Friday, October 31, 2008

sacred samhain

in the last few days, the weather's swung wildly between scattered snow flurries and needle rain to brutal light and blustering winds that seem to roar in all directions. i think of it as samhain weather.

the word samhain (pronounced sow-en, or sew-en, depending on who you ask) literally means "summer's end" in ancient irish. according to the celts, the year was divided into two halves - the light half, summer or "sam" and the dark half, winter - or "gam." transition times and places - where one thing turned into something else - were the most magical of times and places, and the beginning of things always happened in the dark.

tonight marks the turning of one year into the next.

the sacred days of samhain extended over a three to five day period - which is the reason why the christian church invented the feasts of all saints AND all souls, and finds a theologically appropriate reason to celebrate them at THIS time of year. (the obliteration of ancient practices by piggy-backing them onto acceptable practices is a tactic stolen from the romans, whose empire the christian church inherited upon the conversion of constantine.)

because samhain is a transition time, the Veil which separates this world from the Other thins and lifts. this means Spirits roam, Energies are loosed, and Ancestors return more readily. already i can feel them coming to call - if last night's lurid dreams were any harbinger. a thick coat of frost blankets the grass this morning, only a thin red lip of a sun shows itself at quarter past seven. the Hag's bony fingers have found their grip.

the migraines which have plagued me on and off don't bother me when i'm asleep... and perhaps, that is the message in them. they call me into Dreamtime, into the Veil, into the place where New Things are conceived and formed. those who would dismiss dreams and imagination forget that we can create nothing in the physical world until we imagine it first.

and so... this year... as the old year lies like a rotting apple, that yet contains the seeds of a new tree, i ask myself ... what would i like this coming year to look like? to what intention will i set myself? what Story would i like to tell? what Harvest would i like to reap?

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.

2 comments:

Spirit said...

Blessed Samhain Annie. It is a perfect time of year. Many blesings to you and your family as the year turns!

Dina said...

Blessed Samhain to you! You know I have been feeling so off, and I dreamed of my elders last week (not a good dream) and I did not make the link until my bellydancer teacher did (she's a priestess). She recommended maybe I cleanse and close them out a bit this year because she thinks I am very open and maybe some more malevolent spirits may come in. I really have not even felt like celebrating. Any thoughts?