SAMHAIN © Hamish Burgess 2010.
Signed and numbered Limited Edition Giclée print of 300 on water-colour paper. Approx 12 x 12 inches, plus a white unprinted border.
Original Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the November issue. The first of a series of four seasonal works.
Samhain – the Celtic New Year – the great wheel of the year turns, and starts the new cycle with the Feast to the Dying Sun, or the Celtic Feast of the Dead, marked by the rising of the Pleiades stars (right). Top – The Old Crone side of the Triple Goddess, the Cailleach, begins her reign as goddess of winter, by striking the earth with her staff, turning it hard and icy cold. Bottom – The Horned God, Cernunnos, Guardian of the Gateway to the Underworld, is ruler of the natural kingdom, in all it’s aspects of life, death, and rebirth. As Lord of Nature, he oversees the ‘Wild Hunt’, in which spirits of the dead are carried to the Otherworld. He carries a kingly torc, and the ram-headed serpent, symbol of Otherworld knowledge. The serpent and his antlers both shed in a cycle of renewal. On this night when the veil between our world and the Otherworld are at their thinnest, it is said that Spirits (right), ancestors, and the Sidhe or wee-folk (left) can freely roam the two worlds. Center – The Morrigan, warrior queen and Goddess of Death, is said to give up her campaign season, and on the evening of Samhain, she mates with the ‘Good God’ Daghda, god of fertility and abundance. He is the Celtic father-god and Chief of the Tuatha de Danann, who are now the Sidhe or faerie folk, said to have long ago gone to live in the Otherworld. He has a magic club of destruction, and at the other end, healing, as well as a cauldron of healing and plenty. This symbolic union of the god of light and the goddess of death, represents the preparing of the land for germination and the darkness of winter.
The Oak King ends his reign (bottom), and gives sovereignty to the Holly King, with his green leaves and bright berries (top) a reminder of the new life to come, after the dark half of the year.
Also shown are of course the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.
All prints signed and numbered by the artist in pencil at the bottom.
The print you receive will not have the artist’s name across it, as in the photo. That is for internet viewing only.
Aloha and mahalo for looking.