Thursday, October 31, 2013

Honoring my inner Druid

Happy Samhain! Happy Halloween!

The New York Times has a great article today about the Druid celebration of Samhain, from which our observances of Halloween derive. There are about 29,000 Druids in the U.S., according to this article. Check it out here.

Samhain is a festival occurring approximately halfway between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. It's one of the 8 great feast days in the Pagan calendar. Samhain and the two solstices are some of my favorite days of the year.

No, I'm not a practicing Druid, but I do have strong "leanings" in the direction of some of the earth-based observances. I think it's important to honor the earth, and to mark the passing of time: the cycle of the seasons, the "dying" and "rebirth" of the sun, and the other rhythms of death and rebirth we see all around us. I think it's also important to remember those we love who have gone before us into the Great Silence -- in church, we remember them on The Feast of All Saints.  At Samhain, too, the veil between this world and the next is traditionally quite thin. Halloween has turned this into a scary thing, but it need not be so. I like thinking of the Communion of Saints all around me.

Tonight will be the first night this work-week that I will be able to stay home. I will be lighting candles in memory of dearly loved relatives, and holding their memories close to my heart. I'll greet any lingering Trick-or-Treaters, though we don't have many after dark anymore.

And, yes, I may try to watch the Halloween episode of Criminal Minds, which I missed last night.

Happy Halloween!

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