All mixed up

I love this time of year: the turning of the season is very apparent, and the light is beginning to change colour.  I prefer the old Celtic word Samhain (pronounced ‘sowen’) to Hallowe’en, but it’s essentially the same thing.  I never understand the official delineation of the seasons.  Most people tend to think of winter as beginning in December, but actually it begins with Samhain at the end of October.  If the Midwinter Solstice (22nd December) is the middle of winter, then, mathematically, the beginning of winter must be approximately six to seven weeks before that, if seasons last for approximately 13 weeks each.  I like the dark half of the year; I like its quiet introspection, its tranquillity and its otherworldliness.  I like the creatures and challenges that emerge from the dark psyche at this time of year.

As at any changeover point – the meeting of boundaries – things are a little mixed up.  Leaves are falling while flowers are still blooming; the wind howls and yet the sun still shines; there is frost in the morning and heat at midday.  A bit like the boundaries between waking and sleeping, and between sleeping and dreaming.  In dreams it seems that the boundaries have no authority.  All things – the living and the dead, the sweet and the bitter, the safe and the dangerous – happily co-exist without a second thought.

The brightly coloured fabrics in the centre were a hand-dyed gift from Sue.   The edges here are couched, whipped and stitched: different types of boundary, one against another, one together with another.

Enjoy your weekend, whether you call it Hallowe’en, Samhain or just plain Saturday and Sunday.  I’ll be back on Monday.

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17 Responses to All mixed up

  1. @home says:

    Love this page Karen, love your description of Autumn and the brightly coloured fabric you have used 🙂

  2. Karen Turner says:

    Sue, I totally forgot to mention – you dyed that fabric for me! Isn’t it effective here? I’ve added the link now 🙂

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Enjoy your festive weekend with your family.

  4. kaite says:

    just plain saturday and sunday for me down here, but i do like your boundaries, i should take a leaf out of your book there….you enjoy your weekend too, your Samhain.

  5. Penny says:

    I love the thoughts about the boundaries between seasons and the sleeping/waking ones. Oh so true!! It is cold and breezy here this morning and certainly seems like winter – but then there are still leaves on the trees (albeit all orangey and gold) and the sun will shine later today warming us up. Thanks for your thoughtful words.

  6. @home says:

    You do such wonderful things with fabric 🙂

  7. Oh wow! That’s gorgeous!

  8. Debi Minter says:

    This is a VERY lovely post. This is my favorite time of year. And I love your visuals of boundaries. Beautifully said. It’s a pretty day here in the Puget Sound area too.

    ;~) Debi

  9. Ger says:

    Charming word, Samhain (as is allmixedup…) – a good, otherwordly weekend to you, too…

  10. grace Forrest~Maestas says:

    the paragraph that begins “As at any change over point……..”………..someday, Karen,
    i will stitch a cloth that is entirely of it’s own accord. and i will ask you if i can
    quote this paragraph
    to describe the intent.
    your stitches are beauty Full, and now, it seems that your new format has
    unleashed your words.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Well, I can’t promise to keep it up… some days the words come easier than others. I love the idea that those words might one day describe the intent of a cloth though. Thanks for coming to see my new place.

  11. Tammie Lee says:

    Hi Karen,
    I enjoyed your post, very much. I sense I will begin to think that this is the beginning of winter as long as I live in a serious winter land, which I do here in NW Montana. I am not sure why that has not been presented before. I guess that would make autumn Very short.

    Your stitching is lovely.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Thanks, Tammie. In the old pagan calendar, autumn began with first harvest at Lammas on 1st August; winter began at Samhain on 31st October/1st November; spring at Imbolc on 2nd Feb, and summer at Beltane on 1st May – so all the seasons are approximately the same length. This is the seasonal ‘system’ I use; it just makes more sense to me than the official line, which is that the seasons begin at the midpoint equinoxes and solstices.

  12. spiritcloth says:

    well i have used up my words, so i am glad you have found some.

  13. Karen Turner says:

    They don’t always come easily to me.
    Good to see you here. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. serenapotter says:

    i like this post
    and actually got married on dec. 22 because it was a solstice.
    the 22 is also the number for building in numerology
    and sophia was born june 22.
    i was sort of hoping nicholas would keep it up and come into the world oct. 22
    but drat and blast the kid was born on the 14.


    i think i completely tangented here.
    apparently tangented is not a word.
    good grief.
    i came
    i saw
    i read.

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