four great points


History of Samhain (Oct. 31st–Nov. 1st)

“The four great points of the ancient Irish year are neatly set out in the Ulster tale of the wooing of Emer by Cu Chulainn. Among various tasks which she set him before he could wed her, was to go sleepless from ‘Samhain, when the summer goes to its rest, until Imbolc, when the ewes are milked at spring’s beginning’…In the Yellow Book of Lecan, a high medieval text preserving some early medieval tales, it is said that the common people called Samhain 'the feast of Mongfind’ instead. Legend made Mongfind a witch-queen married to an early king of Tara, but fact that the same source states that the people still prayed to her on 31 October indicates that we are dealing here with another goddess: queens and heroines were not prayed to, or given commemorative feasts…

"Of the four festivals, there is no doubt whatsoever from the literature that Samhain, which began the year in November, was the most important. Tribal assemblies were held then, rulers and warriors conferred and laws were made. It was also the time at which humans were most susceptible to divine and supernatural interference. At Samhain heroic and royal figures met fated deaths or enchantments. Spirits, monsters or fairies attacked royal capitals, with physical destruction or with evil spells. Divine women allowed themselves to be wooed by human males. Supernatural beings fought or mated with each other, while warriors, gathered in royal halls, made important boasts or challenges. Magical gifts were presented to kings, or things stolen magically from them. It is worth stressing that most of these occurrences took place in daylight, so the whole day of 1 November was regarded as exciting and perilous, and not just (as in modern times) the night before…

"There is the case of Hinton St George, a Somerset village through which, upon the last Thursday evening of October, the children carry hollowed-out mangel-wurzels containing candles. The shells of the vegetables are carved with faces or designs, some of great beauty. They are called 'punkies,’ and the event bears the name 'Punky Night’. The popular books upon English folklore and calendar customs published during the 1960s tended to describe thias a vestige of honouring of vegetation spirits at Samhain. At Hinton, as at Killorglin, I was given two explanations by the villagers for what they were doing. One lady told me that the word punkie came from 'spunkie’, and the word used in mid-Somerset for the little flames of ignited marsh gas known elsewhere as will-o’-the-wisps or jack-o’-lanterns. She went on to say that they were believed to be the souls of dead babies, and that the Hinton tradition was designed originally to honour and to placate them at the season of Samhain. Others among the villagers were quite irritated by her ideas. They agreed upon the origin of the name, but insisted that the punkies were first carved as genuine lanterns, to guide the men of Hinton back from a fair held in late October at a nearby village. Their families would turn out to welcome them home, and the procession and merrymaking became a festivity in its own right which endured after the feast ceased to be held. Nobody in Hinton that night had much time for the idea of vegetation spirits…

"There is ample evidence of the importance of Samhain in all the modern Celtic regions, namely Ireland, Man, the Highlands and Western Isles, Wales and Cornwall, though the focus has been shifted back on to the previous night, called in English Hallowe'en. The rites and festivities concerned revolve around feasting, bonfires and divination. By contrast, there were no comparable celebrations associated with that date in most of England and some of Scotland until modern America helped to transmit the Irish festival to Britain. So it really does appear to have been a feast known all over the Iron Age British Isles, with no equivalent among the Anglo-Saxon invaders…

"Nearly 4,000 years were to pass…Over the same period, several major ancient festivals were Christianized by being awarded to particular patrons: thus, Samhain’s importance was recognized by its transformation into All Saint’s Day…

"One of the most blatant translations of an offering to a pagan deity persisted on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides until the mid-seventeenth century. At Hallowe'en fishermen would go down to the shore, kneel at the edge of the waves and repeat the Christian Paternoster. One of them waded in up to his waist, poured out a bowl of ale and asked a mysterious being called Shoney (Johnny) for a good catch over the next year. Then they went to St Malvey’s chapel and sat in silence for a while before making merry in the fields for the rest of the night.”

The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles by Ronald Hutton

Dial’s Disapearing Glove

Okay so I was going through the pages of chapter 4 of tpoh for Dial references when I noticed his gloves…or glove.

Up until page 63, we can only see Dial’s right hand clearly, which has a red, fingerless glove.

But in the third panel of this page, we catch a glimpse of Dial’s left hand, which has NO glove.

So I figured, ‘Okay he just has a glove on his right hand, alright,” and everything is cool, right?

However, I turn the next page to see THIS;

Dial is waving with his left hand. With a glove

Oh and did I mention the left glove disappears again on page 140?

My conclusion; I AM VERY CONFUSED. WHAT COULD THIS MEAN.

After a tiny bit of research I found out the word “left” and left handed people are often connected to “evil”. Does this mean Dial’s left glove signifies evil? Is it magical? As in dark magic and turns invisible at certain times for reasons?

The episode count of people in SPN really throws things into perspective sometimes. Taking out the series regulars, Jensen, Jared, Misha, and Mark, there are only 12 other actors and actresses that have reached double digits in episode count. In 11 seasons, 243 episodes, only 12 actors and actresses (outside of those that are now main) have appeared 10 or more times.

  • Jim Beaver (59)
  • Ruth Connell (18)
  • Osric Chau (16)
  • Curtis Armstrong (15)
  • Mark Pelligrino (14)
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan (13)
  • Cindy Samspon (13)
  • Genevieve Padalecki (12)
  • Rob Benedict (12)
  • Kim Rhodes (10)
  • Samantha Ferris (10)
  • Emily Swallow (10)

It’s crazy to think about. Characters like Gabriel, Ash, Balthazar, Jo, Meg, etc, that so many love, appeared in only a handful of episodes. And yet they’re still such big parts of the fandom and the convention circuit. Richard Speight Jr appeared in 5 episodes, and yet he hosts every single Creation convention. 

I think it also attests to how close the cast is. The fact that Jared and Jensen, who have been around for every single episode of the 243, can be so close with people that they only worked with a handful of times is amazing. Matt Cohen, Richard Speight, and Rob Benedict have become R2M, they’re a core trio at Creation conventions. And yet they never even appeared in an episode together.