Yes, faithful readers, once again it's time for the annual Roy's World Samhain post. For those of you who may be new to this, Samhain (pronounced SAH-wen) is the old Celtic New Year, commemorating the fading of Summer and the onset of Winter. and which was so popular a celebration that the Church considered it necessary to "Christianize" it into All Hallows Eve (eventually Halloween) and All Saints Day. It's all about recognizing death as an organic part of the cycle of life, seeing the fading of Summer into Winter as a reflection of the human cycle. It was thought that the veil between Life and Death was especially thin on this day and communication between those worlds was particularly easy. If you want to read a fuller account of Samhain and it's transformation into Halloween, click here.
We're still getting rain from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and it's downright chilly as well, so today was a good day to go out and get some appropriate Samhain pictures.
For this year's music video I've decided not to beat to death that lovely PBS Danse Macabre animation and Lorrena McKennitt's live performance of her All Soul's Night; if you want to see them again you can click that link in the first paragraph above. Instead I've decided to post a video of the song Into the West from Peter Jackson's movie The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (music by Howard Shore, lyrics by Fran Walsh). It's also all about Death as part of the journey of Life. The first time we hear the theme (orchestral only) in the movie it plays softly in the background while Gandalf has this conversation with Pippin:
Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path… One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass… And then you see it.Pippin: What? Gandalf?… See what?Gandalf: White shores… and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
Then this version with the lyrics - performed by Annie Lennox - plays over the closing credits. It's a lovely piece of music and perfectly fitting for Samhain. Enjoy!
Photos © 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger