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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Samhain

DEFINITIONS

Samhain: October 31
Expect the unexpected if you celebrate Samhain—the Celtic New Year—on All Hallows Eve...
source: Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2004, K.D. Spitzer

Samhain: October 31. Also called Hallowee, Hallowe'en, and All Hallows Eve. This holiday is widely celebrated by people of all faiths with costume parties and trick-or-treating. But this night also marks the Wiccan new year. In the wheel of the year, Samhain is the night when the God dies and leaves the Goddess alone until Yule, when he is born again. Halloween/Samhain is a time when the doors between the words are said to open, stirring up much ghostly and otherworldly activity.Llewellyn

Also See: Hallowmas

ARTICLES

Samhain Ritual
Setup Items for this ritual include: Two white candles and four black candles; Four small sprigs of bittersweet; One branch of bittersweet; Strands of black, white and red yarn cut to twelve-inch lengths placed in a basket on the altar; Pomegranate ...
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Time
The earliest Indo-European measurement of time was by the moon, and this reveals the nature of the Celtic calendar. The Celts never deviated from lunar time measurement, as their Druids had preserved it from the Indo-European tradition. Luckily for ...
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Beltane Ritual
Setup Items for this ritual include: Two white candles for deities; Four candles for the directions in pastel shades or colors of bright flowers; Chalice; Athame; Sweet juice such as peach nectar; Shelled sunflower seeds on a plate suitable for the ...
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The Fairy Ring Oracle Review
Summary: An oracle deck (not a Tarot) with photorealistic (and surrealistic) art that crosses the boundaries between our physical world and the spiritual world of the fairy. It’s ideal for learning about the classical myths of fairies and various ...
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Who Were the Druids?
To mention the word Druid is to evoke images of ancient wizards and wonder-workers from old Irish sagas, Welsh legends, Caesar’s Gallic Wars and Scottish folktales. If you have read about the Druids, you’ve probably retained one of their many images ...
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Witchy Tarot Deck Review
Summary: The Witchy Tarot is like your best friend: smart, pretty, funny, surprising deep and always clever…and always very real and honest. It helps you embrace your power while accepting your shortcomings. This deck gives great Tarot readings but ...
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Review of the Wiccan Cards
Summary: The Wiccan Cards invite the user’s intuition and imagination into each quiet image. Each card is a doorway leading to worlds waiting to be explored. By going through these charming and deceptively simple portals, seekers can find answers ...
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The Sabbats
The Sabbats are a combination of solar and earthly celebrations. The daily cycle of the sun and the seasons of the earth determined the rhythms of activity for our ancestors. They lived close to the land and on an everyday basis observed its subtle ...
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Review of the Celtic Oracle
Summary: The twenty-two oversized cards of the Celtic Oracle provide both an excellent divination tool as well as an introduction to Celtic studies. It elegantly combines Celtic astrology with the Ogham (or Celtic alphabet) and tree symbolism ...
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Wheel of the Year Tarot Review
Summary The Wheel of the Year Tarot beautifully and cleverly incorporates the setting and sensibility of the seasons. The combined symbols of seasonal holidays and traditional tarot enhance each other, making for a very beautiful deck that is a ...
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You might have noticed New Year's Day tends to fall at different times in different cultures. For example, Chinese New Year falls in late January or February (at the new moon of their first lunar month). The Jewish New Year (aka Rosh Hashanah, or "Head of the Year") occurs in the fall, at the beginning of the seventh month of their ecclesiastical... read this article
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