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Origins of Samhain

Ancient Celtics
In the ancient Celtic society there was a highly structured way of life as in everyone knew there place. Once a year on Samhain in order to break the strain the celts would celebrate for 3 days (October 31 through November 2) as the days of no time when chaos ruled. The Celtic people would do crazy things such as dress in oposite gender attire, The farmers would find there gates unhinged and left in ditches, horses would be moved from field to field, and their children would travel from door to door for food, and treats. This is still done in many parts of the world to day as it has become the trick or treating custom of Halloween.

Druids
The Druids new these three days to be when the veil between the world and the world of the spirits to be drawn down. This is when they could make journeys to the other side. The Druids held rites of making contact with the spirits of the departed, as they saw them as a source of inspiration, and spiritual guidance. The Ovates would officiate at these rites as they were skilled in divination, and spiritual travel.

Samhain Lore

1 - One traddition of Samhain is to leave a plate of food outside the home of the souls that have passed.
2 - To place a candle in a window will help guide the souls to the eternal summer.
3 - If you Burry apples in the earth it will feed the souls on their journey.
4 - Story telling comes from the chieftains of long ago when in the dark months there was not much to do so they would tell stories.
5 - The green faced witch comes from the Scotts that believed that the Gailleach, the Hag who would arise from stone to walk the earth. She had a blue gray face that was almost black, and the green comes probably from a confusion of the word glas which means green when speaking of land, but when speaking of other things it means blue gray. And the Gailleach is an important supernatural being in Gaelic myth.

Divination for Samhain

Pear an apple all in one piece, and allow it to fall to the ground. It is said that it will spell out the initials of your future mate.
Hang an apple with a coin pushed deep inside from a string, and try to bite out the coin without using hands. If you can succeed it is said that your pockets will be full throughout the year.
it is said that if you walk backwards eating an apple, and looking into a mirror, into a dark room that you will see the face of your mate in the mirrors reflection.
The art of scrying is when one gazes into an object such as a mirror, or crystals, and focusing ones mind on a question, or an issue. When scrying you could see your answers in the form of symbols that you would need to interperate, or sometimes as a complete scene that possess all the answers.
Druids would used hazelnuts that were tossed into a pattern and then burried to honor the old gods. To try this draw a small circle (1 foot in diameter) on the ground in front of you. In a cuped hand take 13 nuts and shake them while concentrating on a question. Gentle toss the nuts in front of you. Those nuts that land dirrectlyin the circle will have the most bearing on you.If more of the nuts land in the cirle the out of it, it means that you have a right to be concerned about what ever your question is. You can also look at the nuts for directional signs symbols, and letters that might apply to your question.
Some folks might wish to contact the spirits on this night, a Ouija board could be used for this. Remember that this board is controlled by unknown spirits and opening such a porthole might have some risks as you will not have the controll over it.

Symbols of Samhain

The Jack"o"Lantern - The autumn gourd that is known as a pumkin is one of the most prevelant symbols of Samhain, mostly because of the Jack"o"Lantern. The jack o lantern is a the very least 2 thousand years old. The first jack o lanterns were made in Ireland. They were simple faces that were carved into turnups that were easily carried. They were designed to frighten away evil spirits that were following deceased loved ones, and blocking their way to the land of the dead. They were also use for protection of the living.
The Witches Broom - This is another symbol of Samhain. The broom or as witches call it the besom was used offten in the magical practices of the middle ages. Like the caldren you could find this in every household, therefore it was not thought of as a sign of witchcraft in the courts. It is with this fact that the besoms prominence was elevated as a magical tool, and often took the place of the staves, and wands. The besom is a phallic symbol, and was used by lady witches in fertility rites. It was in this form how the idea of the Halloween witch ridding a broomstick may have come about.
Other Symbols - Black cats, cauldrens, tools of divination, animal bones, pictures of ancestors, fall crops like pumkins, and apples. Colors of Samhain are black, and orange. Herbs, and flowers of Samhain are allspice, broom, comfry, dandelion, dragons blood, catnip, ferns, flax, hazel, heather, mandrake, mugwort, mullein, oak leave or acorn, pumkin, sage, straw, thistle, and wormwood.
Foods Of Samhain Some foods for Samhain are apples, beans, beets, bread, corn, cranberry muffins, gingerbread, grains, hazelnuts, and other nuts, meat dishes. pears, pork, pumkin, red foods, root crops, cider, mulled wine, and herbal teas.

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