“Human presence is a creative and turbulent sacrament, a visible sign of invisible grace”. John O'Donohue

Monday, 29 October 2012

Samhain - 31st October

Samhain is the Celtic festival which honours the transition from Autumn into winter. It is New Year in the Celtic Calendar. Samhain also honours the dead, which is perhaps the reason that the festival which evolved from it - Halloween, or All Hallows Eve - has a strange modern emphasis on ghosts, graveyards and zombies.

The dead people I know don't live in graveyards!

This is not my Samhain.

For me, Samhain is a festival of light and dark. But it does not see any negativity in the darkness. Only balance. Without darkness, there is no light, and vice versa.

At Samhain, we honour our ancestors, those who have gone before us. There is no fear or negativity in this for me at all. I don't equate my dead ancestors with the spooky paraphernalia of Halloween. They are my family and friends. Where is the fear in that?

In the tradition of Samhain , the veil between the living and the dead is considered to be at its thinnest, so our connection to our ancestors is at its strongest and most powerful.

So, for me, no bats, vampires, tombstones and cobwebs. There will  be candle and firelight, meditation, reflection and connection and maybe a wee toast!

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