Thought for the Week – Samhain

“Thought for the Day” – for Thursday 29th October

And so once again the wheel of the year turns and we are at Samhain – or Halloween if you choose, full of ghosts and ghouls running from house to house in search of tooth decay…

Samhain (the word derives from “summers end”) is the Pagan festival that celebrates death and the transition from life to afterlife. You may feel ‘celebrate’ is the wrong word in such a context; our society holds death far away from itself. A taboo subject for many, death is yet something in which we all have a vested interest; something we cannot avoid. Death truly does bring with it the promise of new life, whether you find in those words a spiritual message or the simplicity and complexity of the garden compost. Fear of dying is understandable, but the journey through death itself should where possible be met in full awareness.

This time of year is when Pagans mark endings and beginnings; the death of the old year and the rebirth at Winter Solstice being an obvious example. We remember and honour those we love who have gone on ahead, giving thanks for their gift of life and their teaching. In meditation we might seek to penetrate the veil which hangs between the realms of life and unlife. And smiling at the children at the door in their scary costumes, we thank the gods for that gift without which there could be no new life. May we each remember our ancestors fondly, and in peace.

Mark Rosher, The Druid Network
South Gloucestershire Faith & Belief Forum

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