Samhain part two – The Veil Lifts A Little Higher

Okay so I’ve been researching Samhain at various sites but I still need to research more before I can write a full article (or mini series) about the history of the holiday.

The short list of what I have gleaned so far is:

1. It’s a time of celebration. (Stating the obvious with this item).

2. It’s not about sacrifices, blood feasts, severed limbs, or intense gore.

3. The masks were worn to ward off negative energies so that the celebration wouldn’t be ruined.

4. It was a time of harvesting the crops and animals in preparation for the winter months when food is scarce. This was especially true in the northern regions where the winter would be the harshest.

5. The roots of Samhain are pagan in origin. It was another holiday that christian leaders took over in order to convert the so-called ‘heathens’.

A short list that will be expanded as I go into heavy-duty research mode for the rest of this month. I think I’ll get to a library or two and look up information the old-fashioned way.

What are your perceptions of the Samhain. Halloween. holiday?

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Samhain by any other name……

Historically Halloween? Hysterically Halloween? 

A Short list of information about the Autumn Festival of Ancestors.

Samhain (sow-ween, sow-when, sam-haine, sav-en,sow-in) was not always the Halloween of modern times. And today it seems (to me) to be more like Hollywood-ween.

Hollywood’s influence on the originally pagan holiday can be seen as soon as you walk into just about any store that sells exclusively Halloween items. From the bloody stumps to the gory masks, it seems that the holiday is seen as just another reason for splatter.

So I’m on a quest to get to the real history of the holiday. I’m looking for information that is presented in a non-biased manner.

This article on about.com  – The History of Halloween & Samhain is a good start. Although I wonder if this part  -“People gathered to sacrifice animals, fruits, and vegetables.” – is more about preparing food for the winter months rather than sacrifice.

Halloween on the net is another interesting site.

Kells Festivals has more information about the holiday from the pagan point of view.

Here’s an entry from encyclopedia.com

Samhain

The Oxford Companion to Irish History | 2007 |

Samhain (1 Nov.), the first day of winter and one of the four traditional ‘quarter days’, important in the calender customs of Goidelic‐speaking areas up to the present century. The eve of Samhain was believed to be a time of supernatural occurrences: according to medieval sources the dwellings of the fairies were revealed, and modern folklore associates the night with divination and the dead. The name appears to contain the element sam‐ ‘summer’, perhaps alluding to a belief in the inversion of other‐worldly time.
John Price Carey

History channel’s online information is a bit more detailed. It appears to be informative without the influence of religion and Hollywood.

So there’s the list of starting points for the research. A lot to read and digest and summarize and paraphrase and then put into a great article for the blog.

I’ll post a follow up article on Wednesday. 

Also check back on Friday for a little creepy story about drinking with Death.

What’s your favorite idea of Halloween/Samhain?

Imaginary Friends

First a note about the creepiness for Friday this week – I’ve decided to pen a poem about death for the post. Death in the vein of Halloween kind of thing.

Now onward to today’s post —-

Did you have imaginary friends when you were younger? 

I did. And I still do to a certain extent. Now before anyone wants to call for an intervention let me explain.

When I was a kid my imaginary friends could do fantastic things like: control the elements, fly, read minds, open doorways to other realms, talk to the trees and of course they’d take me with them on those voyages and adventures.

Now those imaginary friends have turned into the characters in the stories that I write. The switch was seamless and I had no idea that it was happening. I’m not sure at what age it happened either.

Maybe the change was a kind of life magic and it’s supposed to happen without notice so that there is no grieving process to go through when they disappear.

My friends now appear as characters in the books I’m writing. Not all the characters were the once imaginary friends of my youth. The villains are new. I mean I’ve played in the shadows my whole life but I was never friends with bad guys/girls.

The characters that have become the antagonists in the books are related to experiences in my life. Experiences with people that I’m thankful are no longer in my life, except for the big-bad-uglies that are needed to give the protagonist something to destroy/eliminate/arrest/send into the deepest chasms of the earth/you get the idea.

Thankful too that I have a vivid imagination in which to play – makes writing more fun when I can close my eyes and see the worlds that my characters live in. Of course that imagination of mine has helped to scare the sleep out of me at times, but that’s another story. 😉

So what about you, where have your imaginary friends gone to live? Or are they still alive and well inside of you?  🙂

Fuh-got about Friday.

Really I forgot to post on Friday. But I have a good reason – I was re-organizing my entire craft cabinet. It takes an entire day to do it. I moved in here almost a year ago and never organized my crafts in any sort of logical manner. So Friday I corrected that egregious error in my ways. 🙂

My crafts are now comfortably tucked into their individual drawers, containers, and shelves. They’re happy – I’m happy and now I’m getting to a blog post that should’ve been done yesterday.

It’s not a hugely important post just a few thoughts about October, the writing campaign, and guest posts.

Thought #1 – To celebrate Halloween, I’m going to post a flash fiction piece on Fridays for the month of October. The basic theme is creepiness. Not necessarily bloodiness, gore or flying body parts. I’m aiming for giving you (my most excellent readers) a good chill up and down the spine. Perhaps a little something that will work on the mind long after you have read the story.

And if you’d like to join in the fun  then check back on Monday for the subject of the story to post on Friday. Then comment on Friday and include a link to your blog post. And yes I was inspired by the writing campaign. Thanks again to Rachel Harrie for starting the writing campaign.

Leading into — Thought #2 – The Writing Campaign has been and is continuing to be a wonderful source of inspiration. Many thanks to my blog visitors that have found their way here via the Writing Campaign. I feel like I’ve made some awesome blog friends (that sounded odd lol). I’m looking forward to a great October with all of you.

That’s about all the thoughts I have at the moment. Get outside and enjoy the coolness of the weather, unless of course it’s raining then stay inside and bake cookies or write of bake and then write……..    Have a great weekend.  🙂