It was an odd one here in the south of England. The 31st and 1st were the warmest ‘Hallowe’ens’ on record with 21 degree temperatures. It was strange being outside in a T shirt for Samhain, but the trick or treaters had a lovely night. We set up a little altar by the front door to at least attempt to show a little more about what it was they were actually celebrating. I love seeing all of the little children dressed up as ghosts and monsters. One little boy, after being handed a sweet held up his hands and said “I’m covered in blood!!” Only on Samhain…
Is it shocking? I’m sure to some it is. On any other night I might be shocked myself, but Samhain is a night for misrule, and for one night a year I think that’s just fine. All of the youngsters who came to my door were with their parents and they had all made a lot of effort with their costumes.
So the weather reminded us of what would be leaving, and leave it did.
Yesterday we held our Anderida Gorsedd Samhain open ritual at the Long Man of Wilmington and the sunshine and warmth already felt like a distant memory. Instead of sunshine we were blessed by gale force winds and rain but, in truth, that felt right. I cast the circle as the rim of the Cauldron of Annwn. Before us, and within the Cauldron, were the mists of the Otherworld, through which we would call out the names of those who had moved beyond the Veil, to let them know they are still remembered, still loved. It can be rare to find a space that is safe enough for tears, for full emotional expression, but yesterday, in that circle beneath the Long Man, that space was created. And it was beautiful.
And with us was a reminder of the circle of life. A new born baby, brought to the circle for the first time by friends and regulars to the rituals. Seeing her passed around and loved, with smiles – a celebration of life amongst the grief for those who have passed over – was beyond words.
And the Wheel turns.