The nights are dark and misty, the air is damp and the trees are spookily bare…must be All Hallow’s Eve, when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest and we remember those who have gone before. This is the Festival of the Dead, celebrated all over the world but in different ways. This is the time we accept death as a natural part of life and celebrate the good times of those dear to us that have parted from this plane. As this is also regarded as the Witches New Year, time to let go of the old and look forward to the new that is yet to come. This is party time for most but for us witches, it’s time we quietly pay our respects to those who have left us.
What to do at this time…
Firstly, decorate your altar with the seasonal colours of orange and black. I also set up a family area in the lounge. My fireplace is the family altar anyway and sits over our daily raging coal fire, which heats water for our home. At Samhain, the room is lit totally with candles, then individually, we light a candle to each of those we are remembering – Alan’s mum, my dad and both Charlie’s dad and now his gran too, spending time chatting about them, and we also invite them to come and join us for a while. In Mexico, they actually go to their graves and decorate them with candles and flowers and celebrate at the graveside, though that is much more fun in a warmer climate than a damp rainy and blustery one!! The spirits are wandering – they won’t care where you are as long as you are giving them your attention for a little while. Other countries have a special dinner and set places for those who have left to join those who remain, serving the deceased’s favourite dishes and toasting absent friends and family.
It is also time at Samhain to look into what the next year will hold for you. Take time over the next day or so to sit with your form of divination, whether tarot or oracle cards, a crystal ball or runes, and make notes about what it advises so you can refer back over the year! I tend to do a reading every Sabbat so I always know what is ahead. Check out what else you can do at Halloween in the Book of Shadows part of my website, which holds a special section on Sabbats, and see what else may be of interest to you at this time!!
Your banishing flame
As we say goodbye to the Celtic year, this is a good time to release things that have been holding you back. This is a fire festival and the strength and renewal ability of fire can be used to release the old habits and move forward into the new. Take time beforehand to consider what is holding you back and needs to be changed. Take a square piece of paper, and in black ink, write down exactly what needs to be changed/let go of i.e. I need to stop smoking. Turn over the paper and on the other side in green pen, the changes you need to grow, as if they have already happened i.e. my debts have been reduced/ paid due to stopping smoking etc. When your list of changes is done, place a bay leaf (kitchen) or a fallen oak leaf in the centre of the paper, then make 2 equal folds enclosing the black writing and leaf inside, then fold again twice more the other way to result in a small package. Place in a blank envelope and seal. Whether using a bonfire, the shop fire or the flame of your Samhain candle, you must burn this letter safely to seal the deal on the night of Samhain. As the paper begins to burn, watch it and say…
Negative patterns be gone I say, and now you burn, let them stay away
Open the door to changes great, transform my life as is my fate,
Expand my horizons, my life, my soul, as positive changes are now my goal.
Repeat till it burns out completely and finish with “So mote it be”
Now you can go into the Celtic new year knowing changes are on the way. It is done
Embracing your psychic side…
Samhain is the most psychic and magickal time of the year when the veil opens up, allowing us to gain insight to the future. Psychic awareness covers a whole host of subjects and I have covered lots of them over the years. One area I have not covered or looked into is the subject of dreams. Those who have come in looking for advice on the subject have found me simply saying “I don’t dream”!! However, lately my dreams have become more vivid – maybe entering the Crone-zone is helping, or maybe it is now the kids have left home – I don’t have to work quite so hard so I now go to sleep, rather than completely unconscious through sheer exhaustion! Either way, I am much more aware of dreaming and I remember more of my dreams so I thought we could spend this winter’s dark nights discovering the inner workings of this night-time occupation together and what it may unfold for us.
Your personal Dream Journal…
With the festive time coming up, this would be a good time to invest in a Dream Journal, or better still, ask a partner or loved one to gift you one for this Yule or Christmas. You need a journal to write your dreams into – whether a lockable diary-type, a beautiful spiral book or a Leather-bound Dream Book – whatever pleases you, plus a small note book and pencil which will live by your bed or under your pillow for you to jot down notes on waking. Dreams are vivid when you wake up, whether through the night or with the alarm, but fade very quickly. You can use the pad and pencil to scribble down as quickly as possible as much information as is vivid when you wake, even in the dark, before getting out of bed. Write down as much detail as possible –sensations, feelings, places, colours, smells, objects, etc and date each entry like a dream diary. The reason I suggest a pad and pencil as well as a book is that I wake up through the night, sometimes twice, so I will be scribbling stuff down in the dark – it will be untidy and disjointed. I can then copy the notes/symbols down into the Dream Diary in the morning, with the notes reminding me what my thoughts were on waking, even if it was only briefly. If you just want to use a journal, then do so. When you refer to your notes/transfer your notes in the morning to your diary, let them process and recap, then try to interpret what they mean underneath. There are lots of listings and books out there, though I always found that my brain didn’t necessarily follow someone else’s thoughts so you might need to check a few out. Make notes at the bottom of the page as to your interpretation. These might mean things, or they might be your brain re-filing stuff that have happened through the day! By creating a Diary of Dreams, when things happen in your life, you can refer back and see if you were psychically aware of it before it occurred.
An example for you…I always told my guides if they wanted to pass a message through dreams, make it obvious. I dreamt it was Christmas day and my shop neighbour rang to ask why all my stuff was outside on the pavement, and had something happened? I ran down to find that my landlord had sold the property to someone who had given it as a present to his wife as a surprise, along with the Landlords spare set of keys. She went along to view her present and decided she didn’t want a witches’ shop but would create her own thing, and was putting all my shop contents on the pavement. My shop was no more! I awoke panicking and for a moment, didn’t know if it was real!
Shortly after the dream, another village business had a problem with his roof and the landlord asked him to vacate whilst structural repairs were carried out. A long-forgotten Scottish law was then secretly used to sell the premises and he lost his business overnight! Remembering the dream, I went into panic mode again. It could also happen to me so I began negotiations with the landlord and my bank, and bought the shop premises a few months later. The message had been very clear and I followed the instructions and guidance given!! Panic over!
So, if you want to learn about your psychic side of your brain, start a dream journal this Samhain and let us journey together over the next few months and see if we can make our brain magickally work for us while we sleep! I will come to that bit next year but first, we have to get the diary going to ensure our brain knows it is being taken note of and any patterns should begin to follow. That way, you should be able to work out how your brain works and how to read it properly and then we will really let the magick begin!! Exciting or what??
Crystals and oils to enhance good sleep and dream recall
Most people know lavender is a good restful oil for sleep but that doesn’t close off the psychic side of the head. Also adding a drop Clary Sage to your pillow should help enhance your dreams and your ability to remember them.
A lot of crystals can help good dreams and dream recall. The one I would recommend using is Amethyst but Dream Quartz, red jasper or Herkimer diamonds can also be effective. Mine will be a nice large tumble that fits nicely in my hand, but I also wear an amethyst bead bracelet to bed. Programme your dream crystal by cleansing in incense smoke for a few minutes, then hold in your dominant hand and request it help you with your dreams. Hold or place under your pillow nightly for a dreamy night, and hold when writing/recapping in your journal. Happy dreams
Halloween in the shop
Last year’s Halloween was a success with children and grownups alike, so on Saturday 29thOctober we will have another witchy weekend as this year, Samhain falls on a Monday, when we are traditionally closed!! There will be a wee loyalty gift for members and wassail for all, and everyone will have a chance to banish what needs to go on our magickal fire, so you can burn your pre-prepared spell parcel at the shop if you prefer. If you cannot make it, you can always leave your parcels in our nominated cauldron prior or send in the post and, on Halloween, we will burn these for you in the magickal fire before the New Moon. You can then enter the New Moon & Celtic New Year knowing your wishes have been magickally set in motion and changes are afoot. The rest, as they say, is up to you!!
Becoming a member
Some new regulars have enquired about becoming members. If you know a member, it is easy as they can sign you in or, from Samhain, regulars can collect a Moon card. Each visit with a spend over £10 earns a stamp and, from the start date, if you earn 13 stamps within 13 moons, you will become eligible to apply to join our little family within The Circle. Old loyalty cards will now be obsolete and points can no longer be transferred over. All members, if not done so, should enrol in the website, as things are about to get started. Include your Circle number in your name so I can find you to include you in the secret Circle part of the site…intrigued?? You should be…
New Moon: Sun 30 Oct @ 17.39 hrs Full Moon: Mon 14 Nov @ 13.53 hrs
New Moon: Tue 29 Nov @ 12.19 hrs Full Moon: Wed 14 Dec @ 00.06 hrs
Cleanse your space, remove the past and you will find happiness, at last! May your life be filled with joy and love!
Samhain Blessings from Chris (alias the Green Witch)