Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An t-Samhain

An t-Samhain* is the Gaelic name for the month of November.  Traditionally the Celtic New Year - the end of Summer and the beginning of the dark half of the year.  It was a time to draw inwards - retreat to the fireside - a time of remembering, giving thanks and reflecting on the busy season just past.  It was also a time to look forward and plan.  A time of new beginnings when we can nurture and nourish those seeds that have been sown deep within ourselves, ready to be planted out when the world turns again.

Wishing you all warmth, light and love as we, in the Northern lands move into Wintertime.  Blessings to all.

* pr. an- tavaing


  1. a blessed Samhain to you and your beautiful family...


  2. Ah, I knew a little girl called Samhain, I didn't know the meaning! I guess she must have been born in November.
    What a fabulous photo.

  3. Happy November to you! A very beautiful post! xx

  4. It gives me such heart-full joy and pleasant longing to be able to vicariously? virtually? visit Callanish on all the sacred days with you. I would say I envy you, or I'm jealous - but that's so negative, and I'm happy where I am, I guess I just really appreciate the stone's presence in your life, since they aren't physically in mine...

    As far as sacred days go, I'd appreciate your perspective on something I've been thinking about alot. The Soltices and Equinoxes change date from year to year depending on the sun, and our modern calendar reflects that. But Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lammas seem to have been linked to the standardized dates. This year, the sun's cross quarter date for Samhain is November 7th. Every holiday I struggle with the choice of what day to celebrate it on, and usually decide pragmatically based on my schedule... your thoughts?

    Blessed Samhain to you, whatever the day!

  5. happy samhain dear jacqui,
    this is a beautiful beautiful post, one i feel like i'll return to during this month of november.

  6. You have to have the darkness to appreciate the light. Lovely post.

  7. Beautiful words to go with the beautiful picture, Its at times like this you can really see the conections between belief systems and the agricultural year....fantastic

  8. An interesting comment re Festival dates. There seems to be a six weekly pattern, a moon cycle and a half, even where these involve the sun as in the Solstice. There was a new moon last Wednesday I think, six weeks before the Winter Solstice.
    Worth a little research?

    Blessings Be to you and All

  9. Thank you all for these wonderful comments. Just to say i have to go out this morning, but I will be back later to give my thoughts and catch up with you all Fascinating indeed, and probably worth another post. xx

  10. What a lovely post, and a lovely picture as well. Yes, it is time to hibernate a little I think, get out my crafts and enjoy the cold evenings in front of the fire. I always enjoy this part of the year, the first fire, the chestnut collecting and roasting, Yule round the corner. Always so much to look forward to and plan for! Blessings as always, Liz x

  11. Warm Blessings to you and your family x

  12. Warm Blessings to you and your family x

  13. Samhain blessings and New Year good wishes! My daughter loves your pretty toes in the picture bar at the top of your blog :) x x x

  14. Blessings to you and your family, Jacqui!
    The last couple of days I have felt exactly like that, the dark cold time is coming but this year I am really liking it! Must be because of all that sunshine we still get this year! Oh nothing better than a warm fire, some hot chocolate (in my dreams LOL) and cozy wollen blankets to snuggle under with a book..
    Kimmy xx

  15. Happy November!! One of my favorite months :)

  16. Lovely words.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  17. A wonderful post and photo Jacqui. Samhain blessings to you and all your beautiful family.
    Which reminds me, haven't heard about Kenneth in a while, how is he coming along? (Not to intrude on his privacy however, if he doesn't want to be 'posted about').

  18. Wishing you warmth and light also.xxx

  19. Thank you all again for your comments and blessings.
    meggs - kenneth is doing fine - studying hard in Edinburgh. They are in a new flat for this year. I will be seeing him a just under 2 weeks, so hopefully he might make a long overdue appearance here. xx

    Jasmine, GZ So interesting - i have thought much about this over the course of the day. In the post, i was really thinking about Samhain being the actual name for the month of November and carrying the ideas of appreciating the darkness as we head toward the light again.
    For practical reasons, I stick with the traditional dates - for example, neighbours might not have been very tolerant of my children guising (trick or treating) a week after everyone else. I think that the calender has been mucked about with so many times over the centuries - dates have been moved, and days lost here, gained there, so it is hard to know what the proper dates are. Also the Church incorporated these festivals into their own, and so old traditions melded with new ideas and we have this tangled mixture of beliefs. There are so many traditions and paths which vary. The druidic festival of Samhain is not just one day - it begins,as far as i know, on the Samhain new moon (Oct 26th) until the full moon (Nov 10th), and is seen as a time between the old year and the new - between the worlds, I suppose. ( i am not a druid)
    My feeling is that the ancestors knew so much more about the significance of lunar and solar cycles than we do,and were not bound by the same time contstraints and calenders that we are, so the cross quarter days would be celebrated when the moon was in the appropriate phase.
    I love the fact that these old traditions are actually still celebrated in some way, so i am happy to go with the set dates - but the proper times can still be marked in your own way.
    Ooh - I don't know if any of this makes sense - I think I will have to come back to this in a few days.

  20. That is a beautiful photograph! Such a view - expansive with wonderful light. Samhain - I'll have to look more into that.

  21. hugs of love at this special time of year xx

  22. Thought you might like my machinima animation Samhain Song,
    a celebration of this magical pagan festival
    Bright Blessings By Star & Stone ~


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