Halloween – Samhain

Halloween – Samhain

BY TARA SUTPHEN

Samhain, the Pagan Sabbat called Halloween. Samhain is the middle point between fall equinox and winter solstice, the nights are getting darker now. Rest and Rejuvenate, Dream and Create, Plan and Recharge. We are given an opportunity to take the high road and not the low road. We are asked to step into our personal power as gracefully as we can. There is a surge about relying on yourself, on your knowledge, skills and tool set. You are having an opportunity to clear unneeded responsibilities and old karma. 

Halloween, also referred to as All Hallows’ Eve, became a holiday observed on October 31. It initiates the season of Allhallowtide, which lasts for three days and concludes on “All Souls Day”. Halloween Celtic origins began as Samhain in ancient Britain and Ireland. It was considered the beginning of winter. 

During Samhain festival, people believed souls, who had died would return to visit those they left behind and their homes. People set bonfires to ward off evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts. Many different characters were associated with this day as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons.

Halloween Games:

  • dance to scary music and freeze when the music turns off
  • Everyone tells a scary story
  • Pass it on Ghost Story
  • Scary movies (age appropriate)
  • Go see the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”
  • Divination – Samhain is the beginning of the pagan year; Fire or Water Scrying – Tarot cards – Crystal Ball  
  • Make masks and costumes (represents your alter ego for the next year)
  • Create spells
  • Gather in a circle and express a desire and expel a fear
  • Chant or make wishes around a candle
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Go trick or treating or have a party with friends

Samhain Recipes

Hallowed Cakes

1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine vegetable oil, chocolate, and granulated sugar. Blend in eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt into oil mixture. Chill for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Roll about a Tbsp. of dough into a ball. Drop balls into confectioner’s sugar, and roll until coated. Place balls about 2″ apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Hot Apple Cider

1 1/2 gallons apple cider
2 whole cinnamon sticks
5 cloves
1 large orange, sliced thin with peel left on
1/2 lemon, sliced thin with peel left on
1/2 cup sugar

In large pot, combine cider, cinnamon sticks, orange and lemon slices. Add sugar to taste. Heat thoroughly. Serve hot.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar or 1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (grind rolled oats in a blender, but not into a flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Cream together butter and sugar (or honey). Beat in eggs. Mix in pumpkin and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, oatmeal, salt, soda, and spices. Add to the pumpkin mixture. Stir in raisins and nuts. Drop by teaspoonful onto a baking sheet and bake at 375° for 12 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread

2/3 cup shortening
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 2/3 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 large eggs
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup water
1 can Pumpkin
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all the above ingredients together, pour into 2 loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes. Optional – add dates and nuts 

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