Let’s face facts. Halloween has become a major commercialized holiday.
The things that have made this time of year special and the symbols we use have been turned into stereotypes. The images of a witch with the tall black hat, black cats, candles, spiders and broom are just that these days, images. They have little to no meaning to them anymore in the mainstream of things. People these days don’t even realize where they came from and what they mean.
Think for a moment about why we wear costumes and masks. Do you know why we wear these items to become someone other than ourselves? Did you know that in some cultures it was to hide among the spirits and walk with them for a day with out fear or harm? Not many people realize where the roots of such things come from.
So how do you find something meaningful to pull out of all the commercialism for your Sabbat? What do you do when most of the people around you don’t understand the ancient traditions they unconsciously carry on for generations?
My suggestion is to take a close look at the history behind the holiday. Pass on the facts and meaning to the generations to follow. Not rejecting the stereotype but educating yourself and family just why these practices exist in the first place. Create new traditions for your family to enjoy during this Sabbat.
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Samhain, also known as the Festival of the Dead or All Hallows’ Eve, is the time for us to release the spirits of those who have died during the previous year and for us to honor our ancestors. It is customary in some traditions to set an extra place at your supper table on Samhain in honor of the departed.
Samhain is not a scary time, like some religions or media would like people to believe. What this Sabbat is, is a time when the veil is thin and we can spend time with the spirits of those we loved. This is the time when we say good-bye to those who have left this physical plane. Though this is not a time of sadness, but a way to celebrate with the Dead.
Samhain also celebrates endings, and as such death. It honors the transition from light to dark. The growing time is over for this turn of the Wheel and the Earth begins it’s slumber.
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With many of us in the office being Kitchen Witches, the major question we all seem to face is what sorts of foods go along with each Sabbat.
Here is a list of foods that our studies have shown go well with the Sabbat Mabon: Cornbread, products that are made out of wheat (especially whole wheat), berries, nuts, grapes, acorns, seeds, dried fruits, corn, beans, squash (traditionally baked), root foods (such as onions, carrots, potatoes,) hops, apples, bread, grains, pomegranates, pumpkins, oat cakes, roast goose or mutton, wine, ale and ciders.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comment below.
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The next Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year is Ostara (pronounced O-STAR-ah)
When you study the Sabbats you will find that is is referred to as one of the Lesser Sabbats. A Lesser Sabbats or Quarter ceremonies contain the Solstices and Equinoxes representing the astronomical beginnings of the seasons. Their dates may vary by a day or two each year as they depend upon the sun’s entry into the zodiacal signs.
Ostara is usually celebrated on the Vernal or Spring Equinox right around March 20th.
Some other names this Sabbat is known by is Lady Day, Rites of Spring, Alban Eiler (Druidic), Eostre’s Day, Rite of Eostre, Festival of the trees.