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Festivals in November

 
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Azjah
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: Festivals in November Reply with quote

Samhain marks the Celtic New Year as the Winter season begins. This may seem a strange season to begin the new year, but as the days grow darker and shorter and colder, as the trees becme bare and leafless, the agricultural year is at it's close and it's beginning. The growth cycle begins in the darkest depths of Winter when the cold forces seeds to germinate in preparation for their Spring emergence. Although all seems dead, life rests and waits for the returning of light and sun.

This period of Samhain is the perfect tiem for introspection and reflection. It is the perfect way to begin the year.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject: November 1 Festival of Samhain Reply with quote

The festival of Samhain began the winter half of the year. It was believed that the Cailleach, the aspect of the Goddess who appeared as an old woman, hit the ground with her hammer, making it iron hard until Imbolc. On Samhain night, the gates of the otherword were open, and allowed communion with the ancestors who had passed on.

In the Christian era, the festival was reassigned to the Feast of All Saints, however many of the customs surrounding modern Hallowe'en still concern this ancient understanding of the accessibility of the dead at this time.

The ancestors were respected as the repositories of lore and wisdom; many Celtic tales speak of the dead returning to speak to their descendants in order to impart knowledge or to restore memory of ancient customs and stories.

The feast of both Samhain and Beltane were considered to be outside the boundaries of normal activities, when supernatural events take place; the barriers between humans, ancestors, gods and faeries are overthrown and they can visit each other's realms.

The modern festival of Hallowe'en, All Saints Eve, derives from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, called Nos Cyn Calan Gauaf in Welsh.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:53 pm    Post subject: November 2 Soul Caking Reply with quote

The custom of Soul caking has children going around the village to beg for cakes in treturn for prayingn for the sould of the deceased ancestors. This was still practised up until the 19th century in Cheshire, England.

It is a remnant of the Feast of All Souls, when prayers were said for the dead, and even more anciently, of the respect and remembrance of ancestors, who were the keepers of memories and wisdom.

A mumming or souling play still circulates Antrobus, Cheshire, accompanied by a hobby horse. This horse is one of the many which circulate in several regions of Great Britain and Ireland during the winter months, and are a distant reminder of the winter mare aspect of the Cailleach.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:55 pm    Post subject: October new days Reply with quote

The Celts reckoned each twenty four hour interval from nightfall followed by day so that the fall of night brought the New Day.

Feast days are thus from twilight not from dawn.

Today, the Jewish faith also considers the day from sun down and not from midnight or dawn.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:01 pm    Post subject: November 12 Roquepertuse Reply with quote

The preRoman Celtic sanctuary at Roquepertuse in Provence was entered through a trilithon stone portal in which were carved niches for human heads.

(A trilithon is a three stone form, two vertical, one across the top)

For the Celts, the seat of the soul was hte head. These heads may have been those of fallen enemies, to be offered to the gods of the shrine.

The genius of Roquepertuse seems to have been depicted in the form of a goose or bird of prey. Wthin insular Celtic tradition, the raven holds the same function; this bird is associated with the Goddess of War, the Morrighan.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: November 12 Roquepertuse Reply with quote

The preRoman Celtic sanctuary at Roquepertuse in Provence was entered through a trilithon stone portal in which were carved niches for human heads.

(A trilithon is a three stone form, two vertical, one across the top)

For the Celts, the seat of the soul was the head. These heads may have been those of fallen enemies, to be offered to the gods of the shrine.

The genius of Roquepertuse seems to have been depicted in the form of a goose or bird of prey. Within insular Celtic tradition, the raven holds the same function; this bird is associated with the Goddess of War, the Morrighan.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject: November 13 Death Watch Reply with quote

The death watch was a Celtic method of divination that was upheld in the western parts of England until the last century.

The purpose was to watch in the church porch at midnight, usually during Midsummer, New Year's Eve or Hallowe'en to see the apparitions of those who would die in the parish in the coming year.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject: November 24 Irish Letters Reply with quote

All Irish letters of the ogham alphabet are tree names.

Ogham was a method of straight line inscription which bisected the edge of a tone or stave of wood.

Many Irish texts speak of 'ogham libraries' or wisdom being preserved by some manner of encryption, decipherable only by poets and druids.

The writing of short messages or prophetic devices upon four sided wooden staves was a common method of communication over distance.

In the Irish tree alphabet, the letter A is represented by ailm, or scots pine trees
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: November 25 Genii Cucullati Reply with quote

Representations of three figures in long hooded cloaks are found throughout Celto-Roman Britain; they are called the Three Hooded Ones or the Genii Cucullati from cucullus, a hood.

They are nearly always accompanying depictions of Celtic goddesses of plenty and may be the earliest representations of the faery folk as spirits of the place.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:47 pm    Post subject: November 30 The Cailleach Reply with quote

The Cailleach or 'veiled one' is the title given to the Goddess in her winter aspect. A caille is a veil, and the title is given also to nuns and as a respectful term to olde women or grandmothers.

There are a number of cailleachs of different Celtic regions, including the Cailleach Beare, the Old Woman of Feare, in South West Ireland, and the Cailleach Bheur or Blue Hag of Scotland.

Her cult is so ancient that only fragments of it exist, telling how she flew through the skies throwing stones out of her apron which fell to earth to become mountain rainges. She is the Old Woman Tossed Up in the Basket" from folk song and is associated in many regions with Mother Carey, who throws down the snows. She is frequently seen as at odds with Brighid, the Goddess associated with Imbolc but the stories reveal that the Cailleach renews her youth by changing as the seasons succeed each other.

In Wales, the Cailleach is called the Gwrach.
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