Day: October 9, 2020
Most of us love Halloween and everything surrounding it. There are feelings of nostalgia associated with pumpkin pie, candy corn, and sugar skulls. Along with Halloween and Day of the Dead, is a celebration you may not have heard of: Samhain. Samhain is a Wiccan tradition, one with deep, spiritual roots.
Many intuitive people identify with Wicca, even partially, due to its accepting nature, association with astrology, and appreciation for psychic gifts. Wiccan holidays, called Sabbats, are a wonderful time to finely tune your gifts and connect with mother nature.
Samhain, meaning “Summer’s End,” is a sacred holiday that is considered the spiritual new year by many Wiccan practitioners. It is sometimes associated with Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, however, it is less secular and more spiritually charged. It is the celebration of the end of harvest, and a festival honoring the dead.
It is also the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest, making it a great time for mediums to contact their guides or loved ones.
Samhain occurs on or around October 31st. Many prefer to celebrate on the full or new moons surrounding this date. Samhain is originally a Gaelic custom and traditionally represented taking stock of the herd and food supplies. Like many celebrations throughout history, it has evolved in many ways. It is considered to be the most important of the greater Sabbats in Wicca.
When spirits were a regular part of life, witchcraft was a way to communicate with them. Seances were a regular part of the culture and there was a particular reverence for nature, it’s harvest and the cycle of the seasons marked changes in the way of life of the people. Astrologically, Samhain occurred when the Sun reached the halfway point of the sign Scorpio. This marked the halfway point between the Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice.
It represented a time of going into the darkness. Literally, the days were getting shorter and the light of day would be less but astrologically we were in the fixed sign of Scorpio, the sign of death and transformation. Each season we now celebrate is actually officially kicked off when the sun moves into one of the cardinal signs.
Ways to Celebrate Samhain In Modern Times
There are many ways to celebrate Samhain. Here are a few ideas:
Time to Honor The Dead
First, be careful that you are celebrating for the right reasons. This time is a tradition that that dates back to pre-Christianity and is for those who wish to honor the dead, not for those who are wishing to throw a typical spooky Halloween party.
Scorpio is a sign that is obsessed with dark subjects (if you’ve ever met someone with a lot of Scorpio in their chart, you’ll notice they aren’t afraid to talk about death). We are all affected by the energy of Scorpio when the Sun moves through this constellation because we will all experience various spiritual deaths of parts of ourselves over our lifetimes. We must lay to rest our grudges, our sadness, old beliefs that aren’t helping us, and our Ego.
We honor both the death within us that occurs so we can purify our soul and rebirth ourselves as well as the spirits of those who have walked the earth. While some choose to use this time to communicate with deceased loved ones in a mediumship circle called a seance, some choose to participate in the traditional costuming and trick or treating probably unaware of the real spiritual and astrological history of this time.
Feast of the Dead
Celebrate by preparing a lovely meal, dedicating it to those who have passed on. Provide a place setting at your table, or near your altar for the Dead, and provide small bits of food and drink from your meal.
Find a wooded path and delight in your surrounding as you soak up all that mother nature has to offer. Take in the sights, smells, and sensations. Express gratitude for being alive and respect for those who are no longer with us. Feel their presence and their love surrounding you.
An Alter for the Ancestors
Dedicate an altar to represent your ancestors and loved ones who have passed. Include pictures, candles, crystals, incense, and mementos you see fit. Wish them well and send them love as you light your candles.
Keep a journal near you, should you receive any messages, and sit quietly in the presence of your loved ones who cannot be with you in the physical world.
A Gift to the Senses
Indulge in the sights, smells, and sounds of autumn, beckoning the winter to bless you with its properties of letting go, and shedding unnecessary layers. Surround yourself with smells of cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin. Indulge in nutty, robust coffees, or hazelnut liqueurs.
Take a moment to take in the vision of autumn leaves, reveling in their changing nature and their willingness to shrivel in the winter, and reinvent themselves in the spring.
On the new moon preceding Samhain, put extra energy into your moon ritual. Make a list of everything you’d like to accomplish and make happen in the following months. Take stock of everything you’re grateful for, and everyone you love and appreciate having in your life.
Throwing A Samhain Inspired Halloween Party
As we honor those that like to whoop it up in this spiritually charged season, we’re serving up every tip you need to throw a Samhain inspired Halloween party! From décor tips and fun activities to spiritual rituals that date back centuries, prepare to be amazed by the many Samhain elements you can add to your Halloween party that will be the talk of the block!
9 Samhain Rituals as Décor for Halloween Parties
Here are some rituals that you can use as decor for you Samhain themed Halloween party. The themes of Samhain center around many familiar Autumn themes. We honor those that have passed but also use the elements of the Earth to celebrate life now and the harvest of the season. So these are the things you want to think about when you are thinking of décor for a spiritually charged Halloween party.
1. Bonfires & Candles
These are traditional things that we put out for Halloween. There’s something about the light that just draws folks in. An actual bonfire is a wonderful ritual to have at Halloween and over Samhain, if you can. It sends the message to the Universe and to those in your life that have passed that you honor their light and keep that flame burning in this life.
2. Thanksgiving Rituals
Little signs or plaques with gratitude messages or putting out a large feast are all Thanksgiving rituals you can use at your Samhain Halloween party. Even a display with a feast or gourds and veggies honors this Samhain tradition. Putting out food not only celebrates a harvest, it shows gratitude and expresses thanks-giving, which is a key theme of Samhain. This display was traditionally not just set out to show gratitude, but to placate any spirits that may be passing by to discourage them from ruining a good Samhain festival (or Halloween party, in your case).
3. Open the Door
Find a door in your home or party venue that faces West. Opening the Western-facing door during Samhain and keeping a white candle lit near its opening is said to guide spirits home to the Other Side during the season.
4. Bouquets of Flowers
These serve two purposes when you are dealing with spirit season. First, they offer offerings to the dead or to a spirit that may arrive at your party. Secondly, they send the message of a promise of new life and new beginnings after one form of life have passed on to another.
5. Carved Pumpkins
Jack-O’-Lanterns aren’t just a fun Halloween tradition, they serve the Samhain purpose of warding off evil from the home. When the pumpkin is carved out, a light or candle is placed inside and it must face the road. Not only does this tradition protect you from evil spirits, but the light also connects you with loved ones living far away. It could also help you to welcome ancestors from centuries past into your home. It sends the message that you are home and eager to welcome good spirits but protecting your home from evil ones.
6. Barrel of Apples
You can use the barrel of apples as décor, and it makes for a good centerpiece on your feast table. Or, use the barrel of apples to play Bobbing for Apples. It’s an ancient Druid tradition used to help folks find their true love. If you have a bobbing apple barrel at your party, give each of your guests a witchy-looking card that instructs them NOT to eat their apple, but to take it home. At midnight, they are to eat the apple while brushing their hair by candlelight and looking in the mirror. The Druids believed if you did this over Samhain, the image of your true love would appear in the mirror. If you are playing Bobbing for Apples, the first that gets their apple will be the next in the bunch to get married.
7. Old Photographs
Anything that recalls your ancestors or family members will inspire the spirits of Samhain to protect your home. Even ancient black and white photographs of your 17th or 18th-century heroes in kitschy antique frames are a fun way to celebrate Samhain, and also connect you with love in the spirit world.
Place cloves of garlic on Western facing windows and ask the Universe to send goodness and love.
9. Table of Light
A table covered in white linen can be decorated with items from loved ones that have passed on. Anything from jewelry to pictures works. You can add other Samhain items here as well, like your antique photos and flowers.
Samhain Party Games
Who doesn’t love a good party game? Party poopers! For your Samhain Halloween party, we have a host of rituals and games that will leave your guests thinking, and laughing. And maybe even closer to money or their true love! It’s all for entertainment purposes only, and up to the individual guests to take home with it whatever they wish. Here are some fun games to try.
1. Love Call.
Here you want to use four dishes or saucers. One is going to be filled with clean water, another with dirty water, one will be left empty, and another one filled with small feathers. Arrange the dishes in a row on the table. Each guest is to be blindfolded, and while they are, the dishes are rearranged.
Turn the player around three times and tell them to ask the Universe their love question. Then when finished, ask them to reach out their left hand, and put it in one of the saucers.
- Clean Water – the guest’s lover will be the same age (approximately) as the guest. They will be available and on the way soon.
- Dirty Water – The individual’s lover will be older and maybe divorced, and possibly with a checkered past. But their love is real. They have character, like the water.
- Empty Plate – the individual will stay single until the next Samhain, and will need to use that time for spiritual purposes.
- Feathers – Soul mates are on the way, angels are around you and helping to guide you towards your soul mate. Pay attention to signs. You may also meet a wealthy soul mate or business person that will have you feeling like you are on cloud 9.
2. What’s Your Future?
For this one, you are also using four dishes, whether they are cups or bowls does not matter. Each one contains an object: a ring (any ring), silver coins, or Heather (the plant – a horseshoe works in place of heather if you can’t get your hands on it).
Turn the cups upside down and place each item under each of the dishes. The fourth cup gets nothing. Rearrange them many times as magicians do.
The first play gets twirled around three times while the cups are being rearranged. When the guest has been turned around they must touch one of them and say, “Three by three, what will my fortune be?”
- The Ring – Marriage or proposal within the year, or, great love.
- Heather/Horseshoe – Expect a year of wonderful luck.
- Coin – Money or promotion is on the way.
- Empty – Hard work is on the way but you will make your own and be successful.
Gather Your Loved Ones
Halloween can be a lot of fun, but it can also be very meaningful. Samhain is a season to celebrate and honor those who have brought us to this point. But it’s also an amazing opportunity once a year to find our soul’s journey. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Use these games to get to know your guests better, and feel the spirit of Samhain in your home.
Take this opportunity to create an end-of-the-season get-together. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend time breaking bread with your family and friends, particularly if you would like to move away from the traditional, somewhat controversial Thanksgiving meal.
You may have rituals or traditions to incorporate or that appeal to you; follow your heart. The most important thing is to connect with nature and spirits alike on this magical day. Blessed Samhain to you.
Related Article: The Perfect Halloween Costume, Based on Your Sign
* Editor’s note: This article was previously published October 25th, 2017 and has been updated for astrological accuracy.
When you are looking up information in the astrology forecasts and astrology predictions so that you can make decisions about your life, you often read about ‘transit periods.’ If you have an astrologer work on your birth chart, or your solar return chart, you will likely hear this term again.
The planets are always moving in many different directions all of the time, astrologers cal this movement a transit. When a planet makes an influential or important movement through the skies, this period of time will be particularly important for events during that month, year, or throughout your lifetime.
Not every transit period of the planets is created equal, and not even every single transit period is particularly important. The ‘personal’ planets, also considered the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter) will be smaller, and less influential on your overall life. The transit periods with the outer planets, on the other hand, is an entirely different story.
The transits of the outer planets: Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are transpersonal planets with important transit periods. Their effects are the most important because they will be felt for a long time, that’s precisely what we are going to talk about today, so let’s discover the impact of the outer planets for life here on Earth.
Learn more about The Planets in Astrology here.
The Planet Saturn
Saturn is known as the planet of Karma, it is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second-largest planet in our solar system. Its orbital period is 29.5 Earth years but it switches signs every 2–3 years.
What Saturn Means
As a planet, Saturn gets a bit of a bad rap because he wasn’t very nice! In mythology, he is the son of Uranus. Saturn that we credit for creating the division between time and seasons. He also established history and the cosmic order of the world. Unfortunately, because he feared his own children (as he ate them at birth) his last child, Zeus, or Jupiter, was the only one that could take him on.
As such, in our day to day life and transit periods today, Saturn is the one that places restrictions on us, he is the planet of limitations. He will warn when you are spending too much, loving too much, or eating too much, or overindulging in anything. it will hold the mirror up to your life and show in your birth charts and astrology forecasts, where you need to cut back a bit.
You can sometimes feel burdened when undergoing a Saturn transit period. Sadness, loneliness, a feeling of being overwhelmed, this can all slow you down. As Saturn also rules time, life can feel slow when experiencing his transits. However, the message is that life is too short to be bogged down by the very details we are worrying about.
All Saturn wants us to do is to efficiently tend to these details, so that we can enjoy that life. As much as Saturn is about limitations and restrictions when we have the details of our lives in order, it rewards us greatly, The main action for a Saturn transit period is to take care of what you need to be done and enjoy the blessings that will follow.
Want more planetary know-how? Read Understanding Saturn: The Lord of Karma.
The Planet Uranus
This blue Ice Giant earned the name Uranus from the Greek god of the sky, additionally, it is also the seventh planet from the Sun and has an orbital period of 84 Earth years. In astrology, it only switches signs every 7 years meaning that most people in the same age group will have the same Uranus sign in their chart, showing that generational change is left up to the stars.
What Uranus Means
In mythology, Uranus was considered to have come from chaos. He was married to Gaia, the great Earth mother goddess. Uranus is the heavens and represents its limitless space. Together they had many children, but all of them were a bit odd or deformed (the Titans for example.) His own son Saturn ended up castrating him.
Uranus represents all things unconventional. When you see transit periods in your astrology charts that include the movement of the planet Uranus, you can expect things to happen in an odd or unconventional way. Your routine may be shaken up and you might have to be flexible to get things done.
The effect of a Uranus transit is always different than what you would expect. if Uranus is transiting your relationship house, your relationships may look unconventional to outsiders. Unconventional does not necessarily mean bad. It might mean your relationship turns into a long-distance one, you might have a same-sex relationship or something that is simply different.
Exceptional genius, talent, and remarkable gifts come with this transit period, so you can expect some unique and wonderful surprises during this time if your birth charts and solar return charts do not also contain insidious aspects. This might be the perfect time for you to follow your passions and see where your dreams take you.
To cope and handle this period of unconventionality is to loosen up the restrictions and limitations that Saturn transits will try to impose. Be creative, do something outside the box. If a problem is vexing you, consider an out of the box solution to it, take matters into your own hands! Let go, and let this god of the heavens work its magic.
The Planet Neptune
Neptune is the eighth planet from the Sun and is (as of 2020) the farthest solar planet in our solar system. This planet is named after the Roman god of the sea and is represented by a glyph based on Neptune’s trident. Neptune’s orbital period is 165 Earth years and only changes sign every 10-12 years meaning that dreams and spiritual connection changes per decade.
What Neptune Means
Neptune joined his brothers Pluto and Jupiter to overthrow their father, Saturn. As a result, Neptune (also known as Poseidon) became the god and ruler of the seas. Water is a particularly important element in astrology, and this makes Neptune the dreamy and intuitive planet. He is also very romantic and enjoyed many liaisons before finally marrying Amphitrite.
As such, the cause that Neptune instills on us during these transits is one where we are to look within to our dreams and intuition, without overindulging on the sensual forms of life. It’s a time for fantasy and romance, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to combine the two either.
Neptune has a tendency to get caught up in himself once in a while, this can lead to overindulgence in love or even substance abuse. Although Neptune is great for moments of fantasy, too much will make you easily deceived under a Neptune transit. You might be so lovey-dovey with people and once the world sees this, they could take advantage of you.
When undergoing a Neptune transit period in your birth charts, you always need to be a little wise to the realities of life, before they completely snow you. At the same time, Neptune gifts you with information in your dream life, and you can get very important information during this particular transit period in your dreams. If your chart indicates you are going through a Neptune transit, keep a dream journal by your bed or in the bag you take to work, and you will be surprised at the information that comes your way at the most unexpected times.
This is a planet that as much as it can fool you offers you a unique psychic perspective that the other planets simply cannot. Follow this spiritual awareness and any and all hunches that come your way when you are being influenced by this god of the sea.
The Planet Pluto
Pluto is a dwarf planet that is situated in the Kuiper belt. This planet was named by an 11-year-old girl who suggested to her grandfather that the name of this new planet be named after the Roman god of the underworld. Pluto’s orbital period is 248 Earth years and changes zodiac signs every 13-32 years. This large difference in its zodiac orbit is due to its highly erratic orbit in space.
What Pluto Means
Pluto (or Hades in Greek mythology) is known as the planet of death and transformation. He owned a helmet that made him invisible. He fell in love with Persephone and kidnapped her from her mother, the goddess Ceres (Demeter.) He did make Persephone his queen, but that bold move (as romantic as it may have been) still left a shadow of darkness on the earth.
The upside is that this god, and his planet, can bestow wealth and acclaim but not without sacrifice on your part. It means you may have some struggles and dark times before finally finding success and your place in the world.
Pluto transit periods in your chart are a test of your will. You will be asked to undergo a powerful period of transformation. This is not always a bad thing. In fact, these changes are to be embraced just as Pluto asks you to do. To truly experience the abundance in your life that Pluto can in fact offer, you need to be willing to go through these periods of transformation.
Pluto may close some toxic doors and open new ones that will manifest the abundance you seek. I’m not going to lie. A Pluto transformation can feel like a hurricane went through your house. Sometimes it was meant to be. If you are looking for blessings, you will always find them. Surrender to the process of transformation, and the blessings and miracles will most certainly appear, this is Pluto’s law.
The Outer Planets Look Inside
When one of the outer planets makes a significant transit period in your birth charts or in astrological predictions for the month or year ahead, you are now prepared! They symbolize big changes, but not necessarily negative transformation. The best way to get through any of them is to simply surrender to the process, follow your psychic hunches, and allow them to transform your life in exactly the way it was intended.
Related Article: How the Planets Rule Our Days of the Week
* Editor’s note: This article was previously published September 7th, 2013 and has been updated for astrological accuracy.