Samhain vs Halloween

Many people think of Halloween as the Witches’ holiday. It is certainly evolved from our holiday, and it shares some themes. But I don’t consider them one in the same. Not at all. Halloween is a fun holiday for kids, even grownup kids. It’s harmless, it’s lighthearted, and its symbols are largely meaningless to the people wearing or displaying them.
Samhain can be fun, but it’s serious. It is powerful, spiritually and emotionally. It doesn’t even fall on the same day, actually. It is one of the cross-quarter Sabbats, meaning that it falls at the midpoint between the equinoxes. The precise date and time varies slightly from one year to the next. This year it falls on October 7th, making Samhain Eve (the day of celebration) November 6th.
I don’t think it is terribly important what day you choose to celebrate, what name you choose to call it by, or how you pronounce it. The season is powerful and meaningful. Energy is high, the veil is thin, and the karmic seeds of the new year are being planted. The wheel is turning, the year is ending, and the year is beginning.
We can harness the power, and mindfully put ourselves on a better path. Or we can ignore the power, and let it take us where it will. Or, worst of all, we can misuse it and suffer the consequences. The veil is thin. That’s not a joke. It is an opportunity – and a risk. Halloween is all fun and games; Samhain is real. Remember the old adage “never conjure anything you can’t banish.”

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