Yes, yes, I know I’m a day early but we’re expecting nice weather tomorrow, so I plan to celebrate Samhain sitting in the garden.
Sitting in the garden.
Can you actually believe that? Me either, but you won’t hear me complaining. After my recent op, I’m fast developing a serious case of cabin fever, so a little time in the fresh air is just what I need.
Yesterday, I finally got around to styling OneandSeventy’s Halloween mantel and putting up a few decorations. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that Samhain is my favourite of the ancient pagan festivals and I do like to make a fuss.
Samhain, or Sow-en/Sow-een/Sow-ain as it’s pronounced, marks the end of summer and the beginning of the Celtic New Year. Winter is on its way (usually!) and this is a time when our ancestors took stock of their supplies, to make sure they had plenty to see them through the coldest months.
Traditionally, Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve is a day when the veil between the living and the dead is said to be at its thinnest, hence all the spooky stuff. This makes it a good time for divination and scrying.
It’s a time to honour those who have passed, so traditionally, one sets aside a special place for departed loved ones and lights a candle in the window to guide them home. The candle is also said to deter any unwanted spirits.
Hallowe’en is already in full swing around blogland. Amazing mantels, decorations and treats have been popping up all over Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ for weeks now. I may be a little late to the party, but I do have a good excuse.
Better late than never, though, right?
So anyway, without further ado, here is my 2014 Halloween Mantel in all its glory.
Hands up who remembers the monks? They’ve finally found the perfect spot!
I made the Samhain banner last year, using Photoshop, some black and white card, and black ribbon from my stash. I’m really glad it survived, especially as it looks so much better against my updated fire surround than last year.
Number One and his beautiful Bride-to-be contributed to this little vignette. I don’t know what made them think of me when they saw this witch on their recent holiday to Spain, but she’s carrying a 500 Euro note, so I’m taking that as a good omen.
I bought the pumpkin lights from B&M. They’re battery operated, which is handy, but a bit more red than I expected, so I put them in the fireplace where I think you’ll agree, they look fab!
I have a feeling they might be there long after Halloween has been and gone.
Mental note to make sure I move them before we light the fire!
What do you think of the silver candelabra? Isn’t it spectacular? A tenner from the local reclamation yard.
I know. Bargain.
The witch to the right is from Yankee Candle (LOVE her!) and I’ve had the ceramic pumpkin to the left for years. The little pumpkin candles are a leftover from last year.
Well… they really are far too cute to burn!
Anyone want to see what’s in my Crystal Ball?
Oh yeah. Me.
The bat and spider pictures on the hearth have also been recycled from last year, while the cauldrons and wand are the genuine tools of a solitary witch.
Meanwhile in the hallway, all visitors alive or in spirit, will be greeted by this little vignette.
The picture is called “The Spell” and is original artwork by a super talented pagan artist called Sabrina, The Ink Witch. I own several of Sabrina’s pieces and they, along with next year’s Welcome Vignette, will look even more fabulous once I’ve decorated the hallway!
Oh yes and the skeletons? Another B&M bargain. I just couldn’t resist – they’re kinda like me and Beloved after too much time on WeightWatchers!
And that’s it. There ends the tour of my Halloween Home for this year. I hope you enjoyed my efforts.
I still have a few bits to do outside, so I’ll be sending Beloved on a pumpkin run later. I’m looking forward to firing up my Witch’s Cauldron, ready to welcome the neighbourhood monsters.
*cue spooky cackle*
Have a Happy Hallowe’en my lovely readers and a blessed Samhain to all who celebrate.
A hui hou,