Tag Archive | honor

The History Of Samhain And Evolution of Halloween

 Photograph by Mukul Soman

Photograph by Mukul Soman
National Geographic

Samhain – The Celtic New Year
Whether you use the Gaelic pronunciation “Sow-en”, “Sow-ween”, “Sah-ween” or the Americanized version “Sam-hain” (yes that is an acceptable pronunciation), it’s still the biggest holiday on the Pagan Calendar.

It’s the start of the Celtic New Year and honors the year that has passed. It is the time when the veil of forgetfulness is lifted between the physical world and the spiritual world. Where the dead are honored and communication with spirit can take place more than any other time of the year.

For pagans it’s a time of celebration, but it’s also a time of reverence and deep spiritual reflection for the past and the future year to come.

An article by the Library of Congress states: Pagans divided the year by four major holidays. According to their calendar, the year began on a day corresponding to November 1st on our present calendar. The date marked the beginning of winter. Since they were pastoral people, it was a time when cattle and sheep had to be moved to closer pastures and all livestock had to be secured for the winter months. Crops were harvested and stored. The date marked both an ending and a beginning in an eternal cycle.

Pagans follow a Lunar calendar and the day would begin at sunset. Celebrations for holidays therefore would also begin when the sun set and the moon rose. This is why we start our Samhain celebrations at sunset on October 31st and continue them through the day on November 1st.

Where many will say Happy Halloween, the proper salutation for pagans would be Merry Samhain. Continue reading

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Sunday’s Homily: Happy Mothers Day

Or “Hail To The Domestic Goddess!”

MotherhoodOnce a year here in the west we honor our Mothers and celebrate the sacrifices they have made for us. Many say this is a modern holiday designed by greeting card, flower and chocolate manufacturing companies for the purpose of greed and commerce. I say so what; does that mean we shouldn’t honor the Domestic Goddess in our own homes?

Pagan Metaphysics has long been associated with Goddess ‘worship’ mainly because early pagans celebrated the feminine in matriarchal societies. Figurines such as the ‘Venus of Willendor’ are a perfect example of the early reverence for fertility of a woman and her ability to give new life. This miracle of life was seen just as that, a miracle given to a woman by a deity, or a Goddess specifically. If a woman was extremely fertile she was considered to be favored by the Goddess of the people and her position was elevated within her tribal structure. Often being designated as the priestess or high chieftain of that tribal society.

When the priestess grew older and less fertile, she often chose her successor. But her singular power shifted to that of a wise woman who was always consulted when it came to decisions. Her power never fell out of favor and her contribution was never dismissed. Continue reading