Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tis the Season: All Hallows Eve

This is something that you probably already know all about, but I find it interesting and even a bit Spiritual in nature. So, what-the-heck let's give it a try.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Our Halloween is of course a weird mixture of many things, but is based mostly on the Olde "cross-calendar" feast of Samhuinn. The "Celtic Calendar" cross feasts of Samhuinn, Belteinne, Lughnasadh, and Imbolc were at least as important as the Solstices and Equinoxes. This feast which is upon us, was originally the greater part of a month long, and celebrated the end of the harvest [the original thanksgiving for the bounty of the Earth goddess] and the bringing down of the sheep and cattle to their barns. The fairies were about to unleash their cold breath over the plants and the land so that the old would die to prepare the Earth for the new to come. People today see this feast as a Druid-thing and to some degree it probably was. But the Druids certainly just incorporated the Olde Nature Religion of the people into more formalized rituals. One prominent place for this was Tara, the sacred precinct of the Irish kings. Each year on Samhuinn they and their Druids oversaw the ceremony of the extinguishing of the Fire [all hearth fires were supposed to be snuffed and re-lit from a bondfire created out of offerings to the male god who impregnated the Earth goddess so she brought forth such bounty--the fires were then re-lit by carrying fire house-to-house]. The ceremony of the Fire was widespread and led to people reveling in jumping through the fire for whatever spiritual or wild-craziness motivated them to do so. The Church naturally saw this as a bad thing [probably without thinking about it much, it was "pagan" afterall] and forbad it. Unless some bishop happened to be around, everyone seems to have continued to do it anyway. As a Catholic, I applaud their "disobedience" in this as long as they didn't hurt themselves. The bottomline is that Olde Samhuinn is/was a Fire festival, a fertility/harvest festival, and an acknowledgement that tough cold times were coming.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What/Who exactly was being noted as central to their concerns was the "Male Principle" god--the "Horned god" and yes that's where the expression comes from. Just remember Mother Earth Nature was equally interested in their intimacies as well. But the horned god had a limited run on the planet surface and each year at Samhuinn had to impregnate the Earth Mother [that part of it he probably thought was OK ], and then go to hell--well, the "Netherworld" anyway. As against charges that he was just another guy who "loved them and left them", he probably would defend himself by noting that Hell was no plush assignment and anyway he had no choice in the matter. The point for Samhuinn was that this removal of the "Male Principle" god opened the doors to the Netherworld for a while, and the spirits of the dead were more available to communicate with the living. This led in places to the family ritual of the "dumb supper", where places were set at table for recently deceased ancestors, and living family would spend the meal telling memories of them. It was also a time when it was unusually dangerous to be outside at night, as the gods and the fairies were "nearer" then and not in particularly friendly moods.So, all sorts of wild-and woolies might be out-and-about on those nights.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is not certain just how our modern mutation of Samhuinn began--that of everyone dressing up in costumes. Some think that the "custom" was a stick-on from the Roman "Let's-get-down-and-crazy-festival" called Saturnalia. Since Halloween survived as an echo of Pagan times when essentially nothing else did, it seems our disobedient resistance glued many things together to shove it at constricted Victorianism--and that included taking on other personas in order to free up our naughtiness. Well, I've seen college Halloween parties and Saturn had nothing on them. Another glue-on that had an easy link has been the lighted Pumpkin. There's a charming folktale, quite late in time, which describes how a lazy, misbehaving bum so continuously outsmarts the Devil that He won't even let him into Hell. St. Peter won't let him in either. The Devil gives him a lantern by which he plods the dark forever--Jack-O'Lantern. Pumpkins were carved allegedly to commemorate the story---Well, it has to be more complicated than that as, in Europe, where there were no Pumpkins, they carved little faces into "turnips" [almost had to be Rutabagas] and put lights in them. Some think this was in honor of the Sun [Who was in full retreat at Samhuinn and was associated with the "Male Principle"]. Jack-O"Lantern then became used for Will-o-the-Wisp and pixy mischief makers, who you did well to avoid on Samhuinn. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As important as Samhuinn was on the Celtic calendar, I am surprised that there is almost no mention of "Samhuinn lines" in the archaeoastronomy literature about British megaliths. In fact, I'm SO surpised by this that I HAVE to be wrong, and, as usual, this is just another ignorance on my part. Still, the only specific reference to a Samhuinn orientation in a megalith that has come across my eyeballs is the one at Castlerigg [a picture of which is on the very first blog, due to some mysterious, doubtless elf-associated, influence]. A very prominent stone circle [not in size but in significance] is at Boscawen-un in Cornwall. As far back as folk memory goes it has been a main site of celebratory Druidical activities. It is a flattened circle with a bulge giving it a symmetry plane down the middle and a major axis of sorts at right angles to this plane. The direction of that axis looks suspiciously like it points to a Samhuinn sunrise, but I'm not there with a surveyor and compass. It's a wild guess, but what else is life about?----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
These circles were [by some "wilder-than-me" theorists], set up to REALLY give you a good celebratory time. They see the circles as being able to concentrate "Earth energy" sort of like a "Psychic condenser" and store it for potential tapping by "Druids-in-the-know". The energies were fed into the circles by nearby erect standing stones. NOTE: the following is X-rated. The erect stones were the "Male Principle" at work and, yes, the phallus shape is deliberate. The circle is the "Female Principle" and takes this energy from the male and makes something out of it. What it makes is an environment "pregnant" with psychic power. This is why the circles were the sites of wild dancing. {Stonehenge was called the Giant's Dance}. A troop of Druids or a Coven would do the serpent or dragon's dance, weaving and interleaving through the stones, activating the powers stored within until they achieved some altered state of consciousness, perhaps communicating with Spirits and the Dead. These energies were only available at certain times of the calendar---Samhuinn? Well, we can't have any of THAT behavior! [actually it might be a bit dangerous if you "called up" the wrong dude, and if Ouija is correct, there are plenty--so, I guess it's no serpent-dancing for me].---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, that's my partial trip through the mysteries of Samhuinn--hope it was at least a bit entertaining even if not very illuminating. Above are three more circles where I think there might be dedicated sun-lines for Samhuinn. The top left one, the Merry Maidens in Cornwall, is even about a bunch of disobedient young ladies who danced the stones on the Sabbath, and were turned to stone themselves. Not very nice, I think, and my GOD sure wouldn't do that. I'm betting on the Devil or Jack-O'Lantern. By the way, this post turns out to be about UFOs after all. Just think of it: "Swamp Gas"= "Jack-O"Lantern"="fairy BOL mischief"--Hynek was right about his explanation for Dexter/Hillsdale afterall!!!! [by accident]. Now THAT's a theory weird enough to go straight on to the internet!.... Oh, wait, I just did. Have fun folks, and don't let Black Shuck or the Cat Sidhe get you.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blog Archive