Friday, 18 October 2013

A Samhain Eulogy

My friend Phil Seaford (not "Sadler" as given on the video), was cremated this week, his house had/has become a home for many over the years (since the early 60s), to whom he gave shelter and provided much of the essentials of life. His home will now be run as a co-operative for the benefit of those in the community who find themselves as bereft of comfort as Phil himself was in the early years (Phil was in his early 80s when he died). Go to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A94gvb4DihQ

 

Quote: "What is Samhain?:

Samhain is known by most folks as Halloween, but for Wiccans and Pagans it's considered a Sabbat to honor the ancestors who came before us. It's a good time to contact the spirit world with a seance, because it's the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest

Contrary to a popular Internet-based (and Chick Tract-encouraged) rumor, Samhain was not the name of some ancient Celtic god of death, or of anything else, for that matter. Religious scholars agree that the word Samhain (pronounced "sow-en") comes from the Gaelic “Samhuin,” but they’re divided on whether it means the end or beginning of summer. After all, when summer is ending here on earth, it’s just beginning in the Underworld. Samhain actually refers to the daylight portion of the holiday, on November 1st.

All Hallow Mass:

Around the eighth century or so, the Catholic Church decided to use November 1st as All Saints Day. This was actually a pretty smart move on their part – the local pagans were already celebrating that day anyway, so it made sense to use it as a church holiday. All Saints’ became the festival to honor any saint who didn’t already have a day of his or her own. The mass which was said on All Saints’ was called Allhallowmas – the mass of all those who are hallowed. The night before naturally became known as All Hallows Eve, and eventually morphed into what we call Halloween.

The Witch's New Year:

Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The old year has passed, the harvest has been gathered, cattle and sheep have been brought in from the fields, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The earth slowly begins to die around us." (go to: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/samhainoctober31/p/Samhain_History.htm  http://www.primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk/moon/index.htm )

Contrary however to the information given on the majority of search links found by Google the festival of "Samhain" does not fall on a fixed dated in our romanised Julian Calendar, infact "The Years End" is a lunar festival the full moon of which is (probably), determined by the entry of the sun into one of the ancient Brethonic constellations (possibly "The Spider" Auriga)*. Unfortunately the chronic lack of research (and understanding), of many (if not all), modern astrologers has meant that the significance of such Brethonic festivals and the influence that their celebration had (has), over Brethonic society is now "occluded" from popular gaze.

*The worship of "Arianrhod" (Brethonic/modern Welsh "Arian" = silver "Rhod" = wheel), was assiduously exised from these isles by the Romans.

The original version of Aaron Coplands' orchestral piece "Fanfare for the Common Man" was played as Phil's body was interred. 

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