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Samhain Newsletter

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Welcome to Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival welcoming the dark half of the year, and the beginning of the Celtic new year. The word itself translates as ‘summer’s end’ and it is the time when we turn to face the darkness. In Irish tradition, it is a time when the dead are free to visit the land of the living. So our world, the world of Faerie, and that of the dead, blend as one. It is no wonder then that this night has become so wrapped in superstition and magic.
 
The celebration of Celtic new year involves the lighting of fires, feasting on the crops of the harvest, music, gathering together and storytelling, a very vibrant and long-lasting tradition in Ireland. And on Samhain night the Morrigan comes forth with a host of otherworldly beings to emerge from Oweynagat (cave of the cats) at Rathcroghan in County Roscommon. 
Morrigan – Take a Samhain journey with the Morrigan, Irish Goddess, and Guardian, keeper of fates and purveyor of prophecy. She is a wise one and seer. In this guided meditation, we'll meet in harvested fields and reflect on the season of autumn and winter, for Samhain is a time of death and rebirth, of clearing and cleansing,  acceptance and surrender. Peace and Blessed be.
The Warrior Rests – We are all of us warriors; doing battle each day to work challenging jobs, to speak our truth, perhaps we battle with chronic illness or injury, carry daily worries, or hustle to get through the day and earn money for our family. The Warrior Goddess Diana will help guide us through a practice of resting, setting down our armour, and washing away the day.
Awen - Hidden Quest. This is the Druidic chant of the Awen set to a background of 528 Hz. The music is intended as healing and shamanic medicine and has been recorded in the forest, in caves and by springs. This track is about finding the Awen (flowing inspiration) like a spring, then allowing it to transform your body, your speech and your mind. This is a hidden track.
Samhain is a fire festival, one of the eight Celtic festivals of the wheel of the year, the others being the two Solstices, the two Equinoxes, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasa.  There are four quarter festivals, the solstices and the equinoxes and four cross quarter festivals. Samhain is a cross quarter festival, which is halfway between autumn equinox and winter solstice.  The way the Celtic calendar works means there is a festival approximately every six weeks. 

(image provided by Celtic Druid Temple https://www.celticdruidtemple.com)

Samhain originated in Ireland and the date falls astronomically around the 7th of November, although it is now known internationally as Halloween and celebrated on 31st October. It is Celtic New Year and is the time of year when the veil is thinnest between the worlds and it is easiest to contact the dead. Samhain traditionally is a time for remembering and honouring our ancestors that have passed on to the otherworld.

 

Reflection Seeds

✤Celtic New Year
✤Sunset 31st October to sunset 2nd November
✤A major cross quarter festival
✤The veil between the worlds is at its thinnest
✤Time to work with the ancestors
✤Shed what no longer serves you
✤Make way for the new year
✤Nurture and tend yourself

Samhin Meditation:
At Samhain the dark half of the year commences. It is a truly magical time. Death is always followed by rebirth and while this is the end of the old year, it is the beginning of the new year. For the Celts the day did not begin at dawn, it began at sunset, it began with darkness. Light is always born out of darkness, they are inseparable, interdependent, and necessary. Please enjoy our Samhain wheel of the year meditation. 
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Celtic Inspiration: A Samhain Altar
Samhain, the first of the winter festivals, honours the animal cull, the dead and the world of spirits, so decorations of stones, bones and interestingly shaped sticks and twigs are all suitable objects for your altar, as are the colours black, white, purple and green. Decorations of natural objects, such as pumpkin and gourds, dried seedheads, nuts, sloe berries and antlers, all give the right feel. You may decide to create a sombre-looking altar or space, or go for a wilder underworld/faery feeling, with moss and ivy wreaths. It's a matter of choice, so go with what really calls to you to honour this Samhain. (Danu Forest)
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A Message from the Morrigan:

Supporting your microbiome is one of the best things you can do for your health, physical and mental. Our microbiomes, the billions of bacteria that work symbiotically with us, are suffering the same fate as our wildlife, blasted by pesticides, antibiotics, and poor food choices. Opt for a varied fibre rich diet with plenty of fermented foods.
And get into the garden, as exposure to the microbiome of healthy soil will bolster your own.  
Team Profile: Dervil Dunford
Derval is a qualified MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and Yoga Nidra teacher, Heart Math Coach, Breath Mastery teacher, Stress Management Coach and Breath-Body-Mind teacher. She has also studied Hypnotherapy, Aromatherapy, Counselling Skills. She is co-founder of ‘Mindfulness Matters’, has trained over 9000 Irish primary school teachers, and changed the lives of tens of thousands of children through breathwork, mindfulness, and well-being. 
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Recommended App:
Vinted: Whether you’re selling fashion brands, kids’ toys, or decorative pieces for your home, Vinted is the app for everything second-hand. You can sell quickly to a diverse community of members sharing, discussing, and trading at your fingertips. Customise your feed by following brands, wardrobes, and trendsetting sellers to get inspired. Be part of the movement making second-hand first choice.
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Recommended Book: (Audible)
The Celtic World by Jennifer Paxton:
In The Celtic World, we discover the incredible story of the Celtic-speaking peoples, whose art, language, and culture once spread from Ireland to Austria. This series of 24 enlightening lectures explains the traditional historical view of who the Celts were, then contrasts it with brand-new evidence from DNA analysis and archeology that totally changes our perspective on where the Celts came from. 
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Recommended Movie:
Tiger King: An exploration of big cat breeding and its bizarre underworld, populated by eccentric characters, namely zoo operator Joseph Maldonado-Passage. The series focuses on the small but deeply interconnected society of big cat conservationists such as Carole Baskin, owner of Big Cat Rescue, and collectors such as Exotic, whom Baskin accuses of abusing and exploiting wild animals.
Available on Netflix
 
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Celtic Living for the 21st Century: 
You don't have to be David Attenborough to know that plastics are killing marine and sea life. Hundreds of thousands of seabirds ingest plastic every year, and new studies find plastic pollution is so pervasive on many beaches that its affecting their reproduction.. It's estimated that 60% of all seabird species have eaten pieces of plastic, with that number predicted to increase to 99 percent by 2050. Since spotting a plaque on the beach at Bray County Wicklow which read "3 for the Sea", I've been newly motivated to do my bit. So please bring a little bag with you on walks and take away three pieces of plastic every time you visit a beach, lake, river, canal or forest. 
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Celtic Whispers Shop:

If you like the artwork and style of Celtic Whisper’s we also offer our designs on physical products as well. We invite you to visit our shop and see if any of our Celtic Designs would look good on a t-shirt, mug or sticker.
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Beannacht :
Samhain is the festival of endings and beginnings, of connection and renewal. Look to your ancestors to bring guidance for the coming year and prepare to nurture yourself through the approaching winter.
Slán go Fóill!
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