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Samhain - All Hallows Eve

Channelling & manual by Jean "Gina" Myrner

Attunement Samhain - All Hallows Eve. The last

night of October, the last night of the Celtic calendar, a
pastoral and agricultural "Fire Festival" or feast,
Samhain Sabbot coinciding with All Hallows Eve.

"Samhain is symbolized by the bonfire, jack o' lantern,

and cauldron.
It is believed to be a Celtic word which loosely
translates to summers end. In the Christian calendar, it
is known as All Saints Day or All Hallows Eve. This has
been shortened in modern times to Halloween. Also it is
sometimes called the Festival of Apples or Feast of the

"Samhain is the one of two times in the year when the

veil between this world and the next is at it's thinnest, a
powerful time for divination and contacting the spirit
Samhain is the only night when it is believed spirits of
the departed have the ability to visit relatives and loved
ones. A place was set at the table in their honor, and to
this day, some Pagans still reserve a place at the feast or
a place a plate of food on the doorstep for any passing
spirits to enjoy. All spirits must return to their resting
place by the first crow of the cockeral." (Excerpt - Pagan
Wheel of the Year by Farhad Najafi)

All Saints Day (All Hallows - hallow is an archaic

English word for 'saint'), November 1st, is a Roman
Catholic holiday to honor all saints. The festival begins
on All Hallows Eve the last night of October. Although
it is a joyous day, it is also the eve of All Souls Day, and
in Medieval times it became customary on this day to to
pray for the dead.

During the three days between October 31st, and

November 2nd, we see Pagan and Christian religious
observations intertwined. Superstition struggles.
The Halloween Bonfire History

The practice of lighting large fires dates back to roots of Halloween in

the festival of Samhain celebrating summer's end, and the beginning
of the dark season. Samhain also marked the end of the old year and
the beginning of the new year.

On the eve of Samhain, young people would go from house to house

asking for food offerings and kindling for the Samhain fires. The next
day the traditional day of Samhain, November 1st., people would
extinguish their hearth fires and gather together to light large fires on
sacred hill tops in honor of and to make offerings to the gods.
Personal and symbolic items were burned for relief from sickness or
bad fortune.

The Celtic peoples who celebrated Samhain believed the time

between the beginning and end of the year was a time spirits could
travel freely between this world and the spirit world. Some spirits
were good and they would help people divine the future. Others
were evil spirits and would bring misfortune on whomever they
encountered. People believed the sacred fires had the power to scare
away evil spirits. To ensure their safety people stayed close to the
fires wearing costumes of animal heads and skins as disguises to
frighten the evil spirits.

As the great fires died it was considered good luck to take an ember
and carry it home to relight their hearth fire. These embers were
carried home in holders made of gourds or turnips with carved faces
in the hopes of scaring away any evil spirits that might be lurking on
their path. Over the years, stories were created to teach the young
this practice and provide moral lessons. The following day, the ashes
from the sacred fires were spread over the fields as protection against
spirits who would cause the next season's crops to fail.
A Happy Halloween
Halloween also spelled Hallowe'en is an annual holiday celebrated October 31st.
It is now largely a secular celebration with some religious overtones.
Irish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America during
Ireland's Great Famine of the 1840's.

The day is often associated with orange and black, and is strongly associated with
symbols. Halloween activities include trick or treeting, jack o' lantern carving,
dressing in costumes and wearing masks, attending parties, bonfires, and setting up
scarry displays/decorations using images of ghosts, goblins, witches, black cats, bats,
spiders etc. .

A Halloween greeting card from 1904, divination is depicted: the young woman looking
into a mirror in a darkened room hopes to catch a glimpse of the face of her future

Irish Jack-o'-lantern from the early 20th century.

Around the world

Halloween is significant cultural event in Ireland where it is widely celebrated. It is
known in Irish as Oche Shamhna (Irish pronunciation: ee-hah how-nah), literally
"Samhain Night." In the Irish language, Samhain is the name for the month of November.
Pre-Christian Celts had an autumn festival, Samhain (Irish pronunciation:, from the Old
Man samain, "End of Summer," a pastoral and agricultural "fire festival" or feast, when
the dead revisited the mortal world and large communal bonfires would hence be lit to
ward off evil spirits.Costumes and masks being worn at Halloween goes back to the
Celtic traditions of attempting to copy the evil spirits or placate them.
Pope Gregory IV standardized the date of All Saints' Day, or All Hallows' Day, on
November 1 in the name of the entire Western Church in 837. As the Church day began
at sunset, the holiday coincided exactly with Samhain. It is claimed that the choice of
date was consistent with the common practice of leaving pagan festivals and buildings
intact (e.g., the Pantheon) while overlaying a Christian meaning, however no reliable
documentation indicates such a motivation in this case. While the Celts might have been
content to move All Saints' Day from their own previous date of April 20, the rest of the
world celebrating it on May 13, it is speculated without evidence that they were unwilling
to give up their preexisting autumn festival of the dead and continued to celebrate
On Halloween night, adults and children dress up as creatures from the underworld (e.g.,
ghosts, ghouls, zombies, witches, and goblins), light bonfires, and enjoy spectacular
fireworks displays in particular, the city of Derry is home to the largest organized
Halloween celebration on the island, in the form of a street carnival and fireworks
display. It is also common for fireworks to be set off for the entire month preceding
Halloween as well as a few days after. Halloween was perceived as the night during
which the division between the world of the living and the otherworld was blurred so that
spirits of the dead and inhabitants from the underworld were able to walk free on the
earth. It was believed necessary to dress as a spirit or otherworldly creature when
venturing outdoors to blend in, and this is where dressing in such a manner for Halloween
comes from. This gradually evolved into trick-or-treating, because children would knock
on their neighbours' doors in order to gather fruit, nuts, and sweets for the Halloween
festival. Salt was once sprinkled in the hair of the children to protect against evil spirits

All Saints Day
In Poland, the Czech Republic,
Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Croatia, Austria, Romania. Moldova,
Hungary and Catholic parts of Germany, the tradition is to light candles and visit the
graves of deceased relatives.
Halloween in Romania is celebrated around the myth of "Dracula" on October 31. In
Transylvania and especially in the city of Sighisoara, there are many costume parties, for
teenagers and adults, that are created from the US model. Also the spirit of Dracula is
believed to live there because the town was the site of many witch trials; these are
recreated today by actors on the night of Halloween.

In Sweden, All Hallows Eve (All Saint's Night, Alla Helgons Natt) is a Christian, public
holiday which always falls on the first Saturday in November. It is about lighting candles
at graves and remembering the dead.
When the American non-Christian Halloween was introduced in Sweden it was
celebrated on the same day as All Hallows Eve. This is due to a misunderstanding when
the retail business organizations introduced Halloween in the mid-1990s. Many Swedes
are unaware that Halloween in English-speaking countries is a non-Christian holiday
celebrated on October 31.
Traditions such as trick-or-treating, masquerades and other typically American
Halloween traditions are not very popular,
and are especially disliked by older people as the holiday is supposed to be a day of
rememembering the dead.
The origin of All Saints' Day began somewhere during the fourth century. People would
gather to remember all the martyrs who died.
In Switzerland, Halloween is seen as being a pagan festival. After first becoming popular
in 1999, Halloween is on the wane. People see it as an imported product from the United
States, which has not recently enjoyed a good image in the country. Switzerland already
has a "festival overload" and even though Swiss people like to dress up for any occasion,
they do prefer a traditional element.
Ueli Mder, a professor of sociology at Basel University said that the Swiss adoption of
Halloween about ten years ago Swiss shops stocked Halloween costumes and masks for
the first time in 1999 came from "a need for rituals". "In a strongly commercialised
world a need arises for meaningful experiences. I can imagine that a ritual like Halloween
when it is celebrated in a simple genuine way can satisfy that need." But he added: "It
also took on an exaggerated or extreme form for a while which probably turned some
people off. Perhaps is there is a need to bring Halloween back to a more simple level."

In the traditional culture of some regions of Italy, especially in the North of the country -
populated by Celts before the arrive of Romans - there were until the last century
traditions very similar to Halloween, i.e. beliefs about nocturnal visiting and processions
of dead people, preparation of special biscuits and carving Jack-o'-Lanterns. These
traditions vanished completely before the feast of Halloween arrived in a new form from

In Denmark children go trick-or-treating, even though they already collect candy from
neighbors on Fastelavn, the Danish name for the Carnival which occurs before Lent.

Central and South America

In most parts of Central and South America, kids will pay a visit to their neighbors and
yell "Dulce o Truco! (Sweet or Trick!)" in order to get candy and in Brazil kids yell
"Doce ou Travessura!". The Spanish name for Halloween is Noche de Brujas and the
Portuguese name is Dias das Bruxas
Many people believe that during the Day of the Dead, it is easier for the souls of the
departed to visit the living. People go to cemeteries to communicate with the souls of the
departed, and build private altars, containing the favorite foods and beverages, as well as
photos and memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so
that the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them
Families decorating graves at a cemetery
Observance in Mexico
The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico can be traced back to the indigenous
Olemec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Mexican or Aztec, Maya, P'urhepecha, and Totonac. Rituals
celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by these civilizations perhaps for
as long as 25003000 years. In the pre-Hispanic era, it was common to keep skulls as
trophies and display them during the rituals to symbolize death and rebirth.
The festival that became the modern Day of the Dead fell in the ninth month of the
Azetec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month.
The festivities were dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, known as the "Lady of the
Dead," corresponding to the modern Catrina.
In most regions of Mexico, November 1 honors children and infants, whereas deceased

adults are honored on November 2. This is indicated by generally referring to November

1 mainly as "Da de los Inocentes" (Day of the Innocents) but also as "Da de los
Angelitos" (Day of the Little Angels) and November 2 as "Da de los Muertos" or "Da
de los Difuntos" (Day of the Dead).
Arab Christians (Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine)
Arab Christians in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine celebrate Saint Barbara's Day or Eid il-
Burbara on December 4 in a style somewhat reminiscent of Halloween celebrations in
other countries. Children wear costumes and go trick-or-treating whilst singing a song.
The traditional food for the occasion is Burbara, a bowl of boiled barley, pomegrant
seeds, raisins, anise and sugar offered to masquerading children. Lebanese Christians
believe that Saint Barbara disguised herself as numerous characters to elude the Romans
who were persecuting her.
Qarqe'an is a similar holiday celebrated in Kuwait and other Gulf states. The scary theme
is not a part of the tradition: children dress in traiditional garb, form groups, carry baskets
and sing outside of homes, receiving sweets and nuts for their effort.

Halloween has become popular only recently in Japan, mainly in the context of American
pop culture. Due to the minority Christian population in Japan, the focus is on the more
material aspects of Halloween rather than the spiritual aspects. Western-style Halloween
decorations such as jack-o'-lanterns can be seen in many locations, and places such as
Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan put on special Halloween events. Thanks
to the cosplay tradition in Japan, the idea of dressing up in costumes has caught on with
people of all ages. The wearing of costumes is mostly limited to private home parties, day
care centers and kindergartens, as well as in larger cities at bars frequented or run by
foreigners. On a national scale trick-or-treating is largely unpracticed.

In the Philippines they celebrate Day of the Dead on October 31st., but this day can also
be celebrated on November 1st or 2nd..
In the Philipines, this day, called "Undas", "Todos los Santos" (literally "All Saints"), and
sometimes "Araw ng mga Namayapa" (approximately "Day of the deceased") is observed
as All Saints Day. This day and the one before and one after it is spent visiting the graves
of deceased relatives, where prayers and flowers are offered, candles are lit and the
graves themselves are cleaned, repaired and repainted.


Pumpkins for sale

Because the holiday comes in the wake of the annual apple harvest, candy apples (known
as toffee apples outside North America), caramel or taffy apples are a common
Halloween treat made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes
followed by rolling them in nuts.

One custom that persists in modern-day Ireland is the baking (or more often nowadays,
the purchase) of a barmbrack (Irish "birn breac"), which is a light fruitcake, into which
a plain ring, a coin and other charms are placed before baking. It is said that those who
get a ring will find their true love in the ensuing year. This is similar to the tradition of
king cake at the festival of Epiphany. Other foods associated with the holiday: Apple
Cider, Barmbrack (Ireland), Bonfire toffee (Britain), Candy corn, (North America),
Caramel corn, Colcannon (Ireland), Pumpkin, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, roasted
pumpkin seeds, sweet corn, Soul cakes, novelty candy shaped as skulls, pumpkins, bats,
worms, etc.

Pumpkin Nut Bread

Pumpkin nut bread makes a wonderful snack, breakfast or dessert. This recipe makes one
large loaf or 2 mini loaves for gift giving. The bread also freezes well. Freeze on a plate 6
hours, wrap frozen loaf in heavy duty aluminum foil and return to the freezer for up to six
2 cups all-purpose flour or 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2
teaspoons baking powder,
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon each: salt and
nutmeg, 1 cup fresh pumpkin puree or 1 cup solid pack canned pumpkin, 1 cup sugar,
1/2 cup skim milk, 2 eggs, slightly beaten, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup each: chopped
pecans and black walnuts (may substitute raisins or any combination to equal one cup)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt and ground
In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, milk and eggs. Mix well. Add dry
ingredients, oil and nuts mixing until just moistened. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Do
not over mix.
Spoon batter into well greased (use vegetable oil) 9 x 5 inch loaf pan or two 7-1/2 x 3
3/4 inch loaf pans, may use aluminum pans.
Bake (in the middle of the oven) large loaf for 65 minutes or two mini loaves for 50
minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in
the pan. Use a knife to go around the edge of the pan to loosen bread from the sides of the
pan, invert, cool on a cooling rack or plate. Slice and serve.
Religious perspectives
In North America, Christian attitudes towards Halloween are quite diverse. In the
Anglican church, some dioceses have chosen to emphasize the Christian traditions of All
Saints Day while some other Protestants celebrate the holiday as Reformation Day, a day
to remember the Protestant Reformation. Celtic Christians may have Samhain services
that focus on the cultural aspects of the holiday, in the belief that many ancient Celtic
customs are "incompatible with the new Christian religion. Christianity embraced the
Celtic notions of family, community, the bond among all people, and respect for the dead.
Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry
(hodgepodge) of celebrations from October 31 through November 5, all of which appear
both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery."
Many Christians ascribe no negative significance to Halloween, treating it as a purely
secular holiday devoted to celebrating "imaginary spooks" and handing out candy.
Halloween celebrations are common among Roman Catholic schools throughout North
America and in Ireland. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church sees Halloween as having a
Christian connection. Father Gabriele Amorth, a Vatican-appointed exorcist in Rome, has
said, "If English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one
night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that." Most
Christians hold the view that the tradition is far from being "satanic" in origin or practice
and that it holds no threat to the spiritual lives of children: being taught about death and
mortality, and the ways of the Celtic ancestors actually being a valuable life lesson and a
part of many of their parishioners' heritage. Other Christians feel concerned about
Halloween, and reject the holiday because they believe it trivializes (and celebrates) "the
occult" and what they perceive as evil. Some consider Halloween to be completely
incompatible with the Christian faith due to its origin as a pagan "Festival of the Dead."
In more recent years, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has organized a "Saint
Fest" on the holiday. Many contemporary Protestant churches view Halloween as a fun
event for children, holding events in their churches where children and their parents can
dress up, play games, and get candy. Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate Halloween for
they believe anything that originated from a pagan holiday should not be celebrated by
true Christians.
Samhain is considered by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four 'greater
Sabbats'. It is generally observed on October 31 in the Northern Hemisphere, starting at
sundown. Samhain is considered by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of
those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family
members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In some
rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival
of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the spring festival of
Beltane, which Wiccans celebrate as a festival of light and fertility
Judaism Traditional Judaism frowns upon the celebration of Halloween."
Arab countries In Arab countries where it is celebrated, devotion is given to
St. Barbara. Saint Barbara became the patron saint of artillerymen. She is also
traditionally the patron of armourers, military engineers, gunsmiths, miners and anyone
else who worked with cannon and explosives. She is invoked against thunder and
lightning and all accidents arising from explosions of gunpowder.

Qarqe'an Tradition similar to Halloween

Qarqe'an (Arabic: ) is an annual tradition practiced in Kuwait and other Gulf
during the holy month of Ramadan (13-15 Ramadan). The tradition has existed for
hundreds of years: children knock on the doors of homes in their neighborhood wearing
traditional clothes and carrying a basket to receive sweets and nuts.
Qare'an is similar to Halloween, which is practiced in some western societies, but it omits
the horror theme. As a word, Qarqe'an is derived from the word Qarqa'ah (Arabic: ,(
which means click or snick, the sound of iron pots carrying the sweets hitting each other
while serving the sweets.
Children gather in small choir groups in front of a home and sing. The song is intended to
call on Alah to bless the youngest child of the family, to keep him or her healthy that the
mother will remain happy. The more they sing, the more nuts and sweets they receive.
The Qarqe'an tradition is intended to spread love, happiness and affection among adults
and children.
Receiving the attunement do any preparations you wish.

When relaxed and ready silently or out loud say:

"I now accept attunement to Samhain - All Hallows Eve from

--------name of sender. Express thanks!

Passing the attunement to others:

Send/ pass the attunement by using any method of your choice with
clear intent.

Excerpts Wikipedia