Hallowe’en Musings

Planting the seeds…

The clocks in Britain have been turned back an hour, which in our modern life has become the marker for the end of summer and the onset of the dark winter nights. But it also marks the approach of Hallowe’en, the fire festival of Samhain to the Celtic peoples. Although these days people are more interested in dressing up the kids and creating a general air of spookiness and fun, we tend to forget the more serious side of Samhain.

In the yearly cycle of the sun, Samhain is one of the cross-quarter days, those times that fall roughly mid-way between the solstices and equinoxes. Unlike the solstices and equinoxes, which are timed to the second, the cross-quarter days are not precisely marked in astronomical terms although they have become fixed dates in our calendar. For me that means they become more noticeable at an intuitive level; you can feel the change in season. Imbolc at the start of February is when you start to notice that there is more daylight around, Beltane at the start of May is when you really start to notice that summer is on the way, Lughnasadh at the start of August is when you start thinking that the ‘nights are fair drawing in’ as we say in Scotland, and Samhain is when you finally realise that summer is over and we are heading towards winter.

In farming terms, Samhain marks the ending of the agricultural year. The harvest is in and the seeds for next year have been planted in the earth, where they will lie fallow throughout the cold winter months before stirring to life in the ground at Imbolc at the beginning of February. So energetically Samhain is the culmination of our endeavours for the year. It is time to reap the fruits of our labours and plant the seeds of what we want to grow next year. It’s a time to acknowledge our ancestors – traditionally the Veil to the other side is thinnest at this time of year – and gain inspiration for the next cycle.

This year really does mark the end of a long cycle for me, as in September I stood down as President of the British Society of Dowsers, having served 6 years at the helm and a total of 11 years as a Trustee of the Society. The experience has been simultaneously exhilarating as I cast myself into the void of opportunity, and terrifying as I realise I am no longer in control of things! Eleven years is a good length of service for any Trustee, but I can look back with pride at the way the Society has evolved during my term of office. At the Conference in September, I was presented with the BSD Award, which is awarded for services to dowsing and the Society, and Elspeth and I were given Honorary Life Membership of the Society.



For myself, I have been busy working on my marketing materials, working on my next book, and planning events for next year. It is looking like I will be doing a lot of travelling in 2015 – as usual!

I shall be running a course on Dowsing and Feng-Shui for the National School of Feng-Shui in Lisbon, Portugal on 14 & 15 March. https://escolafengshui.com/

I have been asked by the Japanese Society of Dowsing to present and run workshops for them, so I hope to be in Japan from March 25 – April 7.

All this international travel is making it difficult to plan any courses at home! However, I’ve had quite a few requests to run some courses farther north, so in response to those who asked for them, I am pleased to announce that I am running a beginners’ Foundation Course at the Victory Hall in Aboyne on April 18 & 19, so please put that in your diaries and let me know if you are interested in attending. I plan to run a subsequent ‘Introduction to Earth Energies (EE1)’ course, also in Aberdeenshire, probably in mid-May or mid-June.

I haven’t forgotten my more advanced students, and am in the process of putting together some dates to run a geomancy course on ‘Designing Sacred Space’ (EE4) and hope to run that in May or June.

For the autumn, Susan Collins and I are planning a very special intensive retreat, which will be a magical dowsing adventure. More details to come!

I’ll send out updates once we get more dates finalised, and as always you can check the events page for updates on courses.

What have you harvested in your life this year? Did all your ‘crops’ bear fruit? What seeds are you planting that you want to grow next year? Now is the time to think about what you have in your life and what you would like to bring in to your life in the next turn of the Wheel.

Happy Samhain!
Happy Samhain!
Grahame Gardner
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