So here we are at Samhain and our thoughts gravitate towards the turning of the year – from Summer’s End and into the Dark of the Year. We look inward, we honour our ancestors, and traditionally we would attend the Dark Gathering in some shape or form. This year most of us can only gather together in spirit and not in person due to the pandemic that persists in our lands.
It’s been quite moving reading so many folks’ comments of the impact the Gathering has upon so many. It’s grown from just a few dozen like-minded friends gathering together, to a full scale celebration of Hallowtide with all the associated pageantry that accompanies it nowadays. I feel that the Gathering has captured the imagination and powerfully stirs an ancient race memory, especially as night falls. To experience the sound of hundreds of people joining in the Ancestor Chant to the rhythm of the drums by the light of flaming torches, is to be transported back in time to the Elder Ways. It’s very cathartic and deeply healing.
As the Dark Gathering is primarily cross cultural between Wales and Cornwall involving the meeting of the Mari Lwyds with the Cornish Osses, some of them wanted to send a message to each other. Here is a bizarre, but quite charming, virtual meet up of them. Many thanks to Eleanor Greenwood who edited this short video.
We hope that you enjoyed that brief interchange with our equine Celtic cousins! Moving on….
As we can no longer gather together physically this year, we thought we would compile a special video for you all dedicated to the spirit of Samhain and the Dark Gathering. It has taken many months to create and I have been like demented sheepdog endeavouring to round up all the submissions in time. Rather predictably, a lot of them only arrived at the very last minute, and as a consequence stress levels have been fluctuating wildly…!
I am indebted to the hard work and sheer determination of our editor and compiler – Hedj Dollman. Not only has he spent countless hours of his precious spare time on this video, but he has willing done this whilst also working full time as a key worker. Having seen the finished product I can assure you that Hedj has put his heart and soul into this project. A standing ovation for this young man if you please!
So what can you expect from this 90 mins of dark entertainment? Basically, expect the unexpected! It has song, past film footage (some of which hasn’t seen the light of day before), new material, storytelling and messages from our performers – all of which showcases brilliantly how multi-skilled and talented our Dark Gathering Team is. All of this wondrously woven together by Hedj.
So, get yourselves settled in and comfy, preferably with your favourite tipple and enjoy our version of the Dark Gathering 2020. Enjoy!
We wish everyone a wildly magical Hallowtide wherever you may be. Here’s to the Old Ones and the Ancestors!