Tag Archives: Samhain

The Month of Blood

2 Nov

The word November comes from the Roman word novem meaning ‘nine’ because it was the ninth month in the Roman calendar. Personally, however, I prefer the more evocative Anglo-Saxon term for November – Blotmonath or ‘the month of blood’ – the month when these ancient people slaughtered cattle in honour of the old pagan gods. Perhaps because it was the time when the cold winds first began to blow, the first week of November has always been a time of festivals and celebrations marking the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter. It also has more sinister connotations, as it is the time of year that is overshadowed by the coming of darkness and the threat of the supernatural.

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The Day of the Dead

31 Oct

October 31 is everyone’s favourite horror holiday – the one time each year when the mundane is overturned in favour of the bizarre and anyone can become anything they wish. Whilst, at its core, Halloween seems to be a chance to confront our most primal fears (and often attempt to mock them!), it is also a holiday which encompasses many other things, including ancient beliefs, religious meanings, a multitude of ethnic heritages, diverse occult traditions and the continual influence of popular culture. Let’s have a look at the history of Halloween and what it means today.

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