The Wheel of Time turns, and we are now in the magical period that ancient Celts and modern Witches call Samhain. Traditionally celebrated on Halloween, the actual cross-quarter day (meaning the day that is exactly halfway between Equinox and Solstice) would be Nov. 6 this year.
During this time, the Veil that lies between the living and the departed, and between what is past, present and future is thin. Consensual reality shifts, and other dimensions are revealed, enabling us to communicate more clearly with our beloved dead as well as our Otherworldly guides and allies.
Halloween and All Saints Day have their origin in the ancient Celtic feast of Samhain. The All Saints ceremonies had originally been in the Springtime, but the Catholic church, in an attempt to stamp out the Pagan rites of Samhain, superimposed it to that time.
In the modern Gaelic languages, the name of the feast means “summer’s end.” In the modern Brythonic languages, the name of the feast means “the first day of winter.” The Celts honored the intertwining forces of existence: darkness and light, night and day, cold and heat, death and life.
Celtic knotwork art represents this intertwining. They observed time as proceeding from darkness to light. Thus, the Celtic day began at dusk, the beginning of the dark and cold night, and ended the following dusk, the end of a day of light and warmth.
Similarly, the Celtic year began with An Geamhradh (“an gyow-ragh”), the dark Celtic winter, and ended with Am Foghar (“am fu-ghar”), the Celtic harvest. So Samhain marks the beginning of both An Geamhradh and the new Celtic year.
What a great idea to celebrate New Year’s now, instead of Jan. 1 — I highly recommend it! In many magical traditions, we are asked to make commitments for “a year and a day.” Today, I suggest that you celebrate your very own, very personal New Year’s Day. Help yourself to some Hoppin’ John and champagne if you’d like.
Together, in the ancient traditions of the Ancestors, let us make this day our own doorway to renewal. With a powerful Full Moon rising tomorrow, we come into the fullness of all we have sown; surrounded by Nature’s bounty and beauty, we are in the ideal position to evaluate what we have received in the past year, and then decide what we would now like to change, or add, or learn, or empower for the coming year and a day.
For these are the New Year’s resolutions that we make in our own private hearts, with our own quiet timetable. They can be chosen without the guilt, hoopla or exhaustion of the popular culture, for the promises that are the most important to keep are the ones we make to ourselves.
Today, with all the help available from our own intuition, as well as the Guides and Beloved Dead who accompany us, may we each make very wise ones.
Happy New Year!