Kalin Art & Spirit

Hallowe’en – Samhain

Hallowe’en, the Hallowed Evening prior to All Saints Day is one of the only ancient holidays that hasn’t been changed too much by the church, but more so by the modern media- which is probably worse! Most people equate this evening with the raucous laughter of children trick-or-treating or murderous horror movies full of blood and zombies. Believers in the old ways aren’t stick-in-the-muds, we like to have a good time too, and celebrate holidays with feasting and songs~ but this one is for more mature audiences. This is the holiday of Life and Death…and we honor it, instead of run away from it!

Samhain is a Celtic word meaning “summer’s end”. It’s the time when harvests were finished and troops were quartered. A time for peace and quiet and reflection.

Earth-Based, aka Pagan, holidays are based on the movement of the sun. Every six weeks from Solstice to Equinox and back again, there are days which we mark the turning of the Wheel of Time. The solar celebration of Samhain this time of year can be marked as late as November 6th or 7th, depending on the exact date in the ephemeris, an astrological time chart.

More commonly, Halloween is celebrated on the last day of the month of last of Celtic harvests, October, as a time to remember our ancestors and loved ones who have crossed the veil. Candles were typically placed in windowsills, inside a turnip or pumpkin, to light the way for our deceased loved ones to help them find their way back home. Thus society has adopted the tradition of carving jack-O-lanterns, to light the footsteps of children scaring up fun. But as the kiddies are put to bed, the night has only begun. There is plenty of time during the darkness for adults to reflect on their lives.

As the nights grow longer, the time to reflect and meditate grows easier to do. The sun moves into the sign of Scorpio around September¬† 21st. It is a time of deep secrets, going within…icy cold waters, mystery, solemnity, protection and service, inheritances. All these things are astrologically 8th house issues, the house that Scorpio governs, things we naturally consider at this time! It is time to honor our clans~ time to look into darkened mirrors to see our inner selves more clearly: Who are we and what do we want out of this life? When we need answers we can also imagine asking Grandma or Grandpa, Mom or Dad, “What would you do?” – you see, it’s not scary at all to communicate with those who have left this plane.

At a “dumb supper” a plate of food and drink is placed at the table in hopes that the spirit of our beloved dead will return to join their families and share in the communal energy that they still belong to. These meals are eaten in silence, since it would be rude to speak when our beloveds don’t have that ability any more. Ghouls and goblins are the interpretation of modern society, maybe they are ‘other people’s relatives’ —spirits we don’t recognize?

Divination…reading signs that predict possible future outcomes may be on our mind at this time too…since no one knows what may befall us during the depths of winter. It’s easier to become still enough to listen to our intuition during this time of year.

Creatures of the night; the bat, carrion crow, snakes and lizards, wolves – are all hunters…that remind us of our hunting and gathering ancestors. The turning of the wheel shows us that Samhain is the third harvest which marks the hunting season for wildlife and the slaughtering of domesticated animals that would be hard to keep alive over the winter. Livestock raised to feed us over the winter are/were slain and preserved that our lives continue throughout the dark of the year. In such a death with honor, the spirit of the animal we feed upon, demonstrates to us the Spirit of Sacrifice that we can show for one another.

Naturally, this is the time to remember Mitakuye Oyasin; ‘all of our relations’, four footed and two footed. We especially remember our mothers of antiquity and how our lineage has progressed through the ages. There is something about genetic memory that reminds us that we have come of the Earth and Stars to become assembled into the unique persons we are today…and that our DNA resonates in the same way that our ancestors once did. It’s humbling to think that we are just another link in the chain of our genetic code. Future generations depend on us to make wise choices with our environment and our bodies, that they stay strong and adapt for future survival of the species. Imagine the sadness of our Grandmothers if their lineage were to die out after all of their struggles! We have it easy. We just have to learn to live within the cycles of the year and give more honor to the ways of our common Mother, the Earth.

A poignant chant suited to this holiday is Ancient Mother~”Ancient Mother I hear you calling. Ancient Mother I hear your song. Ancient Mother I hear your laughter, Ancient Mother I taste your tears.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIOQWJdL6KI

May the ancestors smile upon you this Hallowed eve. And may you find a peace amidst the madness. Namaste’

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized by kalin on October 25th, 2012 at 6:42 am.

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