01316675438 2 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5AB
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Samhuinn at The Salisbury Centre

It’s the end of the Celtic year, and the end of a cycle that has felt very different to any that we have experienced before. From the Autumn Equinox just past, this is our next step on the journey inside, following the invitation of winter.
We can let go, breathe out, and be held in the safety and quiet of darkness. Traditionally, Samhuinn is a time to witness and be witnessed in our grief, and to let go, together, into the great unknown.
In keeping with the on-going Covid-19 Government measures, as well as the spirit of Samhuinn, we are offering a programme of contemplative activities, ritual, crafts, and online storytelling. We ask you to please read our Safe Access guidelines for attendees if you are coming to the centre in person:
In this strange time it is important to feel community around us. Whilst this is different to how we would usually mark the traditional seasonal festivals, we hope that the way we have shaped the day will allow each person to feel a sense of togetherness.
There are several sessions to choose from, and we hope one of these will speak to your wishes for Samhuinn this year.
PLEASE ONLY BOOK ONE SLOT to begin with, and if there are still tickets left the day before you can book onto an extra one too.
-10-11:30am: self-led, reflective time in the garden. You’re invited to walk the labyrinth, light a candle at the grief altar, do some reflective writing and/or just spend time in silence amidst the autumn colours of the garden (all ages)
– 11:30am-1pm: Same as above.
– 2:30-4pm: Lantern making workshop (all ages: under 5s don’t need a ticket)
– 4:30-6pm: Storytelling (ONLINE) with Gauri Raje (ages 12+ : online, see details below)
– 6:30-8pm: Facilitated ceremony around the fire (aged 12+)
We look forward to sharing a part of this day with you, and may we each enter this darkening part of the year with the warmth of each other in our hearts.
Please get in touch with the the Community Development team (Susannah Phillipson and Olga Bloemen) if you have any questions about the event. Email community@salisburycentre.org
This event is part of the Salisbury Centre community programme and is offered free of charge as we want to make sure it is accessible to anyone. Any donations towards the Salisbury Centre are welcomed, as the Centre’s ability to generate income to meet its running costs has been challenged by the pandemic. There will be donation bowls on the day and you can also donate online on our donations page using the reference Samhain: https://www.salisburycentre.org/donate/ Many thanks for your contributions in advance.
*****Accessibility & Kids*****
The event will take place in the Salisbury Centre garden, which is two steps down from the main building. We don’t yet have disabled toilets, they’re currently being put in place!
Accompanied children are very welcome to join in with any of the activities, according to the suggested age guidelines for each session.
Of course there is the challenge of Scottish weather, so please COME DRESSED FOR THAT! If the weather forecast is especially bad we will also consider cancelling and/or moving some sessions online.
***** 4:30-6pm – Storytelling: Gauri Raje with The Skeleton Woman -ONLINE ON ZOOM ****
We’re delighted to have received funding from the Scottish International Storytelling Festival’s Big Scottish Story Ripple as part of this year’s SISF Community and Family Programme.
This allows us to host storyteller Gauri Raje for a very special edition of Crack a Story: Plant a Seed (our bi-weekly storytelling sessions).
Because of the current Covid-19 restrictions, this session will now take place on Zoom.
Please register a space on Eventbrite to receive the zoom link.
Gauri will be sharing the story of The Skeleton Woman , followed by space to share how this story speaks to us and our time.
Halloween is a time of doors opening between the visible and invisible worlds. Inviting ancestors. Re-forging connections that have been feared, discarded, forgotten or buried under the weight of everyday living. Of honouring and celebrating the more-than-human. A sacred time.
The Skeleton Woman (an Inuit tale) is a such a story – the presence of the skeleton woman/ death as a vital third element in a relationship that creates possibilities for deepenings of connections.
With this story we will look at the various deepenings of connections in our lives, communities and the world. What must be given over to the guidance of death; what is it that we discard through our fear of death and run away from; and what is it that we need to let the skeleton woman drink to nourish her and ourselves into an enduring dance of love and nourishment?
*** About Gauri Raje ***
Gauri is a storyteller, educator and workshop facilitator working with adolescents and adults from multilingual, multicultural and disadvantaged backgrounds. Gauri was born and grew up in India, arriving in the UK as an adult in 1999. She moved to Scotland in 2017. She tells stories in various languages including Urdu, Hindi, English and other Indian languages such as Gujarati and Marathi. You can read more about her work here.
Check out the wonderful programme of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival here: https://www.sisf.org.uk/community-programme/.
The weeks stood still in summer.
The trees’ blood rose. Now you feel
it wants to sink back
into the source of everything. You thought
you could trust that power
when you plucked the fruit:
now it becomes a riddle again
and you again a stranger.
Summer was like your house: you know
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, full poem here: https://onbeing.org/poetry/onto-a-vast-plain/