In this special Halloween/Samhain feature, FAE columnist, Sharon Williams shares her view on this magical time of year…
Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite,
All are on their rounds tonight;
In the wan moon’s silver ray,
Thrives their helter-skelter play.
The mist has settled across the land, the full moons silver rays glistens like a torchlight in the blackened sky, things are shuffling about in the night, bright eyes shine like rubies in the shadows!… …All Hallows Eve a time of Ghosties, Ghouls,Witches, Pixies and Goblins!!…. the night has arrived when the vale between this world and the next becomes thin, In the world of the Fae its a time to pay homage to Cerridwen the goddess of the Underworld, in her magic cauldron she stirs up inspiration and transformation….. keep an eye out Phooka! This cheeky little Pixie might just guide you off your path.
Halloween is also known as Samhain in Celtic Lore ( meaning “summer’s end.”)
Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year, for the Celts divided the year into two seasons: The light and the dark, and when it comes to the Fae its believed that the two courts, The Seelie Court and The Unseelie Court each take control of those two parts.
The Light part of the year is governed by the Seelie Court ( Seelie meaning Blessed) and the Dark Is governed by the Unseelie (Not blessed). The Unseelie court may not seem very nice and in truth most are not, there more likely to create trouble and lead you off the path but thats only because they don’t trust the muggles anymore. So when Halloween arrives like all the other Fae beings, the Unseelie will join in to!!! ‘Samhain’ a night on which the fairy mounds stand wide open, all manners of fairies, mostly baneful, are free to walk the earth. any person careless or unfortunate enough to step upon an open mound will fall victim to permanent enchantment by a fairy spell and either succumb to madness or waste away from a mysterious and incurable illness.”
The Isle of Avalon, Isle of Apples, Isle of the Dead
Glastonbury, is also known as the Sacred Isle of Avalon, or Isle of Apples, and also the Isle of the Dead. In mythology, here the entrance to the Underworld is found, ruled by Morgan, Queen of the Dead. There are many apple games played at Samhain which grew out of the belief in the Apple as a sacred and magical fruit. The Apple is a symbol of life and immortality. In Celtic tradition, apples were buried at Samhain as food for those souls who are waiting to be reborn.
At the heart of the Celtic Otherworld grows an apple tree whose fruit has magical properties. Old sagas tell of heroes crossing the western sea to find this wondrous country, known in Ireland as Emhain Abhlach, (Evan Avlach) and in Britain, Avalon. At Samhain, the apple harvest is in, and old hearthside games, such as apple-bobbing, called apple-dookin’ in Scotland, reflect the journey across water to obtain the magic apple.
Customs and Traditions
If you catch a falling leaf on Samhain before it touches the ground it will bring you good luck and health for the coming winter. The custom of trick-or-treating may have originated from an old Irish custom of going door-to-door to collect bread, cheese, nuts and apples in preparation for the feasting at Samhain. Baked cakes were offered up for the souls of the dead. All the family would eat the festival Soul cakes – known as ‘Barnbrack’ cakes in Ireland – which often contained lucky or unlucky tokens: a coin for fortune, a button for remaining unwed, a ring for marriage, a wishbone for your heart’s desire, or a pea for poverty.
Samhain is one of the four Celtic fire festivals marking the quarter points in the year – feasts were held and bonfires were lit throughout the countryside. The bonfires were to warm friendly spirits and ward off evil spirits, and also represented the sun which they wished would return, bringing heat and growth. It was custom to give an ember from the fires to attending families, who would then take it home to start a new cooking fire. These fires were believed to keep the homes happy and free from any lost evil spirits.
Edible yummies… with a wicked twist!
Head along to www.uktv.co.uk You will find a whole host of cakes and cookies to make with your little pixies and some delicious recipes for warming the cockles on those cold Autumn nights!.. Pumpkin soups, apple crumbles! And lots more in-season goods. This site has everything, from cookie cutters, bake ware to glitter,cup cases, sprinkles!! The list goes on!
A cool idea if your having a Halloween party at home. Why not do a sweet pick and mix… or should that be a twisted pick and mix?… grab a couple of jars, label with some yucky names and put some horrible treats in side: for example you could get sour apples and label them “posined Apples” or foamy mushrooms “Fairy Seats”
Don’t want to bake? Head along to any supermarket and you’ll find many a spooky goodies on the shelves.
There are also some NON EDIBLE things to buy: www.lush.co.uk/products/halloween/day_of_the_dead.html
Of course at Halloween there’ll be lots of events to go along to: And you’ll need some faetastic outfits to fit in with the muggles: Check out Amy Brown and her latest creations of fancy dress wear, plus a beautiful forest faerie corset we found on Etsy:
As you all know Karen Kay, Editor of FAE Magazine and of love and Light Events will be inviting all the Fae to join in with the Samhian Celebrations amongst the magical Isles of Avalon, Home of the Fae Goddess Morgan le Fay at the Avalon Faery Ball and Faery Fayre.
From all here at Fae HQ Have a most magical Samhain!!!!