Samhain is a Gaelic word that literally translates to “Summer’s End”. It’s pronounced as sow-en, sow-ween, and yes, for some the Americanized Sam-hain really is acceptable. The holiday reminds us that things change and that includes the words we use, how we use them and even how we say them.
For the Celts, it marks the new year and the renewal of the Wheel of Life. We remember that the only constant in the Divine Universe is that things change. How they change depends on you.
At this time of the year, it’s also a time for many to report on the History of Halloween. Most reports focus on the early Christian influences for All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day. Some really do try to explain the evolution of the early Pagan practices that evolved over time to modern secular celebrations of the scary American observances for kids and adults young at heart.
Today I read an article from one of my favorite magazines, The Old Farmer’s Almanac about the “Origins of Halloween Traditions“. It’s a nice overview article and does have some good information. But like many similar articles, it skims over the Pagan influences. I get that. A lot of people really don’t want to link the modern holiday and American celebrations with Pagans. That might anger some Pagans out there. But I approach the issue in a “pick your battles” sort of way. Continue reading