HALLOWEEN – The ancient festival of Samhaim
Halloween, the light-hearted modern festivity on Oct. 31 of ghosts and ghoulies, frights and feast, trick or treat, has much more serious (and scary!) origins in the ancient Celtic Feast of the Dead. This festival has survived, due to its connection with the archetypal energies that it evokes and due to its more recent connection with the Christian festival of All Souls, which the Church has instituted as a substitute for this pagan celebration.
All Saints’ Day (November 1), also known as All Hallows’ Day is followed by All Souls’ Day (Nov 2), a christianized version of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, the Feast of the Dead. The astrological pivot point for the celebration of the dead at Samhain is marked by the acronychal rising of the Pleaides (“acronychal” means “the point opposite the Sun”, i.e., rising as the Sun is setting). Prayers have been said for the dead at this time since the prehistoric era. Ancient cultures timed their seasonal festivities by the stars, and the Pleaides were a major cosmic trigger across the whole of the ancient world.
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