Saturday, October 22, 2005
Samhain is the Celtic New year, officially marking the end of the summer (or light) months. It is a time to celebrate the harvests. It is also the most sacred time of the pagan year, high psychic tide. The wall between the living world and that of the dead is at its thinnest, so spirits are supposed to be able to visit us on that evening. That is where the idea of scary masks came from.
Jack-o-lanterns (originally more likely made of turnips) were used to help keep bad spirits out of the house.
Nightshade, moonflower and wormwood were used as incense for that night.
People often drank wormwood infused hard cider. They also drank red wine.
For more information see Celtic Spirit.
Today, most of us just call it Halloween. It doesn’t hurt to know the original meaning of the holiday.