As the shadows lengthen and the days grow short in early November, many of our European ancestors actually celebrated the start of their year. Depending on which source you believe, this celebration happened on November 1st… OR was celebrated at the time of the new moon in late October or early November. The Celts named their celebration Samhain. In other cultures it is known as the Day of the Dead.
This special time marks the entrance into the dark half of the solar year, when night lasts longer than day in the northern hemisphere. Many still view the Day of the Dead or Samhain as a time to connect with and honor loved ones who have died and crossed over into the place beyond. And with harvest ending at this time of year, it is also the perfect time to acknowledge all the blessings and bounty received in the past year.
Celebrating Samhain does not have to be complicated. Just take a few moments to pause and light a candle in the dark. Send love to those who have passed. Offer thanks for all the good in your life.
In the spirit of Samhain and honoring our Earth, Irish bard John O’Donohue offers you the blessings of elemental earth, air, fire, water and spirit:
“May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.”
~John O’Donohue, Anam Cara