I understand that samhain is considered to be the witches is new year because the thinning of the veil at this time allowing spirits to cross over is easier. But I’m wondering what if a witch does not connect with Samhain and May have a different new year is it possible that a witch could feel more aligned with let’s say the winter solstice or even imbolc, Mabon or Litha as their new year. Just curious as to how others may feel about samhain being considered the witches new year and if they may have a different vantage point. I celebrate Samhain but my new year is the winter solstice because it was the first event I celebrated with complete understanding and altar setup. It was the first time everything was pulled together for me. What do you think?
I agree with celebrating your new year at whatever date you most align with @Intentional_Witch. I wish everyone a happy new year generally at two points of time - 1, during Samhain / which is widely understood at the witches new year; and 2, during Dec31/Jan1 which is widely understood as our Gregorian calendar new year across the world. But, it is not meant to impose or force anything on anyone, just good wishes. I have people wish me happy Diwali, happy Hanukah and other celebrations that I am not a part of and am honored that they include me and do so. So I’m on the side of ‘you do you’ nearly if not always, so I am very in line with celebrating it at the winter solstice! It is my very favorite earth seasonally aligned event and is so rich in mysticism, ancient history and symbolism!
Samhain is considered by many to be the witch’s new year because it’s the point of the year when we go into darkness. In ancient Celtic-speaking cultures the year wasn’t split into four seasons. Instead, it was split in two. The descent into darkness was seen by ancient Celts as being the beginning of the new year.
However, it isn’t set in stone that it’s the witch’s new year! As @jan_TheGreenWitch said, celebrate the new year with whichever sabbat you feel most connected to. Wicca just happens to be heavily influenced by ancient Celtic beliefs and holidays – thus the modern Wheel of the Year is also influenced by the Celtic beliefs and holidays.
I hope you don’t mind but I re-homed this post into #questions
I agree with both Jan and Megan- every witch is free to choose when they feel the New Year begins, and it does indeed differ from one witch to the next!
For me personally, I think the longer you study and connect with the cycle of the seasons, the harder it is to find the “beginning and end of a circle” so-to-say. I believe that many of the points on the Wheel of the Year can make a solid claim for why they should mark the start of a new beginning
@Amaris_Bane shared a great poll not too long ago asking the coven when they choose to celebrate the new year in their personal practice. The poll and the comments are very interesting- I recommend checking it out!
Hi @Intentional_Witch, as Bry pointed out, I did a poll a little while ago on this same topic, and the discussion it spawned is great. One comment that stood out to me was @Undomeher’s belief that time is more like an endless spiral, always continuing and “coming back” to the same but slightly different point. While I am celebrating my new year on Samhain, and NYE/NYD with my non-witchy family/friends, I see that my thoughts align with Undomeher’s.
As others have pointed out here, it is more important to celebrate when you feel best connected than following certain conventions. This is one of my guiding principles - everyone’s path is different and we have the opportunity to steer it where we want.