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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