The word Samhain is probably derived from the Irish Gaelic word "samhraidhreadh", or "summer's end". 

Samhain is also known as Calan Gaeaf to the Welsh.

Samhain, also known as the witch’s new year.

Samhain, the beginning and ending of all things, marks the end of summer and the beginning of winter, the beginning of the year and the start of the seasons. At this time the veil is thin and it is possible to see into the otherworld.

Samhain is associated with divination, a good time to seek guidance for the coming season. A good time to look back over the past to see how it has shaped the present.

At the hind end of harvest, on Hallowe’en,
When our ‘good neighbours’ ride if I think right
Some mounted on a ragweed and some on a bean,
All tripping in troupes from the twilight;
Some saddled on a she-ape all arrayed in green,
Some riding on hempstalks rising on high,
The King of Faeirie and his court with the Elf-queen
With many a weird incubus as riding that night.
( Sixteenth century Scottish poet Alexander Montgomerie.)

Bealtaine, Lúnasa and Samhain are still today the names of the months of May, August and November in the Irish language. 

Samhain is a time for contemplation   

Cauldrons, jack o' lanterns, masks, balefires, besoms (brooms), bats, owls, ravens and the ever-present witch and black cat.

Orange, black, brown, golden yellow and red.

Carnelian, jet, obsidian and onyx.

Acorn, allspice, apple, autumn flowers, catnip, corn, chrysanthemums, dittany of Crete, fall leaves (especially oak), ferns, flax, fumitory, gourds, grains, hazel, heather, mandrake, mugwort, mullein, nightshade, pear, pumpkin, sage, straw, thistle, turnip, wormwood.

Gods and goddesses: Crone goddesses, the Father or dying gods, gods of the underworld or death including Arawn, Cerridwen, Cernunnos, the Dagdha, Dis Pater, Hades, Hecate, Hel, Inanna, Ishtar, Kali, Lilith, Macha, Mari, the Morrigan, Osiris, Pomona, Psyche, Rhiannon, Samana, Sekhmet, Teutates and Taranis.

The drums of Samhain keeping time. 
The gates of magic open wide. 
A cauldron's blessings overflow.
The candle flames are dying low.
The witches dance the circle 'round
To chant and bring the power down.
Hecate will hear our call
To turn the summer into fall.
The magic veil is growing thin.
The Netherworld is near our own.
We'll see the sacred fire fed
While witches commune with the dead.
The winds of Autumn call our names.
The driving rhythm slowly calms.
The glowing embers we will tend
Until the drums of Samhain end.

(poem by: Chanticleer© )

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