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By Martin Gray

An excerpt from Tlachtga: Celtic Fire Festival by John Gilroy.

Tlachtga where the Great Fire Festival at Samhain was celebrated

Tlachtga where the Great Fire Festival at Samhain was celebrated.

As millions of children and adults participate in the fun of Halloween on the night of October 31st, few will be aware of its ancient Celtic roots in the Samhain (Samain) festival. In Celtic Ireland about 2,000 years ago, Samhain was the division of the year between the lighter half (summer) and the darker half (winter). At Samhain the division between this world and the otherworld was at its thinnest, allowing spirits to pass through.

The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. People wore costumes and masks to disguise themselves as harmful spirits and thus avoid harm. Bonfires and food played a large part in the festivities. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into a communal fire, household fires were extinguished and started again from the bonfire. Food was prepared for the living and the dead, food for the ancestors who were in no position it eat it, was ritually shared with the less well off.

Christianity incorporated the honouring of the dead into the Christian calendar with All Saints (All Hallows) on November 1st, followed by All Souls on November 2nd. The wearing of costumes and masks to ward off harmful spirits survived as Halloween customs. The Irish emigrated to America in great numbers during the 19th century especially around the time of famine in Ireland during the 1840's. The Irish carried their Halloween traditions to America, where today it is one of the major holidays of the year. Through time other traditions have blended into Halloween, for example the American harvest time tradition of carving pumpkins.

Two hills in the Boyne Valley were associated with Samhain in Celtic Ireland, Tlachtga and Tara. Tlachtga was the location of the Great Fire Festival which begun on the eve of Samhain (Halloween). Tara was also associated with Samhain, however it was secondary to Tlachtga in this respect.

The entrance passage to the Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara is aligned with the rising sun around Samhain. The Mound of the Hostages is 4,500 to 5000 years old, suggesting that Samhain was celebrated long before the first Celts arrived in Ireland about 2,500 years ago.

Celtic Earth Works on the Hill of Tara
Celtic Earth Works on the Hill of Tara

The Diwali Festival

The Hindu Diwali (Divali, Deepavali) Festival known as the Festival of Lights occurs about the same time as Samhain. Diwali marks the Hindu New Year just as Samhain marks the Celtic New Year, could it be that Diwali and Samhain have a common root in antiquity?

Samhain / Halloween

An excerpt from Tlachtga: Celtic Fire Festival by John Gilroy.

The Festival of Samhain marked the end of the Celtic year and the beginning of the new one and as such can be seen to the equivalent of New Year's Eve. We have seen how the Celts believed that night preceded day and so the festivities took place on the Eve of Samhain. There is no doubt that that this festival was the most important of the four Celtic Festivals. Samhain was a crucial time of year, loaded with symbolic significance for the pre-Christian Irish. The celebrations at Tlachtga may have had their origins in a fertility rite on the hill but it gathered to itself a corpus of other beliefs which crystallised at the great Fire Festival.

The perceptible, and apparent, decline in the strength of the sun at this time of year was a source of anxiety for early man and the lighting of the Winter Fires here symbolised mans attempt to assist the sun on its journey across the skies. Fire is the earthly counterpart of the sun and is a powerful and appropriate symbol to express mans helplessness in the face of the overwhelming sense of the decay of nature as the winter sets in.

Now the sun has descended into the realm of the underworld, the forces of the underworld were in the ascendency. The lord of the underworld, unfettered from the control of the sun, now walked the earth and with him travelled all those other creatures from the abode of the dead. Ghosts, fairies and a host of other non-descript creatures went with him. The Lord of the Dead in Celtic mythology can be identified as Donn.

Mythology tells us that when the invaders of Ireland known as the Miliseans landed at the Boyne, they made their way to Tara. Once there, they were advised by the Druids that they should return to their ships and sail off the shore to the length of nine waves. When they were on the sea a great storm arose which scattered their fleet. The commander of one of the ships was Donn. His ship was broken to pieces in the storm and he himself drowned along with twenty four of his comrades. He was buried on the Skellig Islands off the coast of Kerry.

He is the first of the new wave of invaders to meet his death in Ireland and, as such, he became elevated to the status of god of the dead. The place of his burial became known as Tech Donn - The house of Donn, and soon became identified with with the otherworld. The Celts were fascinated with tracing their ancestry back as far as they could and often they identified their earliest ancestors with the gods of their peoples. Hence, a belief arose that when they died they went to the house of their ancestor, the god of the otherworld.

It is interesting to note that the abode of Donn, on the Skellig Islands, is just a few miles from the traditional home of Mog Ruith at Valentia Island. As well as being geographical neighbours, both are closely associated with Samhain, when it can be said that Mog Ruith as sungod sojourns at the realm of the underworld, the abode of Donn.

Donn is seen as a retiring god who prefers the isolation of the bleak Skelligs and remains aloof from the other gods. His name means "brown" and he is associated with the shadowy realm of the dead. O'hOgain tells us that a ninth century text attributes a highly significant quotation to him "To me, to my house, you shall come after your death"

Many other sources say that the dead assemble at his house and describe deceased people travelling to and from here. Fishermen in the area were wont to hear strange boats passing to the island at night and the names of those who disembarked were called out. Later Christian writers claimed that the souls of the damned lingered at his house before departing for hell. Not surprisingly, aspects of his personage have been adapted by Christian writers in their portrayal of the devil.

Samhain being the feast of the dead can now be clearly seen as incorporating the cult of Donn into its celebrations but how they did so remains uncertain. The Fires were in all likelihood lit in honour of the sungod - here manifesting as Mog Ruith, but certain other of the trappings are clearly associated with the Lord of the Dead. The idea that Samhain is a juncture between the two halves of the year saw it acquiring the unique status of being suspended in time - it did not belong to the old year not the new. It could be said that time stood still on this night and the implications of this were immense. During this night the natural order of life was thrown into chaos and the earthly world of the living became hopelessly entangled with the world of the dead. But the world of the dead was itself a complicated place, peopled not only by the spirits of the departed, but also with a host of gods, fairies and other creatures of uncertain nature.

The unwary traveller, caught away from home on this night, could expect to encounter any one or many of these creatures and it was always advisable to stay indoors. Ghosts were everywhere and may or may not have been harmful to the living. It is interesting to note that the manuscripts tells us that all fires in the country must be extinguished on this night and could only be relit from the great flames from Tlachtga. This, of course, is not to taken literally but symbolised the brief and temporary ascendency of the powers of darkness at this time of year.

During this period all the world was in darkness and the dead were abroad. When the fire at Tlachtga was lit, it gave the signal that all was well and all other fires could now be relit. The fires at Talchtga were the public celebration of the victory of light, while the relighting of the household fire marked the domestic celebration of the feast. Now the spirits of dead ancestors could be welcomed back into the home with safety and posed no threat to the household. This theme is repeated constantly in Irish literature. MacCollugh tells us that the cult of the dead culminated at the family health. Very often the spirits of ancestors sought warmth around the fireside on this night. Fires were left lighting in the grate to warm the spirits and food was left out for them. Even though the ancestral ghosts were benign, it was still a good idea to avoid them by going to bed early.

However, the ghosts may not have been entirely benign. They needed some sort of appeasement in the form of ritual offerings on this night. So long as the offering was forthcoming the ghosts were happy and benevolent, but if the offering was withheld another side of the ghosts features were presented. Bad luck would descend on the household and all would not be well the coming year. Some vestiges of this tradition may survived in the modern Halloween custom of "trick or treat". Children, dressed as ghosts and witches, invite the household to make a donation or face the consequences. The 'treat' may represent the ritual offering while the 'trick', nowadays a harmless prank, may have in antiquity, represented the malevolent consequences of inadequately appeasing the ancestral ghost on this night.

But it was not just time that was dislocated at Samhain. Just as the festival stands on the boundary between Summer and Winter, all other boundaries were in danger at this time. The boundaries between a mans land and his neighbours were a dangerous place to be on this night. Ghosts were to be found along these points and a style between adjacent land was a place of particular dread and best avoided. Bridges and crossroads were also likely places to encounter ghosts. Naturally enough, burial places were avoided on all nights but particularly on this night. Every sort of a ghost was to be seen here and the dead mingled freely with the living.

The practice of divination - telling the future, was an important part of everyday life for the Celts and it is certain that this art formed a central part of the festivities occurred at Tlachtga at Samhain. Vestiges of this can be seen today at Halloween are familiar with the practice of going to the church at midnight on Halloween and standing in the porch. The courageous observer will see the spirits of those who will die in the coming year if he watches closely, but runs the risk of meeting himself. Similarity, girls watching in a mirror on this night will see the image of the man they will marry but also run the risk of seeing the devil.

Those brave enough to go to a grave yard at midnight and walk three times around the graves will be offered a glimpse the future but again run the risk of meeting the devil. This latter example is interesting as it preserves the three time sunwise turn so important to the Celts in the ritual. The possibility of meeting the devil may represent the well known Christian attempt to associate the pagan god of the dead with the devil of Christian belief. This being the case, Donn the Lord of the Dead, left his island home on this night and travelled freely throughout the country. Whether he carried off souls is unclear, but it is likely that he did. The ritual offerings on the Winter Fires may have been an attempt to appease him until, such time in history, he was replaced on the arrival of Christianity by the devil.

The early Irish manuscripts are littered with references to the magical significance of Samhain. It marked the end of the fighting and hunting season for the warrior troop known as the Fianna. At Samhain they retreated into winter camp, quartering themselves on the general population until the return of Summer at Beltainne. Fionn MacCumhail chose Samhain as the time to present himself before the court at Tara for the first time, while it was also at Samhain that the god Lugh made his dramatic entrance to the same court. The Connaught queen, Meave, waited until Samhain before setting out on the great Cattle Raid of Cooley.

Fionn MacCumhail, Lugh and Cuchulainn - Meave's opponent, are the three great figures of Irish mythology and it is interesting to note how Samhain is the time chosen by the writers to introduce their arrival on the scene. The Battle of Mag Tuired (supposedly in County Mayo) was fought at Samhain. It seems that when the early writers wish to impart a magical quality to the events they are depicting, they choose the Festival of Samhain for the occasion. There remains little doubt that Samhain held a central place in the imagination of the Celts, where the festivities associated with several local gods became entangled, over the course of perhaps a thousand years, with the feast of the god of the dead. Remnants of these celebrations have come down to us in our own celebrations of Halloween.

An excerpt from Tlachtga: Celtic Fire Festival by John Gilroy.

Ancient cultures such as the Neolithic (Stone Age) people who build Newgrange in Ireland aligned their monuments to the major solar events, the Winter Solstice, the Spring Equinox, the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox. The solar year was further divided to mark the half way points between the major solar events giving the cross quarter days of Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain.

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Evolutionary Activism: Being Here Now

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

As we survey the many perspectives and manifestations of all that is occurring and intensifying globally, we might ask ourselves:

...How did it come to this? 

...How much power have we consensually surrendered for circumstances to have arrived as they have, and for so many rights to be being so flagrantly and profoundly violated, be they environmental, human, social, economic and otherwise?

bank corruption 1Naked Corporatocracy

As we progress into the last quarter of 2013, numerous global crises are revealing more than ever a sickening corporatocracy that railroads, lies, subverts and legislates to guarantee profit, power and privilege for the few at the expense of the people and the Earth. It’s a system that employs continual warfare (pre-emptive, false-flag, illegal and otherwise);  the killing of millions of people through these wars, poverty and tyranny of all kinds;  violation of international, national and personal data through global surveillance networks;  rigged markets and currency wars;  corporate-centralized media spewing endless propaganda and spin for manufactured ignorance  and consent;  increasing police crackdowns and brutality;  ‘trade’ agreement coups (manufactured in secret and going undebated nationally in the midst of media blackouts);  silencing and criminalization of journalists, protestors, boycotters, whistleblowers and dissenters;  human rights violations;  denial of climate change, etc. 

The corporatocracy is a system underpinned by an elitist, cabalist-driven, imaginary economy based on debt and that is destroying ecosystems and populations, poisoning our food, water and our bodies, whilst we are legislated, corralled and controlled into staying silent, paying taxes and voting from time to time so we can give governments the consent that legitimizes their rapacious partnerships with the Big Everything (oil, money, media, pharma, business, food, water, etc)

As this unfolds, we see judicial systems, local, national and international laws and treaties, environmental protections, civil liberties, sovereign rights of nations and populations, human rights and planetary resources being betrayed by ‘economic hitmen’ (reference, John Perkins) who employ ‘shock doctrine’ tactics (reference, Naomi Klein) so that corporate predators can further concentrate power in their own hands and continuing gaming and destroying for strategic advantage.  Instead of Constitutions enforcing limitations on the power of government to abuse power, these have been turned inside-out to enforce limitations on the power of people to exercise their rights.  All of our cultural narratives at this point are those that promote the elite, with the masses being criminalized whilst they watch the rollouts of the above in horror and disbelief, and accompanied by fear, denial, rage and powerlessness.

"We live in an era in which there is near-zero tolerance for democratic protest and infinite tolerance for bankers and government embezzlers which effect the lives of millions." ~ Henry A Giroux

Revelations by alternative media, activists and whistleblowers are ensuring that no one awake and paying attention escapes seeing the abuses of power and privilege, and where power has been hidden.  And, although the silencing, incarceration, murder, exiling and spying on these courageous people is frightening, their courage and care in truth-telling have also struck a nerve in many.  One can viscerally feel the wave forming of those whistleblowers to come, soon to break on the shore of concensus reality and denial, and continuing in their ferocity to further shake the system to the core all the more.  These insistent revelations of the oligarchy’s underbelly are a given and are here to stay, no matter how the oligarchy tries to silence them, or how we may personally want to look away.

earth-sinking-in-heavy-water-pollution-with-tons-of-plastic-containersTipping-Point Awarenesses

What is becoming clearer for many in this extremely-layered mix, is that the global coup has reached an omnidirectional, multi-faceted tipping-point, as precisely evidenced by the obscene outcomes of abuse for profit and control.  For those willing and able to read the signs (not always easy and not always desired), an unmistakable bifurcation point has crashed into our lives and screams at us to make the personal choice to face head-on this deeply-destructive and violating trajectory.  Further, it is asking us to gather up both personal and creative will, whether we are talking environmentally, politically, economically, socially, spiritually, scientifically or otherwise for we are also being shaken awake simultaneously.  We are each finding our own personal tipping-points....some sooner, and others yet to come.

Critically, the eruption and disclosure of such tipping-points are pivoting many into deeper understanding our interconnectedness and interdependence for livelihood and wellbeing, and what it means for us when we place these into the hands of the trashing runaway train that is the corporatocracy.

Crucially, we are pivoting into recognizing the deeper beliefs that underpin the worldview that allows the trashing, or sees the trashing ‘over there’ as somehow unrelated to ‘me over here’.  Powerful and accelerating disclosure is unmasking what it is we really believe about ourselves and about life, in the crossfire of this harrowing spectacle with its systemic abuses to the biosphere, our value systems, sovereignty and rights.

And for many, it is moving them into the deeper awareness and appreciation of that interconnectedness, interdependence and 'oneness' at the most deepest and intrinsic levels of ourselves, precisely by being 'shocked awake' by the corporatocracy.  YES:  what does ‘unity consciousness’ really mean?  This ultimate, inherent, non-separation on the deepest of levels of systems, people, government, land, species, rights, thought, emotion, action?  And further, there is the ‘shock’ that if we are so deeply interconnected, interdependent and ‘one’, as the mystics and scientists say, then all that is happening involves all of us, too, and it also means we are all personally accountable and responsible for these outcomes at large.

On ‘Behaving Badly’

So as much as we can ‘follow the money’ to the right or the left side of politics or to a single dictator, and/or see various connections between the corporatocracy, oligarchs and plutocrats and their toxic marriages with governments, banks and militaries worldwide, it is critical that we step beyond being stuck at this level, let alone see them as somehow unrelated to ourselves at the deepest of levels. 

These agencies are profoundly enmeshed at all levels of the human experience and they are ‘behaving badly’.  However, it’s not just about ‘following the money’:  it’s about how the criminality got so far in the first place.  It’s about the seismic shift into what exactly the deeper re-evaluation and recognition NOW mean in light of these striking dynamics and present-time, ongoing violation....and our allowing thereof.  The deeper message these dynamics  have to communicate to us amidst the exceedingly convoluted legislation, lies, narratives, ‘wag the dog’ rhetoric, manipulations and obscurations.

powerThe Powerpoint Moment & Conscious Evolution

As important as it is to wake up to even this level, it’s more critical for us right now to illuminate how this mass abdication in favour of the Big Everything came to be, and more, how we might recover the power, sovereignty, freedom and rights handed over to it.

Conscious evolution refers to humanity’s new ability to choose what the species Homo Sapiens becomes in the future. This new ability is based on recent advancements in science, medicine, technology, psychology, sociology, and spirituality. Conscious evolution places human beings at the crest of the ongoing evolution of the universe, providing a larger perspective of human potentials.Conscious evolution allows that mankind can choose advancement through co-operation and co-creation or self-destruction through separateness and competition.”  ~ Wikipedia

If we are to fully embrace the responsibility that is conscious evolution, for example, it will hinge upon the understanding of our current powerpoint moment.  The one where we recognize the toxic unsustainability of our most cherished belief systems, both personal and collective, and how, in cherishing them, we are consensually creating, in real-time, the perpetuation of the corporatocracy and its stream of abuses.  Right here, right now.  The powerpoint involves determining the internal, personal beliefs that link us to where we have not been fully awake and paying attention to our environment, politics, science, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, relationships, health and more, and to where (and why) we have not been responsibly engaged and understanding the mirror that the external world is of our cherished, internal beliefs, and what we may or may not be doing with our free will when we are thus not engaged. 

Our beliefs may thus show us that we have neither cared about nor valued ourselves or the Earth enough.  We have neither cared about nor valued each other, our environment, our rights, bodies, etc enough to be able to feel, see, understand... and take action.  We may be startled to recognize that certain of our most cherished beliefs keep us separate and disengaged, whilst personal, local, national and global results stare us in the face as never before, demanding attention, engagement, and upgrade into completely different beliefs, skillsets and response-ability.

As the alternative media, activists and whistleblowers continue dealing one blow after another to the manipulations at large, they are, importantly, also dealing blow after blow to the belief systems from whence the allowance of these manipulations and abuses came, and that allow them to continue.  They are spotlighting the enormous, ideologically-sanctioned surrender and abdication of mass personal and collective power to ‘the authorities’ at large, be they spiritual, political economic, religious, scientific or otherwise. And these blows are powerfully calling into question those beliefs to instigate the internal overhauls as much as they are certainly instigating the external ones.

Ailing or destroyed ecosytems and cherished human rights being trashed, for example, are occurring globally because ecosystems, rights et al haven’t been embraced, taken to heart and taken to the next level by enough of us personally.  To move forward now, and in order to meet the next creative, evolutionary level, we have to meet the moment with our more awakened, overhauled selves, and choose to stop being spectators. 

We ourselves are the groundcrew that meets the evolutionary gauntlet as thrown down by the corporatocracy.

Overhauling Toxic Belief Systems

A deep look at the human and environmental cost of our belief systems is required now, and how they may leave us paralyzed, inactive, docile, in denial and ‘asleep at the wheel’ of our current circumstances and of our personal and collective destinies.  It is these outdated belief systems that are the root causes of the trashing of humanity and the planet, and we are needing to come into a more nakedness awareness of how these are affecting global balances, food, water, finances, politics, oceans and more at the most intimate and interconnected levels in all our living systems.

To truly embrace the moment, we need to more masterfully comprehend the intrinsic connection between what we believe, and what has shown up when we allow Big Business, Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Media, Big Religion to decide things on our behalf and to run our lives through the legislated rape of our sovereignty, freedoms and rights.  These entities are presently running amok….in our names, with our bodies, resources, taxes, food, water, land, oceans, animals, votes, complacency and ignorance because we have been lulled asleep by toxic beliefs in powerlessness, worthlessness, redemption by some outside agency and the fear that keep us looking the other way, legitimizing others’ suffering, abdicating our responsibilities, or indulging in magical or wishful thinking that God, Government, an ET or an exit to a parallel and pristine Earth could conceivably be an answer, or be what the moment is asking of us. 

We may find ourselves faced with the astounding recognition that these very beliefs keep us disconnected from seeing that biospherical breakdown and trashing are completely related to us all, and to our personal and planetary livelihood and wellbeing, as part of the greater, interconnected web of life.  That is, we are in relationship to every single one of these elements and systems.

One can only imagine how a Gandhi or Martin Luther King might view our circumstances, and in what urgent ways they would be motivated to raise consciousness, and to inspire people into the streets.

1234674_615098368531025_831664353_nPersonal and Collective Biospherical Respect

"The biosphere is the global sum of all ecosystems. It can also be called the zone of life on Earth, a closed (apart from solar and cosmic radiation and heat from the interior of the Earth), and self-regulating system.  From the broadest biophysiological point of view, the biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships, including their interaction with the elements of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere." ~ Wikipedia

The excesses of empire are obvious.  For many, too, these excesses look desperate because many worldwide have awoken and are organizing, creating, dissenting, praying, filming, writing, speaking, etc.  The places for these ‘old powers’ to hide are getting fewer and fewer, but it’s far from over yet it’s not enough by enough people….not yet.

These excesses will continue until enough individuals break through their beliefs and anchor into the personal and biospherical respect to develop the boundaries that say, ‘No’ to what is being done in their names and with their resources.  Same as what needs to be applied to any bully anywhere, anytime:  NO.   Such a capacity is based on knowing where the boundaries lie which are based on knowing one’s inherent freedom, sovereignty and rights, and thus being able to stand up and say, ‘No, that is enough.’  It is based on self-respect, self-worth, compassion, care and love for oneself, others and the Earth, and recognizing the sacredness of the web of life, deep interconnectedness and our interdependence.  It is married to the action that articulates, protects, defends and upholds those sacred freedoms and rights, for life now and life to come.  And it defines and delineates a clear ‘Yes’ that corresponds with right action, right human relations, new beliefs, dialogue, powersharing, legislation and systems-creation and maintenance that upholds that deep sacredness of human life and the Earth. 

To be continued in Part 2.....

I am available to assist you to better chart and navigate your Journey through my Diamond Consciousness Readings.   Please CLICK HERE for all information regarding my Sessions and to book your Session NOW, which can be conducted via landline or Skype anywhere in the world.

Hasta la victoria siempre,



Copyright 2013 Fatima Bacot
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