Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Get Ready for Samhain!: Day 1: The History of Samhain 1/23/11

Day 1: The History of Samhain
Patti Wigington
From Patti Wigington, your Guide to Paganism / Wicca
Welcome to our Get Ready for Samhain e-course! We'll be spending the next seven days talking about all the great ways you can celebrate Samhain as a Pagan or Wiccan. To get started, let's talk a little bit about what exactly Samhain is, why it's celebrated, and what it means to contemporary Pagans. If you've taken this course before, be sure to watch our for more information - we've added and expanded to all of the daily lessons!

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The History of Samhain 
Samhain is celebrated October 31, the same night as Halloween. However, this Sabbat has roots that go back thousands of years to the time of the Celts. Later, it evolved into a Catholic mass, and finally became known as the witch's New Year. Learn about how Samhain developed into the magical celebration we have today.Read More

When is Samhain 2010? 
If you're not sure what day to celebrate, here's where you'll find information on dates for Samhain, whether you're in the northern hemisphere or below the equator. When is Samhain?
Decorating Your Samhain Altar 
Samhain is the time of year when many Pagans and Wiccans celebrate the cycle of life and death. This Sabbat is about the the end of the harvest, the calling of the spirits, and the changing aspects of the god and goddess. Try some or even all of these ideas -- obviously, space may be a limiting factor for some, but use what calls to you most. Here are soem tips on how to decorate your Samhain altar.
Samhain Altar Photo Gallery 
Samhain is known as the witch's new year, and it's a time when the veil between our world and the next is at its thinnest. It's a season of death and dying and darkness, and hearkens the coming of winter's chill. No matter how you celebrate this Sabbat, chances are good that you've decorated your altar to reflect your views of the season. Check out some of our reader-submitted photos of Samhain altars, and if you like, send yours in to share! Samhain Altar Photos
Reader FAQ: Pagans and Halloween 
A reader asks, "I was curious if it was anti-Pagan to celebrate Halloween? I'm sort of worried it might seem disrespectful to go out collecting candy while I'm supposed to be honoring the spirits of my dead ancestors. How do Halloween and Samhain relate if at all to one another?" Read the Answer
Tomorrow: The Spirit World 
At Samhain, the veil between our world and the next is at its thinnest... we'll look at how to hold a seance, hosting the Dumb Supper, dealing with spirit guides, and we'll have a special commentary on death and dying from a well-known guest author! 

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