The ancient Irish divided their year into four seasons punctuated by the festivals of Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasa and Samhain, according to the equinoxes and solstices. Samhain lies between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It was believed that at Samhain, the veil between the mortal world and the Otherworld was very thin, and that the spirits of the ancestors could cross over and walk amongst the living again.
The ancient Irish and Celtic peoples were incredibly knowledgeable with regard to the skies and celestial bodies, and we know that their calendar was divided not just by the seasons, but by the movements of the sun, stars and earth. Cor Deiseal, (pronounced kor dy-ash-al) comes from the words deis meaning ‘right-hand’ and deas meaning ‘south’. It refers to the curious movement, or procession, in a clockwise direction, thus following the course of the sun.
I‘ve never really liked Halloween. I never understood why people got excited about dressing up, or visiting the homes of strangers and demanding ‘Trick or Treat’. I never enjoyed the gaudy decorations, or the references to vampires, witches,… Read More