I’m reposting this photo of Smokey from Friday, August 15th, 2014 a couple months ago - and, in my opinion, one of the cutest photos of him too - because I have been missing Smokey and Jake a lot, since they have not been Home since August. Happily though, as long as things keep moving along as well as they have in September and October this month so far, they should be both be arriving Home on Wednesday, October 29th and staying until Monday, November 3rd for a few days to celebrate Halloween/Samhhain Together. <3
As everyone who knows me well knows, this Holiday is incredibly important to me for many reasons - reasons, of course, that also include my faith and beliefs in Druidic and Celtic traditions as an Eclectic Wiccan, meaning that I even though I follow Greek Pantheon as well as the Druidic path strongly, in general, I feel the closest and strongest in my faith blending beliefs and practices from several different pantheons and traditions of Paganism. -smiles-
Samhain Lore (October 31st) - http://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/samhainlore.htm. Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.
It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort.
Originally the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”. Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.
This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person’s fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.
Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Also known as All Hallow’s Eve, (that day actually falls on November 7th), and Martinmas (that is celebrated November 11th), Samhain is now generally considered the Witch’s New Year.
Symbolism of Samhain:
Third Harvest, the Dark Mysteries, Rebirth through Death.
Symbols of Samhain:
Gourds, Apples, Black Cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, Besoms.
Herbs of Samhain:
Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, Oak leaves, Sage and Straw.
Foods of Samhain:
Turnips, Apples, Gourds, Nuts, Mulled Wines, Beef, Pork, Poultry.
Incense of Samhain:
Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg.
Colors of Samhain:
Black, Orange, White, Silver, Gold.
Stones of Samhain:
All Black Stones, preferably jet or obsidian.
I cannot wait to see my two boys again, to just be able to hangout and relax and have with them all together the three of Us again. We haven’t decided on everything we are doing yet, and I don’t think that we have anything huge planned - it will just be really nice to have Jake and my Smokey-Bubba here with me, just hanging out, relaxing, and having fun Together, no matter what We do for Our 5 days Together. Oh, and yes - We do plan to dress Smokey up in a Costume on Halloween/Samhain Night on Friday, October 31st. Yes - We are those Pet Parents. -grins- <3
I’ve been looking at Pet Costumes Online at different websites for a few weeks now, and have found lots of really cute ones, like Tigger and Winnie the Pooh, but cannot seem to decide on “the best” costume for my Smokey. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m open to any and ally suggestions, so lemme hear them! -grins-
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