Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain!
Today is the eve of the Wiccan New Year, the old Gaelic fire festival Samhain, which marks the end of the Light and the beginning of the "dark time" of the year. Our modern Halloween is just a shallow shadow of its ancient Pagan self. But then so are all our modern holidays, which used to be Holy Days. There is so much MEANING and DEPTH in the old ways...I often wonder how and why we've "forgotten," or perhaps turned our backs on the old mysteries, the wisdom of the elders, the rituals and festivals that used to mark the turning of the year, the changing of the seasons. There is so much real magick just waiting for us to rediscover it... If I've piqued your interest, please read on...
Our modern celebration of Halloween is a descendent of the ancient Celtic festival called "Samhain;" meaning Summer's End. Samhain was the first day of winter, and the end of one pastoral year. It was the time when the night became longer than the day, the last apples were picked, and the year began again with its dark winter half. Also called Samhiunn or Hallowe'en, this festival is sometimes called Trinoux Samonia or "Three Nights of the End of Summer."
Originally a Druidic festival, it was celebrated on the eve of November 1 (October 31 - technically, either date is appropriate as the Celts measured the day from sunset to sunset.) It is balanced by Beltane (or Bealtaine, Beltaine) which signals the start of summer, 6 months later. The ancient Celts probably held them exactly mid-way between an equinox (when day and night were equal) and the following solstice (when the nighttime was shortest or longest).
In ancient times all of the fires of Ireland were extinguished and relighted from the one great fire kindled by the King's chief Druid, on the hill of Tlachtga. Members of each family would light torches to carry back and rekindle their own hearth-fires, which were then kept burning the rest of the year. The assemblies of the five Irish provinces at Tara Hill, the seat of the Irish king, took place at Samhain. These gatherings were celebrated with horse races, fairs, markets, assembly rites, political discussions, and ritual mourning for the passage of summer.
Samhain is a time when the veil between this world and the Otherworld (or the Sídh,) was very thin, and divine beings, the spirits of the dead, and mortals can move freely between one world and the next. In some Celtic traditions, most notably the Scottish Highlands, young men would run the boundaries of their farms after sunset with blazing torches to protect the family from the Faeries and malevolent forces that were free to walk the land at night, causing mischief. Samhain was seen as a time when the future could most easily be predicted, and was a favored time among Druids for ritual fortune-telling.
As in other major Celtic Festivals, Samhain was a gateway, a celebration of the transition from one season and another. In Celtic mythology, at the heart of every gateway is a paradox. The threshold is literally between two worlds but is, in itself, in neither and in both at the same time. Thus Samhain belonged to both Summer and Winter...and to neither. It was the gateway to the winter, and a magical time of passage between the seasons.
As in many pastoral societies, winter was regarded with a mixture of anticipation and dread. Samhain was the last gasp of summer... a time of uninhibited feasting, dancing and celebration. It was a time of release; a time to let go of all unwanted baggage, fears and attitudes, just as the trees let go of their leaves. So the lives of men parallel the sacred cycles of nature.
I want to show people how to live full empowered lives by helping them find their unique road through life. I use tarot and lenormand as tools to light the way. And I'm gonna share my favorite life hacks and self care tips along the way - because I love making life easier!
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