Samhuinn or Samhain
Druidry and Paganism
October 31st to 2nd November
This time of the year is not about death but the dead, honouring our ancestors with respect and love. This is their festival devoted entirely to them with honour, the Feast of the dead. As it’s the end of the agricultural year it reminds us that death is not an end, as once again we know spring is half a year away. As the earth renews itself, so does the spirits of our ancestors and our own souls, a constant cycle of rebirth. We say goodbye to the old things we no longer need and goodbye to the spirits of our ancestors that have passed in the last year. As we celebrate their life we ask that they have renewal of spirit and rebirth for the asking. We invite our dead to draw near and often food and drink is left out for them. As we have invited them to this party they are the guest of honour. The Crone or Hag Goddess starts her rule now from Samhuinn to Imbolc. She is an aspect of the triple Goddess, the wise ancient one.
In Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland it was the time of the faery or sithe, also a time when demons and dark spirits may come forth. Huge bonfires where lit to draw the good and helpful spirit near and to advert the eyes of the not so good. Thanksgiving offerings were cast into the fire in honour of the year’s harvest. The ashes from these fires were sprinkled on the fields to protect them in the winter months. But this festival is the most solemn one and the elders would draw away to commune and honour all that has passed away.
Samhuinn ~ Old New Year ~ Druidry and Paganism
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