Sunday, October 31, 2010


Artist Unknown

No matter if you call it All Soul's Night, Halloween or Samhain, this is the most mystical night of the year. And who better to provide background music for it than Celtic artist Loreena McKennitt:

"All Soul's Night"
by Loreena McKennitt

Bonfire dot the rolling hillsides
Figures dance around and around
To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness
Moving to the pagan sound.
Somewhere in a hidden memory
Images float before my eyes
Of fragrant nights of straw and of bonfires
And dancing till the next sunrise.
I can see the lights in the distance
Trembling in the dark cloak of night
Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing
A waltz on All Soul's Night.

Figures of cornstalks bend in the shadows
Held up tall as the flames leap high
The green knight holds the holly bush
To mark where the old year passes by.


Bonfires dot the rolling hillsides 
Figures dance around and around
To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness
Moving to the pagan sound.

Standing on the bridge that crosses
The river that goes out to the sea
The wind is full of a thousand voices
They pass by the bridge and me.

(Chorus - 2 times)

Artist Unknown

For your delight this All Soul's Night, I present some of my favorite images of this most special Celtic holiday. In my mind, for it to officially be Halloween it has to be dark. But it must be lit by some kind of light, be it the traditional Celtic bonfire, lanterns, candles or the moon.

To be my favorites, the images must portray mystery, mystique and magic. They  must be ethereal, otherworldly. Scarcely anyone is about - just one soul, or a chosen few. It is a time when anything is possible. There are no dwellings, those creations of modern man. Just pagan henges and stones, burrows and hills, bare trees and crisp leaves underfoot.

Artist Unknown

"The Witch's Cat" by
Angela Jayne Barnett

Artist Unknown

"Samhain Night" by Terrauh Barrett

"Cernunnos" by Helene Grasset
(Cernunnos was the Great Horned God,
honored along with the Goddess on Samahin)

Artist Unknown

"Samhain" by Sue McKivergan

"The Witches of Samhein" by Heidi Darras

"Samhain", from Fairy Ring Oracle
by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason

Artist Unknown

Click on the link below to see this video of Loreena McKennitt's "All Soul's Night" from her "The Visit" CD.

Or this version, taped Live at the Alhambra:


Anonymous said...

Just beautiful ! I love the pic of the great horned God ☺
thanks so much !

gma said...

Blessed Samhain Aine. Lovely to dance around the fire listening to Loreena McKennitt.

Annie Jeffries said...

Dear Julie,

I came here knowing that I could rely on you to have the most comprehensive collection of art, history, and writing to honor All Souls Eve. What a glorious collection. Love the eerie black pictures.


Tricia Danby said...

I am wishing you a belated Blessed Samhain - and a wonderful season and start of the magical year.

Autumn Leaves said...

Julie, as always, I am so intrigued by the art work you find to illustrate your words. Deliciousness!!! Hoping things have gotten better in your neck of the woods. Not good for us, but we're hopeful that the tide is turning for us!

Guillaume said...

Lovely pictures.

CoCo said...

I know this is years after you posted this blog entry, but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. I had only been searching for a good Samhain image and found one I liked from your blog. I always like to give credit, so I clicked on the link. Very nice, love Loreena McKennitt's voice but hadn't heard that album, so will search that now. Beautiful collection of pictures. One last thing, I searched my favorite of them and I found the artist, if you'd like to have it:
Blessed Samhain to you!