Samhain and Hecate’s Haven

Friday was of course Samhain, a big day for pagans which welcomes in the new year.

Samhain is my favourite pagan festival. It offers an opportunity to honour those who have passed on, as well as give thanks to the ancestors for their work and inspiration (or at least that is my take on it).

Trees in woods in Drefach Felindre

In the mill we are very lucky to have a number of brilliant spaces to perform rituals in.

Hecate’s Haven, our temple to the dark goddess of the crossroads, welcomes people who want to ‘dream the dark.’

Darkness, in Western Culture, has a pretty bad press. It is usually associated with ignorance, evil, fear, feeling lousy and thinking bad thoughts. It also has negative racialised connotations, with light = good; dark = bad.

There are very few spaces where the sacredness of darkness can be observed. Hecate’s Haven is one such space. It is a container within which the transformative, nurturing and healing powers of darkness can be explored.

Hecate's Labyrinth

Ritual darkness

Hecate’s Haven has no electricity and only one small window which gives the room light during the day. Our ritual took place in the evening which meant we performed it in total darkness. We walked the labyrinth at the centre of Hecate’s Haven and shared stories from our lives that are not always safe to examine in light spaces.

We asked our ancestors and other ‘dark’ goddesses—Kali and Ceridwen—to support our work and movement in the world.

As we emerged from Hecate’s Haven I felt energised and charged. The experience demonstrated to me that it is possible to feel really safe and protected in the dark.

While this may seem fairly banal, within the context of our culture where darkness is completely demonised, it takes on added significance.

Hecate’s Haven is a unique space to practice being in the dark, not to confront one’s own personal darkness per se, but to explore different sensitivities and sensory responses to alternative environments.

Perhaps these ideas resonate with you. If so, do contact us to arrange a visit.

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