From the Library: The Veil is Thin…

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by Elrik Merlin on Thursday, 30 October, 2008

The Celtic New Year is regarded as beginning on what is now November 1, and around it falls a three-day festival to celebrate the harvest and the end of summer: Samhain.

The exact origins of the festival are shrouded in mystery, and no doubt much of what we celebrate today has been developed relatively recently. But never mind.

Samhain has been adopted and adapted by the Catholic Church in the form of All Hallows Day… and the night before, All Hallows Eve — Hallowe’en — by modern neo-pagans among others.

We might think of it as a time when the veil is thin between our world and the Otherworld - not the “underworld” of classical myth but instead the Celtic realm of the dead, of the gods and goddesses, and of entities such as the Sidhe.

Hallowe’en was never a significant event in England until recent years, being much more prominent in Ireland and to a lesser extent in Scotland. Irish emigrants probably took observance to North America, and in recent years those traditions have returned from there and American-style activities are now common in the British Isles.

To celebrate the thinning of the veil tomorrow, today’s programme features a selection of Celtic and other music with an element of the Unseen Worlds and ancient traditions inherent within… a touch of the faerie, perhaps, or the Goddess tradition.

Join us now, for a journey across the veil between the worlds, to a land of mystery.… the land of Tír na nÓg…

• From the Library is produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life. Today’s programme was produced by Elrik Merlin. For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.

You can listen now at — the ideal URL for you to use in your home parcel media address in-world — or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player. (If you want to listen off-world, eg in Winamp or iTunes, and the above address doesn’t work for you, click here.)


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Gabrielle Riel October 30, 2008 at 08:38


Yesterday Otenth rolls out a simply amazing study of Steampunk music, and now today Rik has the most enchanting and perfect program leading to Samhain...

You guys are *so* good it makes me want to cry from happiness, joy and thankfulness.


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