What are your plans for this year’s high festival of Samhain – the Pagan/Celtic observance of summer’s end, and the barren fields of autumn?

Samhain (Sow-en) is one of the four ‘sabbats’ celebrated by witches, mystics that is feminine in energy, connected to the earth and the agricultural cycles of planting, growth and harvesting.

At Samhain, we look backwards to what was, and forwards to what can be. Because the veil between worlds is thin at this time, we also seek the wisdom of our ancestors. We can journey to the Underworld, visit with dark goddesses, join mystical Scorpio on visions quests into the sub-conscious and shed old skins.

This is the Witch’s New Year. It is a celebration of the greatest mystery of all – birth, life, death and re-birth.

To the mystic, death is never an ending but a transformation into new life. It is difficult to pinpoint where one ends or begins, the cycle is a magical flow of energy embodied by the archetype of the Crone.

She gathers us close to her whispered songs of autumn, her skirts hung with acorns, chestnuts and fallen leaves. Beneath her fingernails, the soil of summer’s bounty, and the promise of deep rest. Between Samhain and Winter Solstice, we meet the darkest of days.

Samhain, for those interested in crossing thresholds, realities and dimensions, is the time of chanting the Bagabi incantation. The focus is not on the exact pronunciation of the words but on the essence of the incantation, thus – approaching it from heart space rather than intellect. One can feel shifts in perception and energy. Prepare accordingly for this ritual, as you would for any other, with intention and respect for the energy raised.

While the origins of this chant and meaning of the words are unknown, its most verified version is found in the manuscript of a thirteenth century troubadour, Rutebeuf. The language is proposed to be an ancient version of the Basque language, but nothing is confirmed.

Others propose that it is an invocation of the Devil. The symbolism of the devil belongs not to a witch’s belief system, it is entirely within the Christian pantheon, therefore, she would hardly call on such an energy.

But patriarchy has long tried to demonize a woman’s creative power…

One would chant while walking widdershins – counterclockwise – around the inner perimeter of a circle cast either as an imaginary or physical space.

Take one step for each word spoken, or however feels comfortable and aligned. If you have a drum, it may accompany your steps. Forget about pronouncing things correctly. Your focus should be the energetics of the words. This is a heart practice. Feel the shifts in time and space as you circle and chant.

The direction of widdershins is a reminder of death as a counter-movement to life, and the beautiful dance between the two.

This is a walking meditation, it is the magic of the circle, and the mystery of ancient words. Repeat them as many times as desired, until you have raised the energy you are seeking.

When done chanting, find a quiet spot to reflect on what you felt and perhaps record in your book of shadows or journal.

Samhain love to you, Wild One.

Bagabi laca bachabe
Lamac cahi achabe
Lamac lamec bachalyas
Cabahagy sabalyos
Lagozatha cabyolas
Palas aron ozinomas
Baske bano tudan dona
Geheamed cla orlay
Berec he pantaras tay