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Stay Spoopy: Celebrating Samhain as a Pagan

Celebrating my triumphant return to the blog with a Religious Holiday that represents the start of a "new year" for pagans and also celebrates the lives of those who have passed on. 

Halloween as a religious Holiday is a joke to most as the real purpose of the Holiday has been mocked through the years and has now become a corporate fueled holiday, much like Christmas.

For me as a new pagan, and as one who is leaning more towards the practices of herbal-ism and mediation, my Samhain (SAH-win) focuses on reflection and renewal.  

But here's some stuff you probably didn't know;

  1. All Hallows Eve, Saints Day, and Halloween are Christian names. Most of today's Halloween practices are christian ones. Pumpkin carvings to ward off spirits and dressing up in scary masks was the christian way of "protecting" themselves from the Celtic practices that they believed were bringing evil unto the world. 
  2. Dia De Los Muertos is closest to the TRUE Samhain. In most Celtic countries Samhain is still the "holiday" in place of using the term Halloween. The same can be said for Day of the Dead in Spanish speaking cultures. Both of these holiday's involve practices honoring the coming of the colder half of the year, the end of harvest, the dead, and the start of the spiritual new year. 
  3. "Sugar Skull" is a broad-use term. A sugar skull is an actual skull made of sugar. It is commonly given as a gift to children during Day of the Dead festivities. The more technical term is Calavera; which can be applied to ANY representation of a skull, including the painting of the face. 
  4. Celebrating the Dead is an act of respect, not evil. This I have seen and overheard. Plenty of people do not celebrate Halloween out of the belief that it is an evil holiday. Just as you pay respects to a passed loved one; most likely on the anniversary of their passing. Samhain and Day of the Dead allows everyone to celebrate their loved ones together on a day where they are believed to have access to us. (not all people believe that last part, but celebrating together i more fun right? the more love the merrier) 
I believe in sharing and celebrating in knowledge, especially when it comes to what IS a religious holiday. Halloween is the pinnacle of modern cultural appropriation. Many costumes and practices can be approached in a respectful way with the proper education and understanding.

For anyone interested in trying their hand at a Pagan Halloween try building an alter for loved-ones, preparing a feast, or start your own refreshing and renewal traditions. 

Have a purposeful Samhain! <3

Some things to get you going:

Traditional Foods:Apples, Pears, Pomegranates, All Grains, Pumpkin-pie, Hazelnuts, Cakes for the dead, Corn, Cranberry muffins and breads, Ale, Cider, Herbal teas (especially Mugwort) and Meat unless vegetarian and then tofu will do.

Calendula, Cosmos, Chrysanthemum, Wormwood, Hazel, Thistle. 

Mint, Heliotrope, Nutmeg, Sage or Floral's. 

Woods and Herbs Burned: 
Apple, Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg, Sage. 

Sacred Gemstone: 

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