A Druid Missal-Any Samhain Year XLII Vol. 20 Number 7 October 30th, 2004 c.e.
Samhain Essay: Paying Respects
Reprinted from A Druid Missal-Any, Samhain 1989 By Emmon Bodfish
amhain, Celtic New Year, the Day Between the Worlds, the Druid year starts on Samhain. The sun is half way between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. Samhain marks the end of the harvest season. All fruit and grain not gathered in by Samhain Eve must be left in the fields to feed the birds and wild animals, the flocks of Cernnunos, and its vegetable life essence, its "spirit" becomes the property of "The Little People," the Sidhi, and feeds them. (Is our word, "fairy," derived from "fear an sidhi," meaning in proto-Gaelic "a person of the Sidhi," one of the little people?) Sidhi is pronounced in Gaelic as English "shee." A Banshee, the spirit that gives prophecies and mourns for the dead, means literally "a woman of the Sidhi." Another folk tradition, probably from old Druid times, holds that "Pukas," mischievous spirits, will come out on Samhain night and steal the nourishing essence of any food crops left in the fields, or, if it is not to their liking, will despoil it. Their mythic descendents swarm out in the form of hordes of trick-or-treaters and disguised, costumed revelers.
This is the night when the Other World, the world of the dead, the future souls, and of the ancestors, comes the closest to our world and "dimension hopping" is the easiest. It is time to honor dead ancestors, and remember old friends. This was "the day of the dead" long before the Christian era. The dead were thought by the ancient Celts to have a wider and truer perspective on things than we mortals do, and to be able to advise their descendents and friends, They know all history, are aware of all forces and causes, and can intuit the future better than we. Pay your respects at graves or memorials, ask questions of departed friends, ancestors, or mentors. Leave out food offerings for them at your Samhain Eve celebrations and vigils. Get out old photographs. Review the past, this pre-Samhain week, and pay old debts, spiritual or emotional. Find lost belongings, make amends. Then celebrate.
News of the Groves Carleton Grove: News from Minnesota
Here at Carleton, the leaves have been brilliant since late August, and have been spectacular in the past few weeks. We initiated several to the joys of walking the Arb on Autumnal Full Moons, and Ian Hill was ordained 3rd order (congratulations). Our weather has been nice, but we are afflicted with the yearly plague of stinging beetles.
Akita Grove: News from Japan
Pat says things are going well in Japan, despite the recent hurricanes, and requests that Mike do something to ameliorate their severity. Mike sent him a pinwheel in response to brighten his mood. Pat says he has thrown the gauntlet down this year, and is fully determined to defeat Mike in the Bardic arts in this winter's contest.
Awen Proto-Grove: News from Calgary
It is a time of unions here at Awen Grove! Aspen and Athelia got married on September 18th and things are just starting to settle down now. As the wedding plans die down, new ones are starting as two of our grove members plan to be handfasted in November!
The weather is starting to turn to winter as we expect 15 cm of snow on October 16 and still more the next day! This is Calgary, however, and we could have +20 degree Celsius weather by the middle of November... who knows?
We wish everyone a wonderful Samhain season. Stay warm!
Athelia Nihtscada /|\ Senior Druid, Awen Grove
Digitalis Grove: News from D.C.
As you'll see in this issue, with the help of Stephen Crimmins at Carleton, I've completed assembling and printing the Main Volume of ARDA 2. The files should be up at http://www.geocities.com/mikerdna/arda.html and the physical books should be in the mail. Stacey and I are at work with typo-