Monday, October 31, 2005

Gods of Samhain

I thought I would post something about the Gods and Goddesses that are attributed to today's holiday, Samhain. As there are people out in the tangle of the www that have already articulated the meaning of Samhain, and done a much better job then I every could, I will be getting the information from other sites and linking to them.

I like this passage from Cauldrons and Broomsticks regarding the Goddess at Samhain:

The Crone rules this part of the cycle. She has seen it all. She had her time of independence and freedom; she gave birth, married and became widowed. She moved her beloved Earth to become a place of green and growing things, and she nurtured all things to fruition. When the time came, she led the decline of the year, knowing that all her creations must return to the Earth at the end of their span. She is the fiery Destroyer, standing atop what she has taken, arms akimbo, daring us to transform this destruction into new life. She will not give this to us easily; the lesson she teaches is that we must persevere at life, constantly aware of the possibilities of change and growth. She is not the loving Mother who would make it easy for us. She is that slightly irascible, downright cantankerous Grandmother, who tells us, "I have given you all you need; now make something of it!" She does not tolerate laziness, lack of accountability or our hesitation to make changes. She is not the soft shoulder to lean on. She is the bony finger, jabbing us in the ribs, not so subtly moving us to action.

Goddesses of Samhain

Arianrhod, Astarte, Cerridwen, Demeter, Diti, Hathor, Hecate, Hel, Hela, Holda, Inanna, Isis, Kali, Kalma, Kore, Lakshmi, Lilith, Maat, Mari, Minerva, Nephthys, Oya, Samia, Sarama, Sedna, Sheshat, Skinmo, Sina, Spider Grandmother, Tara, The Morrigan, Vanadis

Here is what the same site had to say about the Gods at Samhain:

In some traditions, the God ceased to be at Lughnasadh. He lives on as the seed carried in the womb of the Goddess, never disappearing but not obviously present in the dark months. He represents all that must end.

He is also the God of the Hunt, associated with the domesticated and wild animals who sustained us over the Winter. In this guise he reminds us of the vitality that exists, even within a darkened world.

And he is the God of the Underworld, who governs there, judging our accomplishments and determining our right to move on. The King who rules between worlds gifts us with time. He offers withdrawal until we are ready to reenter the world. In ancient times he was seen as vengeful and frightening; modern pagans see him as nurturing our souls as they pause between the past and future. Offering us respite from forward momentum as we determine the path we will take.

Gods of Samhain
Attis, Belili, Cernunnos, Dagda, Dionysus, Herne, Horned God, Marduk, Odin, Osiris, Pan, Tammuz, Thor

I will try to fill in the links to information about the Gods in the next few days, as I am swamped with school and don't have enough time to finish it right now. Until then, I wish you a happy holiday.

The list of the Gods of Samhain came from cauldrons and broomsticks


TurtleHeart said...

Blessed Samhain!

Love the passages about the God/dess of Samhain.

Interesting, I would *never* have associated Arianrhod with Samhain... have to read more about that...

Sojourner said...

Some of the Goddesses on the list kinda made me raise an eyebrow as well. A few "Goddesses" were from cultural folk tales/myths so I removed those from the list, but there are still a few that I have seen associated with other holidays, not Samhain.