SIMPLE SABBATS FOR THE BUSY WITCH: simple ways to celebrate the passing of the seasons
Though many look to October 31 as Halloween, Pagans from around the world call it Samhain (Sow-en), a time to remember their ancestors and to celebrate the start of a new year. This period is well suited to practicing divination, working on transitions of all sorts, candle magic, protection magic, and working with or contacting those who have passed on.
October is often one of the busiest months of the year in a Pagan household.
The fun of Halloween, creating costumes for the family, school events, and getting the household and property ready for the coming cooler weather keep us hopping. Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to breathe, much less to plan a way to honor the season. Here are a few simple ways to celebrate.
Ritual: 5 Minutes Alone
This simple Samhain ritual lets you honor those who came before. If you have a few extra moments, add your favorite form of divination and see what the coming year will bring!
• Your ancestor altar
• Lighter or matches
• A glass of apple cider
• A small snack, such as gingersnaps or a sliced apple
1. Sit before your ancestor altar and take a few deep breaths. Think about those who have passed on—their struggles and how they’ve affected your life. Think about how blessed you were to have them in your life.
2. When you feel centered and ready, light the candle on your altar and say,
I light this candle in honor of Samhain and to recognize the changing season. I
honor the Lord and Lady and my ancestors and give them thanks. On this night,
when their spirits walk among us and magic is in the air, I ask my ancestors for
their blessings and ask them to watch over my family and home. So mote it be.
3. Sit for a moment or two. Drink your cider and eat your snack, being sure to leave some on your offering plate. Let the candle burn for as long as you safely can.
Small Group Ritual
This ritual is just the right length to do with a friend or two, your partner, or the whole family. Just gather round and share the time together.
• A candle
• A lighter or matches
• Scraps of paper
• A pen or pencil for each participant
• Your cauldron or other heat-safe container
• Cider and cups
• A plate of cookies
1. Gather everyone, and sit down somewhere comfortable with all of your ritual items. Begin with a simple deep breathing exercise to get everyone centered.
2. When everyone’s ready, light the candle and say,
On this fall night of Samhain, we celebrate the turning wheel. As the seasons change, so goes the cycle of death and rebirth. Tonight we mark the death of the old year and the birth of the new. We make these pledges to ourselves and to the Lord and Lady.
3. At this time, each person should write down any resolutions that they’d like to make for the new year or any plans for new beginnings that they’d like to put into motion.
4. Go around the circle, and one at a time each participant can choose whether to share what they’ve written out loud. The paper is then lit on the flame of the candle (younger participants should be assisted by an adult) and placed in the cauldron to burn.
5. When everyone has finished, pass around the cider and cookies and enjoy each other’s company. Everyone should save a sip of the cider and a bit of his or her cookie. When it’s time to finish up, take the cooled ashes outside and bury them in the ground. Leave your food offerings nearby.
For the Kids
There are usually more than enough Halloween activities going on in October for the kids. But how do you get them to understand what Samhain is really about? Create something fun to draw their attention while you count down the days!
Grab some orange construction paper and cut out thirty-one pumpkin shapes; number them 1 to 31 on one side. On the other side, write a short fact about Samhain, or paste on a picture of a loved one who’s passed or share a fun fact about that person. If you like, staple or tape a small treat to each pumpkin, such as a piece of candy, a coin, a small Halloween eraser, or something like that. Starting on October 1, find a place to stash the pumpkin where you know your child will find it. Pack it in their school lunch, stick it in their sock drawer, or prop it up by their toothbrush. On Halloween morning, tape the last paper pumpkin to a real pumpkin and help them carve a face in it so that it can guard your home that night.
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Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic, Spells, and Recipes
By Kris Bradley
By Kris Bradley
Genre: New Age/ Wicca
Publisher: Weiser Books, an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC
Number of pages: 224
Word Count: 49,000
Cover Artist: Jim Warner
For domestic goddesses everywhere—add some magic and fun to those mundane household chores with Mrs. B.'s Guide to Household Witchery. Whether you're sweeping the floor, making a meal, or cleaning out that junk drawer, domestic witch Kris Bradley, creator of the popular blog, Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, will show you how to create spells and magic to bring happiness and balance into your home.
Bradley offers ideas and solutions to make the most out of everyday items, activities, and obligations. From Anchovies to Broccoli, and Wine to Yeast, from sweeping the floor to blow-drying your hair, you can change your outlook on life with a pinch of knowledge and a dash of magic! The book includes simple rituals, spells, and ways to connect with the spirits that watch over your home and family. Includes an appendix of herbs and a complete materia magica from the kitchen pantry.
Mrs. B's Guide to Household Witchery features:
Room by Room: How to create magic while you cook, set up a family altar in the living room, or do a junk drawer divination
The Elements for the Domestic Witch: a primer on the 4 elements and how to balance them in your home
The Domestic Witch's Herbal: Magical uses for every herb and food in your pantry, as well as instant magic with prepackaged spice mixes
Simple Sabbats for the Busy Witch: simple ways to celebrate the passing of the seasons
Magical Recipes: More than 100 recipes and spells
About the Author:
Kris Bradley is the magic behind the popular blog Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom (2500 readers). She helped establish The Sisterhood of the Triple Goddess coven in Keyport, NJ and is a legally ordained minister, in addition to being a witchy wife and mother. Her work on domestic witchery has been featured in PaganParenting.org and as a national column for Examiner.com. She lives in Keyport, NJ.