Samhain, saying your name creates a deep vibration in me.
Are you evoking a memory from a past time?
A racial memory from my Celtic roots
Maybe I was a Druid many seasons ago
Celebrating the coming of the New Year.
Hallowe’en has its roots in Ireland. The Irish brought the holiday to America. It was derived from a most important Celtic one called Samhain, (sow-en).
At Samhain it was believed the barrier between the worlds of the living and dead was very thin and that spirits walked the earth. Some of those spirits were not friendly. People would dress up as spirits in order to confuse them and protect themselves. The spirits of dead family members came to visit. People left their windows and door open to let them in and prepared special foods for them and left it on the doorstep. The elders would talk of what happened over the past year to inform the spirits. This evolved into children wearing costumes and going door to door to ask for special treats.
Another tradition on Samhain was to light a bonfire. The ashes from the fire would be spread on the fields in hope of increased fertility.
When Christianity came to Ireland the old ways were discouraged. Christian holidays took the place of the Celtic ones. All hallows eve became the holiday Hallowe’en and the old traditions of wearing costumes and going house to house became part of the new holiday.
The Witch Hunt
As I stared into the camp fire I heard someone whisper, ” Samhain, beidh tine chnamh againn anocht. Oiche na sprideanna.”
“What did you say?”
I turned toward my husband. ” I didn’t say anything.”
“I thought I heard you murmuring something but it did not sound like any language I have ever heard.”
“I was just thinking about how nice the fire looks. Maybe I spoke out loud without being aware of it.”
“Maybe.” He looked skeptical.
That night I dreamed that I was in a field standing before the bonfire with all of the people from the village. I was chanting a special blessing and telling the people to gather their embers for lighting their home fires. A few villagers would stand guard over the bonfire over night. In the morning the ashes would be gathered to spread on the fields in hopes of greater fertility.
I warned the people to take care as they moved about this night and journeyed back to their homes. There could be bobodha and taibhse roaming the land this night, oiche na sprideanna.
I am Aine, a Druid priestess. I continue to practice my religion and customs but I am being hounded by the proselytes of the new religion. They have no tolerance for the old ways. They say I am a witch.
I have places of refuge in the village and hidden places they know nothing about. I know it will not be long before they find me. I will be driven further and further into the wilderness. I am writing a chronicle of my life in a journal. I will bury it at the foot of the sacred oak tree. Someday it will be found and others will know of me and my time on the earth.
The old ones taught me about shape-shifting. I will take the form of a beautiful falcon. Those who hunt me will never see me again. I will be flying over my beloved land.