Tales from the Road – The Gates of Samhain open once more

Tales from the Road – The Gates of Samhain open once more

As I glance along the feeds of my social media accounts I see friends celebrating Beltane. I can imagine the hedgerows at home beginning to be heavy with Hawthorn flowers, the birdsong will be a symphony of voices, the skylarks will be singing their song seemingly never taking one small breath.

The time between Beltane and the Summer Solstice is my favourite time of year. The gates of the South East and South of the Circle open and light and life comes literally flying through, colouring the land with flowers and the sky with blue.


I say imagine because right now I find myself in Autumn. Here in Australia instead of life and fertility I feel the veil thin as the Spirits of the Ancestors are honoured at Samhain. Sometimes I wonder when I’m at home if the festivals really are simply reversed. But seasons are seasons and, although the smell of Autumn differs from region to region across this massive land, here in South Australia it really does feel like Samhain has arrived. Just a few days ago ANZAC day was marked here – just as at home Remembrance Sunday lay in Autumn, close to Samhain, so the day to remember the fallen of war also lay close the time when the veil thins.

So the South East of Beltane becomes the North West Gate of Samhain as we cross the equator. What a truly magical world we live upon. When I return next week I will travel from Autumn to Spring in the space of a 22 hour flight. I’ll go from seeing falling leaves to bright green fresh leaves, draped in flowers. I may have missed the ‘date’ of the 1st May, but Beltane will be in full swing for a couple more weeks at least. For convenience I mark it by date, but in truth when I look upon Albion and see all of the hedgerows literally dripping in Hawthorn, that’s when it’s Beltane for me, and I know I won’t have missed that magical sight, and will be able to welcome the May Queen myself.

So although I have celebrated Samhain twice in six months, I know the flowers of Beltane will thankfully be there when I return home.

Whether you are celebrating Samhain or Beltane, blessed be.

7 responses to “Tales from the Road – The Gates of Samhain open once more”

  1. Hi Dave and Cerri, What a lovely post of your time in Australia and the comparison of both Beltane and Samhain festivals at once, I quite enjoyed it and you and Cerri look very relaxed and wonderful, you are both positively glowing, what a lovely photo of you both.

    Your Michigan Pagan Fest friend,

  2. what a wonderful post as usual, as an australian who is a bout to celebrate Samhain it is always interesting to read of another’s experiences when they are here
    i so enjoy reading your blog sir it is just so refreshing what ever the topic is
    thank u for sharing this life experience with us all

  3. Hi Damh,
    I have just arrived in Japan to work for a month, and was mourning not being home for Beltane, Hawthorn and skylarks just like you.
    Your words have lifted my heart. The festivals still happen wherever we are, and the song of Nature’s year is incessantly sung.
    I will celebrate Beltane tomorrow in a room at the top of a high storey building in Tokyo, with LED lights instead of a fire and candles. Yet my Japanese students will hear my words of dedication and honouring for our mutual Earth, ( albeit through an interpreter) and feel the essence of that honouring. Xx

  4. Hi Damh, Sounds like you’ve had a fantastic time. We were up before dawn this morning (4am) to join the gathering at Wandlebury just outside Cambridge to watch the Devil’s Dyke Morris Men dance to the rising sun. It was wonderful. Sunrise right on time and the single man playing to call up the sun was magical. Perfect start to the day.

  5. Hoping the Antipodean clock does not disturb your equilibrium too much. Yay May first is come.
    The May Day celebrations here in Oxfordshire are still vibrating and in Oxford itself, there has been much Music and frivolity with very
    traditional songs and Gayety.

  6. Brightest Beltane Blessings to you both. Here in North East Scotland it has been a gloriously warm & sunny day. I have been out for a morning walk & it was full of green trees crops in the fields growing strong & green; the birds were singing & flying high in the blue sky. It was so wonderful & I enjoyed it & felt truly Blessed.

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