Our Ancestral Bear hath hibernated this long ‘Winter Night‘. Now, She Awakens, Awakens ‘Reborn’ with Cubs and Ravenous. ~Týr Mórríghan
Norse / Germanic … “Winter Nights”
Ancient Gaul / Gaelic / Celt … “Samhainn” / “Samhain” (Scottish / Irish Gaelic respectively) … “Winter Nights”
We recently began our “Winter Nights” (plural) celebration with a family sumbl (‘sumbl’ = Old Norse: ‘banquet’), followed by an Álfa-blót. This was the beginning of the ‘Winter”, the ‘dark half’ the ‘Father’s time’ of the year.
But, we are approaching, as well, Samhainn. Which one to say, takes a ‘back seat’ (in a way) to why you say it… Do you know why you say either? Or should?
Both the mid-October family sumbl and Álfa-blót, and Samhainn occur for the same reason (fall harvest, end of “Mother’s time” / “light half” of the year, thinning of the veil, dreams and divination, connection to and communion with our ancestors).
When I was a christian, before doing research into history and what the ‘bible’ actually says, and before I stopped making excuses for judeo-christianity, I had coined a term, “anything but God”.
When christianity forced our ancestors to convert they manipulated our days of celebration and times of year into single calendar days and then re-assigned their meanings and who, what, why they were for.
That said, we do see a paganism, wiccan, etc., that wants to be pagan because it’s “anything but God”. In other words, there are people who are calling themselves ‘pagan’, just so they don’t have to belong to an Abrahamic cult. However, they then take the original Pagan celebrations, which lasted for more than one day, and back-fill the christian-ness of the day onto the Pagan name for it. So, you end up with a Pagan name to the day, but the day is celebrated as defined by christianity. But, hey, at least they are not a christian right? WRONG. They are catholic, which means universal. ~Scott Carlson
The word “Samhainn” and “Samhna” mean ‘November’
oidhche Shamhna means “Hallowe’en [“oidhche = night; as in 1 night]
— “Oidhche” means “night”
— Alvissmol stanza 29-30:
(29) “Thor spake: … What call they the night …?”
(30) “Alvis Spake: … kalla grímu ginnregin.”
The beginning (first) ruling Gods (powers) call (kalla grímu ginnregin) “night” by the word “grímu”; AND “Oðin” is called “Grim” (“night”).
Oidhche = Night; Oþinn (Oðin) = Night
— video (above begins at 12:50 time-mark):
“November” means 9th month (from March), Latin “novem” means ‘nine’.
9 was / is a sacred number in our ancestral beliefs.
Climates varying across Europe and Scandinavia means that sowing time (in what we call Spring), reaping time (in what we call Autumn), would have fluctuated slightly … but Nature’s cycle would be the constant; as well as the constellations, the moon cycles, and the 2 yule (solstice: wheel turning) celebrations would have been the constants. In Nature, Our ancestral Bear is the cycle, the pattern followed … the 9 month cycles, the reason for “Winter Nights” and “Samhainn”, not the single, manipulated, day under the head of christianity, but what it meant anciently, ancestrally. ~Scott Carlson
Samhainn means 9th cycle (named on Roman calendar as “Novem”. Oidhche is added to make it a one night modification).
The “ber” at the end of 4 Latin month names of September, October, November, December:
If you look to etymology is says “is probably from -bris, an adjectival suffix.”
That word … “probably” is highly doubtful, when you see things in the NATURal cycles of our ancestral Bear (which christianity attempted to destroy and exterminate)
1) Majstång: Midsummer Yule; The month of “July” retains this name (Jól / Jul / Hweolor-tid: an alternative Norse name for Yuletide. It literally means the “turning time”. — 2 per year, Midsummer and Midwinter, “light half” and “dark half”, “Mother’s time” and “Father’s time”.
— this is mating season for our ancestral European Bear.
2) 9 months from the Majstång is Ostara, what we call March today. It was labeled as the 1st month of the Roman calendar. It begins “Mother’s time”, the “light half”, the time of new birth (re-birth).
— this is when our ancestral European Bear comes out of Hibernation.
One 9 month cycle of our Bear ends.
Another begins; the 9 month cycle of Oðin’s “Wild Hunt”:
3) the beginning of “Mother’s time”, when the “Wild Hunt” is taking place, men are in the background (hunting, tracking, exploring, avenging, etc), women (mothers and maidens) are tending to Mother Earth, becoming ‘grounded’, etc
4) the 9th month from Ostara, (the 1st month, what we call “March”) is Samhainn (Novem) the 9th month.
— this is when our ancestral Bear has entered (or is entering) hibernation. This is the culmination of the “Wild Hunt”. This is the “dark half”, “Father’s time”. Men are providing food from the hunt(s) and, following the cycle of our Bear, the Women are completing their first trimester. After a summer of working with Mother Nature and being grounded with positive energies, the quietness and darkness of the season, the calmness that permeates “Winter Nights” allows dreams and divination: this calmness and positive energies are what is NEEDED for this to take place.
The second 9 month cycle of our Bear ends with Our Bear being carried-in as a sacrifice as he/she offered itself for the survival of the Folk (self, one-self greater). Old English, it was Blotmonað (literally “blood-month”). This is depicted in constellations as well, when the hunter/hero brings in the Great Bear (Ursa Major).
Another 9 month cycle begins:
9 months from Samhainn (Novem – ber / 9 – ber) takes us through the remaining ‘Winter Nights’, another wheel-turning time, (a Midwinter Yule), through the end of “Father’s time”, the “dark-time”, through Ostara, and ends at Majstång.
2 Yules (turnings of the wheel) giving us a duality of Nature: light and dark; heat and cold; feminine and masculine; birth, life and sacrifice, death.
2 changes of that duality within those halves (one in each): making transitions between Feminine and Masculine times (“Mother’s time” and “Father’s time”), where the one who brings in the season then takes a secondary role within the season; BUT both roles are inter-dependant upon the other and the bringing in of the next transition.
What we have is 3 (a sacred number) cycles (and three seasons) of 9 (another sacred number) — all based on the cycle of our ancestral European Bear and occurring with 13 (another sacred number) moon cycles, of which the moon itself has a 9 year cycle.
The “ber” at the end of Septem (7th), Octo (8th), Novem (9th), and Decem (10th):
means “Bear”, and our Bear would have been at the forefront of everyone’s mind during these sacred “Winter Nights”.
German “Ber” means “bear”
“Bera” (f.): ‘she bear’ (same word as ‘to bear’)
“Ber-serkr (m.): ‘Bear shirt’ – Oðin warriors, hunters, heroes (Einherjar)
“Bersi” (see also Bessi) (m.): ‘he-bear’ (comes from (f.) ‘Bera’)
“Beir” means “bear” (to bear); take hold of, catch
(see link below for more)
7th, 8th, and 9th months, a final trimester with “Bear” as the suffix. Did you know that it is common for some Germanic women to ‘bear’ their young for 10 months before birthing (the 10th – ber = Deci – bear). December also begins the celebration of Yule where there is an (Anglo Saxon) “ærre-geola” and “æftera-geola”, the former and the latter Yule,” (or before and after ‘Yule’); “geohol” being connected to the Old Norse “hjul”: a wheel
Again, what do we see during Samhainn — “Father’s time”, “dark time”, “blood-month”?
The hunter/ hero is “bearing” our “Bear” to the sacrifice (blood month)
So, if during “Winter Nights” you want to say “Happy Samhainn”, it is like saying “Happy 9th”, “Happy Novem-bear”, “Happy blood-month”.
To make it a one day event, when it clearly is not, well then, you have ‘your’ “anything but god” celebration just as it was delivered to you by the Roman Catholics and defined by christianity.
(From above) Oðin’s family tree:
Another ‘Bear’ writing:
Image Source: “Scottish Gaelic – English / English – Scottish Gaelic Dictionary”
by R.W. Renton & J.A. MacDonald
Original was published in Glasgow in 1979, third printing was in 1996