Now, before you get all wound up about a Pagan holiday title, let’s have a seat and relearn what this holiday is. I don’t know about you but I was brought up in the church believing pretty much anything Pagan was Satanic. Since pagans don’t believe in Satan, or even heard of him until two-thousand years ago, I am going to have to call them on that. This holiday has been going on for upwards and beyond ten thousand years.
Our Celtic grandparents worked the land and everything revolved around the seasons. Samhain (pronounced sow-wen, sew-wen, or su-van depending what part of the isles you were from) was the third and final harvest celebration. It ushered in the new year.
You have read my blogs, you may have a farm of your own, you know how busy summer is. Canning, growing, harvesting, watering, milking, farmer’s markets, and trying to find time to shower. Summer goes fast, y’all. Now, if someone passes away (like my beautiful friend, Kat) in the summer, you are sad but can’t really let it sink in because there is so much to do to survive winter you just keep going.
Now all the crops are harvested, everything is put up, larders are full, woodpile tall, and the dark sneaks in earlier and earlier. Cold keeps us in more and memories and mourning arrive.
The veil is thinnest this time of year and our loved ones are close. Spirits are everywhere. I stayed in a bed and breakfast Saturday night where the footsteps upstairs (no one was upstairs) and the wanderings through our room kept me up all night. We light a candle for our loved ones. We prepare a meal and a place for them. We talk with them. They comfort us. We mourn and laugh with others. We heal. We prepare for a new year with peace in our hearts.
Pagan holidays are celebrations of harvest and community. They are lovely, ancient traditions in our history. Nothing evil about them.
We had a potluck dinner with friends last night. We had a place card that we wrote the names of the people we miss on. We shared wine and stories, tears and laughs. It was a beautiful ceremony. Tomorrow is a new year.