Happy Hallowmas, or Halloween, or Witch's New Year or Feast of the Dead! Whatever you call it, October 31st is a very interesting day to me. Today is the day we honor our dead, express gratitude for our heritage, recall our ancestors and our many gifts bestowed upon us by those in our blood lineage who have proceeded us in life and death. Blood, like metal, is magnetic, by the way....those who share our blood line magnetize us even as we may resist the attraction and pull. Interesting thought to ponder.Today is a festive and a creative day! How much fun is it to be anyone or anything that you desire on this day? How creative to dream up a costume and put it together!
For these reasons, and many more, Halloween is my favorite day of the year.
I believe in magic, fairies, ghosts, spirits and goblins. I have an understanding of "the old ways". I know the power of good - and of evil.
I am of Celtic heritage.
Perhaps this is why fire and the forge excite me?
It is documented that the Celts were so war-like (I have a bit of a warrior inside me too!), that our bonfires come from the Celts....except their fires were "bone fires". Use your imagination here, People.
The above image is a classic Celtic design (triad) that I designed, made and interpreted as a stering silver pendant for my friend, Tami.
It always shocks me how modern the Celtic designs and symbols appear. They are ancient, but forever young. Perhaps there is something in the symbology that most of us relate to? The designs appear the 'freshest' when there is a bit of imperfection to them after execution. Overworking a Celtic symbol is, I believe, a sin.
A few years ago, I was most fortunate to see the ancient collections of the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. Phenomenal. Such sophisticated metalsmithing (mainly goldsmithing) - unparalled! Brilliant designs and knock-your-socks-off craftsmanship. Timeless, indeed. Hollow fabrication, fibulas, jewelry and vessels that had me wondering how the ancient ones created such remarkable works! To this day, with all of the new technology, I do not think that I have seen any collection of smithing as outstanding as this!
So, with humility, honor and gratitude, I leave you with this thought:
The noblest share of earth is the far western world
Whose name is written Scotia in the ancient books:
Rich in goods, in silver, jewels, cloth, and gold,
Benign to the body in air and mellow soil.
With honey and with milk flow Ireland's lovely plains,
With silk and arms, abundant fruit, with art and men.
Worthy are the Irish to dwell in this their land,
A race of men renowned in war, in peace, in faith.
-Donatus, Bishop of Fiesole, mid-ninth century.
Translated by Liam de Paor