The Hearth is a new creation for this year’s Samhuinn Fire Festival, embodying the mirror image of the Bower from our sister festival Beltane. It is the place that the festival comes to rest, a homecoming for the Winter Court and a warm space for the community to gather.
It is at the Hearth that the Winter King awakens, cold and confused in the darkness. All through the Summer months, his sleeping body has been carefully watched over by the winged Valravn. In exchange for a bargain, they ensure that he dreams safely in the between space until it is time for him to leave.
His departure signals a shift, the beginning of what will be the new season. The Valravn gain the sacred Neid fire and many of their number feel the call to gather. They light their Hearthfire and huddle around for its warmth, beginning their celebration of the year’s shift.
The Valravn are creatures of Winter, but do not see it as a harsh and cold time. It is a time for reuniting with old friends, rejoicing in the wonder of stories told around the fire, of drums and dancing into the night.
In time others arrive to huddle around the fire’s warmth and share food and drink and togetherness.
Featured image by Vince Graham. All rights reserved.