What do you call it? Despite being of partially Celtic descent, I have no affinity for calling this Sabbat Samhain. For me it'll always been Halloween and honestly I don't feel the need to change it.
But what does it mean to me as a Sabbat and is it still valid as a Sabbat in today's society (not as the pop culture holiday that it is but as a spiritual holiday).
First things first.... I have a hard time with the shifting/fixed days of the wheel of the year. They make no sense to me and I'm not sure that I believe that the veil is thinnest on one particular day, every year, as measured by the Julian calendar. First, while I believe there is space for a solar calendar, I think that a lunar calendar is potentially more accurate in terms of charting specific times of the year. Thus, I don't know that I agree with the idea that Halloween falls on Oct 31st every year. I know... radical thinking going on here.
Let me explain why this is on my mind this year in particular.
I have spent a lot of time at home, in the same space for the past 3 months and I've noticed a mark shift in energies in the land/space around me. So much so that I feel the need to purify my home and put up protection charms for the first time in my life. No, I don't believe my house is cursed or that anything is wrong per se. But I do feel the shifting energy out there and how unsettling it can be. I feel it accumulating and shifting as the veil gets thinner between the realms. Yes, I believe the veil thins. But it doesn't at the same time. I think that the season invites introspection and thoughts of those who have passed as we prepare for winter. Thus, our thoughts and the collective mind of those of us prepping for winter causes the energies to shift, creating a thinner barrier between the realms because we are emotionally more open to the other realms at this time.
Does that make sense?
Maybe it does or doesn't, it's not the point of this question. Moving on. This year, for me, these energies peaked much earlier than Halloween. For me they peaked somewhere around the week of Oct 13th. Now maybe when they peak is different for all of us, based on our emotionally sensitivities to the season, I don't know. But I know that for me, around the time of the new moon (Oct 4th) my space/land around me started getting a little wonky and calmed down as we approached and passed the full moon (Oct 18th).
So what does this all mean in terms of the Sabbat to me? That I think that this is a time of spiritual and energetic cleansing. We slough off the old, say our farewells to what has passed, and welcome in what is new in preparation for Yule and the rebirth of the light.
For me this is a time of planning, cleaning, preparation, and energy. I started to feel reinvigorated even though I know that the roughest parts of the year are ahead. It's like the final burst of energy before hunkering down. For me this Sabbat marks a turning point, one in which we make an active effort to help turn the wheel forward and move into the next cycle. Beyond the costumes and decor (which I love), this Sabbat is still an important one because it asks us to turn inwards and at the same time look outwards.
This year I'm really trying to connect more to this Sabbat by doing the 8 reviewed posts, getting into the season through decor (to be visually reminded of the symbols of this time of year/spiritual process), and rethinking my traditions in order to manifest this turn of the wheel more in my daily life. Of course, this is easy to do given that this really is the season of the witch and society makes it easy to merge the spiritual into the mundane because it embraces the holiday. But that's ok, it works to my advantage so it's a win for me.
What are your thoughts this year about this Sabbat? What does it mean to you? How do you celebrate it?
*By profane I simply mean non-sacred.