we will tie a ribbon on the inner wheel of the web and share our names and dates of birth/initiation/dedication (this is also a good way for all of us to get to know one another, since many of us will be meeting for the first time). Then the triple Goddess will call us to share and we will tie a ribbon on the middle wheel of the web and offer our thanks for the bounty of the Year. Last, the Crone will call us to share, and we will tie a ribbon or ribbons on the outer most wheel of the web to honor those who have gone before us.

froti

10/27/2000 01:05:48 PM

This will be my first year celebrating this holiday in the old way! I plan to sit around my fireplace with my husband and doggies to share stories of our beloved grandparents and stories passed down about other ancestors. In addition, we will share a meal that celebrates Autumn's bounty.

Calico

10/27/2000 12:12:15 PM

After 10 years as a solitare this will be my first Samhain with a group. We plan to meet on Staurday, hold a dumb feast to honor the ancestors, and a bardic to celebrate the New Year. On the 31st I will hold a personal ceremony at home. I will think of my two grandfathers and all those who have gone before me. Peace, revelry and joy to all!

pheonix_fyre

10/27/2000 11:59:24 AM

some-the serpant still never lied, should the serpant get the blame for telling the truth? adam and eve were not given a choice but to obey a god that had decieved them. adam and eve did die yes, but they lived for hundreds of years-cain and abel-sure what cain did to abel was wrong but God again did a cruel deed to sort of "trick" man because he rejected Cains offering of grains to abels sacrifice of lamb-now how odd is that i mean, Cain didn't kill a living creature before the crime of his brother-God would rather have a precious lamb die than have grains of wheat be offered,where no harm is done to a living breathing thing. now when i directed you to the opposing views-i meant that arguments should be left there-leave us be to talk of our sacred holiday-we would kindly appreciate to be left in peace in this forum, because this holiday helps us to recollect our memories of those past on-we need to rest from all negativity and all have a happy time joining relatives (dead or alive) in feast. blessed be

Windsinger

10/27/2000 11:40:41 AM

That's beautiful, Kestrel. Not too far from what we'll be doing. I'm not going to Salem, this year, which is kind of a bummer, The Coreys were supposedly landholders in my family's past (people who lived on land my family owned) and I always felt a special, I don't know, sense of responsibility that people who lived on ancestral land of mine were driven off by religious persecution to go and be killed by religious persecution. We always left a bushel of apples somewhere in Salem for Samhain as a sort of offering to the hungry ghosts and the living who deal with them everyday. This is a great time of year to remember our ancestors, the real ones, especially when so many ignore them or claim they don't exist.

Kestrel

10/27/2000 11:30:54 AM

I celebrate Samhuin with my Spiritual Family and family. We honor our dead loved ones with stories of their lives, and what they meant to us, as well as sharing all together in their favorite food or drink. It is a wonderful time of the year for reconnecting. As for how the Christians feel, they are entitled to their opinion, which matters not to me.

TheApologist

10/27/2000 11:01:10 AM

continued- The whole rest of the Bible and Human History is God working to restore that relationship. Sacrifices with the animal skins that he used to cover them, and later with the Hebrews to show what would come in the Messiah, we can't get to God no matter what we do. We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners, and we are born that way. From Seth on we were born sinners. The death that Adam and all men after have faced was multifold- a physical death of the body (which did happen) and a spiritual death immediately by being separated from God. In the End, if we do not take the offer to restore the relationship with God while we live, after our body dies, after judgment, we, our essence, our spirit will follow the serpent into the lake of fire, which is eternal separation from God, and everyone else. I hope this sheds light on your questions.

TheApologist

10/27/2000 11:00:00 AM

continued- 3rd, They did die. First, there was nothing innately special about the fruit of the tree. They simply disobeyed God, much like all of us. Before this, there was no death, no decay, no entropy in the universe. There wasn't even a need to till the ground because God had a perfect system, and he had a perfect relationship with Adam. In Gen 3:8, "they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day" This was not even unusual to them, evidently he came by all the time. He had a perfect relationship that was severed by disobedience. -continued

TheApologist

10/27/2000 10:37:24 AM

continued- 2nd - Other people don't really matter because all but Noah and his family were wiped out in the world wide flood, which even most of your mythos know of because it happened before they all split, and Noah was descendent from Adam. But lets assume it is important. God Created Adam in Gen 1, and in Gen 2 it goes into greater detail to highlight a different aspect of the creation, much like each of the four Gospels all tell the same story, but the Holy Spirit uses them each to highlight different aspects of Jesus. - continued

TheApologist

10/27/2000 10:29:07 AM

continued- In Genesis, the Holy Spirit is identified in that the Spirit of God hovered over the Waters. How are they one? The Holy Spirit is God, Acts 5:3-4 "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God." Colossians 2:8-9 show that Jesus is God, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Then of course, God the Father is God, Philippians 1:2, "Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and [from] the Lord Jesus Christ." which also illustrates the separateness of God and Jesus. - continued

TheApologist

10/27/2000 10:13:59 AM

This is for everyone, because Ms. Phoenix Fyre asked some good questions. 1st - The "us" & "our" is in reference to YHWH who is God the Father, a preincarnate Yoshuah (in Greek Jesus) who is God the Son, and the unnamed Spirit of God, who is the Holy Spirit (in German Spirit is Ghiest(sp?) which was translated to English in some cases as "ghost"). This is a very perplexing concept, even for faithful Christian, the one in three, three in one, and there is really no example in our universe that can match it. In Genesis, it is clear that God (YHWH, pronounced Yahweh, in the english texts the all caps word "LORD" is used) created everything. In the Gospel of John, the Holy Spirit has penned that he [Jesus] was the creator of all things, and nothing was made except that which was made by him [Jesus]. -continued

StormWolf

10/26/2000 07:55:20 PM

Ya... ummm.... pheonix_fyre, what does that ahve to do with how we celebrate Samhain?

pheonix_fyre

10/26/2000 06:55:43 PM

hello apologist,King James:Genesis God said,"Let Us make man in Our image,according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over all the earth and over everything that creeps on the earth." Then God blessed them,and God said to them,"Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it;have dominion over every living thing that moves on earth." So the evening/morning were the "sixth day". One question,who is the "Us" and "Our" if there is just one God?Also if you continue reading there are other lands besides the land of eden where people existed,Adam and Eve were not the only 2 people who created the populous of the earth;On the sixth day he created man-that was before he created Adam&Eve-when Adam &Eve eat the apple-the serpant never lied they never died and lived longer than most people do now!-they blamed the serpant-pagan beliefs teach we must all be responsible for our actions. go to the opposing views in the earth-based religion and look my name up to discuss further!

Thorolf

10/25/2000 06:17:45 PM

Actually, I don't. The Norse year ends at Yule, and the new year begins at Twelfth night. At this time of the year, I celebrate the ending of the harvest season on the full moon following the Autumnal Equinox (just about 2 weeks ago). I do, however, pay attention to what my more Celtic-oriented pagan friends are doing, since I may want to swipe an idea or three for Yule!

TheApologist

10/25/2000 04:59:47 PM

GirlyToads, I look not for a "convert," for only the Spirit of YHWH can change the heart of men. I am simply staying faithful to my King.

TheApologist

10/25/2000 04:57:02 PM

As for it being okay to kill others whose beliefs do not match ours: Islam preaches it and it is in the writings of the Koran, Not in the Tenauch (Old Testiment), not in the "New Tesiment." Jews were to evangelize the nations of the future coming of the Mashiahk Nagid (transliteration), not kill those who did not know. Christians are to evangelize the nations of the coming (past and future) of the Christ (Greek for the Hebrew Mashiahk Nagid). Any "Christian" who kills for reasons of religion is not following the teachings of the Christ as given us in his Word. Thus they would not be "little Christs" aka "Christians."

TheApologist

10/25/2000 04:51:30 PM

As for the history of religion in the world, not that in Genesis 5, when one translates the Hebrew meanings of the names from Adam to Noah, it reads something like so: Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ whom the Hebrew Pharasies put to death. Do you think that some rabbi thought it would be funny, no less thatn 200 years before the birth of Christ (date of Septuagent - aka old testiment in Greek), to put this in the Torah?

dawnpiper

10/24/2000 10:29:29 AM

We will be gathering with our circle of pagan friends and feeding the kiddies, as we do every year - the joy of the children in this holiday always gives me a lift. Belenios - exclusivity is not part of Jewish teaching. All righteous persons have a place in the world-to-come, Jewish or not.

trickster

10/23/2000 07:56:23 PM

Denna, please accept my condolences, and trust that simply by celebrating the fact that he lived, and grieving over his passing, you honour him in the most powerful way possible. Our HP and HPess are in the UK, and this will be our first Samhain without them. We will be using this time to determine a path for our group to follow in the new year. I will be honouring my paternal grandmother, who passed away two weeks ago. She was a Christian, so I will be praying (as I did at the funeral) for The Creator to take care of her, without my beliefs intruding on her passage. Blessed Be, my brothers and sisters!

belenios

10/23/2000 11:57:53 AM

My apologies to this list for my previous posting which deviated significantly from the thread. So as to integrate it into the thread, may I suggest that on Samhain we may honor those of our ancestors who died at the hands of fanatic religions rather than give up the Eternal Tradition, which includes all authentic pagan religions? Samhain is, aside from being the New Year of Celts and some other "pagan" religions, is a time to remember and honor our ancestors and predecessors.

Keridwen

10/23/2000 08:16:51 AM

I will be celebrating Samhain with my coven again this year. Only this year we are having our Sabbat exactly at midnight. We do scrying, Runes, Tarot, etc. for the coming year. We honor the dead from the previous year. It's a deeply spiritual Sabbat for me. There's always this sense of sadness and anxiety, but there is also a sense of peace, too. That by honoring our dead friends and loved ones, we keep their memories alive and the hope that we will again share lovely times with them. To me this is the Sabbat where I feel the "witchiest". I just love it. Happy Samhain everyone! Blessed be. K

Ember

10/22/2000 07:17:07 PM

Thorsteinn and Themis, you're sooo right! And Denna, I'm sorry for your recent loss! I've already begun preparing by looking at old photos of my parents, grandmother, and other loved ones who have passed beyond the veil (even a few pets). I plan to have some of these photos around me at my own little private ritual, which I will have on Samhain night. Earlier that night, I will be answering the door for trick-or-treaters and accompanying my daughter as she makes the rounds for her own bag of chocolaty loot. :) On the Friday before Samhain, I plan to attend a group ritual at a friend's house. I will also probably be participating in an online ritual with a group of friends either this week or next. A very blessed Samhain to you all!

otterpop

10/22/2000 04:35:41 PM

I'm going to ReWeaving, a group in Los Angeles associated with the Unitarian Universalists. They call theur church "the Onion" (lol) My first time going there! It's going to be a public ritual, like the one I did last year in Santa Barbara. I love getting together in community on this Holy day and celebrating and remembering with my Family. We will also be having a brief memorail for the victims of the Cole. Many Blessings and Happy New Year!] Otter :o)

Denna

10/22/2000 02:54:13 PM

My first Samhain was three years ago. I had just agreed to date my future fiancee, and my two best friends and I sat on my bedroom floor drinking iced tea and munchin' on chips and avocado dip. After they left I did a simple ceremony, giving thought to my grandmother, great-aunt, and my cat, cuz they were the only ones I knew who had died. The second, my boyfriend and I celebrated our new life together along with the lives of our loved ones passed over. This year, aside from working, I've so far made no plans. My boyfriend died last month. I don't know that I'll do much besides light all the candles and cry. That's why I came her, to get some ideas, somewhere else to focus my thoughts. I think I'm scared that anything I do won't be enough to honor his life.

Thorsteinn

10/22/2000 10:12:36 AM

I concur with Themis for we fall into the trap he has set before us. We as a family are bigger than this petty rambilings of a perosn. I follow the old ways and of a Norse orientation.I will hold a small celebration honouring past loved ones and current. Blessed Bee

themis

10/22/2000 02:48:56 AM

Is this not a thread to share how we will celebrate Samhein? We are falling into his arguement. Let's not speak of this anymore. *** I will spend Samhein home alone. My family is either physically far away, or have crossed over. I will fix my grandmother's potroast and eat it off of the dishes my great-grandfather had made for my great-grandmother. I will light the fire in my fireplace for the first time in this house, and remember those I have loved that have passed. I will also write a letter to my maternal grandmother who died when my mother was 7. Finally, after much singing and tears, I will celebrate the new year with Chocolate - which is certainly a gift from the Lady - don't you think?! Much comfort to all who remember and grieve this this Samhein, and much love. Themis

girlytoads

10/21/2000 10:25:48 PM

Dear MrApologist, I doubt you'll find many converts here considering many of us gave up on ~your~ religion to join Wicca. I am sure you would receive more positive attention if you would post on *your* sites, and not on ~ours~. I am celebrating Samhain with my coven. It is a very important holiday to me because it keeps me from denying death, which our American/Xtian culture loves to do. I no longer fear death. I embrace the fact that, I , too will die someday, and go back to the Earth from Whom I came. The Xtians fear death because they think if they do any little 'sin' before repenting of it, they will go to 'hell'. I know for a fact there is no 'hell' and I am not going to the Xtians 'hell' when I die. I am going home to my Mother's breast, to be reabsorbed into the Energies.

belenios

10/20/2000 01:57:49 PM

To TheApologist: The Christian "Apologists", noting that many things in Christianity (rituals, symbols, and even many of the doctrines) already existed in various pagan religions, made the claim that Satan planted those beliefs among the pagans to confound them. Is that a "rational defense"? A more rational approach is to admit that in fact, (important for pagans, too) Christianity is not really much different from the already existing religions which it rivalled. The main difference is that Christianity, along with its ancestor Judaism and its younger sibling, Islam, believes that other religions are false, and that their adherents may be justly killed for no reason other than difference in belief. Is there a "rational defense" for that?

Windsinger

10/20/2000 12:13:50 PM

The- I forgive you, you poor misguided puppet.

Ember

10/19/2000 04:09:22 PM

Thanks, Apologist! We'll pray for you, too!!! Oh, by the way: Aristotle, Socrates, Plato--all those guys were Pagans. To B'net: why is this kind of harassment being permitted here--on a thread dedicated to what is for many Pagan traditions the most sacred holiday of the year, Samhain--when it has been so thoughtfully stamped out on the main Wicca discussion board? Do we go heckle Christians on threads regarding THEIR holidays? I know I don't.

TheApologist

10/19/2000 02:28:52 PM

To Phoenix Fyre- Thank you for your well wishes. An apologist is someone who gives a rational defense of something. In my case it is the Christian Worldview. The word Apologist originated from the "Apologia"(sp), written by Aristotle in defense of Socrates. As far as judgement goes, Romans 5:18 "Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life" and that one is identified in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." I believe and thus am justified. What about you?

TheApologist

10/19/2000 02:15:32 PM

Thank you Windsinger, I have tried it years ago. Has it improved? Is there new stuff now? How would I dare comment if not understanding of your current plight? I would not. How would I dare speak out against followers of such a powerful being as the one that you follow, and his/her minions? Without the leading of the Spirit of YHWH (God), and without his protection, I could not without being destroyed. However, the Christ is patient and loving, in addition to being Just. I to will pray for you

Windsinger

10/19/2000 12:35:52 PM

TheApologist- Whoever is this Jesus character you promote. Death, sin, evil,pain?!? what a far cryfrom the beauty of Wicca. Maybe You Should Try it? to others, though we know there is no hell, nor is there "sin", let us seek to forgive those that thrust those fanciful creations upon us. They are often reflections of the mind of their believers, and it is for such people in pain we healers must pray. As someone who has not sinned, and indeed, is utterly worthy of the glory of my gods (As are ALL) I forgive you, Appie. May the God you believe in serve you well in this life.

pheonix_fyre

10/18/2000 07:57:10 PM

This will be my first Samhain that I will be celebrating, at first I was still going to go trick or treating but I think I will phone my mom up and say hi! Then I will remember my grandpa and the stories he would tell me with his photographs-my aunt Gene, with her comical strenght and courage to over come her abusive husband-later dying of cancer. -To TheApologist-happy halloween and merry Samhain! Even though you share different beliefs,I hope that judgement won't come to harshly upon you when you get to heaven and God notices your past behavior-then who would you be apologizing to?

TheApologist

10/18/2000 06:30:03 PM

Finally, we will share that we should believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

TheApologist

10/18/2000 06:29:42 PM

My Family and I will go home to home shareing the good news that Jesus Christ has freed us from bondage of rituals such as this. That all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Also that it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: But If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -continued

Windsinger

10/18/2000 05:49:42 PM

My lover and I will celebrate our 8th Samhain together with a personal ritual. We will also have one, several days earlier "for the dead" and our friends. (Or the dead of our friends :)

ladyshands

10/18/2000 04:29:44 PM

After my husband and baby are asleep, I will go out to the back yard and light some candles, sing pray, have a good cry, perhaps even dance in memory of my mother--whose birthday's on Halloween. We always enjoyed celebrating together. I know she'll be out there with me!

pagandenma

10/17/2000 03:24:57 PM

I will be doing a "Quest" spell the Friday before on the New Moon. On the day itself, I will honor my departed ones, from my father to my first husband to my cat Tabitha, after the children have stopped coming to my door. In the last part of the ritual, I will do a reading for myself for the New Year. Bright blessings and gods with you all, ,,,^. .^,,, Lady Kat

christopherwillow

10/17/2000 02:03:52 PM

On Tuesday, October 31, at 7:15 p.m. EST (personal significance) my partner and myself will draw a circle and invoke the Lady and Lord of old. We will acknowledge our friends, family, and other loved ones who have gone on to the after life. We will tell stories about them and be warmed by our memories. Finally each of us will pull 12 cards and meditate on what they hold for us. One card = one month on the new wheel of the year. Blessed be, Christopher Willow

witchypoo

10/17/2000 12:20:16 AM

This is the first year I will be without my husband on this, our favorite feast day. He leaves for an extended period of duty in parts unknown the weekend before. We are solitaries so I will be holding circle without him. As members of the military community, we will be remembering the sailors who died in the USS Cole tragedy, as well as all soldiers, sailors and airmen who have died in service to their countries, and his father who died the end of August, and all our ancestors, known and unknown. I will bury my apples under the oak tree in my front yard and leave a candle in the window to light the way of the God and other spirits on their travels. On the 31st, I will be carving a pumpkin and welcoming the trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood. Blessed tidings to all in the Wiccan community on this special occasion.

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