Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year. The Celts divided the year into two seasons: the season of light and the season of dark. Some believe that Samhain was the more important festival, marking the beginning of a whole new cycle, just as the Celtic day began at night. In the silence of darkness comes the whisperings of new beginnings.
Two significant features of this feast is the beginning of the season of darkness and the honoring of ancestors. Crossing the threshold means welcoming in the dark as a time of becoming more closely woven with the spiritual dimension of life. Winter invites us to gather inside, grow still with the landscape, and listen for the voices we may not hear during other times of year. These may be the sounds of our own inner wisdom or the voices of those who came before us.
The Celtic feast coincides with the Christian celebration of All Saint’s Day on November 1st and All Soul’s Day on November 2nd which begin a whole month in honor of those who have died. We tend to neglect our ancestral heritage in our culture, but in other cultures remembering the ancestors is an intuitive and essential way of beginning anything new. We don’t recognize the tremendous wisdom we can draw upon from those who have traveled the journey before us and whose DNA we carry in every fiber of our bodies.
~Christine Valters Paintner
when we listen to the dark, the tiny spirits come to life and lead us deeper into the luminous, velvet and spirited veil….
inquiry for today~ how will you celebrate the transition of this night? who has passed and needs to be honored? how will you celebrate the heart’s sad and wise knowing?
In the season leaves should love,since it gives them leave to movethrough the wind, towards the groundthey were watching while they hung,legend says there is a seamstitching darkness like a name.Now when dying grasses veilearth from the sky in one last palewave, as autumn dies to bringwinter back, and then the spring,we who die ourselves can peelback another kind of veilthat hangs among us like thick smoke.Tonight at last I feel it shake.I feel the nights stretching awaythousands long behind the daystill they reach the darkness whereall of me is ancestor.I move my hand and feel a touchmove with me, and when I brushmy own mind across another,I am with my mother’s mother.Sure as footsteps in my waitingself, I find her, and she bringsarms that carry answers for me,intimate, a waiting bounty.“Carry me.” She leaves this trailthrough a shudder of the veil,and leaves, like amber where she stays,a gift for her perpetual gaze.~Annie Finch