In the Southern hemisphere Samhain occurs on the 30th of April. Samhain is the Witches New Year. It is the festival that marks the beginning of the decent into the darkest part of the year. The harvest season is over and Winter has begun.
On this night the veils are thinnest. It is easier to make contact with the spirits. As such, Samhain is largely about honoring ancestors, blood relatives or otherwise. This can include the souls of anyone you love who has passed, even animals. There are many ways people celebrate this night; feasts, candles, leaving food for the dead, divination, and in particular, meditation on what to let go of.
Samhain is associated with the mythos of Persephone’s decent into the underworld. Although she soon became queen of the Underworld and partially regained her freedom, it was not an easy journey. This time of year encourages you to slow down and spend time alone really considering where you want to be, and what you need to let go of in order to become all that you can be. The process can sound easier than it is for many people, that is why this night is also associated with Hekate – Queen of Witches and Illumination.
How can Samhain be helpful for artists? Samhain is all about heading into the dark. Darkness is where life began and all new ideas are seeded and born before reaching the light. If you can imagine a seed entering the soil, observing the surroundings, and working out what aspects of its husk it will need to shed over the coming months in order to take in the nutrients around to grow into something newer and better. Connection with the other side of the veil and deities like Hekate, the Dark Mother/Crone, and even The Muses can help with this process. Getting into the ‘flow space’ of art can be a great way to meditate on the self and connect with the other side – but only when done safely. I know I will be spending Samhain creating some new medicine dolls that have been nagging at me to come into existence.
In short, Samhain can be a wonderfully fertile time for reflection, magick and letting go. The magick of this time can help artists clear any creative blocks, let go of fear, and explore the shadow sides and depths of their work. It can also be the perfect time to connect with your muse and look for the light that will sustain them in the dark. Samhain is also the night that faries and other spirits also come out to play – muses included.
I will be offering Samhain “Shadow Weaving” tarot and healing sessions designed for artists (although anyone is welcome to book in.) Details are here.