Poems and other things for Samhain

It’s almost that time of year! Samhain is just around the corner and while most people will be celebrating Hallowe’en with costumes and candy, I will do my Honouring the Dead ritual. For those of you who are looking for symbols and ideas, I did a few blog posts last year on preparing for Samhain.

https://darkeconteur.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/preparing-for-samhain-part-one/

https://darkeconteur.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/preparing-for-samhain-part-two/

https://darkeconteur.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/preparing-for-samhain-pt-three/

https://darkeconteur.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/preparing-for-samhain-part-four/

 

Here is my Honouring the Dead ritual:

https://darkeconteur.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/samhain-ritual-for-honouring-the-dead/

 

This year I want to add something new to this. I did a Google search and found thirteen spooky poems that you can read for Samhain, or Hallowe’en. Thanks to About.com Pagan/Wicca for the list.

1. The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe

http://www.heise.de/ix/raven/Literature/Lore/TheRaven.html

2. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allen Poe.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174151

3. Tam Lin, (Scottish ballad)

http://poetry.about.com/library/weekly/bltamlinhalloween.htm

4. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173253

5. Halloween, Robert Burns

http://www.djmcadam.com/halloween.htm

6. Witches Spell from Macbeth, William Shakespeare

http://www.october-country.com/wychingwell/ww-bard.html

7. It’s Halloween!, Jack Prelutsky

http://www.thehalloweenday.com/poems/its-halloween.html

8. Ghost House, Robert Frost

http://poetry.about.com/od/poemsbytitleg/l/blfrostghosthouse.htm

9. Darkness, Lord Byron

http://www.strickling.net/byron_darkness.htm

10. A Lament, Percy Bysshe Shelley

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174393

11. Because I Could Not Stop For Death, Emily Dickinson

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/177119

12. The Apparition, John Donne,

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173349

13. The Little Ghost, Edna St. Vincent Millay

http://www.online-literature.com/millay/renascence/9/

Are there any poems that bring our images of Hallowe’en for you?

Preparing for Samhain (Pt Three)

For part three of my look into Samhain, I want to discuss things we use to invoke the spirit of the celebration. Many people like to preform spells, yet this can be frustrating if we don’t know how to do it right. Spell work, simply put, is the ability to manipulate energy fields. There is a lot of visualization involved and it takes some time before one is capable of doing it right, but like a lot of things to learn, the more you practice the better you become. Our ability to touch, smell, and taste are powerful tools in this sense. They help us to create an image in our mind that reinforces our spell. The list below are items that are generally connected to Samhain. Please be careful when using the herbs and incense. Some are toxic if ingested.  

Gemstones
Jet, obsidian, onyx, carnelian

Three of these stones are black, with carnelian being orange. Jet is often linked to the Goddess, with obsidian and onyx used for grounding. There are many uses for carnelian, including to promote sexual stimulation.   

Herbs
Allspice, comfry, dandelion, deadly nightshade, mugwort, catnip, dittany of Crete, ferns, flax, fumitory, mandrake, mullein, dragon’s blood, sage, straw, thistles, oak(leaf), wormwood (burn to protect from roving spirits)

Incense/Oil
Frankincense, basil, yarrow, lilac, camphor, clove, wood rose, wormwood, myrrh, patchouli, apple, heliotrope, mint, nutmeg, sage, ylang-ylang

Sorry, I kept forgetting to put the link in where I got this information. You can learn more here:

http://twopagans.com/holiday/Samhain.html

~Blessed Be~

Preparing for Samhain (Part One)

The month of October for some, brings a welcome relief from the heat of the summer. It also heralds the end of the Pagan year. For those of us who follow the natural cycle of the growing seasons, Samhain represents the final harvest before the cold and snow of winter blankets the ground. An Old Wives Tale states that no crops should be harvested after the 31st of October. If the farmer did not get to them in time, they are to be left as an offering to the Gods, or suffer the wrath of a poor harvest next season.

As Samhain is seen as a preparation for the long winter months, I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at some of the things used for rituals.

Symbols and Decorations

Jack o’ lanterns, oak leaves, acorns, straw, balefire, besom, black cat, black crescent moon, , grain, magic mirror, mask, bare branches, animal bones, hazelwood, pictures of ancestors.

 All these things are great for invoking images of ancient times, when we depended on our knowledge of the change in seasons and Nature to stay alive. Samhain is the time of the last harvest. Nothing grows after this date, unless you live in warmer climates. Use these things to decorate your altar or your home.    

Tools (specifically candles)

Black (ward off negativity), orange (good luck), indigo, homemade apple or mint scented herbal candles to light jack-o-lanterns or for altar candles. Black altar cloth, divination tools, cauldron.

I use several from the list above for my Samhain rite, which I will describe in better detail in a future post. Divination is widely done at this time of year, as the veil between this world and the spirit world is at its thinnest. Things like Tarot cards and Runes are popular methods to learn what the new year may hold.  

~Blessed Be~

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