Today’s column comes to us from Clio Ajana. Clio is an Archieria for the House of Our Lady of Celestial Fire in the Hellenic Alexandrian Witchcraft & Spiritual Tradition, and she also practices Romuva (Baltic Heathenry). She currently lives in Central Minnesota. Her interests include divination, eldercare, prison ministry, and death midwifery.
The Wild Hunt’s weekend section is always open for submissions. Please send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. One of my favorite times lies in the span between the last two sabbats of the calendar year. Nights lengthen, temperatures cool and bring a hint of snow, and the ground hardens beneath the fallen leaves.
[Today we present a guest submission by Carrie Pitzulo. Carrie holds a Ph.D. in American History, but she would rather talk about ghost hunting, tarot cards, or her dinner with Hugh Hefner. Spiritual and metaphysical exploration is a lifelong passion that has brought Carrie to writing, teaching, and mentoring women on alternative spiritual paths. You can follow Carrie on Instagram, Facebook, or her personal website, Ancient Magic Modern Living. The Wild Hunt always welcomes guest submissions for our weekend section.
We have entered the time of the year when many modern Pagans celebrate Samhain. The holiday marks the start of winter and the new year according to the old Celtic calendar. It is a time to reflect on transitions when the ancestors are honored, divination is performed, and festivals are held in honor of the gods. Samhain is also recognized as the final harvest before the long winter ahead. It is perhaps the best-known and most widely celebrated of all the modern Pagan holidays.
UNITED KINGDOM — It’s once more coming up to Samhain, and there are a series of seasonal celebrations happening across the UK as Pagans anticipate the period of Samhain itself and others remain content with the pumpkins and trick or treating of Hallowe’en. It’s become fashionable in recent years for the British to complain about the customs we associate with Hallowe’en as being ‘American,’ but this is not exactly correct. A number of the practices that are followed at this time of year originated in the British Isles, and were taken to North America by British and Irish immigrants. ‘Guising’ – the practice of visiting your neighbours and asking for treats – was commonplace throughout the UK at various times of the year. It was usually, if not exclusively, carried out by groups of boys or young men, who might play a trick on the unlucky householder if they didn’t get what they asked for.
The shifting of the seasons and the feel of fall in the air brings about some of the most meaningful and symbolic times of the year. Whether it is the crispness in the air, the Halloween decor, or the increasing conversations about the ancestors in mainstream circles, October is a busy month for all things witchy. It is one of the times of the year where some aspects of the Pagan world collide with the mainstream over-culture. While this time can be exciting for many of us, the depths of the coming celebration of Samhain is significant in many ways. We celebrate the turning wheel, the closing year, the power of the underworld, and the thinning of the veil between worlds.