Samhain Celebrations

Halloween, October 31st, Welsh Samhain, All Hallows Eve, Day of the Dead     
Summer's End, Hallowmas, All Saint's Day, Shadow Fest, Martinmas, Old Hallowmas, Nut Crack Night
Beginning of the Winter/Dark Season, Otherworld Borders Day, Ancestors' Night, Hallowed Evening
Winter Nights, The Last Harvest, Feast of the Apples, Great Rite, New Year's Day for Witches, Day for the Ancestors
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico, and in many other Hispanic and Catholic Cultures
A Day to Remember and Honor Dead Relatives and all the Ancestors and the Great Traditions 

1st Celebration in the NeoPagan Holy Day Annual Cycle or Wiccan Wheel of the Year 

Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, North Sacramento Valley, California

General Preparations    Quotations    Bibliography    Links    Prayers    Poems   Notes    October

Research by
Michael P. Garofalo

October 20, 2011







Bibliography and Links
Samhain, Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Day of the Dead, Hallowed Evening  

Note:  A 2nd version of this webpage will be completed by October 31st, 2010.



Origins of Halloween

Alban Elfed, Autumn Season Celebrations, Mabon, Autumn Equinox (September 21st) Celebrations and Activities    There are many activities for Samhain that are also done on Mabon - all related to harvesting and preservation during the early autumn season. 

All Hallow's Eve.   Mike Nichols.  

All Soul's Day in Ireland  

American Indian Lore for October: "How the Turtles Back Was Cracked," Cherokee  

Ancient Ways: Reclaiming Pagan Traditions.  By Pauline Campanelli and Dan Campanelli.  St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Pubs., 1991.  256 pages.  ISBN: 0875420907.  VSCL.  Samhain: pp. 161-190.  One of my favorite books. 

Ante Diem III Nonas October - The Pagan Left  Information on Quan Yin.  

Ante Diem III Kalendas October - The Pagan Left 

Aphrodite  Greek Goddess of sexuality, love, and war.  Compare with Inanna/Ishtar from Sumeria.   


Apple Lore and Facts.  By Susa Morgan Black, OBOD. 

Apple Branch in Dianic Tradition 

The Apple Branch: A Path to Celtic Ritual.  By Alexei Kondratiev.  Citadel, 2003.  320 pages.  ISBN: 0806525029. 

Apple Tree Wisdom 

Apples: A Teacher's Cyberguide

Apples: Iounn, Norse Goddess 

Apples: October Lore

Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF): A Druid Fellowship   The ADF is a legally recognized 501(C)3 Church, and the largest Druid organization in America.  ADF has open public celebrations of the Eight Holy Days of NeoPaganism and any spiritual seeker is welcome to attend.  For example, I attend the public ceremonies of the Feather River Grove in Chico, California.  I've been an ADF member since 2007.  I find their liturgical cycle, philosophy, and rituals to be spiritually uplifting, wholesome, life affirming, earth centered, ecologically positive, profound, polytheistic, creative, and open minded. 

The Art of Ritual: A Guide to Creating and Performing Your Own Ceremonies for Growth and Change.  By Renee Beck and Sydney Barbara Metrick .  Berkeley, California, Celestial Arts, 1990.146 pages.  ISBN: 0890875820.  VSCL.    

Astaru Holidays   Germanic and Northern Heathen Celebrations 

August:  Quotes, Poems, Celebrations, Lore, Garden Chores 

Autumn Equinox: The Enchantment of Mabon.   By Ellen Dugan.  Woodbury, Minnesota, Llewellyn Pubs., 2005.  Bibliography, index, 208 pages.  ISBN: 0738706248.  VSCL. 

Autumn Celebrations 

Autumn Lore - Mythology My*thing Links   Kathleen Jenks, PhD., had prepared a new webpage on autumn lore, myths, and associations each year since 1999.  Be sure to visit this beautiful website. 

Autumn Season Celebrations, Mabon, Autumn Equinox, Alban Elfed (September 21st) Celebrations and Activities    There are many activities for Samhain that are also done on Mabon - all related to harvesting and preservation during the early autumn season. 

Autumn Lore - Mythology My*thing Links   Kathleen Jenks, PhD., had prepared a new webpage on autumn lore, myths, and associations each year since 1999.  Be sure to visit this beautiful website. 

Bardic Year:  Rituals for Wiccan Groups

The Book of Halloween.  By Ruth Edna Kelley.  Lulu, 2007.  124 pages.  ISBN: 1430327510.  Originally published in 1919. 

Book of Pagan Prayer.  By Ceisiwr Serith.  San Francisco, California, Weiser Books, 2002.  Notes, annotated bibliography, appendices, 286 pages.  ISBN: 1578632552.  VSCL.  Begins with an essay titled "Why and How We Pray" (68 pages) and then a collection of over 500 prayers for NeoPagans. 

Boreas:  Greek God of Northerly Winter Winds (Anemoi) 

A Brief History of Halloween  

Calling the Quarters, Casting the Circle, Magickal Protective Sphere, Creating the Sacred Sphere  

Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition.  By Laurie Cabot and Jean Mills.  Delta, 1994.  288 pages.  ISBN: 0385309201. 

Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Samhain to Ostara.  Lore, Rituals, Activities, and Symbls.  By Ashleen O'Gaea.  Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, New Page Books, 2004.  Bibliography, index, 221 pages.  ISBN: 1564147312.  VSCL.  A good study of four autumn and winter Celebrations in the Wiccan-NeoPagan year.  Rich in details and ideas.  Samhain is explained by Ashleen O'Gaea on pp. 17-66. 

Circles, Groves and Sanctuaries: Sacred Spaces of Today's Pagans.  Compiled by Dan and Pauline Campanelli.  St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, 1993.  Resources, 268 pages.  ISBN: 0875421083.  Ideas for creating indoor and outdoor altars and sanctuaries.  VSCL.    

Creating Circles and Ceremonies: Rituals for all Seasons and Reasons.  By Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart.  Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, New Page Books, 2006.  Appendices, glossary, index, 288 pages.  ISBN: 1564148645.  VSCL.  This is a valuable collection of information, poetry, rituals, songs, and craft activities for NeoPagans. 



Day of the Dead,  Día de los Muertos   (Mexico, Hispanic and Catholic Cultures)

Day of the Dead Holiday in Mexico - Links  

Day of the Dead Images   

Day of the Dead Information    

Old Traditions, New Places to Celebrate Día de los Muertos.   By Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times, October 29, 2010,    


The above photograph was sent to me by Vanessa Trujillo, a long time friend and Chi Omega Sorority sister of my daughter, Alicia Flinn. 
Vanessa's family set up this honorary altar in the Rose Hills Cemetery in Whittier, California.  The display is in honor of
Jerry Fajardo,
who died of a stroke in 2006 at the age of 59.  Biking was one of his passions - and he rode again this Day of the Dead.  This display
in honor of Mr. Fajardo was part of the story reported by columnist Hector Tobar of the Los Angeles Times newspaper on
October 29, 2010.  Hector Tobar said, "
All they wanted was to be a little closer to their dead, and to bring them back into life's party,
even if just for a day.



Demeter: Greek Goddess   Related to Underworld, agrarian concerns, autumn Eleusian Mysteries

Divination Methods: Tarot   Most Holy Day rituals include using some method for divination: Runes, Oghams, Tarot, or Signs.  I use either the Voyager Tarot or the Crowley Thoth Tarot. 

The Domestic Witch Blog

Draioch: Rites of Celtic Sorcery.  By Ian Corrigan.  2005.  Republished by Jeffrey Wyndham, 2007.  Distributed by Lulu Press.  352 pages.  VSCL. 
Rev. Corrigan has been the Archdruid of Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF): A Druid Fellowship

A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year.   By Ellen Evert Hopman.   Rochester, Vermont, Destiny Books, 1995.  Appendices, bibliography, index, 213 pages.  ISBN: 0892815019.  VSCL. 

The Elements of Ritual: Air, Fire, Water and Earth in the Wiccan Circle.  By Deborah Lipp.  Llewellyn Pubs., 2003.  Illustrated edition.  288 pages.  ISBN: 073870301X. 

Exploring the Northern Tradition.  A Guide to the Gods, Lore, Rites, and Celebrations from the Norse, German, and Anglo-Saxon Traditions.  By Galina Drasskova.  Foreword by Swaim Wodening, cofounder of the Angelseaxisce Ealdriht.  Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, New Page Books, 2005.  Index, bibliography, notes, appendix, 200 pages.  ISBN: 1564147916.   VSCL. 

Fairies, Elves, Nature Spirits:  Lands Spirits, Alfs, Wights, Lars, Trolls, Dwarves, Sidhe, Devas, Otherworld, Little Folk, Ancestors, Ghosts 

German and German-American Customs, Traditions and Origins of Holidays  

Greek and Roman Autumn Festivals 

Golden Apple in Mythology   

Greek Sky and Weather Gods  

The Green Man (Powers of Spring and Summer): Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Information, Lore, Myths, Role  

Gushen Grove:  The word "Gushen" or "Gu Shen" is a phrase from the Chinese book by Lao Tze, The Tao Te Ching (Chapter 6), and it means the "Valley Spirit" - The Dark, Fertile, Empty, and Fathomless Ground of Beings, The Ever Giving Mysterious Mother of Life.  Our sacred circle (nemeton) is in North Sacramento Valley, south of Red Bluff, California. 

Halloween Activities 

Halloween: An American Holiday, An American History.  By Lesley Bannatyne.  Pelican Pub., 1998.  192 pages.  ISBN: 1565543467. 

Halloween: Bibliography, Links, Lore, Quotations, Preparations, Correspondences

Halloween Came From Where?  

Halloween Crafts  

Halloween: Customs, Recipes and Spells.  By Silver Raven Wolf.  Llewellyn Pubs., 1999.   240 pages.  ISBN: 1567187196. 

Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night.  By Nicholas Rogers.  Oxford University Press, 2003.  208 pages.  ISBN: 0195168968. 

Halloween History    

Halloween Images  

Halloween Links    Stories and poems   

Halloween Online  

Halloween Poems and Tales  

Halloween Poems by Children      

Halloween Reader: Poems, Stories and Plays from Halloween Past.  Edited by Lesley Pratt Bannatyne.  Pelican Pub., 2004.  272 pages.  ISBN: 1589801768. 

Halloween: The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows  Jack Santino.   

Harvest and Halloween     Part of Kids Ark.   

Harvest Home.   By Mike Nichols.

Harvest Moon Page  

Harvest Moon Poems   

Harvest Moon - Wikipedia 

Harvest's End Ritual   

Hecate   A chthonic Greco-Roman goddess associated with magic and crossroads.

Hecate, Greek Goddess of the Crossroads 

Hel   A female spirit in Norse mythology who receives some of the dead.  Hel is also the realm of the dead were beings are hidden away. 

High Days, Sacred Days in the Year, High Holy Days of NeoPaganism 

Horned God  

Inanna  Sumerian Goddess:  Nin-anna "Queen of Heaven"  Goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare. 

Inanna and the Huluppu Tree  


Inanna/Ishtar - Google Images 

Inanna: Journey to the Dark Center

Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer.  By Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer.  Harper, 1983.  227 pages.  ISBN: 0060908548. 

Inanna's Descent 

Inanna with Ereshkigal

In Nature's Honor: Myths and Rituals Celebrating the Earth.  By Patricia Montley.   Boston, Skinner House Books, 2005.  Index, 379 pages.  ISBN: 155896486X  VSCL. 

Ishtar the Lady of Heaven

Jack Frost   

Labyrinths: Lore, Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes

Lammas, Lughnasadh, Summer Festival, First Harvest, August 1st  

Land Spirits, Nature Spirits:  Fairies, Elves, Alfs, Wights, Trolls, Dwarves, Sidhe, Devas, Otherworld, Little Folk, Ancestors, Ghosts 

Librarian of Gushen Grove, Michael P. Garofalo, M.S.L.S., Red Bluff, California, aka The Green Wizard 

Mabon, Autumnal Equinox, Alban Elfed (September 21st) Celebrations and Activities    There are many activities for Samhain that are also done on Mabon - all related to harvesting and preservation during the early autumn season. 

Mithraic Mysteries   


Mithraism and Early Christianity, Particularly Roman Catholicism 

Mithraism: The Pagan Religion Similar to Christianity, Particularly Roman Catholicism

Months of the Year:  Quotes, Poems, Reading List, Links, Garden Chores, Holidays 

Myth of Samhain 

The Mysteries of Druidry: Celtic Mysticism, Theory and Practice.  By Brendan Cathbad Myers, Ph.D.  Foreword by Isaac Bonewits.  Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, New Page Books, 2006.  Notes, Index, 236 pages.  ISBN: 1564148785.  VSCL. 

Mythology's Myth*ings Links: Autumn Greetings 2009   Kathleen Jenk's colorful and informative webpages are always a delight to visit. 

Nature Mysticism    

Nature Spirits:  Fairies, Elves, Alfs, Wights, Lars, Trolls, Dwarves, Sidhe, Devas, Otherworld, Little Folk, Ancestors, Ghosts 


Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work.  By Isaac Bonewits.  Llewellyn Publications, 2007.  240 pages.  ISBN: 0738711993.  VSCL. 


Neopagan Samhain: Bibliography, Links, Lore, Quotations, Preparations, Correspondences

Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner.  A Book of Prayer, Devotional Practice, and the Nine Worlds of the Spirit.  By Galina Krasskova and Raven Kaldera.  Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, New Page Books, 2009.  Index, bibliography, appendices, 254 pages.  ISBN: 9781601630346.   VSCL. 

November:  Quotes, Poems, Celebrations, Lore, Garden Chores 


October:  Quotes, Poems, Celebrations, Lore, Garden Chores 

October: Samhain, Halloween

One Old Druid's Final Journey: The Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove 

Order of Bards Ovates and Druids.   The largest Druid organization in the world.  A complete training program in print and audio versions, discussion groups, library, extensive resources.  I am a member of this Order as a Bardic Grade student.  The OBOD celebrates the Eight Holy Days of NeoPaganism.  I find their liturgical cycle and rituals to be spiritually uplifting, wholesome, life affirming, earth centered, ecologically positive, profound, polytheistic, and open minded.  OBOD is more orientated towards Celtic spirituality. 

Origins of Halloween

The Pagan Mysteries of Halloween: Celebrating the Dark Half of the Year.  By Jean Markale.  Inner Traditions, 2001.  160 pages.  ISBN: 0892819006. 

Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions.  Joyce and River Higginbotham.  Woodbury, Minnesota, Llewellyn, 2004.  Bibliography, index, 272 pages.  ISBN: 0738702226. 

Pathways in the Green Valley.   A blog by Michael Garofalo. 

Preparing for Mabon, Autumnal Equinox Celebrarion, Alban Elfed on September 21st 

Preparing for Samhain, Halloween

Preparing for Samhain, Halloween  

Reinventing the Halloween Night 

Roman Pagan Holy Days, Seasonal Celebrations, Religious Customs, Roman Pagan Hearth 

Sabbats and Esbats:  Lady of the Earth

The Sabbats: A New Approach to Living the Old Ways.  By Edain McCoy.  St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Pubs., 1994.  Index, 255 pages.  ISBN: 1567186637.  Practical suggestions for celebrating the pagan holidays in the Wheel of the Year.  VSCL. 

Sacred Circles  Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Notes.  Photos of the Valley Spirit Center sacred circle construction project. 

Sacred Fire, Holy Well: A Druid's Grimoire.  By Ian Corrigan.  Tuscon, Arizona, ADF Publishing, Second Edition, 2009.  Gaeilge glossary, bibliography, 318 pages.  ISBN: 0976568128.  VSCL.  Excellent resources for liturgy. 


Samhain Activities 

Samhain: Ancient Greek Samhain Festivals.  By John Opsopaus. 

Samhain: Bibliography, Links, Lore, Preparations, Correspondences

Samhain - Cauldron Corner 

Samhain Lore by Akasha 

Samhain Correspondences  Google Search

Samhain Correspondences   Magickal Journal

Samhain Correspondences   Pagan Pages 

Samhain: Feast of Samhain

Samhain, Halloween, and Day of the Dead.   Excellent annotated links by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D. 

Samhain Images    

Samhain Lore    

Samhain Lore   By Akasha.  

Samhain Lore   By Storm Wing   

Samhain Lore   By Ian Corrigan  

Samhain Lore and Poetry   By Caitlin Matthews  

Samhain Poems  

Samhain Ritual for the Solitary by Boudica    

Samhain Ritual:  I Stand with Tara

Samhain: Season of Death and Renewal  

Samhain Ritual: High Days Rituals of the Sonoran Sunrise Grove, Arizona  

Samhain Rituals, Compost Coveners, 1980  

Samhain Solitary Activities for College Students   

Samhain - Wikipedia

School of the Seasons   By Waverly Fitzgerald. 

September:  Quotes, Poems, Celebrations, Lore, Garden Chores 

Sexual Magic: Bibliography, Links, Quotes

The Solitary Druid: A Practitioner's Guide.   By Robert Lee (Skip) Ellison.   New York, Kensington Pub. Co,., Citadel Press, 2005.   Index, bibliography, appendices, 262 pages.  ISBN:  0806526750.  VSCL.  Reverend Ellison has been the Archdruid of Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF) and Dean of Divination and Beast Mastery - The Grey School of Wizardry.  A solitary ritual for Samhain is provided by Rev. Ellison on pp. 92-111. 

Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation.  By Silver Ravenwolf.  St. Paul, Minnesota, 2005. Notes, bibliography, appendices, 590 pages.   ISBN: 0738703192.  VSCL. 

The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess.  Rituals, invocations, exercises, and magic.  By Starhawk.  10th Anniversary Edition, Revised and updated.  Bibliography, index, 288 pages.  VSCL.  ISBN: 0062508148.  A very influential work on Goddess worship and pagan religious practices. 

The Spirit of Gardening   3,400 quotes, poems, sayings, and ideas about gardening, gardens, and the Green Way.  Materials organized by 140 topics; and a fully indexed collection with a search engine.  Online since 1999.  Over 6MB of text.  Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo

Thesmophoria - Ancient Greek Autumn Festival

Twelve Seasonal Spiritual/Religious Celebrations for NeoPagans   

Valley Spirit Sacred Circle, Red Bluff, California 

Walkers Between the Worlds:  The Western Mysteries from Shaman to Magus.  By Caitlin and John Matthews.  Rochester, Vermont, Inner Traditios, 1985, 2003.  Bibliography, index, 441 pages.  ISBN: 0892810912.  VSCL. 

Ways of Walking

What to Do about Halloween?

Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life.  By Pauline Campanelli.  Illustrated by Dan Campanelli.  St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, 1989, 1993.  ISBN: 0875420915.  VSCL. 

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.  By Scott Cunningham.  Llewellyn's Practical Magick Series.  St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, 1994.  Index, bibliography, glossary, 218 pages.  VSCL.  ISBN: 0875421180.  A very good introduction to the Craft by an open-minded person.  


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Samhain, Halloween - Table of Associations and Correspondences


Time of Day

Sunset, Dusk, Evening, Night

Time of Life

60's-70's, Old Age, Crones, Old Wizards 

Elemental Forces Nighttime, Water, West, Ocean, Intuition, Emotions, Death, Dying


Pumpkins, Apples, Gourds, Dried Flowers

Customs Ancestor altar, spirit plate offerings, costumes, carving jack-o-lanterns, divination, feasting, fairs, drying winter herbs, making masks, bonfires, apple games, trick or treat, scaring people, nighttime pranks, candy


Apples, Raisins, Pumpkins, Gourds, Squash, Corn, Wheat, Pomegranates
Seeds and seed pods, Nuts, Ciders, Brandies 


Pumkin, Rosemary, Hemlock, Mandrake, Nettle, Angelica, Catnip, Cinnamon, Clove, Deadly Nightshade, Ginger 

Plants Chrysanthemums, bay laurel, sunflowers, hazelnuts
Minerals Black Obsidian, Smoky Quartz, Bloodstone
Incense Apple, Sage, Mint, Heliotrope, Nutmeg  


Baskets, bones, cauldron, sickles, scythes, scarecrows, besom (witches' broom), obsidian ball, pendulum, runes, oghams, magical mirror, black ink, sex magic


Hecate, Cerridwen, Morrigan/Morrigu, Hel, Inanna, Kheimon, Dementer
Macha, Mari, Psyche, Ishtar, Lilith, Rhiannon, Triple Goddess
Crone, Caileach, Wise Old Woman 


Horned God, Hades, Loki (Norse), Cernnunos (Greco-Celtic), Kronos (Greek), Osiris(Egyptian), Gwynn ap Nudd (British), Dis (Roman), Arawn (Welsh), sacrificial/Dying/Aging Gods, Death and Otherworld Gods, Anubis (Egyptian), Coyote Brother (Native American)

Nature Spirits Ghosts, Spirits of Ancestors, Fairies, Goblins, Harpies, Pookas, Gouls  


Darkness, Beneath the Earth, Old Age, Death, Dying, Other Worlds, Sacrifice 

Farming Activities

Harvesting and preserving wheat, corn, vegetables
Slaughtering farm animals, hunting season, preserving meat


Black Cat, Stag, Crow, Bat, Salmon, Dog, Spiders


Black, Orange, Silver, Gold, Violet

Sacred Circle (Valley Spirit)

North West, Violet,




Samhain (SOW ain) - Wiccan, Druid, Neo-Pagan
Day of the Dead - Mexico
Winter Nights - Asatru, Odin Blot  
|Shadowfest - Strega, Italian Witchcraft 



Samhain Correspondences  Google Search

Samhain Correspondences   Magickal Journal

Samhain Correspondences   Pagan Pages 



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General Preparations
Samhain, Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Day of the Dead


1.  This is a time for remembering the Ancestors, honoring deceased members of your family, and remembering the cherished dead.  Gather together a few pictures of your ancestors and place them on or near your home altar.  Set out some offerings of food, drink or valuables to honor the dead.  Visit and clean the gravesites of those who have passed away.  Say some prayers for the souls of those who have passed into the Otherworld.  Talk with your ancestors and bring them up to date about what has happened since they died on the earthly plane. 

2.  Samhain is the time when the veils to the Otherworlds are lifted.  It is an excellent time for the practice of divination, scrying, fortune telling, or reading the future.  My first choice for divination is a Tarot deck.  I prefer using the Voyager Tarot by James Wanless or the Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley.   There are many techniques and methods used for fortune telling or divination.  My notes about using the Tarot are online. 

3.  Read about Samhain, Halloween, Day of the Dead.  Add notes and links to books, magazines, and webpages on the subject.  See my bibliography and links aboveUpdate my Months webpages on October and November.  Visit your local public library or college library for books, media and magazines on the subject. 

4.  Add some appropriate Samhain, Halloween, October songs, chants, prayers, invocations, or poems to your Neo-Pagan Craft Journal, Book of Shadows, Ritual Handbook, etc..  Write in your personal journal.  Many keep a Neo-Pagan notebook, journal or log as part of their experimental and experiential work.  

5.  If children playing "Trick or Treat" from house to house is customary in your neighborhood, then get ready for the event.  Dress in a costume or mask.  Host a Halloween party.  Decorate your home with Jack-0-Lanterns, skeletons, and spooky looking decorations. 

6.  Bury offerings in the ground such as apples, pomegranates, nuts, or valuables.  Dig holes for the November planting of trees and shrubs in Zone 9.  Participate in a underground sweat lodge ceremony.  Explore a cave.  Going into the ground, burial, entering the underworld, submersion in the earth or deep waters, spirit beings rising from graves, leaves decaying into soil, etc., are all part of Samhain Lore.  

7.  Working and meditating in the garden is an important facet of my spiritual path.  I live in Red Bluff, California, USDA Zone 9, Northern Hemisphere.  My late October gardening chores might be quite different from yours, depending upon where you live.  We plant new trees and shrubs at this time of year.  Fertilize garden for setting over the winter.  Remove dead and dying plants from the garden.  Turn compost pile.  Time for planting seeds for the winter garden.   Fertilize to boost growth.  Recover sheds.  Put tools up from rain.  Reconnect in some way to the earth and the autumn season outdoors. 

8.  Thoroughly clean, dust, tidy up, refreshen, improve, and add appropriate seasonal decorations to your home altar.  This should normally be clean and tidy, however an extra cleaning before the Samhain celebration is a way to express your reverence, create a visible reminder of your thoughts and devotional practices, and to offer hospitality to the nature spirits, ancestors, and Shining Ones. If you don't have a home altar, read some books and webpages about setting one up in your home or garden, and then establish one this holiday season. 

9.   Stay at home.  Eliminate long driving trips.  Do you really need to "Go" anywhere?  Do you really need to fly by airplane to another country?  Explore your backyard, neighborhood, local community, nearby city, county wide area, regional area within 150 miles.  Visit a local "sacred site."  For us, for example, this could be Mt. Shasta, the headwaters spring of the Sacramento River in Mt. Shasta City, the Sacramento River at Woodson Bridge Park, or a beautiful church or college or park.  Take a long walk





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Quotations, Information, Facts, Lore
Samhain, Halloween, Day of the Dead



"To many ancient people, the waning of the light signaled death.  For example, in Welsh mythology, this is the day of the year when the God of Darkness, Goronwy, defeats the God of Light, Llew, and takes his place as King of the world. To this day in Japan, the equinox is celebrated by visits to the graves of family members, at which time offerings of flowers and food are made and incense is burned.  The three days preceding and following the equinox are called "higan," or the "Other side of the River of Death."
-   September Folklore 



"Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn
The night that brings the morning of spring
Come to us, Lord of Harvest
Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us
The bounty of your sacrifice
The warmth and the light of friends gathered around the bounty of the earth.
Dionysus, Osiris, Cernunnos, Dumuzi, Frey,
Lord of the grain,
-   Autumn Equinox Celebration  



"First, it was an important agricultural observance, when the final harvest was taken and the folk were now dependent on stored food, hunting and slaughtering of animals for survival. Herds were culled to eliminate the weak and unnecessary and ensure that the limited amount of food would go around for the next six months. In this aspect, Samhain is a holiday of Plenty and feasting, laying in a layer of fat before the winter, and gathering together for safety and protection.   The harvest being over, the seeds for the next years crops are planted. They'll lie dormant until Oimelc (Feb. 1st) when they will begin to sprout. By Beltain (May 1st) they will have shown growth, and it is this time of year that is concerned with the fertility of the coming crops. Those same crops will be harvested by Samhain, and the cycle begins anew.   In present times the importance of this part of the festival has diminished for most people living in this country, but you should try to see this from the stand- point of a tribal people for whom a bad season meant facing a long winter of famine in which many would not survive to the spring.    Samhain is also a time when the veil separating our world, the mortal realm, and the world of the Gods and spirits becomes thin. As such, it is a good time to commune with the recently departed before they continue their journey from death to the "Summerland" - the realm of the Gods. There they can enjoy an eternal paradise of feasting, joy and plenty, until they are ready to cross back over to our realm and become incarnate beings again.   Death was never very far away, yet to die was not the tragedy it is in modern times. What was of great importance to these people was to die with honour and to live in the memory of the clan and be honoured at the great feast Fleadh nan Mairbh (Feast of the Dead) which took place on Samhain Eve.   Likewise, the separation between past, present and future becomes blurred, allowing for glimpses not only into the realm of the ever Young, but of things which have not yet come to pass. Divination has been historically popular at Samhain, from the Irish myths; to children casting nuts into a fire and kenning their future sweetheart by the way they pop and burn."
-   Samhain Lore by Ian Corrigan   



"The eve of the New Year or Oidhche Shamhna was a gap in time. Thus, the spirits from the Otherworld could enter into our world. Rituals on Oidhche Shamhna include providing hospitality to the dead ancestors. They welcomed the dead with food and drink and left the windows and doors of their homes open for the dead to enter. But all spirits from the Otherworld were not good; there were evil spirits too. To keep evil spirits away from their home, they carved images of spirit-guardians onto turnips and placed them at the doors of their homes. As part of the festivities young people wore strange costumes and moved around the village, pretending to be dead spirits visiting from the Otherworld. The Celts believed that on the eve of New Year not only did the boundary between this world and the Otherworld dissolve, but the structure of society dissolved too. Boys and girls would dress up as members of the opposite sex and play pranks on the elders."
-   Celtic New Year  



"Perhaps the most famous icon of the holiday is the jack-o-lantern.  Various authorities attribute it to either Scottish or Irish origin.  However, it seems clear that it was used as a lantern by people who traveled the road this night, the scary face to frighten away spirits or faeries who might otherwise lead one astray.  Set on porches and in windows, they cast the same spell of protection over the household.  (The American pumpkin seems to have forever superseded the European gourd as the jack-o-lantern of choice.)  Bobbing for apples may well represent the remnants of a Pagan 'baptism' rite called a 'seining', according to some writers.  The water-filled tub is a latter-day Cauldron of Regeneration, into which the novice's head is immersed.  The fact that the participant in this folk game was usually blindfolded with hands tied behind the back also puts one in mind of a traditional Craft initiation ceremony."
-   Mike Nichols, All Hallow's Eve



"Perhaps the best known of all the harvest mythologies is the story of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter was a goddess of grain and of the harvest in ancient Greece. Her daughter, Persephone, caught the eye of Hades, god of the underworld. When Hades abducted Persephone and took her back to the underworld, Demeter's grief caused the crops on earth to die and go dormant. By the time she finally recovered her daughter, Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds, and so was doomed to spend six months of the year in the underworld. These six months are the time when the earth dies, beginning at the time of the autumn equinox.
The Sumerian goddess Inanna is the incarnation of fertility and abundance. Inanna descended into the underworld where her sister, Ereshkigal, ruled. Erishkigal decreed that Inanna could only enter her world in the traditional ways -- stripping herself of her clothing and earthly posessions. By the time Inanna got there, Erishkigal had unleashed a series of plagues upon her sister, killing Inanna. While Inanna was visiting the underworld, the earth ceased to grow and produce. A vizier restored Inanna to life, and sent her back to earth. As she journeyed home, the earth was restored to its former glory."
-   Mabon History 



"The Irish Celts had two particularly important Festival celebrations, one which celebrated the arrival of Spring, of renewal, is called Beltane and is on May First with dancing, feasting and the traditional Maypole. The other celebrates the end of the harvest, and arrival of Winter, on the 1st of November and is called Samhain. Incidentally, in the Gaelic language still in use in much of Ireland today, the word for November, is Samhain. Samhain is also generally regarded as the beginning of the Celtic New Year.   By the way, Celtic in all this is pronounced with a hard 'c', as in 'car', whereas in the famous Boston Celtics basketball team, and Glasgow Celtic soccer team it is a soft 'c' the same as in 'Caesar'. Their origins are the same, just different pronunciations.    The ancient Celtic tribes believed that the dividing line between the living and the dead became dangerous for the living on 31st October, when the change in the weather had become much cooler (colder) leading to sicknesses and damage to crops. So, they tried to ward off the perceived evil spirits by lighting bonfires where the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Just like at modern Halloween, at these new festivals, masks and costumes were worn, making them look like evil spirits, in an attempt to placate them and send them far away.   One of the names for these festivals (feast days) was on the eve of Samhain, 31st October, about to be the eve of All Hallows Day, and soon to be known as Halloween."
-   Halloween Activities



"O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not,
but sit
Beneath my shady roof, there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe;
And all the daughters of the year shall dance,
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers. "
-   William Blake, To Autumn 



"My tidings for you: the stag bells,
Winter snows, Summer is gone.

Wind high and cold, low the sun,
Short his course, sea running high.

Deep-red the bracken, its shape all gone,
The wild goose has raised his wonted cry.

Cold has caught the wings of birds.
Season of ice – these are my tidings."
-  Irish Poem, Translated by Caitlin Matthews  



"The Lord of Life Greenwood Man will now adopt his position as Lord of the Underworld, the dread Lord of Shadows.  All around leaves are changing color and falling from branches , with life itself retracting back into roots and bulbs . Not destroyed , but moved to another plane for the Winter , to rest , to recuperate in order to be re born. This is a time to draw in our energy , and prepare for Winter.   The colours are not provided by flowers, and yet the Earth is surrounded in color ... the color are of harvest and reflect the colors of the harvest an animals too.  As Samhain or Halloween arrives, so does JackFrost, making mysterious veil patterns on our windows, reminding us of his cleverness and intricate work.   Caileach, The Crone, the Wise One, The Oldest of the Phases of The Moon, has devoured the God so that she can rebirth him. Her womb is the Underworld.   Samhain is a time of transformation and of looking inside ourselves, a time for introspection.  It is also a sombre time of remembrance, when we remember and honour those who have died.  On this date the difference between the planes is at its lightest and we invite the dead to join us to feast. We can contact those who have died in all years gone by and we call upon ancient men and women to help us at this time."
Samhain and Beltane  



"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."
Samhain Lore by Akasha  



"Fire has always played an important part at Samhain. It was very important to the Celts as it was to all early people. In the old days people lit bonfires to ward away evil spirits and in some places they used to jump over the fire to bring good luck. Samhain was a fire festival to the Celts and in Ireland, originally all fires were put out save the sacred one which was kindled by the old rubbing sticks method, branches were then taken to light all fires in the land. Pagans today include a fire outside if possible for our celebrations, or indoors a candle in a cauldron is used to signify this. Bingley in West Yorkshire used to have a reminder of Celtic customs at its October Fair, Parkin pigs were sold. The boar is a symbol of the Sun in Celtic myth and so the symbol originally honoured it at the time of going into the light. Apples are traditional at this time and if you cut an apple crosswise you will see the centre displays a 5 pointed star or pentagram, the symbol used by many pagans as a sign of their beliefs."
-   Samhain - Cauldron Corner



"The Horned God is one of the two primary deities found in the Neopagan religion of Wicca. He is often given various names and epithets, and represents the male part of the religion's duotheistic theological system, the other part being the female Triple Goddess. In common Wiccan belief, he is associated with nature, wilderness, sexuality, hunting and the life cycle.   Whilst depictions of the deity vary, he is always shown with either horns or antlers upon his head, in this way emphasising "the union of the divine and the animal", the latter of which includes humanity.    The term Horned God itself predates Wicca, and is an early 20th century syncretic term for a horned or antlered anthropomorphic god with pseudohistorical origins who, according to Margaret Murray's 1921 The Witch-Cult in Western Europe, was the deity worshipped by a pan-European witchcraft-based cult, and was demonised into the form of the Devil by the Mediaeval Church.   The Horned God has been explored within several psychological theories, and it has also become a recurrent theme in fantasy literature since the 20th Century."
-   Horned God    



"The Celts honored the opposing balance of intertwining forces of existence: darkness and light, night and day, cold and heat, death and life. The Celtic year was divided into two seasons: the light and the dark, celebrating the light at Beltane on May 1st and the dark at Samhain on November 1st. Therefore, the Feast of Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year. Some believe that Samhain was the more important festival, since it marked the beginning of a new dark-light cycle. The Celts observed time as proceeding from darkness to light because they understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground. Therefore, the Celtic year began with the season of An Geamhradh, the dark Celtic winter, and ended with Am Foghar, the Celtic harvest. The Celtic day began at dusk, the beginning of the dark and cold night, and ended the following dusk, the end of a day of light and warmth. Since dusk is the beginning of the Celtic day, Samhain begins at dusk on October 31. Samhain marks the beginning of An Geamhradh as well as the New Year.    Whereas Beltane was welcomed in the summer light with joyous celebrations at dawn, the most magically potent time of Samhain was at night. Oidhche Shamhna, the Eve of Samhain, was the most important part of the celebration. Villagers gathered the best of the autumn harvest and slaughtered cattle for the feast. The focus of each village's festivities was a great bonfire. Villagers cast the bones of the slaughtered cattle upon the flames. (Our word bonfire comes from these "bone fires.") Personal prayers in the form of objects symbolizing the wishes of supplicants or ailments to be healed were cast into the fire. Many sacrifices and gifts were offered up in thanksgiving for the harvest. With the great bonfire roaring, the villagers extinguished all other fires. Each family then solemnly lit their hearth from the one great common flame, bonding all families of the village together. As they received the flame that marked this time of beginnings, people surely felt a sense of the kindling of new dreams, projects and hopes for the year to come."
-   Feast of Samhain



"As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a whisper whispering.
I heard a whisper whispering,
Upon this fine fall day...

As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a laugh a' laughing.
I heard a laugh a' laughing,
Upon this fine fall day...

I heard this whisper and I wondered,
I heard this laugh and then I knew.
The time is getting near my friends,
The time that I hold dear my friends,
The veil is getting thin my friends,
And strange things will pass through."
-   The Veil is Getting Thinner 



"No regrets cloud my thanks
no fear of the river,
slower now than the swift moving channel
I deigned to cut
in the exuberance of youth.

The River Lethe trickles through cracks
opened several summers ago
but not before I earned,
and still hold in my own right,
the gold coin Charon will demand,
though not a word be spoken,
not a breath exchanged.

As we make passage on the River Styx
I know not what lies ahead,
less of what I've left behind,
but I will go to complete
my preterdained journey to the otherworld
as the Ferryman leaves me off
and guides his boat
back to earthly shores."
-   Kaaren Whitney, The Ferryman  



"If thou openest not the gate to let me enter,
I will break the door, I will wrench the lock,
I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors.
I will bring up the dead to eat the living.
And the dead will outnumber the living."
Ishtar's Descent Into the Underworld



"The symbolism of this Sabbat is that of The Third (and final) Harvest, it marks the end of Summer, the beginning of Winter. It is a time marked by death when the Dead are honored - a time to celebrate and "study" the Dark Mysteries. "Samhain" means "End of Summer". Its historical origin is The Feast of the Dead in Celtic lands. It is believed that on this night, the veil Between the Worlds is at its thinnest point, making this an excellent time to communicate with the Other Side.   Symbols for representing this Sabbat may include Jack-O-Lanterns, Balefires, Masks, The Besom (Magickal Broom), The Cauldron, and the Waning Moon. Altar decorations might include small jack-o-lanterns, foods from the harvest, and photographs of your loved ones who have departed from this world.   Appropriate Deities for Samhain include all Crone Goddesses, and the Dying God or the "Dead" God.  Samhain Goddesses include Hecate, Hel, Inanna, Macha, Mari, Psyche, Ishtar, Lilith, The Morrigu/Morrigan, Rhiannon, and Cerridwen. Key actions to keep in mind during this time in the Wheel of the Year include return, change, reflection, endings and beginnings, and honoring the Dead. Other meanings behind this Sabbat celebration include the Wisdom of the Crone, the Death of the God, and the Celebration of Reincarnation."
-   Samhain Lore    



"I have come to a still, but not a deep center, 
A point outside the glittering current; 
My eyes stare at the bottom of a river, 
At the irregular stones, iridescent sandgrains, 
My mind moves in more than one place, 
In a country half-land, half-water. 
I am renewed by death, thought of my death, 
The dry scent of a dying garden in September, 
The wind fanning the ash of a low fire. 
What I love is near at hand, 
Always, in earth and air."
-  Theodore Roethke,
The Far Field    



"Everything that we know about the religious festivals of the pagan Anglo-Saxons comes from a book written by the Christian monk, the Venerable Bede, entitled De temporum ratione, meaning The Reckoning of Time,  in which he described the calendar of the year. The pagan Anglo-Saxons followed a calendar with twelve lunar months, with the occasional year having thirteen months so that the lunar and solar alignment could be corrected. Bede claimed that the greatest pagan festival was Modraniht (meaning Mother Night), which was situated at the Winter solstice and which marked the start of the Anglo-Saxon year.   Following this festival, in the month of Solmonað (February), Bede claims that the pagans offered cakes to their deities.  Then, in Eostur-monath Aprilis (April), a spring festival was celebrated, dedicated to the goddess Eostre, and the later Christian festival of Easter took its name from this month and its goddess. The month of September was known as Halegmonath, meaning Holy Month, which may indicate that it had special religious significance. The month of November was known as Blod-Monath, meaning Blood Month, and was commemorated with animal sacrifice, both in offering to the gods, and also likely to gather a source of food to be stored over the winter.   Remarking on Bede's account of the Anglo-Saxon year, the historian Brian Branston noted that they "show us a people who of necessity fitted closely into the pattern of the changing year, who were of the earth and what grows in it" and that they were "in fact, a people who were in a symbiotic relationship with mother earth and father sky"."
-   Anglo-Saxon Polytheism  



"Our friend Jack Frost, it appears, is a benevolent artist compared to some of the other frost beings of mythology. Jack is likely the son of the Norse god of wind Kari, born Jokul ("icicle") Frosti ("frost"). When Jokul Frosti immigrated to England with the Norse, he became Jack Frost, an elf-like being who colours tree leaves and paints patterns on windows.    Other frost beings including the Frost Woman and Frost Man, important weather deities in Finland and northern Russia, who control blizzards and other cold, wintry elements in these northern regions. Elsewhere in Russia, folks believed Father Frost to be a mighty blacksmith who forged great chains of ice to bind water to the earth each winter. And when Old Mother Frost shook the white feathers from her bed, they fell on German soil as snow.    In Japanese folklore, the Frost Man was the roguish brother of the Mist Man. Australian aborigines attribute frost to icicles thrown down to earth from seven sisters whose bodies sparkle with ice. These frosty sisters could not live with men on earth, so they sought a home in the heavens, each one becoming a star of the Pleiades constellation.    The word frost can take any one of several related meanings in the English language. To farmers, gardeners and botanists, frost means those subfreezing temperature conditions which halt or destroy plant functions. A frosty day is generally considered to be any day when temperatures are subfreezing regardless of other weather elements. Degrees of frost refer to the number of temperature units below 0°C or 32°F. Finally, and the aspect of frost we will discuss here, frost refers to ice crystals appearing on non-liquid surfaces without the aid of precipitation processes, most often forming during the night."
Jack Frost



Apples and Immortality




Apple Lore and Facts.  By Susa Morgan Black, OBOD. 

Apple Branch in Dianic Tradition 

Apples:  Iounn, Norse Goddess 

The Apple Branch: A Path to Celtic Ritual.  By Alexei Kondratiev.  Citadel, 2003.  320 pages.  ISBN: 0806525029. 

Apple Tree Wisdom 

Golden Apple in Mythology  

Orchards Forever

Peaches of Immortality, Chinese Taoist Lore, Queen Mother of the West, Xi Wang Mu

Pomona: Roman Goddess of Orchards, Fruit and Plenty



"Your tombstone stands among the rest;
neglected and alone
The name and date are chiseled out
on polished, marbled stone
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn
You did not know that I’d exist
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
in flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
one hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
and come to visit you."
-   Dear Ancestor 


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Poems, Prayers, Rites, Liturgy, Invocations
Autumnal Equinox Celebration (Mabon, Late Summer Harvest Feast)


"Great Goddess, Mistress of cats,
Lady of love, beautiful Vana-Goddess,
Fulfill my greatest needs, O glorious one.
Teach me the magic I need.
Give me a glimpse of your deep wisdom.
Teach me in dreams. Enrich my life.
O Lady, you are Golden-Tears of Asgard
Lady of love, beautiful Vana-Goddess,
You are the Shape-shifter, the Sayer,
The Independent One.
Give me the strength and the magic I need."
Prayers to Freyja 



"To all the ancient ones from their houses, the Old Ones from above and below. In this time the Gods of the Earth touch our feet, bare upon the ground. Spirits of the Air whisper in our hair and chill our bodies, and from the dark portions watch and wait the Faery Folk that they may join the circle and leave their track upon the ground. It is the time of the waning year. Winter is upon us. The corn is golden in the winnow heaps. Rains will soon wash sleep into the life-bringing Earth. We are not without fear, we are not without sorrow...Before us are all the signs of Death: the ear of corn is no more green and life is not in it. The Earth is cold and no more will grasses spring jubilant. The Sun but glances upon his sister, the earth..... It is so....Even now....But here also are the signs of life, the eternal promise given to our people. In the death of the corn there is the seed--which is both food for the season of Death and the Beacon which will signal green-growing time and life returning.In the cold of the Earth there is but sleep wherein She will awaken refreshed and renewed, her journey into the Dark Lands ended. And where the Sun journeys he gains new vigor and potency; that in the spring, his blessings shall come ever young!"
Two Samhain Rituals, Compost Coveners, 1980  



"A year of beauty. A year of plenty.
A year of planting. A year of harvest.
A year of forests. A year of healing.
A year of vision. A year of passion.
A year of rebirth.

This year may we renew the earth.
This year may we renew the earth.

Let it begin with each step we take.
And let it begin with each change we make.
And let it begin with each chain we break.
And let it begin every time we awake."
-  Starhwak, Reclaiming Samhain



“The Wheel rolls more, and Autumn returns.
Cooler the rain; the Sun lower burns.
The coloring leaves presage the Year:
All things move into harvest’s sphere.
I vow to savor fruits first picked;
nor into grief shall I be tricked.
I vow to offer what once I spurned,
and face the Turning reassured.
- Asleen O’Gaea, Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon, p. 116.



"I am the daughter of the Ancient Mother,
I am the child
of the Mother of the World.
I am your daughter
O Ancient Mother,
I am your child
O Mother of the World.
O Inanna! O Inanna!
O Inanna!
It is you who teaches us
to die, be reborn and rise again.
Die, be reborn, and rise!
Queen of Heaven and Earth."
Inanna: Journey to the Dark Center



"Leaves fall,
the days grow cold.
The Goddess pulls her mantle of Earth around Her
as You, O Great Sun God, sail toward the West
to the land of eternal enchantment,
wrapped in the coolness of night.
Fruits ripen,
seeds drip,
the hours of day and night are balanced."
-   Mabon Sabbat and Lore    



"Fire red, summer's dead
Yet it shall return.
Clear and bright, in the night,
Burn, fire, burn!

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's a-turninng.
Chant the rhyme at Hallows-time,
When the fire's burning.

Fire glow, vision show
Of the heart's desire,
When the spell's chanted well
Of the witching fire.

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's a-turninng.
Chant the rhyme at Hallows-time,
When the fire's burning.

Fire spark, when nights are dark
Makes our winter's mirth.
Red leaves fall, earth takes all,
Brings them to rebirth.

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's a-turninng.
Chant the rhyme at Hallows-time,
When the fire's burning.

Fire fair, earth and air,
And the heaven's rain,
All blessed be, and so may we,
at Hallows-tide again.

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's a-turninng.
Chant the rhyme at Hallows-time,
When the fire's burning."
-   Doreen Valiente, Witchcraft For Tomorrow  

"May there be peace in the North;
May there be peace in the South;
May there be peace in the West;
May there be peace in the East.
May there be peace throughout the whole world."
-   Druid Blessing



"Hail Freyja, Golden One!
Holder of the glorious Brisingamen, that brings fertility and abundance.
As we love and honor you, may we find love and power within us. Join us and accept our thanks.
Hail Freyja!
Hail Freyr, Harvest God!
Keeper of the rain and the sunshine!
As we love and honor you, may we find creativity and inspiration within us.
Join us and accept our thanks.
Hail Freyer!
Hail Sif, Great Lady!
We come to this place grateful for your gifts.
Golden-haired goddess of the ripening grain, as we love and honor you, may we find beauty and grace within us.
Join us and accept our thanks.
Hail Sif!  
Hail Thor, son of the Earth Mother!
Strong and noble keeper of Thunder, Red-Bearded Guardian of us all, guide us through the seasons and the cycles of life.
We thank you for the fertility of our lands and for the abundance we have received this year.
As we love and honor you, let us find strength and wisdom with us.
Join us and accept out thanks.
Hail Thor!"
-   Kristen Madden, Autumn Celebration Ritual   



"Dread Lord of Shadows,
God of Life,
and Giver of Life -
Yet is the knowledge of thee,
the knowledge of Death.
Open wide, I pray thee,
the Gates through which all must pass.
Let our dear ones who have gone before
Return this night to make merry with us.
And when our tim comes, as it must,
O thou the Comforter,
the Consoler,
the Giver of Peace and Rest,
We will enter thy realms gladly and unafraid;
For we know that when rested and refreshed among our dear ones
We will be reborn again by thy grace,
and the grace of the Great Mother.
Let it be in the same place and the same time as our beloved ones,
And may we meet, and know, and remember,
And love them again.
Descend, we pray thee, in thy servant and priest."
-   Samhain Invocation, Aleister Crowley 



"Come now together. Join hands and share with us the understanding of death and rebirth; be as a tree which spreads its roots in the earth, and its branches to the heavens, standing witness to eternal transformation. For death is not a wall against which all thought and all consciousness must cease, but a door, a door to new life, to wonder, and to enchantment. ...Be still now and look within, with closed eyes. Feel...feel. Feel the earth beneath your feet , feel the roots of your being re-connect with the earth, with the Mother. And as you do, your mind relaxes, your body relaxes, with each breath you take. Breathe deeply, gently, and imagine to yourself a leaf, full of life, as it fades and transforms, to fall and float gently downward, into a flowing stream. In your mind's eye of imagination, see it float effortlessly, down and down the stream of life....See it reach the sea, the vastness of infinity. See it sink gently beneath the waves, gradually releasing its form to become one with the infinite. Whence it came, thence it returns, to feed and nourish new forms, new life, new consciousness, Thus the cycle continues eternal, no thing truly lost, all things truly one. ...And now, open your eyes; feel the warmth, the love and the light of those around you. Let us now begin the ancient rite. Call ye now the powers of the Lord and the Lady, invoke the Force with ourselves and know that that which can be desired can be manifested. Call ye now and be reborn ..."
Two Samhain Rituals, Compost Coveners, 1980



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Mike's Notes

My notes, observations, listing of local activities, and studies on Samhain, Halloween, Day of the Dead: 

In Red Bluff, California, enjoying a Mediterranean climate, all our crops are irrigated.  The reservoirs, the lakes, the rivers, the streams, the dams, the ponds, the aqueducts, the wells, the pipes, and the irrigation ditches all keep all the plants, crops, animals, and mankind alive.  In our home sacred circle, Samhain is associated with North West, facing the great Pacific Ocean, symbolized by the violet pole/stile.  Water is precious to us, to All.  Without the wells we could not survive.        

We now know that the end of the long period of summer sunshine and heat, with little or no rain, is coming to an end.  The cooler days ahead will bring rain again soon.  The old dry half of the year is nearly done, and the wet half will begin soon.  We have two seasons: the cool wet season of November through April, and the hot dry season from May through October.  The end of the Dry Year is celebrated on the Autumnal Equinox, Mabon (late September); and, the beginning of the Wet Year is Samhain (Halloween), on October 31st.  Samhain is both the end and beginning, at the edge of the many worlds, past and present, a borderline time, a doorway into the Other Realms.  In our home sacred circle, the opening to the inner grove is between the East pole (Mabon, Alban Elfed) and the North-East pole (Sahmain, Halloween). 

The Salmon fishing season runs from early August through late October in our area.   The salmon come in from the Pacific Ocean and return north via the Sacramento River to the northern creeks and streams of their birth, to lay eggs and sperm, and then die.  Dying and rebirth - the theme of the high holiday.  Creeks like Battle Creek in our area are filled with salmon running and leaping up river to their place of birth.   

In the Greek religion, Persephone (daughter of Demeter) now returns to the underworld to be with Hades for six months.  Demeter, still angry about this choice of Persephone, and trickery by Hades, causes the world to grow cold, plants to die, and darkness (Winter) to descend on the earth. 







Seasonal and Gardening
Poems, Quotes, Sayings, Ideas, Chores
Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo





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Green Way Journal by Michael P. Garofalo
















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Valley Spirit Center
Meditation Research and Education
Red Bluff, California

Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern California, U.S.A.
Cities in the area: Oroville, Paradise, Durham, Chico, Hamilton City, Orland, Corning,
Rancho Tehama, Los Molinos, Tehama, Gerber, Manton, Cottonwood, 
Anderson, Shasta Lake, Palo Cedro, and Redding, CA


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Michael P. Garofalo, All Rights Reserved


The Spirit of Gardening

Cloud Hands: Chinese Mind-Body Movement Arts 

Months: Quotations, Poetry, Lore, Garden Chores

One Old Druid's Final Journey: Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove 



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