the first thing i noticed when i stepped outside this morning was how cold and crisp the air, and the stars scattered like fairy dust across a sky as black as pitch. the grass crunched under the puppies' feet and sparkled back at the stars. the mum fields next door were white under a blanket of frost, and the moon hung high, looking hard and cold as a white chip of bone. i shivered and wished i'd zipped my jacket. it was samhain weather, season of witch, and hag and crow.
and right on time. for the ancient celts, time was divided into 14 week blocks of 5 day weeks. the extra days in the year were set aside for holy day observances, festivals and rituals. each holy day was celebrated over three to five days. thus the period of samhain encompassed the days both before and after our calendar date. the ancient celts, like other ancient peoples, believed the day began at dusk. it is a concept quite contrary to our modern left-brain way of thinking.
we think the day begins at dawn, with the light, when the sun comes up, but our fore-mothers understood a truth we live with every day and have forgotten how to comprehend.
we begin in darkness. from the darkness of the womb, to the darkness of the earth, to the darkness of the sea... all life comes out of the dark... out of the dust...and the dirt and the water, thus ultimately, out of death.
samhain is the time we acknowledge, recognize and celebrate the Necessity of Death in the dance of Life.
today i begin my season of samhain, and prepare to sink into the silence from which all things spring. this year my celebration has five parts - acknowledging my ancestors, physical clearing, opening the veil, releasing the old and sowing the new. what i wish to release this year is particularly meaningful to me.
what i wish to release this year i'm not sure i can.
and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.