Book Review: Samhain: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Halloween by Diana Rajchel

Book Review: Samhain: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Halloween by Diana Rajchel Review by Dawn Thomas 264 Pages Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. Religion & Spirituality, Comparative Religion, Wicca & Witchcraft, This is the next installment of the Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials series. It is an excellent book on the Samhain season. The author does an excellent job researching and presenting information about the Sabbat. The first chapter covers the old ways. Samhain, pronounced SOW-in, is the last spoke in the wheel of the year. To most this signals the end of summer. Ancient Celts considered Samhain a fire festival. Fire festivals are also known as cross-quarter festivals. The author describes the Christian influence, how Halloween traveled to the new world, and the reassertion of Samhain with the rise of Paganism. The second chapter discusses the new ways the holiday is celebrated. The author discusses the modern themes and elements associated with Samhain. She debunks several Halloween stories including razor blades in apples. The author covers the different traditions within Paganism. The list includes Wicca, Celtic Reconstruction, Druidry, Stregheria, Heathen, Hellenic, Feri and Reclaiming traditions. She then explains other festivals celebrated around Samhain. These include All Soul’s Day, All Saints’ Day, Dia…