Samhain, Halloween and going into Winter

It’s a tough time of year autumn in the northern hemisphere. We know it’s getting darker, and colder, the snow and the ice are coming. Halloween is traditionally celebrated and although it has roots in a time when we perhaps feel closer to our ancestors, which can be comforting if you embrace those things, it can be difficult for people too.

The traditional english pagan calendar celebrates Samhain now which honours this time as the Year’s End and New Beginnings.In Wirksworth where AIRR Clothing is based we are blessed with having locally Glennie Kindred who has shared her wisdom and learning about the wheel of the year in her books and calendars available here 

All of life is part of a cycle and here we acknowledge the new beginning in the midst of endings. There is a new power to life as we nurture new dreams and new seeds in the dark. By accepting this period of rest we find rejuvenation and renewal. This is not a time for action, but a time to drift, to dream, to vision and remember. It is a time for meditation and welcoming inner stillness, for long term plans and for nourishing our spirit. Here as the old year ends and the darkness of winter begins, we welcome the opportunity for a new start as we incubate and strengthen our hopes for the new year. Traditionally, it is an opportunity to honour our ancestors and embrace our roots.

From “Earth Wisdom” by Glennie Kindred

In Hindu traditions, around this time of year it is Diwali. The word Diwali means ‘rows of lighted lamps’. And Diwali is known as the ‘festival of lights’ because houses, shops and public places are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called diyas. The victory of the forces of light over the forces of darkness. It is traditionally the time of year to buy new clothes too!

This life cycle does brings me however, to the same cycle in our own clothes. When we finish with them, or out grow them in size or style, we dispose of them in many ways. Even if we swap, or take our clothing to charity, eventually there is a good chance they will end up in landfill in another part of the world.


Here in landfill they will gradually decompose. But, and this is a very big deal. Some with decompose much faster than others due to what they are made of.

A clean slate to start again, going back to wence it came, is not possible for man made mass produced fibres sometimes. Organically grown and produced materials like cotton, wool, bamboo, soy and tencel will break down and go back to the soil to feed it and allow it to grow these crops once again. Sadly this is now so rare and landfill has speeded up more than ever before. Its 30- 40 years for a nylon item of clothing to break down and just 1.5 years for cotton, as shown in this image.


So, at this time of year it is time to let go of things we no longer need or no longer feel right, but when we invest in new clothing, bear this in mind, that everything deserves a chance at a complete cylcle from nothing to something, back to nothing.

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