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Topic: Ideas for Samhain celebration  (Read 2158 times)
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mellyp
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« on: October 07, 2005 12:26:12 PM »

I wasn't sure where to put this as it's not really Halloween but it is related (I think it would get lost in the Christmas shuffle if i posted in "winter holidays").

I know there are some swaps dealing with Samhein but I am looking for ideas for actual celebrations and crafts for these events - I took part in a really amazing Samhain retreat a few years back and I'd love to host my own this year.  I am familiar with the history and purpose behind this celebration but for this year I am going to lean more toward the general aspects of it (the harvest, new beginnings, growth, etc) rather than the Pagan - I totally respect the Pagan ideas but I think that my girlfriends may not be as savy and/or open to them as I am and I'd like to be sensitive to that. I think I can focus on the idea of creativity and how we all get stuck  - this will be an opportunity to help each other get unstuck in the coming season Smiley

For crafts I'm thinking: making small altars, decorating blank books for journals, small candle holders for use on an alter...

If weather permits I'll have a bonfire and I'd like to have a small ceremony - I'd love to hear ideas for this (crafts,decorating the space, food to serve)...anything you might think would make this a great celebration.

Thanks so much!

MellyP
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2005 04:39:58 PM »

Samhain is basically Halloween in a way.  Catholics in order to convert pagans turned alot of Pagan holidays into Christian holidays.  It's not actually Halloween but All Saints Day.  The Catholics did this in Mexico too, turning the Aztec celebration of loved ones who had passed away into Dia De Los Muertos.  I find it all fascinating since in parts of Samhain and Dia De Los Muertos we honor the dead who have gone on.  Halloween is all about candy and scary stuff (not that I don't love those too.) 
I would go ahead and decorate pumpkins or turnips as they did in Ireland for Samhain.  It was to scare away bad spirits. Dress in costume as something scary to confuse the spirits.  Maybe do a craft with polymer clay of the Goddess (it is pagan, but could be construed as a positive female symbol, if you make her with full breasts and belly).  Decorate with pumpkins, fall flowers, corn, and other vegetables that are from Autumn harvests especially squash/gourds.  You could have each person bring a picture of a loved one who is gone on to honor.  Serve autumn harvest foods squash etc.  Have each person write down a weakness or bad habit they would like to be rid of on a piece of paper and then burn in the bonfire.
If you read up on Samhain Celebrations you can skip the prayers, don't mention the God or Goddess and your friends will be none the wiser that these are parts of a Pagan celebration as it has so many familiar Halloween traits.
Leash
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2005 05:12:48 PM »

As a unitarian universalist, we have had a Samhain ceremony at our church in the past.  And in it we wrote down something that we wanted to say to a person who had passed that we weren't able to say when they were alive, or wished we would have said.  The papers were put in a chalice and then set on fire as a cermony of letting go of those things.  It was really cool...and very powerful. 
Hope that helps as an idea.
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mellyp
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2005 04:53:59 PM »

Thank you craftyteri and luckymom13 - i appreciate your input! i love the idea of the burnbowl (i usually do this on new year's eve) and i am definitely going to load up on all the harvest goodies at the farmer's market in the coming weeks, i can't wait to have my house filled with gourds and pumpkins, leaves, strawflowers, etc...

I did find a great book at Barnes and Noble called, "Sabbat Entertaining: Celebrating the Wiccan Holidays With Style" by Willow Polson. It was like $14.00 and it is full of recipes, crafts, ceremonial stuff, it was exactly the resource I was looking for Smiley

Thanks again and happy crafting!
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smelsmin
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2005 03:38:58 AM »

bumpity-lurk.

This is a great post, I was looking for things like this, this year will be my first October as a pagan and I want it to be special, I will probably end up doing some crafts..
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