Samhain Ceremony 2021 at the Faery Tree, Hill of Tara.

Welcome to the Samhain Module where we will take an indepth look at the Celtic traditions of honouring the Ancestors on this High Feast of the year, the formal observance for this ceremonial cross quarter festival.

Samhain means "end of summer.” It is when the pastures close, the grass stops growing, and in ancient times, the time of the Blood Moon when the animals were slaughtered to feed the tribe over winter.

Samhain is NOT New Year

"The still widely accepted belief that Samhain is the Celtic New Year came about in the Victorian era when a scholar, (who wasn't a historian), was holidaying on the Isle of Man and happened to hear a bunch of drunken youths singing Hogmanay songs. He assumed he'd found an ancient tradition and that this was the real New Year. It took a bit of convincing but he managed to persuade another scholar, author of the Golden Bough - James Fraser, of the same. Between them they spawned the misnomer that Samhain is the Celtic New Year, which caught on has become a banner in modern Neo Pagan systems. There is zero evidence in any of our ancient texts to back this up"

Source: Ronald Hutton, Stations of the Sun.

Many will hold to the idea of Samhain being the beginning of the year, no matter what and will not be dissuaded. Their reasoning being that the ancient belief system meant that all life begins in the dark, which is true, the seed begins in the dark soil, new life begins in the womb. However, is it not obvious that the last sun cycle of the year produces the new sun at Winter Solstice as it starts to climb once again into the heavens, returning it's light to the Earth? You can decide for yourself.

I follow the path of the Sun as our Ancestors did, and celebrate New Year and the return of hope and Light at Winter Solstice.

Halloween and Samhain

It is important to take into consideration when examining the evidence, the meaning of the Old Irish words for events at this time of the year. The Old Irish for November is Samhna, or, Mí na Samhna. Halloween, which we see celebrated around this time is NOT Samhain. Oíche Shamna is Halloween on 31st Oct, a night of trickery, tom foolery and revelry.

The deep ancestral honouring of Samhain is reserved by initiates for the astronomical date on which true Samhain falls.

In the Catholic calendar, honouring of the dead is performed on All Saints Day - Oíche na Marbh on1st Nov.

The Pleiadian Connection

Some believe that the early forebear of Halloween – Samhain – happened on the night that the Pleiadian star constellation reached it's highest point at midnight on or near the same date as this cross-quarter day. The midnight culmination of the Pleiades cluster now occurs on November 21, but Halloween is fixed on October 31.

Presuming the supposed connection between Samhain and the midnight culmination of the Pleiades, the two events took place on or near the same date in the 11th century (1001-1100) and 12th century (1101-1200). This was several centuries before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar.

When the Julian Calendar was in use, the cross-quarter day and the midnight culmination of the Pleiades fell – amazingly enough – on or near October 31. But, then, the Julian calendar was about one week out of step with the seasons. Had the Gregorian calendar been in use back then, the date of the cross-quarter day celebration would have been November 7.

So nowadays, the true cross-quarter day happens on or near November 7. And the midnight culmination of the Pleiades cluster is on or near November 21.

Some use the first Dark Moon nearest to the solar alignment to celebrate Samhain, or else the Full Moon should it fall near and before the solar alignment, making it a lunar celebration.

10 Lessons -64.3 mins

3 Videos -21.19 mins

1 Audio - 18.39 mins

Live Zoom Class - 3 hours

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