hand fasting ceremony

Fresh start at Samhain

October 31st is the first of the Winter festivals once celebrating the dying of the light and the coming cold season. In the West it is typically known as Halloween, a contraction from All Hallows’ Eve, which is itself a Christianised version of the Celtic festival Samhain.

In modern times, Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “SAH-win”) is usually celebrated from October 31 to November 1 to welcome in the harvest and usher in “the dark half of the year.” Celebrants believe that the barriers between the physical world and the spirit world break down allowing more interaction between humans and those who have passed over into the Otherworld.

Pope Gregory III (731 -741 AD) designated November 1 as a time to honour all the Christian saints. Over time, All Saints Day bled into the traditions of Samhain when the evening became known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats.

In the spirit of these two traditions, ancient and modern, I have two songs for your to choose your inspiration from.


Finally, here’s my effort .. please be kind 🙂


I groaned, stretched and rolled over coming to an abrupt halt when I hit the body lying next me.
‘Gerroff’, it grunted shuffling further away.
I rolled back to my side. Even after twelve months I still wasn’t used to sharing my space with another.
Lazily, I recalled the text from Michael before Mabon and our reunion at the festival that night.
We’d not slept apart since and tonight at Samhain we’d celebrate our handfasting by Jonathan.
I smiled and stretched and glanced over at the dress I’d be wearing.
‘It makes your eyes shine like sapphires’ Michael had said.


  1. A lovely moment there, Linda. And thank you SO much for the link to Lisa Thiel’s beautiful music.

    Definitely Samhain for me… a meditation will hit the blog on Sunday(ish)…but for now, there’s this:

    ~ / ~


    Light the communal fire upon the heath
    and dowse the hearth.

    Let fireworks crackle and the boundaries
    between what is and what was
    be thinned.

    Remember those who walked these lands before,
    and wonder how it is where they are now.

    With all our harvest is gathered in, welcome this
    time of rest, of winter’s approaching cold and
    hope to see another spring.

    Cross the veil between the worlds and times,
    welcome all our departed spirit kin.

    Step willing into the darkness of the closing year;
    fruits shared beneath the starlight and in
    flames flickering.

    Reach across the space of unknowing,
    to a heart’s unexpected opening.

    Take home fire from the burning on the heath
    and relight the hearth.


    ~ / ~

    1. And bring it home to keep the home fire burning right through to Winter Solstice and beyond Lesley 🙂

      1. Hi Linda – I really like the mystery in your story and I’d like to know more.

        Is the woman with sapphire eyes sharing a grave with Jonathan and Michael and their handfasting’s taking place beyond the grave? I think this could be the start of a novel

        1. Mmmmm, now there’s an idea Iain … I wonder what might happen next in the story ….

    2. Hi Lesley

      as ever, you write in vivid colours and I can feel the heat from that fire. It might be a cheaper option this winter….

  2. Dracula Chills Out

    On the porch, they howled with laughter – convinced that adolescence made them invulnerable. Three had spray cans; the other two had eggs. I knew their type.
    ‘Hey – check out Granddad Goth!’
    ‘Marilyn Manson’s let himself go!’
    ‘It’s Uncle Fester!’
    ‘Got no mirrors in this dump?’
    I sighed. How easily youth mistake insults for wit.
    They attempted a cold stare. At me! Now that was funny.
    ‘Trick or treat, freak! Or are you gonna be a pain in the neck?’
    I licked my lips. ‘Treat’ I said evenly.
    As they entered, the porch doors shut silently behind them.

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