Samhain – The Celtic New Year
Samhain, a mysterious, magical time when two worlds entwine, like a breathe so close you can drift between the world of spirit and the physical world. A time feared and dreaded by some and welcomed by many.
Through the myths of time, stories are told of creatures and wondrous beast roaming the underworld and forgotten realms only to break through as the veil thins at Samhain. Battles are fought between mortals and beasts where the stakes are high. How hard would you fight for your soul? When the going gets tough humanity unites and the beasts are slain or chased back through into the underworld. The veil closes, peace resumes and again the wheel of the year turns toward winter. The lower realms of the supernatural world must wait another year to challenge the mortal world for control.
Samhain then became a time of celebration. A spiritual and social time to gather and celebrate, to honour with gratitude the Earth Mother for her bounty and the Divine gods of spirit for our strength and protection to ward off evil. It was a time to celebrate a connection to our passed loved ones and contemplate our own immortality.
Today we celebrate Halloween, in Mexico the day of the dead and the Christian faith have even incorporated the festival of Samhain into its Calendar as ‘All Hallows’ or better known as ‘All Saints day’ on November the 1st. Followed by All Souls day November the 2nd for honouring the dead.
From deep in our history the myths live on. Halloween costumes were taken from the old ways of camouflaging yourself and your children so that the beast of darkness would not detect your light and come after you. Household fires were extinguished so as not to draw attention away from the huge bonfires lite as beckons to ambush the harmful spirits. Food was prepared, animals slaughtered and roasted on the fires as provisions were made ready for the battles to commence. And so days of celebrations ensued with much wine drank, food eaten and demons slain.