31 October - Samhain / Halloween


Learn from the past. Live in the present. Look to the FUTURE.


Samhain, 2011: Jamie Reid

Welcome to this celebration of the Seasonal and Cosmic matrix, where every day of the year and its position on the Wheel of Life is marked with a new painting, plus information on relevant festivals and anniversaries both spiritual and secular, moon phases, planting and harvesting information, and whatever else we think you might enjoy. Season’s Greetings!

The Eightfold Year is the division of the year into its eight essential parts, including the two solstices (the shortest and longest days of the year), Summer - June 21st, Winter - December 21st, and two equinoxes (when the hours of day and night are equal), Spring - March 21st, and Autumn - September 21st. These dates are generally correct but there can be some occasional adjustment by a day or two. The remaining four symbolise critical seasonal dates: Imbolc - February 2nd, Mayday - May 1st, Llamas – August 1st and Samhuin (Halloween) - October 31st. They relate to the positioning of earth to the sun, moon and stars and are instrinsically linked with the farming calendar - lambing, harvesting etc. They are timelessly rooted in the diversity of cultures world wide and are essential to spirituality, religion, ritual and agriculture. They establish our place on this earth and our connection to the cosmos, bonding our understanding of nature and natural law and universality…

The Eightfold Year is reflected in my work, particularly in this series of 365 painted cards - one for every day of the year, and also in numerous large paintings and hangings often used in rituals and at various festivals. Many of these drawings and sketches - and numerous photos – have been created on site on numerous journeys and walks throughout the British Isles and Ireland.


Near Ardmore, County Cork: Jamie Reid

Onwards and Upwards!

Moon Phases, October 2014:
First Quarter – October 1, 19:32
Full Moon – October 8, 10:51
Last Quarter – October 15, 19:12
New Moon – October 23, 21:57
First Quarter – October 31, 2:48

Allantide (Cornwall, United Kingdom)
All Hallows Eve (Christian)
Halloween (secular)
Samhain in the northern hemisphere, Beltane in the southern hemisphere; begins on sunset of October 31

Saint's Day: Wolfgang of Regensburg


Flowering now: Mugwort the Herb of Samhain
Artemisia Vulgaris.
Family: Asteraceae. (Compositae).
Gaelic Name: Liath Lus and Bofulan Ban.
Also Known as St John’s Herb, Cingulum Sancti Johannis and Felon Herb.


This beautiful herb sacred to the Goddess as reflected in the Greek name of the Genus ‘Artemis’ one of the most popular ancient Greek Goddesses, is very common throughout both the so called old and new worlds and in each land it inhabits the local cultures have venerated the magical uses of this plant and its healing virtues making this herb possibly one of the oldest plants used by humankind.
The Gaelic Name of ‘Liath Lus means the ‘Grey Weed’, and ‘Bofulan Ban’ means the ‘Grey Toad’, both names in reference to the colour and shape of the herb.
The name ‘Mugwort is derived from the use of this plant being added to beverages and also being drank on its own as a tea, the herb having slightly narcotic effects. It was named in honour of St John the Baptist, hence the name ‘St John’s Herb and Cingulum Sancti Johannis, which refers to this plant being used as girdle (Cingulum) for St John the Baptist when he was wandering in the wilderness to protect him from evil spirits.


The herb has strong associations with clairvoyance and communication with the dead and spirits as well affording great protection from maleficus spirits, for this reason the plant was greatly used during the Samhain celebrations which marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year, and celebrated the harvest and was a time of purifying and communication with ancestors and the spirits of those departed, this was later Christianised into All Souls Day. It was also strongly associated with aiding travellers, being sacred to thunder gods and was worn as crown on the Isle of Man when the Islands new laws for the year were read out as a proclamation to the people.


The herb was used medicinally to ward of the cold and the chill, was much valued in fighting epilepsy and palsy and much used as tonic and bathed in to invigorate the body, it was also placed in the shoes for long journeys as an aid to the feet and to protect the person whilst on the road.
It was much used to fatten farm animals and poultry as well being much loved by the insect world.*

Also on this day....

1517 – Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

1954 – Algerian War of Independence: The Algerian National Liberation Front begins a revolt against French rule.

1968 – Vietnam War October surprise: Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, US President Lyndon B. Johnson announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1.

1973 – Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape. Three Provisional Irish Republican Army members escape from Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, Republic of Ireland aboard a hijacked helicopter that lands in the exercise yard.

1984 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two security guards. Riots soon break out in New Delhi and nearly 10,000 Sikhs are killed.

* All information regarding the uses of the plants is exactly for that informational purposes only, and that the author and owners of the web do not encourage anyone to be eating, or disturbing wild plants, but merely to admire them in their natural environment and to ponder on their rise and fall within human culture.