Here are Jan's thoughts:
Samhain means (from the Celtic) End of Summer. In a sense we have
to move ourselves back in time here to properly understand what that
means for Autumn as we now know it did not exist in the original Pagan
calendar. We were either in Summer (bounty, blessedness and
abundance) or Winter (threatening, sparse and demanding). When
discussing the Autumnal last time, I spoke of how, at this end of the year, one is forced to
squeeze every single drop of favour from the land.
our forefathers (and mothers) were faced with the stark reality that
there is simply nothing left. There are no berries to forage, no
crops to harvest. Even the wild life retreats making hunting
harder and more dangerous. This is it. We are up
against the violent beauty of Nature in all her guises. She
has given up generously of all we have coaxed her into
producing. Now it’s time for our testing – are we
respectful enough? Careful enough? Thoughtful
enough? The Winter will prove or destroy us. Either
way, this is approaching the time of our weighing as souls. Here
now, we face the highest judge of all. Are we to prove
worthy? Or are we destined for a wasting death as a result
of our own wastefulness?
I am quite sure you can see how our
modern-day lives makes a total nonsense of such a stark set of
choices. Perhaps the ease with which we refill our larders,
restock our cupboards and fridges, has taken from us the simple reality
that Nature truly IS red in tooth and claw. I often wonder
what would happen if we were cast upon Her good nature and
forgiveness. Hopefully we have not yet crossed the line into
no-man’s-land. Um…could you please pick up that piece of
litter and put it in the appropriate bin? I thank you.
title of Hallowe’en aggravates me roughly as much as it aggravates
Graham – you will have noticed his attitude in his fantastic offering
about this ceremony. It is a shortening of “All Hallows
Eve”. That is a Christian festival instituted officially
back in 800AD or so. It precedes All Hallows Day which in Christian
terms remembers and celebrates all saints. More obscurely in
Christian tradition is the concept that it also celebrates the dead in
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