Samhain : empowering people through art

Early this morning, while making and enjoying breakfast, I was listening to a documentary about Dublin’s Abbey theatre on the radio, Ireland’s RTE1. A statement made was that theatre, and now films, in Ireland are made and presented in the image of W.B. Yeats, a mix of politics, occult, mythology and courage, served with some healing humour where possible. Now I think we can add community because it needs community to support the creation and continuity of theatre and even irish made films.

As I was listening to this, eating breakfast and looking out towards a beautiful sunrise, which was lighting up our labyrinth garden being created, it dawned on me that this labyrinth is theatre and the land it sits on is a tapestry. I was warmed with an inner pride of being able to create an “art” that was also providing life and purpose to the soil it sits on. In time I look forward to the joy it may serve to visiting birds, insects and maybe some mammals that I hope will leave some for everyone else.

Normally, I blog Samhain with an intro to some traditions of this time and some ideas of what we can do to celebrate this time. For me, its been a very different Samhain with the moving into Carrowcrory cottage and planting of trees into our garden labyrinth. The labyrinth is created to allow prayer and ritual to be like a snake, shed our old skin and enjoying our new skin. This is simply a closure of the old and the beginning of the new which is what the tradition of Samhain is about.

If you check back on most theatre dramas and films this is their basic plot too. Most have plots of between one and five challenges and how they are overcome to create a new wonderful situation. Theatre and films are usually about overcoming the old and changing into the anew through a wonderful colouring of characters, settings and landscapes. It is wonderful to see how our labyrinth is in wonderful setting and landscape and I so look forward to the characters that will visit and interpret it.

Most folks celebrate this time on October 31st or November 1st, and England chooses November 5th, though many are drifting to October 31st these days. Actual Samhain is the midpoint between Fall equinox and Winter solstice, which is somewhere between November 5th and 8th. It used to be a 3 day celebration so November 5th until 8th would work. Sometimes its November 4th until 7th.

Next Saturday, November 8th we host our Samhain Open Day, contact us if you would like to come along.

Then in the USA on November 4th is the big vote day, that all those who place a vote will hope that their vote will empower a change that each one desires. The ballot form itself is a work of art and I trust all those who use it will have their interpretation of it accurately communicated.

Wishing you all the best through your changes afoot, and for those in the northern hemisphere wishing you a healthy survival and passage through this coming winter.



  1. Bless you John, for your wonderful work on your garden and for all the positive energy you send around the World. Our man Barack has won the election and I'm hoping this signals an end to hate and a movement toward healing and growth for all of us. Blessings for a wonderful beginning Love Joan


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