Event Details

Samhain

Time: October 31, 2014 all day
Location: Where you want of choose
Event Type: holiday, festival, time
Organized By: Practitioners World wide
Latest Activity: Nov 15, 2013

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Event Description

Samhain -- different ways to celebrate. It's a great time of year to honor your ancestors and host a feast!

Some people celebrate it as Halloween, but for Practitioners, October 31 is typically known as Samhain. It's the old Celtic new year - sometimes called the Witch's New Year - and it's a time for honoring those who have crossed over into the spirit world.
This Sabbat has roots that go back thousands of years.

The evening of October 31 is known as Samhain. It's a time to mark the endless, ongoing cycle of life and death

Samhain falls on October 31, and is known as the Witch's New Year. You can celebrate it as the end of the harvest, and honor the return of the King of Winter.

Man's relationship with animals has evolved over thousands of years. Where once they were only a source of food, now they are our companions or food. Take a moment to honor the animal spirits in a ritual for Samhain.

For many Practitioners, the honoring of the ancestors is a key part of their spirituality.

In some Practitioner traditions, people choose to honor the God and Goddess, rather than focusing on the harvest aspect of the holiday. If this is something you'd like to do, this ritual welcomes the Goddess in her persona as Crone, and the Horned God of the autumn hunt.

Samhain is known as the witch's new year. It is a time to think about the endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

It's Samhain, and that means for many Practitioners it's time to commune with the ancestors.

Samhain is traditionally a time for divination. In many agricultural societies, divination was used to reveal the name of a suitor or potential mate, and were practiced in rural areas for centuries.

The Dumb Supper - A Feast With the Dead
In many Practitioner traditions, Samhain is celebrated with a Dumb Supper, or a Feast with the Dead. This is a solemn and sober occasion, and includes place settings for relatives and friends who have crossed over in the past year, as well as a chance to tell them what you never got to say.
Gods and Goddesses of Death and the Underworld
In many cultures, gods of the underworld and death are celebrated during the harvest time.
Mexico's Day of the Dead
Blended from Aztec tradition and Catholic ideals, the Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday in which families remember their dead, place altars in their homes and decorate tombs in cemeteries. Although not common Practitioner paracticed, it's worth reading about because of the focus on man's own mortality and the idea of ancestor worship.

Samhain night is a great time to sit around a fire telling spooky stories.

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Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 7, 2012 at 3:03pm

Halloween Comes to America

Celebration of Halloween was extremely limited in colonial New England because of the rigid Protestant belief systems there. Halloween was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups as well as the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included "play parties," public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other's fortunes, dance and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland's potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition. Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors.

In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything "frightening" or "grotesque" out of Halloween celebrations. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 7, 2012 at 3:03pm

Ancient Origins of Halloween

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

On May 13, 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church. Pope Gregory III (731–741) later expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs, and moved the observance from May 13 to November 1. By the 9th century the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted the older Celtic rites. In 1000 A.D., the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It is widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 7, 2012 at 12:20pm

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 7, 2012 at 12:19pm
THE HISTORY OF SAMHAIN

What is Samhain?:

Samhain is known by most folks as Halloween, but for Wiccans and Pagans it's considered a Sabbat to honor the ancestors who came before us. It's a good time to contact the spirit world with a seance, because it's the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest.

Myths and Misconceptions:

Contrary to a popular Internet-based rumor, Samhain was not the name of some ancient Celtic god of death, or of anything else, for that matter. Religious scholars agree that the word Samhain (pronounced "sow-en") comes from the Gaelic “Samhuin,” but they’re divided on whether it means the end or beginning of summer. After all, when summer is ending here on earth, it’s just beginning in the Underworld. Samhain actually refers to the daylight portion of the holiday, on November 1st.

All Hallow Mass:

Around the eighth century or so, the Catholic Church decided to use November 1st as All Saints Day. This was actually a pretty smart move on their part – the local pagans were already celebrating that day anyway, so it made sense to use it as a church holiday. All Saints’ became the festival to honor any saint who didn’t already have a day of his or her own. The mass which was said on All Saints’ was called Allhallowmas – the mass of all those who are hallowed. The night before naturally became known as All Hallows Eve, and eventually morphed into what we call Halloween.

The Witch's New Year:

Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The old year has passed, the harvest has been gathered, cattle and sheep have been brought in from the fields, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The earth slowly begins to die around us.

This is a good time for us to look at wrapping up the old and preparing for the new in our lives. Think about the things you did in the last twelve months. Have you left anything unresolved? If so, now is the time to wrap things up. Once you’ve gotten all that unfinished stuff cleared away, and out of your life, then you can begin looking towards the next year.


Honoring the Ancestors:

For some of us, Samhain is when we honor our ancestors who came before us. If you’ve ever done genealogy research, or if you’ve had a loved one die in the past year, this is the perfect night to celebrate their memory. If we’re fortunate, they will return to communicate with us from beyond the veil, and offer advice, protection and guidance for the upcoming year.

If you want to celebrate Samhain in the Celtic tradition, spread the festivities out over three consecutive days. You can hold a ritual and feast each night. Be flexible, though, so you can work around trick-or-treating schedules!
Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 5, 2012 at 4:41pm

Spirits in the Smoke

By the time Samhain rolls around, your herb garden is probably looking pretty sad. Now's the time to take all those goodies you harvested and dried in September, and put them to good use. This incense blend is perfect for a Samhain seance, divination session, or for any other autumn working.

This recipe is for loose incense, but you can adapt it for stick or cone recipes. As you mix and blend your incense, focus on the goal of your work. Do you wish to contact the spirit of a long-dead ancestor? Are you hoping to bring some visions your way in a dream? Or are you maybe looking to enhance your own meditative abilities? Focus your intent as you blend your ingredients.
You’ll need:

2 parts Cinnamon
1 part ground cloves
1 part Dragon's Blood resin
1 part Hyssop
1 part Patchouli
2 parts Rosemary
1 part Sage
A dash of sea salt

Mixing the Magic

Add your ingredients to your mixing bowl one at a time. Measure carefully, and if the leaves or blossoms need to be crushed, use your mortar and pestle to do so. As you blend the herbs together, state your intent. You may find it helpful to charge your incense with an incantation. For example, if you were going to use your incense during a seance, you could use this:
The veil has thinned, the moon is bright
and I blend this magic on Samhain night.
Celebrating life and death and rebirth
with these herbs I've harvested from the earth.
I send my intent by smoke in the air
and call on those whose blood I share.
I ask my ancestors to guide and watch over me,
As I will, so it shall be.

Store your incense in a tightly sealed jar. Make sure you label it with its intent and name, as well as the date you created it. Use within three months, so that it remains charged and fresh.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 5, 2012 at 4:41pm

A Friendly Spider

For this activity, separate the cups of an egg carton. Take one cup from the carton and after painting it black, allow it to dry. After the egg carton cup has dried, use a pair of scissors or a needle to make 4 tiny legholes on both sides of the cup. Insert pipe cleaners into each of these holes as legs. Take a black pom pom and glue it onto the top of the cup as the spider's head. Afterwards, glue some eyes onto the spider's head and you will have yourself a lovely Samhain spider.

Warm Drinks for Cold Samhain Nights

What better way for the family to celebrate Samhain than with some hot apple cider?

For apple cider, take a large pot and combine 1 1/2 gallons of apple cider, 2 cinnamon sticks, 5 cloves, 1 large orange sliced thin and with the peel left on it, half of a lemon sliced thin with the peel left on it, and half a cup of sugar. Heat it until it reaches the temperature that you prefer and enjoy!

If you happen to like apple cider but don't feel up to making it yourself, you could always buy Trader Joe's spiced apple cider and use that instead. It's a delicious alternative to homemade apple cider.

For adults, homemade mulled wine is a traditional favorite. In a large pot, pour in one bottle of your favorite red wine (Merlot or Cabernet for me), one peeled and sliced orange, one peeled and sliced lemon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 5 whole cloves, 3 cinnamon sticks, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2/3 cup brandy or cognac, and 1/2 cup of water.

Warm these ingredients for 25 minutes, but be sure to avoid accidentally boiling the mixture. Once the mulled wine is warm enough and the sugar has dissolved completely, it is ready to serve.

Don't forget to serve up some pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread and muffins with your drinks!

Sources:

www.knowledgehound.com/topics/paganism.htm,  

www.essortment.com/family/paganparenting_sbrj.htm

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 5, 2012 at 4:41pm

Carving Jack-O-Lanterns

Carving a jack-o-lantern is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a perfect Samhain or Halloween activity. These are traditional holiday decorations that Pagans have been using for a long time now. In Northern Europe, people used to carve faces into gourds and then place a candle inside of them in order to scare away bad spirits of the dead who roam the world on Samhain.

Building A Shrine

During Samhain, death is celebrated as another part of the cycle of life and this is the best time of year in which to honor the dead. Families can build shrines to remember the passing of loved ones during Samhain. This can be accomplished many ways.

Empty shelves can be utilized or, alternatively, a table could be used. A nice piece of cloth in traditional Samhain colors like orange, black, red, brown, or golden yellow can be placed over the shelf or table afterwards. On top of the cloth you can put mementos that belonged to the deceased loved one(s) and a nice photograph could be put next to these.

Candles in traditional Samhain colors should be lit in honor of the passing of the deceased and children can lay autumn leaves, flowers, cards, or crafts that they have made on the shrine. A plate of food can also be put out as an offering to the dead.

Divination and Gazing Into the Future

Samhain is the right night for divination. There are a couple different ways of doing this. One method is to fill a cauldron with water. Put a crystal inside of it and dim the lights. Children and adults can look into the cauldron and see what thoughts pop into their heads.

A cauldron can also be filled with dark liquid for divination. To do this, put water inside of a bowl and add food coloring until the water becomes dark and the bottom of the bowl or cauldron can no longer be seen.

Dim the lights in the room and light several candles around the bowl, but not close enough to it that they'll create any images on the water. Using your hands, send some charges into the water and see what happens afterwards. Images can be interpreted in different ways and you should let your subconscious be your guide.

Grave Rubbings

This is always fun to do, and I was introduced to this activity one year while on a summer family vacation. All you need for this activity is some lightweight paper, tape and a crayon. Make sure that you wipe off any offending dirt or dust that's on the tombstone first before you begin your rubbing.

After you've dusted the grave off, simply place the paper onto the tombstone and tape it up as best you can. Next, use the long side of your crayon to rub back and forth onto the paper, and you will begin to see the words on the tombstone appear on your paper. Take this home with you and use it along with your other Samhain decorations!

Jack O'Lantern Pinata

Cover a balloon with strips of newspaper that have been dipped in a mixture of glue and water. Cover this with orange crepe paper. Once this has dried, it's safe to apply eyes, a nose and a mouth out of the material of your choice. After cutting a hole inside of the pinata, fill it with some candy and make sure to thoroughly tape it shut. Hang the pinata up afterwards and then let everyone begin batting away.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 3, 2012 at 4:30pm

Howling Jack: Honey Pumpkin Mead

 

 

This mead is the colour of a ripe peach and smells like autumn leaves - perfect for a Harvest party or Sabbat.

1 sound, hard-rind pumpkin (approx. 2 quart capacity)

Paraffin wax

1 1/2 quarts of water

4 lbs. honey

2 each oranges and lemons

1 pkt. wine yeast

1 tea bag (black tea)

 

Prepare yeast starter.

Sterilize honey and water by boiling for 10 minutes, skimming the froth as it rises.

Remove from heat; stir in sliced citrus fruits, including skins.

Cool to room temperature; pitch yeast.

Allow to sit overnight.


Prepare pumpkin by cutting off the top with a sharp knife. The top must "mate" with the bottom so cut carefully. Clean out the seeds, strings, and membranes of the pumpkin. Rinse out with water.
Pour the must into the pumpkin, leaving an inch of air space between the liquid and the rim of the opening. Replace the top.
Prepare the paraffin/water bath: Fill a plastic bucket with hot water, melt the paraffin wax and float it on the water.
Dip the pumpkin, bottom first, into the warm paraffin until it is coated up to its lid. Once the paraffin begins to harden on the pumpkin skin, seal the lid by carefully pouring paraffin over the top, making sure to coat the seam.
Set the pumpkin in the middle of a shallow dishpan full of water to keep and thirsty pickle worms at bay and place it in a dark, quiet spot.


Allow to sit for two months, then siphon off and bottle.
Note: It is probably a good idea to rack the mead into a glass fermenter, fitted with an air lock, for evaluation prior to bottling. If the fermentation is not complete and you bottle prematurely, the corks and glass may blow.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 3, 2012 at 4:28pm

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 3, 2012 at 4:28pm

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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