This has been quite a busy Samhain so far.

We had a small gathering for our first Samhain party at Gita’s in Palm Springs, with great food and a large fire, and then we had a larger gathering in Palm Desert, at Chris’. We talked about the significance of Samhain and read as a group about the Sabbat’s history and it’s traditional forms. At our second gathering we had a guided meditation, visiting the Tir na nOg, the Land of Youth; the Otherworld. We sailed to the Island of Apples, and danced there with our beloved dead, listening to their messages for the New Year.

Then we brought our awareness back to our bodies and shared a meal and plenty of fun.

This meditation, as part of Reclaiming’s Spiral Dance, is a yearly event in the Bay Area. Originally we had planned to go there for it. Our group had grown since those plans were made, and now it made sense to start celebrating Samhain here.

Samhain is our New Year, and my favorite part of the Wheel of the Year, not just because I was born around this time, (Yes, I’m Scorpio, and thanks to everyone for the best B-Day ever!) but also because in the desert, this is almost a second Spring. People come back from Summer vacations, businesses reopen, and the weather is great.

Traditionally Samhain brings us a harvest of apples, which are the northern version of the Vendimia, the wine harvest of the Southern European lands.

In California we celebrate both harvests.

In the Southern Hemisphere this harvest happens between February and April, In the Northern Hemisphere the harvests go from July to October. In the desert now it’s more of a planting season start, rather than a harvest. Food for thought: to do something unique to the Desert seasons, at some point.

People get together for merry making; drinking wine and cider; eating seasonal dishes with nuts, berries, roots, and gourds; doing all kinds of divination; dressing up in humorous or ancestral outfits; playing games, and being socially creative in a million ways.

Our classes and discussions have been matching the mood of the season with themes like Spell Work, Mirror Making, Reincarnation, Scrying, Life Regression, etc., and Joanne will end November with a presentation of Joseph Campbell’s Hero of 1000 Faces.

Another theme running through the season is that of Thanksgiving:

Some of us have been attending some of our neighbors rituals.
Thanks to all our witchy neighbors for their invites (especially to TouchStone Local Council of CoG), and thanks to all of them for their great works. As we get more organized we will do much more of that, as well as keeping inviting our neighbors to our Sabbats.

Thanks to everyone that voted in the elections, and congrats to our President for his second term.

Thanks to all the veterans that have made our lives today possible, not just on Veterans’ Day, but everyday.

Thanks to everyone for all your magical energy, company and feedback, as we enter, together, the darker part of the year.

Blessed Be.