The Ancient Celtic Festival of Samhain

Another year around the sun is almost complete as the days draw me close to Samhain. The Ancient Festival of Samhain marked the last day of the Celtic year, with the rising of the sun on the following morning    illuminating the New Year  and the turning of the wheel. Samhain  Eve marked the Celtic New Year’s Eve. 

The Celts believed that night preceded day, thus all four annual festivals began at sunset on the evening before.  

There is no doubt that that this festival was the most important of the four Celtic Festivals. 

Samhain was a crucial time of year, loaded with symbolic significance for the pre-Christian Irish. 

As they watched the the sun descend into the western skies, the symbolic inference was that of a descent into the Otherworld.  This marked the thinning of the veil, as those within the Otherworld were free to roam the Earth.

The Sidhe, (fairies as we know them, for we know so little of them) have the power of shapeshifting are deemed able to walk among us, unknown and unrecognisable to mortals.

Alongside them travel our ancestors and other spirits we fail to recognise. It is a night filled with magic!

The descent of night will continue to weave its course right up to Yule and the Midwinter Solstice. The 21st of December is Midwinter as it marks the longest night…and, as I often reaffirm, the Celts were guided by the light. Each day that passed from the Midwinter and beginning of Yule was a lightening of the sky and the promise of Imbolc, Spring!

Here is a very interesting talk by Dr Jenny Butler, who I hold in very high esteem…

Blessings to you


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  1. Hi Colette!
    I just received your book ‘ …Goddess Rising’. I am so excited, I am making myself a cup of tea and am all snuggled up in my cozy reading spot. This may sound a little odd, but I always buy a special bookmark for my most treasured books. I have a couple of your books and cannot seem to find one that I really love to go with your books. I noticed you make a calendar, bumper sticker and a map. Do you think you would ever consider making bookmarks of Bealtaine Cottage? I don’t mean to be presumtuious, but you take such beautiful photographs of your woodland and much of what you write is quotable. Anyway, it is just a thought…
    I am off to my cozy corner with book and tea in hand. Have a lovely day and enjoy the autumn weather.

    • Hi Mary! I love the idea of a bookmark and had some from my printers about three years ago as a gift…but they were quickly depleted. I will certainly look into this for the future! Blessings XXX Colette

      • Hi Colette,
        I am so excited your calendar is on special. I was just thinking I needed a new calendar and when I woke up this morning I saw you offer. Would you please sign my book and say something about the event that will happen this year on the winter solstice? I would appreciate any thoughts you may have. Also, please sign the map. I have another one but I think I am going to take your suggestion and color it. I like the original artist’s work and I didn’t want to change it. Now I have 2 so I can enjoy coloring it this winter.
        Thank you,

  2. Many blessings to you on your birthday, Colette. Your beautiful garden is especially enchanting in autumn!
    Keep up your very important work on the importance of planting for the future!
    Susan Casamento

      • This is a very unique and beautiful Samhain! The full moon and windy weather made it spectacular. We also had a windy, moody day here in Florida.
        Your work on the natural spring, stream bed and silt pond is amazing. Do you know if the previous owners were aware of the spring?
        I wondered if it was clogged due to the neglect of the land.
        There are so many Holy Wells in Ireland, that one has to wonder if this spring was known to the local people many years ago…
        Susan Casamento

  3. I love spending time with Bealtaine Cottage here and especially our walks in the wood. I am grateful for your work and play with Gaia Sophia. Blessings Abound!

  4. I like this explanation of the changing seasons and the beliefs the Celts held , they had it nailed.

  5. That was a wonderful brief lecture. I wanted to hear more. Thank you for directing to the video.

  6. Happy birthday Colette and a blessed Samhain to you too – 🎂🧡 – glad to hear you speak of government reaction to the ‘pandemic’ on today’s YouTube video- for my part , I am very concerned for our young adults- who have lost , or had curtailed all the things that make life fun at their age – they have faced many restrictions since March , but for these 6 weeks , they have lost just about everything- social life,pubs,clubs, meals out , all sport except individual training outdoors 🤦‍♀️- although they can watch horse racing and greyhound racing on TV! They cannot legally get together in one another’s homes- most college courses are online so college now consists of the laptop in their bedrooms , while massively expensive college campuses sit idle, live gigs including comedy, dance,music and drama have all been gone since March- and all with scientifically documented minimal risk from the virus to the younger age group. Somehow or other , the draconian rules will have to be relaxed for our young people or the mental health and social issues down the line will be catastrophic.
    Samhain blessings on you , Colette and all of those in your online and real world community and our loved ones in these confusing times.🧡

Your comments are welcome!