Summers End is officially here (even if the clocks in the UK went back last week) and the Wheel is making its finial turn as we rush towards the Winter Solstice /Yule. I don’t celebrate Samhain as being the turn of the Year, celebrating the new years beginning at Winter Solstice but this is a special time of year where the laying in for the winter ahead begins in earnest and as a family we remember the ancestors.
I think all the pre-winter cleansing has been completed before we batten down the hatches (quite literally up here, where we are exposed to the full force of the Wild Hunt when it decides to call) and prepare for the winter ahead. I’m well stocked up on winter blankets after concentrating on them all summer long so I can face any winter blackouts in some degree of comfort.
There has also been a lot floating around the internet about Halloween this year which has been worthy of note. The BBC gave us a run down on a number of traditional events around the UK associated with bringing in the Winter as well as news on excavations on the Hill of Ward and evidence of an association with Halloween. The good professor, Ronald Hutton, has also had some choice words about the season in his online article for The Independent Halloween? It’s more than trick or treat.
There’s nothing wrong with a little commercialism though. Since I’ve been in work for the first Halloween I haven’t had time for making costumes or creating little projects for the children. Usually we make little ghosts and write the names, sometimes adding photos, of family and loved ones that have passed. The pool that the children know is unfortunately small but it gets some of the older relatives such as my grandfathers, who not even I met, into their consciousness and that family is larger than just the living.
It didn’t take long to bring the public shrine into the season however, making my skulls and horns more prominent and a dusting of fake spiders webs (after dusting away the real ones and clearing up the left offerings, honestly I am a terrible housekeeper on all fronts). I can’t complete with some of the locals in the effort they put into decorating their houses and gardens but at least the callers are getting to see a real witches worktable.
So here is wishing everyone the best of the season, whether you are celebrating the years end, the Ancestors or just having a blast witching it up. Check back in a couple of days as I should have my write up of the Day of Myth and Mysteries (2) completed soon.