Samhain+ Gates Open Between the Worlds +
“Hallowmass, All Hallows’ Eve, the Celtic new year, the time of true beginning when the spirit is freed from material form, the sacred fire bursts the outworn mold and prepares to create anew. to the outer senses, in the visible world, death walks. the killing frost comes, the dry seeds fall, the trees shed their masks and draperies and stand forth with their structure laid bare. the sky reappears in its timeless glory, the gates between the worlds open once more, ghosts and fairies and mortals meet at the crossroads. now we see the death face of the goddess, kali, kerridwen, the virgin mary with her dead son on her lap, the grotesque form of sheila-na-gig, simultaneously womb and tomb.”
From The Feminine of History is Mystery, facing page 82
The sun arrives at the moon’s standstill. Days are shorter than nights, days shorten slowly.
The gates open between the worlds. This is the time when spirit separates from matter, and goes back into the invisible realm, leaving the dead husks behind. We celebrate endings and death, letting go of what is outworn. Samhain is the Celtic New Year. In the past, this was a time when animals were killed if they couldn’t be fed through the winter, and the vegetation is dead or dying, so Samhain is associated with death. This holiday has been Christianized as “All Saints Day”, but it is more widely celebrated as Hallowe’en – All Hallows Eve. People in costumes of ghosts, skeletons, and witches preserve the tradition that the veil thins between the worlds and fairies and spirits walk the earth.
DANCES WE DO AT THIS TIME
VRLISKO KOLO – a traditional dance of women stepping over the dead bodies on the battlefield.
DARRONE – an Armenian warrior dance, the music has a haunting quality, as of men going to fight for what they hold most dear, and acknowledging that they might not return.
AD MORTEM FESTINAMUS – medieval music with Latin words: “we go toward death celebrating”. We do a changing partner dance, bowing, turning, passing on.
THE SHIFT – a dance ritual of transformation.
THE SHAMAN DANCE, SACRED SPIRITS, WATER FIRE & SMOKE – three dances to celebrate the presence of the spirit world at this time.
NIGHT WOMAN – honoring the Crone “Skull and bone woman..”
NIGHTWALKING – Marina Bear’s dance of walking in the desert at night.
OMAL RED RAIN – a simple traditional dance done to a haunting piece of music by Greek, Turkish, and Armenian musicians.
TURNING TOWARD THE MORNING – a dance to Gordon Bok’s song about hope as the winter closes in.