Happy Samhain

Wheel of the Year

The end of October is traditionally a time of reflection on the passing year and preparation for winter. October 31 is the Celtic holiday of Samhain, followed by the Catholic holy day, All Saints, and the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos.

In the US it’s a kind of free time to just dress up silly and give candy to children. When I first did the trick or treat with my friends and our kids, I was surprised at how friendly and child-centered our neighborhood could be.

Passing for normal is tough– Halloween gives everyone a break, that’s why it’s so popular.

I went to Rochambeau Library on Thursday and saw Dreams Before Waking, a Celtic inspired band that played some truly spooky sounds for the season. Although songwriter Ray Price and guitarist Michael Osler were down two musicians they played like troupers, and a graceful young woman named Melanie did interpretive dance.

Friday I went to the Steel Yard Iron Pour.

Casting Iron

Droning mood music, fire and molten metal– it had the feel of anarchy, but the men and women of the Iron Guild moved with concentration and discipline. They had to– that stuff is hot! My technique is to forget my glasses and aim the camera and click, so this photo doesn’t begin to do justice to the amazing spectacle of glowing molten metal flowing in a stream from the smelter– and poured into wooden molds which instantly burst into flames. But there were film crews, so surely youtube videos will appear soon.

Today there are events all over town, street parties and stuff. This is a good time to eat some candy, because Halloween candy has no calories. That’s a scientific fact. My alchemist told me so.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES! In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, on the knife edge of an election, some words from Starhawk of hope and unrest. Samhain 2012.