Saturday, 30 October 2010

Pagans celebrate Halloween as part of the country’s newest religion

In a riverside meadow in the Dorset town of Weymouth, a witch is using a broom to sweep a sacred circle in the grass.

The rest of the coven stand, some in hooded gowns, in a circle around an iron cauldron where a fire is burning.

They've met to celebrate Samhain, pronounced "sah-wen": the turning of the year from light into dark.

Many think of Halloween as a time of ghouls and ghosts, and for some retailers it has become the third most lucrative event of the year.

It is the time of year when some churches remember the souls of the departed.

For the witches of Weymouth it is one of their most important religious festivals, a time when they believe the barriers between the physical and spiritual worlds are at their thinnest.

They invite the spirits of north, south, east and west into the circle, and cut apples to share with the spirits of people who have died. Read more

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