This Celtic/Neo-Pagan cross-quarter "fire festival" ushers in the dark half of the year, according to the Celtic calendar, and thus the Celtic New Year. (Just as the Celtic day begins at dusk, so the year begins at the dark half of the year.) It is traditionally celebrated beginning on the eve of November 1st (Oct 31st), according to the Celtic calendar and its Wheel of the Year. However, it's not just for the one night. In Celtic countries of the past (according to their lunisolar calendar), Samhain (SAHwen) was celebrated from three nights up to a fortnight. The astrological Samhain actually occurs at the midpoint of Scorpio (15°) on November 7th, which is the “cross quarter” between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice.
For the spirits of Samhain/Halloween, go to page 7, The School of the Night. See, specifically, the section "The School of the Night & the Night-Riders."
Full Moon October 29 12:49pm PDT / 19:49 UT Full Moon 7 Scorpio Taurus
Samhain Moon Dance
Thematic Images for Samhain/Halloween
Samhain's "Wild Hunt"
The "People/Phantoms of the Night" are roughly equivalent to the Celtic otherworldly "fairie" folk. Associated with the medieval “Witchcraft” phenomenon, other magical elements accrued themselves onto this folklore complex of the “People /Phantoms of the Night,” such as: (1) the legend of the wild “night-riders” (sometimes led by Herne), who could be heard thundering through the countryside on horseback or even through the air; (2) the legend of the pagan goddess of the Hunt, Diana (or, “Holda”), who lured women to “night flying,” or nocturnal travels of riding upon wild beasts— “the game of Diana.”
The Dark Goddesses (The Triple Goddesses)
The Celtic Cailleach Beara, Maiden-Mother-Crone, & The Greco-Roman Hecate
The Cailleach Dark Goddess
I Am The Crone
I am the Oldest of the old, Wisest of the wise, the Power behind power. I am Hecate, Heqt, Cerridwen, Kali, Caillech, Hel, Cybele, Morrigan, Ala, Mara, I am the Old Hag of many names. I am the light in the dark and the dark of the moon. I am the One behind the veil, the Threshold to be crossed. I am the dealer of Death, giver of Rebirth. I am the greatest of Teachers, with the deepest of lessons. I am Transition and Connection, the spider in the web. I am Dusk, Midnight, and the dark before Dawn. I am Surrender when you need to let go. I am the chill wind in Autumn, the whisper of Winter. I am the Three-Way Place, the center of the Crossroads. I am the all-seeing Owl, the Frog under the mud, the flesh-eating Vulture, the Raven and the Wolf. I am the Destroyer, and your Protector as well. I am the One to lead you through the Dark, through the Fire, into a new day. I am the Crone, Oldest of the old, Wisest of the Wise, the Power behind power.
I am Cailleach, the meager blue hag. My face is blue My teeth are red And I have only one eye. I am the Winter Queen. My name means "dark of the sun". I am ruler of the "Little sun of winter."
The summer of youth where we were has been spent along with its harvest; winter age that drowns everyone, its beginning has come upon me. -- "The Hag of Beare" (translated by Lady Gregory, 1852-1932)
is one of the more ancient Celtic goddesses whose lore and worship
still survive in many European countries today. She is very ancient
Hag-aspect of the Triple Goddess, who was known by many names throughout
the Celtic countries (e.g., Ireland and Scotland), such as Cailleach
Beara, Cailleach Bheur, and the Crone of Beare. In some parts of Ancient
Britain, this deity was the Goddess of Winter, who was reborn every
Samhain. Her time begins on Samhain, when she leaves the mountains and
begins her walk across the lands bringing the winter storms, snow, and
death. Thus Cailleach has the power over the weather and storms of
winter. She is also called "the daughter of Grianan," the winter sun. On the old Celtic calendar, there were two suns, 'the big sun' which shines from Beltaine to Samhain, and 'the little sun' which shines from Samhain to Beltaine Eve.
The Cailleach is one of the dark goddesses, her color
being blue-black. It is thought that the blue-black color association is
due to Cailleachs' time beginning at Samhain, in that she brings forth
the bitter cold of winter. In later times, the mythical witch like
figure of Black Annis is believed to have derived from The Cailleach. The Cailleach is a combination of the Underworld goddess and a faery. She has fangs and often sports three faces, making her a triple being or deity.
Loosely translated into more modern Gaelic and then English, Cailleach
means "old wife," although some say that in the older Gaelic her name
meant "one who is veiled". This seems to refer to one of her aspects as a
dark goddess--one who can see within the worlds of both the living and
Cailleach is of the "Ancients". She is known as the
"Crone of the Celts". The figure of the wise woman, the hag, the
Cailleach, or the Red Woman are part of an oral tradition which has its
roots in pre-Christian Ireland. In the Irish Triads, the Cailleach is
considered one of the three great ages: the age of the Yew Tree, the age
of the Eagle, and the age of the Hag of Baere.
Cailleach's existence has been known since Neolithic times. Originating
in Europe her worship spread with the Celts, who became the first
inhabitants of the British Isles. Her many names spoken are as varied as
her goddess aspects of war and love. Some of these were quite fearsome
in nature, (her aspect of war) some not, (aspect of love). This shows
the dual personality of this goddess, while some of the surviving
legends also attribute a triple goddess aspect.
It is also said
that within various incarnations some of Cailleach other names were
known as; Blue Hag, Owl Goddess, Boar Goddess and Blue Crone Goddess. .
Other depictions of Cailleach speak of her as an old hag with boar's
tusks protruding from a blue mouth. Another casts her image as one-eyed
and blue-faced, with the size of a giantress. Of the Celtic goddesses,
Cailleach is thought of as the strongest of the goddesses. But Cailleach
is not all destruction and fear. She is also worshiped as a protector
and steward of wild animals, (in particular, reindeer and wolves). It is
also said that She is the guardian of wells and streams, a fishing
Goddess and hunting Goddess. There are other stories where she turns into a beautiful maiden.
In Scotland, The Cailleach was known
as Scota and said to be the earliest known ancestor of the Scots.
Initially, Scotland was called Caledonia or the Land Given By Cailleach.
Scota was probably once a Mother Goddess in Egypt, but her myth and
origins have become shadowy with the passage of time. In many tales, she
was the mother of Amergin the Bard; in others, she was the mother of
Goidel, who gave his name to the Gaels. She is said to have died
fighting the Tuatha de Danaan in the Milesian invasion and thought to be
buried near a dolmen in County Kerry, Ireland.
Bhearra, or the Hag of Beara, is also a wise woman figure embedded in
the physical and mental landscape of western Ireland and Scotland.
Stories of her relationship with that rugged landscape and culture still
abound. She had a love affair with a sea god and her petrified body
overlooks the Ballycrovane Harbour, from which she is reborn at the
beginning of each of her many lives.
For song about the Cailleach, "Cailleach's Whisper," click below.
See way cool video of William Butler Yeats' poem "The Hosting of the Sidhe," put to music by the band Primordial
The host is riding from Knocknarea And over the grave of Clooth-na-Bare; Caoilte tossing his burning hair, And Niamh calling Away, come away: Empty your heart of its mortal dream. The winds awaken, the leaves whirl round, Our cheeks are pale, our hair is unbound, Our breasts are heaving our eyes are agleam, Our arms are waving our lips are apart; And if any gaze on our rushing band, We come between him and the deed of his hand, We come between him and the hope of his heart. The host is rushing 'twixt night and day, And where is there hope or deed as fair? Caoilte tossing his burning hair, And Niamh calling Away, come away.
SONGS October Song Pat Kilbride/Rock & More Roses Pat Kilbride/Rock & More Roses Samhain Inkubus Sukkubus Belladonna & Aconite Mystic's Dream Loreena McKennitt The Mask & The Mirror Sacred Shabbat Loreena McKennitt An Ancient Muse Samain Night Loreena McKennitt Parallel Dreams Celtic New Year Van Morrison Magic Time The Druids Winter Will Millar Celtic Seasons Of Enchantment Wytches I Inkubus Sukkubus Beltaine All Souls Night Loreena McKennitt Live in Paris and Toronto Soul Cake Sting If On A Winter's Night Away with the Faeries Inkubus Sukkubus Away with the Faeries Tir Na Nog Van Morrison No Guru, No Method, No Teacher Soul Van Morrison Keep It Simple
SONGS Samain Night Loreena McKennitt Parallel Dreams Celtic New Year Van Morrison & Jools Holland Orchestra Later with Jools Holland Orchestra Feel So Near Dougie MacLean Celtic Tides Darkness, Darkness Solas The Edge Of Silence Star of Venus Inkubus Sukkubus The Beast With Two Backs Witch Hunt Inkubus Sukkubus Heartbeat Of The Earth Tir No Nog Pat Kilbride Rock & More Roses L Nasa - Ceol Na Samhna Various Artists A Winter's Tale Tamlin Fairport Convention Liege and Lief Hosting Of The Sidhe Primordial Storm Before Calm Wild Hunt Inkubus Sukkubus Vampyre Erotica The King of the Fairies Alan Stivell Olympia Concert - Live Celtic Excavation Van Morrison Poetic Champions Compose The Countess Cathleen/Woman Of The Sidhe Bill Whelan Riverdance: Music From The Show Night Ride Across The Caucasus Loreena McKennitt The Book Of Secrets
SONGS Samhain Phil Thornton Solstice The Old Ways Loreena McKennitt The Visit Got To Go Back Van Morrison No Guru, No Method, No Teacher All Saints Day Van Morrison Hymns To The Silence Ancient Song Robin Williamson Ten Of Songs All Hallow's Eve Inkubus Sukkubus Witch Queen Away with the Faeries Inkubus Sukkubus Away with the Faeries Magic Time Van Morrison Magic Time Astral Weeks/I Believe I've Transcended Van Morrison Astral Weeks: Live At The Hollywood Bowl
SONGS Samain Night Loreena McKennitt Parallel Dreams Light As A Breeze Billie Joel Tower of Song: Songs of Leonard Cohen The Voice Eimear Quinn Faire Celts- A Woman's Voice Dark Mother Inkubus Sukkubus Wytches Witch Queen Inkubus Sukkubus Witch Queen Dark Side of Town Eliza Gilkyson Land of Milk and Honey By The Rivers Dark Leonard Cohen Ten New Songs Cold Blue Steel And Sweet Fire Joni Mitchell For The Roses Tam Lin Mediaeval Baebes Mirabilis Invisible Girl Minnie Driver Everything I've Got In My Pocket Boogie Street Leonard Cohen/Sharon Robinson Live 2009
THE FESTIVAL SEASON SAMHAIN ON THE NEO-PAGAN CALENDAR: Part 3 Hecate's Night
November 16th is Hecate’s Night, which celebrates the onset of the Dark Half of the year with this dark goddess—the "Queen of the Night." Hecate appears in poetry as early as Hesiod’s Theogony, where
she is promoted strongly as a Great Goddess. She was among the
offspring of Gaia and Uranus, the Earth and Sky, and great powers were
ascribed to her. Hecate also holds the honors (like Persephone) in the three realms—heaven, earth, and
underworld. Thus, Hecate may have once been a triple goddess. In the Homeric Hymn To Demeter, the moon-goddess Hecate is the only one to hear Persephone’s cries during her abduction. In searching for Persephone, Demeter is joined by Hecate. When Persephone returns from the Underworld, Hecate vows to serve her as her chief attendant. In later myth and cult, Hecate is strongly associated with both goddesses, becoming at times virtually identical with Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. Thus Hecate is ideally suited to play the mediating role she adopts in the Hymn between mother and daughter, where she both identifies herself with the mother and promises to serve as an underworld attendant to Queen Persephone. In some versions of the myth, Hecate is said to be Demeter’s daughter or to have gone into the underworld to search for Persephone; in others, she was even identified with Persephone. Her links with the moon and the world below associate her with Persephone, for the moon rises and sets just as Persephone (who later became a moon goddess herself) descends and ascends.
Images & Playlist for Tower of Song Program November 26, 2007
Persephone-Hecate, Moon-goddess of the Underworld. “Be comforted. I am here to guide you through the dark.”
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