Posts Tagged ‘all soul’s day’

Samhain – Part 1: Strong Red, Second Llanddeiniol Church

Llanddeiniolen village, Gwynedd, North Wales – Saturday 23rd October 2010

Many months ago Kal and I had decided that we would choose the nearest full moon to Samhain as the time to go out and celebrate this important festival. For us, Samhainmeant an opening between worlds, a chance to interact withthe world of other intelligences, the Spirit World for want of a more specific phrase. Going out in the full glare of the moon gave us the best opportunity to utilise both female and male energies to get out work done.

So,w hat was this “work” that needed to be done at Samhain? My work had been given to me at the Autumn Equinox this year. I was told by the yew tree at Llangernyw (subsequently embellished and reinforced by the energetic form of Bran The Blessed at Dinas Bran in Llangollen) that I should awaken the Spirit of Merlin. I was given a riddle that contained what I initially thought were the actual words that I should use to awaken Merlin, but subsequently realised that they were actual instructions or directions for me to use to guide me on the day itself. The riddle was:-

Strong Red,

Lower Merlin’s rowan,

Second Landdeiniol/stone church.


One thing I knew about the agenda for the day: we would be visiting Dinas Emrys near to Snowdon. Kal added that we should also visit the Llangernyw Yew tree, and I realised that this would be the perfect place to obtain guidance on the next task for the final part of the year. Good, we had two places so far.

In preparation for our day out I had dowsed for some answers to these riddling lines. What was the “red” part? The answer I found eventually as that this was my root chakra. Quite how it needed to be strong I didn’t know yet but I would soon find out.

I thought I understood the line “Lower Merlin’s rowan“. That sounded like I needed to perform some sort of ritual with a wand of rowan wood. I cut a branch of a local rowan tree some weeks before in preparation for this work and left it to dry. The day before we were to go out I remembered it thanks to a podcast I was listening to which happened, by pure chance, to mention the preparation of wands! That evening I stripped, sanded and carved an appropriate symbol onto the wand and it was ready for us after a brief consecration to the spirit of Merlin.

Finally, I needed a starting point for the day. I had found a church in the village of Llanddeiniol, which is close to Pembrokeshire, used to be an old Welsh word for “stone”, and had a stone church re-built – a second stone church therefore. Could this be the “second stone church” in the riddle? The dowsing rods suggested that would be a good place to start, but it was geographically a long way away from where we needed to be….Was there another village called the same or similar that would suit out purposes? It turned out there was – the village of Llanddeiniolen near to…Caernarvon, only minutes away from Dinas Emrys. This seemed like more than coincidence, but I didn’t have time to do any more research, we would just have to chance it and see what happened.

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Samhain for Hedge Druids: the retreat of the male energies

Sam Hill – it’s nearly Samhain!

The original Celtic New Year begins on the night of the Full Moon closest to October 31st and November 1st. This year that will be Monday 2nd November. It is the time when the Summer was overcome by the Winter – often played out as the Solar Hero being overcome by a Dark Knight (see Mummer Plays).

This time sees the beginning of the Dark Half of the Year – a festival honouring the dead, and importantly forming a link between the energies of those who have been before us, and those of us here now. Samhain is a gateway between the worlds of the Otherworld and the Middle Earth, and becomes passable by the denizens of either world – the “veil becomes thin” as some describe it. It is therefore an opportunity to commune or communicate with forces in a much stronger and clearer way that at other times.

There is lots of miscellaneous information about various customs relating to this time of year, old and new, to be found here.

Playing with Fire

Samhain is a Celtic fire festival, so inevitably one should look for a sacred site or grove that will enable you to have a fire without causing a disturbance, if you plan to celebrate it in style. Leave the fireworks for the sham that is “Guy Fawkes Night” though!

This being a fire festival means an opportunity to obtain the co-operation of a fire spirit if you do not already have such a relationship. This will promote change in your life and ways, so you need to know if this is what you want, or make adequate protection against inadvertant change being wrought through your life by a rampant fire spirit!

Samhain is a time of feasting on the profits of the year – whether that be literal feasting on food, or consuming the fruits of our labours and learnings over the profitable summer months. It is a time to gather in the rewards of your experiences, reflect upon them, and begin the process of working them into your life over the Winter months to come, ready for the next Spring.

Energetically we see the male earth energies, and those living energies produced by the trees, begin to retreat back into the earth, their influence waning. The celebration of the rising female energy influence is encapsulated in the celebration’s coincidence with the full moon.

You’re My Venus

Astrologically, Venus is appearing in the mornings. Jupiter and Mars are also in attendance over Samhain. Other major planets such as Mercury and Saturn have significantly disappeared from the northern hemisphere just before Samhain.

I’m looking forward to visiting a sacred site that is out of the way, and which is associated with Venus and the sacred number five. Last year none of that would have made any sense – this year I have learned that such specifics will mean that I am at a site that is energetically at its peak, and full of magical possibilities for me.

Enjoy your Samhain celebrations, whatever you do!

Gwas Myrddyn.

Hedge Druid.

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