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 3, 2012 at 3:51pm

Seeing the Future at Halloween

In many agricultural societies, a popular pastime at Samhain was that of divining the name of one's future lover. Some revealed a face, others an initial or even a full name. These traditional methods were practiced in rural societies for centuries. You can use them today for your own divination.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/35/004bramley.jpg

Apple Divination

Apples have always been popular tools for foretelling the future. There are a number of traditional methods in folklore for seeing who one's lover might be.

  • Peel the apple, keeping the peel in one long piece. When the peel comes off, drop it on the floor. The letter it forms is the first initial of your true love's name.
  • Wait until midnight at Samhain, and cut an apple into nine pieces. Take the pieces into a dark room with a mirror (either hanging on the wall or a hand-held one will do). At midnight, begin eating the pieces of apple while looking into the mirror. When you get to the ninth piece, throw it over your shoulder. The face of your lover should appear in the mirror.
  • If a girl has more than one potential lover, peel an apple and pull out the seeds. Place a wet seed on your cheek for each boyfriend. The last one left stuck to the skin represents the suitor who is the true love.

Water Divination

Water has always been known for its magical properties, so it's only natural to use it for divination workings. Try one of these on Samhain night.

  • At midnight on Samhain, go to a lake and gaze into the water. You should see your lover's face reflected in the lake before you.
  • Fill a cauldron with water, and then light a candle. Drip the hot wax into the water, and see what shape it forms. The shape will indicate the profession of your future lover.
  • Find a moving body of water like a stream or river. Select a piece of wood to represent the person you wish to be your lover, and throw it in the water. If it floats downstream, he will be true and constant. If the wood gets caught up on the bank, or sinks, your lover will be unfaithful.

Food Divination

There are a number of divinations that use foods, baking and cooking as their focus. Some of these are still practiced today.

  • Scottish Bannock Divination: in Scotland and northern England, a girl would bake a bannock cake in the evening. In complete silence, she walked to her room and placed the bannock under her pillow. Her dreams that night would show her the face of her lover, and in the morning she ate the bannock.
  • To find out if you'll find love in the coming twelve months, separate an egg and drop the white into a glass of water. If it sinks immediately, love is forthcoming. If it floats on the top of the water, you'll spend the next year alone.
  • Take two nuts, one for yourself and one for your lover. At midnight on Samhain, place them on a grate over your fire. If they burn well, you'll have a long and happy relationship. If one nut pops or burns, it means one of you will be unfaithful.
Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 3, 2012 at 3:50pm

 

In some areas of the Celtic lands, people believed that a special fire, called the Needfire, could be used to create magical results. However, much like Harry Potter's Room of Requirement, the Needfire could only be created in times of great need. In many areas, Samhain was seen as an opportune time for the Needfire -- after all, the harvest was over, the earth was getting cold, and in just a few short months, your family could be starving and freezing. The Needfire helped to assure that your family would be safe from famine, pestilence, the deadly cold, and other natural disasters. In some nomadic societies, the Needfire was the place to make offerings - if you wanted to have a healthy crop of sheep, for example, you might carve an effigy of a ewe and toss it in the fire. Perhaps you'd throw a few seeds in there to assure an abundant crop in the following season.

Traditionally, the Needfire was lit without the use of iron. It could only be started by rubbing a pair of sticks together, or twisting a rope along a stake until a spark was created. In some areas, it was considered acceptable to use embers from a tree that had been hit by lightning as your starter, but typically, the Needfire was started by hand. Although it can be tricky to start a fire without flint or matches or a lighter -- anyone who's watched survival shows on television knows this -- it is indeed possible to do it. If you practice your technique ahead of time, you should be able to light a Samhain Needfire to help protect and guard your family through the coming year.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 3, 2012 at 3:50pm

There are some excellent resources online for how to make a fire using a bow-drill, which is basically a piece of wood with a string, run along a spindle until a spark is created. Check these websites for an idea of how you can get your Needfire started:

Light your Needfire on the night of Samhain Eve. Once the sparks have caught, and you have a good blaze going, make an offering to the deities of your tradition, thanking them for keeping an eye on you in the coming year. You may also wish to make an offering to your ancestors, invoking them to protect your family.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 3, 2012 at 3:48pm

Samhain Traditions

"Sam" and "hain" meant "end of" and "summer" to the Celts. They observed only two seasons of the year: summer and winter. So, Samhain was celebrated at the transition of these seasons.

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne)is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat. It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two "spirit-nights" each year, the other being Beltane. Originally the "Feast of the Dead" was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the "wandering dead".

To Witches, Samhain is one of the four High Holidays, or Greater Sabbats. Because it is the most important holiday of the year, it is sometimes called The Great Sabbat. Pagans consider Samhain the most magical night of the year. It occurs exactly opposite of Beltane on the Wheel of the Year. It is a night of glowing jack-o-lanterns, tricks or treats, and dressing in costume. A night for telling chilling ghost stories by the fire. And a time for seances, tarot card readings and scrying with mirrors. It is upon this night, that the veil which seperates our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest, making it a Night of Power.

As Witches,we observe this day as a religious festival. We consider it a memorial day for dead friends and family. It is still a night to practice various forms of divinitory arts such as scrying and rune casting. One could never hope for a better Tarot reading than on this night! Samhain is considered a time to wrap up old projects, take a good look at one's stock in life, and consider new projects and endeavors for the coming year.

Bonfire, hearth fire, candle - gaze into the flame and revisit our ancient heritage. Draw friends close and leave an offering for the whispering ghosts. Samhain is here.

Let the Samhain Bonfire burn high & bright ! Happy New Year 2012

'Listen! The wind is rising,
And the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
Now for October eves!'

~ Humbert Wolfe (1885-1940)

'Witches are alive & magic is upon us,
blessed be the season of the witch'...

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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.

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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...

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