Spirituality and the Earth: Ancient festival of Samhain
Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:50 am
Read more here: http://www.mlive.com/living/kalamazoo/i ... h_anc.htmlSpirituality and the Earth: Ancient festival of Samhain still celebrated in multiple ways
As dusk falls Sunday and hordes of Southwest Michigan kids in costume begin ringing doorbells for treats, many local practitioners of Earth-based spirituality will be gathering in sacred circles, lighting fires and participating in spiritual ceremonies to mark the ancient festival of Samhain (“SAH-wen”).
In Celtic tradition, Samhain (“summer’s end” in Gaelic) marks the beginning of a new year. It’s also the midpoint between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice, considered in ancient cultures to be a powerful time for magic and communion with spirits.
While local celebrants of Samhain may draw inspiration from a variety of spiritual traditions — including Celtic, neo-pagan, shamanic, witchcraft, Wicca, Druid and Native American — their observances share common themes: honoring the dead, crossing from summer to winter, beginning the Wheel of the Year anew, acknowledging death as a part of the cycle of life, expressing thankfulness for the Earth’s harvest and lifting the “veil” between our world and the spirit world.