Samhain (pronounced “Sao-whin”) is regarded as the source of all eight Irish-Celtic seasonal festivals. Calculated as the “cross-quarter day” exactly half way between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice, it heralds the Ancestral marking of the beginning of Winter, (the season of An Cailleach – Crone or Grandmother Earth).
The increasing darkness in the days from Samhain onwards towards Winter Solstice spoke to our Ancestors of the darkness where all life begins. Just as the embryo begins in the darkness of a mother’s womb and the seed sprouts downwards in the dark soil of Winter before appearing in Spring, Samhain is truly the beginning of new Time and Space. It is the Ancestral indigenous Irish New Year.
Deeply attuned to the circular movement of Sacred Time, our Ancestors tracked the completion of a significant circle at Samhain, one that has been turning through the previous four seasons. There is they observed a “hiccup in the turning of Time” at Samhain. In the momentary pause there opened a rare access to the Otherworld beckoning a festival where honouring and connection with the Ancestors, Na Sí (Faerie Folk) and Spirit Helpers is revered. Dressing up in their likeness was traditional.
In 2020 Samhain falls on November 7th in Ireland, Nature’s gift of New Year’s Day. It is a time for letting the Old Year be released and embracing the growing darkness as the time for couragous dreaming of new life, new health, new wisdom. You are most welcome to take part in our Samhain ceremony, as you watch or by being inspired by it to make your own version which can be shared with family, friends and Samhain co-celebrants.
As the mother and father of all seasonal rites of passage, we have embraced the four elements of creation, Air, Water, Earth and Fire in the one traditional ceremony. The veils between the worlds are at their thinnest at Samhain, please join us in this uniquely potent sacred moment of revelation and new beginnings.
Samhain shona orainn go léir,
John and Karen