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- Rev. Lucien O'Corvi; The Shamanic Minister, A Voice in the Crowd!
- I am an Ordained Minister, a Shaman, a Reiki Master Teacher, an Aromatherapist, a Massage Therapist, an Herbalist in training, & a Crystal Healer in training! I am also a Writer! I am one of the Neo- Celí Dé (a form of Celtic christian mysticism based on original early Christianity, & certain Celtic philosophies, perspectives, & certain Druidic elements). I am also a proud member of Clan MacKay. NO PARTIES, JUST PATRIOTISM!
These are a few of my favorite things!;
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Samhain or Samhein (pronounced Sow-in);
The festival of The Ancestors, The Great Harvest
The ancient and most holy festival day in the year of the ancient Irish Celts.
On this day the last of the great harvest festivals was celebrated. This day marked the end of one year and the beginning of another, and is rightly considered the Celtic new year. The first half of the year was winter or the dark half of the year. The veil between the worlds is thinnest at this time. Most Celtic festivals are three day feasts. This feast is unusual in that it is not only the day before, of, and after that are celebrated, though it might have been thus in ancient times. Since the advent of the church and Christianity it is The Eve of All Hallows, November 1st which is All Saints day, and the night of November 2nd which is All Souls night that are celebrated. The day before was probably when they brought in the last harvest and made preparations for the festival. It should be honored as well.
Families would have gathered together both to fellowship with each other and hold communion with their ancestors and with The Divine in whatever forms they believed in, on the eve of all hallows. Traveling would have been very rare on this night. Sacrifices to show thankfulness to The Divine, and to try and ritually ensure good harvests the following year would have been made. In some places we know that human sacrifices were made but not usually in the horrific manner that many assume. Almost all of the sacrifices would have been people who were willing. The Celts believed in the transformation of the soul and in reincarnation so much that it would not have been as traumatic a process for them as it would be for us in modern times. Most people believed that they were protecting their peoples by allowing themselves to be sacrificed. The sacrifices were also to try and garner favor with the powers that be, so as to make the cold harsh bitter winters as short as possible. Many of the human sacrifices at this time would have been elderly people who felt they had lived a long life and wanted to make sure the younger generations had the chance to do the same. It is also understood that in some places, those willing to be sacrificed would have been seen as heroic and it was believed that their souls would have ascended right into the halls of the gods where they would be seated with the gods having become themselves divine in nature. This would have also led some Celts to ancestral worship.
It was custom at this time and at the time of Beltaine, that all the fires in the land were extinguished for a time and the high-kings fire which was made by his Druids would have been the only fire burning during the ritual. Torches were lit from this fire and runners went out from the kings fire carrying the light to ritual purify all the fires in the land which were re-lit and reborn from the flames of the torches, the runners carried. It was a beautiful tradition that was wiped out by St. Patrickus, who despised and later murdered or forcibly converted the druids and or their followers. Hence the legend of driving the so-called snakes out of Ireland. Snakes in the case being symbolic of the druids.
After the advent of Christianity which brought with it the idea of the angel of death, or St. Death which has various names in Christian and Jewish mythology (traditionally The Arch-Angel Azriel The lead death angel, who is under the command of Gabriel), and who later became myth-ified to another archetypal figure altogether whom we call The Grim-Reaper; Death itself was also honored to a degree in some circles after this era.
Taxes for the kingdom and the high-king were also collected at this time. Groups of Druids with escorts from the Fianna (The High-King’s or Ard-Ri’s personal military police force), went out from the kings hall and traveled through out the whole of Ireland, going door to door as we say. This is what informed the much later tradition we know of as Trick or Treat. The title hearkens back to the idea of various punishments the druids dealt out to people if they refused to pay their taxes when they were able to do so. Much in the same way our own IRS would carry out various punishments on us today even if we couldn’t pay our taxes.
This was a time of great feasting and celebration. Stories would have been told around hearth fires of legends and also family histories. At this time of the year, ancestors were seen as being very present amongst us.
May you find yourself blessed with all good abundance this Hallowed Season!!!