Samhain marks the end of the harvest festival and the start of the dark half (Samos) of the year. The celebration of renewal and creation as well as the honored dead. The tribe is acknowledging the end of the harvest and preparing to greet winter’s time of learning and reflection well. We’ve prepared our cellars and stock for the coming hibernation. We’ve prepare our minds for the harvest of thought, poetry and song. Samhain has long been the festival of remembrance, renewal and timelessness.
We honor this time by sharing our harvest meal with our ancestors in silent company, by telling stories of blood and bone. All fires are extinguished for a time and we begin the new year in darkness, for in darkness do all things come. The dark half of the year is the time to access the subconscious, to pay head to the unseen. This is the perfect time to study lore, language and skills. This is a time to work on the hearth and heart. To examine the things near to us, that give us meaning- to tend the fires of the deep cauldron that lives in us all.
As Neo-Pagans we seek to honor the dead and and the sacrifices made to keep it fertile by holding our own silent supper, speaking of our ancestors and loved ones passed into the next world, inviting their knowledge and guidance by performing divination and showing our gratitude for the land and their sacrifice by leaving offerings of apples and a shared meal.
Thankfully many traditions have been preserved in Halloween from the large Celtic immigration. We trick-or-treat, the tradition of going house to house for offerings to the dead. We dress up in the tradition of dissolution, by turning the tables and being something we are not.
Our connection inside impermanence and death, the power of darkness and rest and the no fear is the joy of this celebration.
Ancestors by Albannach
Hear my voice blowing on the breeze,
Know your fate know your history, As I am now you one day will be, Face your past then face your destiny, Mmhh mhh mhh
Now you may live a different place, Brought up and lived a different way, But if you have our blood in your veins, Then you will know us, know home, know who you are. Mmhh mhh mhh
Now here you are, standing next to me, Come take my hand, and walk with me, If you could feel the peace in our hills and glens, You would know in swear with all begin and you would know who I really am