[ssf] Samhain Lore (October 31st) POEMS

Gerald Ali. gerald.ali at btopenworld.com
Sat Oct 31 12:23:20 GMT 2009


Samhain Lore (October 31st) 

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means "End of Summer", and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat. 

It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two "spirit-nights" each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort. 

Originally the "Feast of the Dead" was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the "wandering dead". Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits. 

This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person's fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land. 

Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Also known as All Hallow's Eve, (that day actually falls on November 7th), and Martinmas (that is celebrated November 11th), Samhain is now generally considered the Witch's New Year. 
For all those who died-stripped
naked, shaved & shorn 

For all those who screamed in
vain to the Great goddess,
only to have their tongues
ripped out by the root. 

For those who were pricked, racked,
broken on the wheel for the
sins of their inquisitors. 

For those whose beauty stirred
their torturers to fury; and for
those whose ugliness did the same. 

For all those who were neither
ugly nor beautiful, but only
women who refused to submit. 

For all those quick fingers,
broken in the vice. 

For all those soft arms, pulled
from their sockets. 

For all those budding breasts,
ripped with hot pinchers. 

For all those midwives, killed
merely for the sin of bringing
man to an imperfect world. 

For all those witch-women,
my sisters, who breathed freer
as the flames took them,
knowing as thay shed their
female bodies, the seared flesh
falling like fruit in the flames,
that death alone would cleanse
them of the sin of being born
a women who is more then
the sum of her parts.

Remember to look after the young maidens.
Notice that you assume that your daughters are virgins. Many a good mother has made this mistake!
Maybe they've gotten around a little bit, which would make them useless for ritual sacrifice...
Amazing the strage stories that were told about the 'witches'   ---  by their enemies.
It is the time of burning leaves,
The crispness of the air has awakened
Memories both dark and hidden,
Memories of past feasts partaken. 

I sit comfortly in this silent room
Computer keyboard beneath my fingers
Yet...my mind is never frozen here
In times past it wants to linger. 

I 'see' a bonfire raging on a hilltop
With my people all gathered around
Our prayers to the Gods I shout,
Yet, in my dreams I hear not a sound. 

The drums beat, the people dance
Wildness fills the autumn night. 

The Other Side is so very close--
The Veil just beyond the fire light. 

I reach, I feel, I almost touch...
Spirit fingers entwine with mortal
Then dawn's first light appears
And seals again the fragile portal. 

I turn away from the cold ashes
Let the wildness leave my aching soul. 

Another year til another Samhain...
On that night again I'll be whole.

The Veil Is Getting Thin 

As I went out walking this fall afternoon, 
I heard a wisper wispering.
I heard a wisper wispering,
Upon this fine fall day... 

As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a laugh a'laughing.
I heard a laugh a'laughing,
Upon this fine fall day... 

I heard this wisper and I wondered,
I heard this laugh and then I knew.
The time is getting near my friends,
The time that I hold dear my friends,
The veil is getting thin my friends,
And strange things will pass through.

In the season leaves should love, 
since it gives them leave to move 
through the wind, towards the ground 
they were watching while they hung, 
legend says there is a seam 
stitching darkness like a name. 

Now when dying grasses veil 
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring 
winter back, and then the spring, 
we who die ourselves can peel 
back another kind of veil
that hangs among us like thick smoke. 

Tonight at last I feel it shake. 

I feel the nights stretching away 
thousands long behind the days, 
till they reach the darkness where 
all of me is ancestor. 

I turn my hand and feel a touch 
move with me, and when I brush 
my young mind across another, 
I have met my mother's mother. 

Sure as footsteps in my waiting 
self, I find her, and she brings
arms having answers for me, 
intimate, a waiting bounty. 

"Carry me." She leaves this trail 
through a shudder of the veil, 
and leaves, like amber where she stays, 
a gift for her perpetual gaze.


Red leaves are carried in the salt west wind 
And turn to brown on dry soil. 
The sun is bright still, but not warm
On the last rich gold of scattered fall. 
The great wheel turns, another year 
Old, bright gold with death. 
Bare branches now, the Old Lord's limbs,
Chill wind the Old Lord's breath. 

Like dancing leaves on sleeping branches 
The dark tide of memory is stirred. 
The deepest thought-flame now is kindled,
Consuming, the fire in ancient words. 
Samhain, the thin veil opens, fingers 
Reaching through the blackness deep. 
Through the grey cloud wisps, old voices 
Shapes, shifting, slowly creep. 
Mab's red-eyed dogs, howling, wander
Through the fields as soil grows hard 
Searching for uncounted jewels 
The Fairy Queen's forgotten shards 
The last red morsels, undevoured 
Returned to Her who granted birth 
Mab's womb, given up its children, 
Shrivels, cold with the hardened earth. 

In meadows that the scythe has tasted 
Now the Samhain fires are high 
The circle dance is weaving, spinning
On graceful foot, on darkened thigh, 
The spiral dance is downward twisted, 
The Horned One's chant, the Welcome Home--
"Home" is on the north wind whispered, 
The Swordless Death Lord takes his throne. 
And to Mab, the Horned One's sister, 
Whose loins have yielded up their spark, 
"Follow" now the north wind whispers, 
Mab, Death Queen, the Timeless Dark. 

And in the barren, fruitless meadow, 
Dancing 'round the Samhain fire, 
Her face a flower, her eyes a-tremble,
A young maid spins the ancient spire. 
Chanting home the swordless Horned One,
Like a doe, she leaps the flame. 
In cold Autumn's death, a new beginning, 
In Mab's cold womb, life starts again. 

Blessed Be.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.aktivix.org/pipermail/ssf/attachments/20091031/22307484/attachment-0001.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 3487 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <https://lists.aktivix.org/pipermail/ssf/attachments/20091031/22307484/attachment-0002.jpeg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 3291 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <https://lists.aktivix.org/pipermail/ssf/attachments/20091031/22307484/attachment-0003.jpeg>

More information about the ssf mailing list