Happy Samhain, All Hallows’ Eve


If you and I could change to beasts, what beast should either be?
Shall you and I play Jove for once?   Turn fox then, I decree!
Shy wild sweet stealer of the grapes!   Now do your worst on me!
Now say your worst, Canidia!*   “He’s loathsome, I allow:
There may or may not lurk a pearl beneth his puckered brow:
But see his eyes that follow mine – love lasts there, anyhow”
Robert Browning:   from ‘White Witchcraft’
* Canidia, Sagana, Folia and Veia were dark witches referenced in several of Horace’s poems (b 65 BCE). 

Samhain is traditionally celebrated from 30 October to 7 November with a feast and fires.   On the yearly wheel of death and rebirth, of willing release and welcoming in, it represents the cyclical end of the Autumn and the beginning of the Winter and the Celtic  New Year.   

Because the veil is thin and spirits of all kinds are abroad, we dress in our costumes to disguise and protect ourselves from any mischief!

It’s both fun and a time to call in the ancestors.     I’ve contacted mine and received some interesting messages and advice.    I asked for help and it came.    It has been a tumultuous time as the climactic tempests that have blown down trees and crushed through walls,  have reflected the inner emotions of many of us this week.    We, like the trees, will regrow as long as our roots are connected to the Earth.  

DSC00412Barefoot Green Witch (me!) blessing the remains of the Purple Beech under which a lovely meeting once took place.   The trunk now rests like a Neolithic dolmen amongst the tomb stones.        I am certain it will regrow to its coppery, amethyst glory once more.  

Samhain, Samhain we call upon our kin
We call upon our Sacred Ancestors to come in
Samhain, Samhain we call them to come in
We call upon our dear departed loved ones to come in

It is esteemed a very wrong thing amongst the islanders to be about on November Eve, minding any business, for the fairies have their flitting then, and do not like to be seen or watched; and all the spirits come to meet them and help them.   But mortal people should keep at home, or they will suffer for it; for the souls of the dead have power over all things on that one night of the year; and they hold a festival with the fairies, and drink red wine from the fairy cups, and dance to fairy music till the moon goes down.    

Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland,  Lady Wilde “Speranza”

If the fairies are at their gloomiest as a result of the approaching Winter, as Yeats said (who joined the Golden Dawn)  –  on behalf of fairies and good spirits everywhere, I wish you all a beautiful season of rest and renewal.


   Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

Countess to Bertram in All’s Well That Ends Well, Shakespeare

Purple Beech in its former cloak



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