Samhain is one of the four major religious festivals in the Celtic calendar.

Samhain is celebrated for three nights at the end of the light half of the year and the beginning of the dark half of the year. This has come to be October 31st, November 1st and 2nd on our modern calendars.

Samhain sees the end of one year and beginning of the new but is not quite either one.

The harvest is in from the fields and the animals have been brought in from their summer pastures.

Samhain is a time for travelers to return home before the cold of winter sets in.

The Celts lived close to the earth and saw spirits all around them. Trees, wells, rivers and yes even rocks have spirits that dwell in them. Animals also have spirits and are an important part of Celtic religion.

Magic permeated their lands as they saw great stone structures that must have been built by giants or old sorcery.

The Celts believe that the souls of those who have died pass on to the Otherworld or Annwn where they continue to live a good life full of music, song, food and good company.

At Samhain the veil between the worlds thins and spirits can move to and fro from the realms on the other side to the physical world.

It is at Samhain that the fairies move from the woods where they live during the summer to their underground dwellings of the winter.

Is the rushing sound at night amongst the trees in the dark, dark woods the wind or the Hounds of Annwn out searching for lost souls and might they take your soul if they can find no other?

UU 2017 Samhain by Allen Reed ©2017 C. Allen Reed