Written by Joshua Adams
Let us mark the Samhain ‘Sow Win’ holiday with a look at the nightly regiment of the practicing occultist. Ancient pagan, Celtic, traditions hold this quarterly ‘festival of fire’ as the most significant of the four. Celebrating the end of harvest with the relighting of hearth of homes with the ritual bonfire of the three day and three night event. It was during these three days that history holds that the members of the kingdom ‘community’ were obliged to show themselves before local chieftains and local or greater nobility. This of course affording the upper crust an opportunity to take stock of the peasantry and the young maidens amongst them.
Much ado with the ancient traditions of the Celts, drinking, feasting and merry making, as well as their folkloric practices of leaving offerings for spirits who may venture near their communities during this period known esoterically as a time of thinning of the veil between the earthly realm and that of the spiritual.
The ‘Samghnagans’ were more personal bonfires set about the individual farms and homes of the pagan lands. This tradition became more popularized throughout the middle ages along with elaboration of the celebrations of the Samhain festivals themselves.
Worth noting, as this article pertains to the practice of the occult by the witch or sorcerer, the bonfires were considered, as taught among the people of their day to be wards against both fairies and witches. An interesting detail considering the popularization of witches and goblins and ghouls during the modern era and it’s commercialized version of ‘Halloween.’
The new holiday of ‘All Hallows Eve’ is for the Wiccan a celebration of the passing year, and to the Druidic, holds much to the ancient celebration of the dead. The neuvo American pagan traditions are noted for holding ‘Witches Balls’ in proximity to the Sawain: October 31st to November 1st. The thinning of the veil between realms is the most prominent feature across all of these traditions and it’s history. This metaphysical aspect is related to the witching hour in that many occultists consider the time of night around 3 AM to likewise appreciate this time for having it’s quality of thinning in the veil between death. A space of the night in which ghosts or spirits more easily travel between realms.
Some practicing occultists consider midnight to be the witching hour rather than the more commonly considered three o'clock in the early morning to perform their craft. According to christian inspired folklore the crucifixion of the Man Jesus occurred at three o'clock in the afternoon, therefore the inversion of this time being three in the morning being the more demonically preferred or active time for those who work with or commune with spirits.
The modern man may attempt to explain the hour of the witch as being more beholden to sleep cycles in the human body, although fascinating this is not the reasoning for the time of the witch. It is in fact directly related to energy and energetic work performed by the practitioner in regard to predominant energetic fluctuation which nightly upon the Earth itself.
“Apsis (Greek: ἀψίς; plural apsides /ˈæpsɪdiːz/, Greek: ἀψῖδες; "orbit") denotes either of the two extreme points (i.e., the farthest or nearest point)” - wikipedia
Apogee and Perigee denoting ‘Gee’ meaning ‘the earth’ in reference to the furthest point and the closest point as far as orbits relating to the third planet of our system. For the witching hour, consider the time of night to be a passing through dark side of night in relation to the sun. This would be categorized as Aphelion and Perihelion since ‘Helios’ denotes the ‘Sun’ in reference to heavenly bodies, but the same essentially true for the individual soul as well. It is in the dead of night, that we pass mostly quietly through our furthest cyclic point from our home star of Sol; our own personal Aphelion.
This distance arrived at with each passing night has the distinction of a relationship with an energetic fluctuation that occurs along the dark side of the orbiting Earth. Our planets travel along it’s yearly circumference around the sun, and the spinning motion of our world upon the axis is another element in it’s unique celestial, clockwork movement. The gravimeter and electromagnetic energies function across fields that invisible to the naked eye. For witches and other practitioners of the craft, we are well aware of the forces that surrounds and forces and energies which we interact with and work amongst that exist outside of the visible spectrum.
The period of 2:40 AM to 4:20 AM is a one hundred minute period which is considered by Men and Women of Knowledge to be the ‘energetic hour of practice.’
This one hundred minute segment exists on the build-up side of the energetic fluctuation in the electromagnetic field of the Earth which releases as a energetic watershed outwards to the larger etheric realm surrounding our planet at precisely
4:27 AM. The ritual or rites we practice invoke and enhance for manipulation and manifestation, flows of energies and forces around us and through us. These rituals and rites benefit from the ‘piggyback’ effect, if you will pardon the term, during this build-up period preceding the energetic watershed that occurs at 4:27 AM each and every night.
The relationship to Sawain, Samhain.. i.e. ‘All Hallows Eve’ is astronomical and energetic as it occurs upon the midpoint between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. This etheric point of the astronomical and astrological positioning relates to the etheric thinning of the veil and the practice of the craft during this holiday between 2:40 AM and 4:20 AM allows for the most etherically, energetic communion between realms. The flow of forces at that time on this date allows for the most potent of inculcation to be performed. This is the true nature of the ‘witching hour’ as the fundamental construction of this reality is one of energy at it’s quantum basis, therefore the witching hour both logically and abstractly must also be considered within the rubric of energy as well. It behoves us as witches to understand both the traditions of our faiths and practices as well as our relationship to the physical and ephemeral universe which we inhabit.