Next Samhain celebration - 2018

Samhain 2017 - Zurich & Hill of Tara - Chain Reaction

Samhain energies are slow to arrive this year, but we feel they will be intense 'on the day'.  The intention and vision for our celebration this year is hosted by Marta, Daniela and Dana in Switzerland.  Marta has provided information and an outline running order which you can find here - http://taracelebrations.org/samhain-2017-text-and-info/ Joining in the Chain Reaction - if unable to join an event 'in person', over these three days you may feel like lighting a candle wherever you are and taking a moment to share in the energies.

Saturday 28  & Sunday 29 October - Switzerland - ceremony and celebration co-created by Marta and Dana with Daniela.

Photos from Switzerland - thanks to Marta

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samhain3  Samhaincauldron

Sunday 29 October - Holy Well, Hill of Tara

Confirming that the Hill of Tara is a beacon, the hub and fulcrum for Tara Celebrations, we shall join in this Chain Reaction of Samhain energies, with the intention of carrying that foundation into the next cycle by coming back to base, starting the year by lighting a central lantern, taking our own lights and spreading out into the community through time and space.

A beautiful ceremony...   thank you so much to Marta, Dana and Daniela for inspiring that.  For those in Ireland it worked really well, using words and outline provided and just adding our own personal stories and breaking into song a couple of times...

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On arrival we found the well flooded in the lower section so we could not use that area.


Sixteen gathered on the path by the bench, familiar faces and welcome newbies and visitors.


Thanks to Susan for the photos.


Although not beside the well entrance we did not forget it, and placed lights on the top step.

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When looking at the photos afterwards we saw a red mist on some of them - in hindsight we did of course call in the local Gods and Goddesses and Medb Lethderg (`red-side`) is land goddess of sovereignty at Tara...

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and a line of lights which we cannot account for

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We all shared the calling of the elements and directions, Gods and Goddesses, and in love and light the ancesters.  We felt to read the ancestral honouring 3 times by 3 different people.

Our centre was simple, four coloured electric tea lights placed in the north, east, south and west, with a central cauldron.


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We wrote what we wanted to leave behind in the old year onto a piece of paper, and then while summoning up all emotions of  'I really want to get rid of this' tossed it into the cauldron. 


Before lighting the papers we silently recalled what we had written, said aloud 'I really want to get rid of this', with the group witnessing this and responding 'We support you'. 


Then we lit all the papers and they quickly burnt, the smoke rising up and over the surrounding circle of people.


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The half moon hung high above us bright and white / silver, we could see the 7 lights of the Plough. 

People were letting off fireworks on the hill so every so often there would be a crash and a whoosh and bright stars falling through the sky. 

We talked of the Pleiades and navigating by the stars. 

 One of the people brought a dog, little white terrier, who every so often barked at something we could not see!

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We honoured our ancestors, remembering stories of their lives, some spoke openly whilst others held their ancestral memories and space in silence.

Finally it was time to bring closure to the last cycle. 

We extinguished the flame in the lantern, which has been lit for so many celebrations in recent years, and stood in the dark.  It was pure magic when we turned off all the lights and candles and stood, lit only by the moon.  How quickly our eyes adjusted to that.

The dark structure of the lantern shone silver under the moon, and especially brightly as the camera flashed for a photo.  Those flashes added to the ambience, dare we say eeriness, of the moment.

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We confirmed our intention to meet at Winter Solstice, in person or 'in spirit', thanked and blessed the overlighting energies and said 'sin sin'.

Time for cake, biscuits and sweet juicy plums.

In Galway Martin carved out his pumpkin...  wondering was that before or after the wine?

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30 October 2016 - Gormanston - Good Spirits

Many thanks to Pat and Susan for the photos.

Honouring the ancestors and remembering those who have passed.

Entrance doorway through which many pass, then gasp in wonder A matriarchal tree oversees the hidden inner space
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After the doorway the option of two paths

A natural cathedral
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 There was a great sense of calm

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Central light, apples, conkers and the symbolic Goddess of Tara made by Marta.

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Hawthorn berries hung like jewels on the bushes

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Gormanston Castle Exchanging greeting waves
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 A cuppa afterwards - essential.   Between the chatting we looked upwards - wonderful cloud formations.

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Comments from the Host:

The main feeling I got was one of peace and protection inside the cloister.  Perhaps those intertwined branches felt like the ancestors protective embrace and how we all are connected and linked together. The entrance reminded me of an old beehive. Again, connecting with that feeling of community that was inside.

The sunshine outside and the sounds of children playing, but once I stepped inside I definitely felt that I was in a special place. It was one of those feelings that you have to be there to experience.

I could sense the peace and calm that was in the group and found it very soothing. All in all a lovely way to connect with the ancestors, and loved ones who have passed.

And from one of the participants:

When we walked through the entrance to the Yew Cloister, it was like entering a different world - a world of quiet, peacefulness and reverence. We found ourselves in a natural cathedral whose Cloisters were made entirely by the intertwining branches of the magnificent Yew trees. We found ourselves a spot within this wonderful space and opened the circle for our Samhain celebration. We shared poems, music and then dispersed for a few quiet minutes of reflection as we rambled through the trees.


Interestingly, given the day that was in it and the tradition of the Yew being associated with Ancestors, I followed a path which led to a small graveyard at the back of the Cathedral.

When we returned to the circle some shared the experiences of their reflections and then the ancestors were remembered and honoured. It was during this that I realised that as people of all ages passed near our circle, they went quiet as a sign of respect to the strange folk in a circle in a clearing. No judgement, no jeering, just reverence - as if they sensed we were involved in continuing a tradition that our ancestors have been involved in for thousands of years.

When we finished we adjourned to the steps of the college for our customary tea and cake in the sun... plus a wonderful chat of course. Our Samhain celebration was at an end - another wonderful experience with friends... and the ancestors of course!


And in Switzerland, Marta and Dana celebrated with friends

Table decorations. Much chatter and laughter and the extensive use of a tiny little spooky sound machine (cackles and screams and ghostly sounds).


Our ritual included the Morrigan and Horned God, also acknowledging Cailleach, Hecate and Cerridwen. For once nobody had wanted to be left out.


Loo roll bats


Ancestor's altar






31 October 2015 - Loughcrew - Clearing a path for the Wisdom of our Ancestors

ancestors family tree (tree image courtesy of somaywebe.com)

Any one attending is asked to bring clear quartz crystal for part of the ceremony, which they will be able to take home.

Weather permitting a walk up to the cairns.
The celebration will centre on aligning ourselves with our ancestors.
We will meditate to focus and clear any energies that need removing.
The group will write any words or messages received onto paper.
The crystals will be cleared and energized.   Clear pure intentions will be put into the crystals to assist the ancestors to bring their wisdom to us.
A path will be created using fallen leaves which we will walk through.
A   channel will be cleared to allow for the crystals and intentions to be placed on the path to create the wisdom energy.
Open heart - Tea and treats!

 The narrow winding route up to the Centre and Hill is beautiful in autumn colours.


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Signs to the Megalithic Centre at the car park at the entrance onto Loughcrew Hill -

the white buildings at the Centre have their own car park, but are only a short walk down from this roadside car park as well.

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Loughcrew seat



This memorial reminds us that what is conceived between Autumn Equinox and Samhain is born next Summer Solstice.


  In Memory of Mick Tobin (1918 - 2011) - Child of the Solstice

George R Knight - June 2008

We left you dancing at your party,

surrounded by your friends and neighbours.

Speeches tugged at heartstrings

a life well lived described with eloquence.

You danced a jig before us all,

years slipped away.

A young man looking out on a long future

That old devil Father Time tied,

trrussed and helpless in the corner,

His presence not recognised.

The Old women became like the young girls

they once had been in your presence.

They tilted back their heads

grey locks became the golden hair of Youth.

All life spread out,

a feast to be enjoyed and we are dining still.

We jested, laughed and sang

and still enjoyed the power of The Hill.

When you were conceived ninety years ago

the Cairn on Loughcrew

With sunlight filled -  the Autumn Equinox.

A child of Summer Solstice born and

that sunlight around you shining still.


Loughcrew steps


These steps take you up onto the Hill.

If you want to meet the ethereal Cailleach there, and the weather is good, some will meet and walk up 4pm on 31st before the gathering at 5pm

Walking up the hillside as the light fades

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Cairn T in the Samhain sunset

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Cairn T

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Loughcrew landscape

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Loughcrew Samhain sunset

loughcrew setting sun

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Inside the Centre, the path is set up for the wisdom of the Ancestors

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Turnip Lanterns


thanks to Anne N ©

for these photographs of her carving

31 October 2015

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From Marta - They were in a woodland near Zurich

We called on Hekate and the Horned God, on the time of this season, blessed the past year and welcomed and blessed the upcoming year, let go of things that shall not follow us into the new year and made wishes for the new year.

Then we remembered the past ones and shared stories and memories. It's interesting - the circle tends to become somewhat cooler, or a person or more feel a bit colder during this sharing. It was a very mild and warm evening and when mentioning one person I felt cooler air surrounding me for a while.

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- Samhain archive

Samhain 2017 - Chain Reaction - Zurich, Switzerland & Holy Well, Tara 2016 - Good Spirits - Yew Cloister, Gormanston 2015 - Clearing a Path for the...

Samhain 2017 text and info

Samhain 2017 – by Marta and Dana   Explanation from the wiccan side:   Samhain is the ending of the old year and the beginning of the new year. So...

Page last updated: 10th Apr 2018