31 Oct – 1 Nov
Samhain, ‘Halloween,’ or All Hallows is a festival of death that occurs at the end of the Celtic agricultural cycle. It is also the Celtic New Year. The Gaelic word, Samhain, means summer’s end. The ancient Celts recognised endings and beginnings are related
At Samhain, the ancestors would thin their herds through ritualized slaughter. Only the strong and hearty would survive and the ancients believed culling the weak saved their animals from the cruelty of winter. Crops would also be gathered before Samhain, whatever was left was untouchable and only fit for night-spirits and the otherworldly beings, that can easily enter the physical realm at Samhain. Fires and bonfires lit on the highest ground nearest the homestead is also an ancient tradition
Modern pagans believe the veil between the living and the dead is thinner at Samhain and traditionally talk with their deceased loved ones. Witches build altars and make offerings to spirit. They may also set a dumb supper of a plate of fine food to feed the souls of loved ones who care to visit. This meal shared with spirit is taken in silence
Samhain is associated with two distinct aspects of deity, the Crone and the Lord of Death and the Underworld. Each representing human aging and mortality. The Crone is the wisdom that comes with age and the mysteries of the Summerlands, the place of rest before regeneration after death.
Written in love and light