I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this, but I don’t consider the beginning of Winter to be on the solstice in December. How could the darkest part of the year begin on the the day the light comes back? Doesn’t it make more sense that the return of light would be the middle of winter? The turning point? The beginning of the journey toward Spring?
As far as I am concerned, the beginning of Winter is at sundown tonight. The harvest is (theoretically) over, the larder is full, and we carry the light in our hearts into the darkest part of the year with many festivals and loving cheer while we wait for the light to return again, and we are once again assured of the new season to come.
The ancient people of Ireland and Scotland called this time of year Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”). In fact, Samhain is the name of the month of November in Irish and Gaelic. The festivals marking the beginning of November were some of the biggest of the year.
Until I moved away from the city, I just thought Halloween was for candy (kids) or parties (adults) and didn’t think too much of it. Now that I live a more seasonal life, I realize how wrong I was. Of coursethis is one of the biggest seasonal markers of the year. If your harvest is not in, if you are not prepared for for the darkness to come, if you have been a grasshopper and not an ant, then woe be to you. Kind of puts a different perspective on things.
And so, my dear friends. I pray that your harvest is in, that you are ready for the darkness to come, and that you have a full heart to carry you through until the light comes again in December.
Happy Halloween, or, Blessed Samhain,