Around the Cauldron · Celebrating the Sabbats · Riverina Wheel

Samhain at Beltane

This year was the first year where I “married” Beltane and Samhain. It’s the “curse of the Southern Hemisphere” as we have Samhain symbols out at Beltane, Yule decorations at Litha, and Ostara at Mabon.

Given just how much the veils are open at the end of October, I decided to celebrate both together. I understand that Life and Death are two separate ends of the one piece of string, but string can be tied together. And there’s no denying it – we all feel just how open the veils are.

In a sense, we’re lucky as we can celebrate Samhain twice.

As Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest, I tweaked this. In my little part of the Riverina, harvest begins at Samhain. As I mentioned in my previous post, sheaf hay and canola was cut at this time. New hay bales can be seen scattered in the paddocks, and fresh canola lay in rows drying out before collection.

This may not be the case next year, as it obviously depends on the state of the crop. Some crops are still too fresh to be cut from late planting. However, the farms I watch and use to mark my wheel have begun, so it felt quite right celebrating Samhain at this time.

Not that we should really need an excuse to give a toast to our ancestors, to make a cuppa tea and sit down for a chat with them on the back porch. Within Druidry, honouring our blood ancestors, those of the land, it’s second nature. It’s a part of our rituals, and for some it’s just a part of daily life.

Or perhaps rather than using this “marriage” as a way of including Samhain at Beltane, maybe we should see it as conception of sorts. While the Goddess and God consummate, the line within the spirit world shrinks some more as our ancestors prepare to be reborn.

There are a lot of ways this can be spun, and if it’s something you feel you want to include into your own practice, you can adapt it to your hearts content to however it feels right for you.

I feel our lives get so busy, that when we sit down for cakes and ale after a rite, asking the ancestors to join in the feast after celebrating Beltane is a really nice addition to the days celebration.

After all, if our ancestors hadn’t had fun themselves, none of us would be here.

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