Friday, 31 October 2014

The Wheel of the Year: Samhain

So here we  are, Samhain, the beginning of the Dark half of the Celtic year. A blessed three-day long Samhain to all those who celebrate it and may no evil spirits find you tonight - or humans getting drunk and throwing eggs at strangers' houses because "yay, FUN!"...which might be way worse, now I think of it *facepalms while weeping at humanity's twisted view of what it is to "have fun"*

Samhain might be my least favourite festivity in the Celtic/neopagan/neodruidic Wheel of the Year, although I do admit the neodruidic and Celtic-inspired feast can have a strong charm of its own. As an agnostic neodruidess, my activities during these three days (31 October - 2 November, seeing as Samhain festivities traditionally lasted for three days) usually consist on a walk in the garden or a trip to the mountains, plus a seasonal plant adornment in my kitchen 'agnostic altar', plus a cake, usually including pumpkin and/or nuts.                                  

 The current Halloween festivities, however, generally annoy me. I've got no problem with people dressing up, I'm a cosplayer myself. And it isn't because 'it isn't a traditional feast in the area', an argument I'm frankly tired of reading and hearing. You can enjoy any festivity disregardless of your area as long as you like it, feel drawn to it and are respectful about it,  My reasons are:

1.  All the death and horror themes, which are generally not to my liking. 
2.  I associate it with the days becoming shorter and the illogical decision of shortening the already short days courtesy of the infamous Winter time change. Not a fan of short days, or cold, for that matter.
3. But what I really, really dislike about Halloween is the way people 'have fun'. Once again, dressing up, having a party, that's all good. Not so good if your main aim is getting drunk at a park and potentially bothering people, though. And how the hell is going from house to house throwing eggs and putting toothpaste in door knobs even remotely OK??  Would these people (kids, teenagers, adults, there's a bit of everything) enjoy it if I suddenly came and threw eggs all over their house, and then defended my right to have fun, calling them 'intolerant weirdos'?? Do you know how bad day-old eggs smell? Do you know how disgusting it is to clean  that up? Why is it even remotely OK that I have to clean rotten eggs up in my goddam house so that some egotistical drunk teenager idiots and some spoiled kids, sometimes with their morally-dubious, irresponsible parents actually accompanying them while they throw rubbish at people's houses (A+ parenting!!), have FUN?!  Having fun does not mean having a go at people in this way, since last I looked. Seriously, if you like throwing eggs and stuff so much, why don't you go throw them at your own windows and walls? Don't want to clean that up afterwards, right?  And let's not talk about the assholes that throw eggs and stuff at buses and cars. Not only have the poor bus drivers to clean all that up after their whole day's work - they could cause a damn accident!

So anyway, to celebrate Samhain today :) I've decided to post a series of Power Point slides that I made about the festivity and the seasonal gods and goddesses according to Celtic mythology.  The Irish+English+Spanish texts are part of a show about the Celtic festivities that I and my fellow Irish students and teachers prepared and took part in during 2011-2012. 

-DISCLAIMER about the images:  I always try to credit every image I use in my blogs, same as I'd like people to do with my own artwork and photographs. I really like to illustrate my posts and projects, and I deeply appreciate the work of all the artists and photographers that make that possible. However, it's not always easy to credit a picture, seeing as most of them come from Google searchs and many lack watermarks. All of this makes the job of tracing back each picture to its owner/artist/original page very difficult. I do try to take my time in order to do this, but I don't always succeed. So I'll gladly credit any picture that remains here uncredited, if you know who's the original artist. And if you find you own some of the pictures shown here and you don't want me posting your (credited) work in this blog, please do let me know as well!

 -Morrígan's name is spelled in a variety of ways, from 'Mórrigan', to 'Morrígan', to 'Morrigán', to 'Mórrigán', to even 'Mórrígán'. Personally, I enjoy the last version quite a lot, although I alternate from time to time.