The veil thins. Halloween is here.
The veils between the worlds become thin. It’s halloween. What does this mean to you?
When I was a child back in the 70s, there was no Trick or Treat. The most you got was apple bobbing, but to be honest I think that more on Bonfire Night. I can’t actually remember anything happening on All Hallows Eve.
It has only been in the last ten years or so, that I have become much more aware of the different ways in which people celebrate this sacred time. I understand that children have adopted the American version of this event by dressing up, and wandering the streets hoping to get their buckets filled with sweets, but I can’t say I like it when I see them dressed as the most scary ghoulish film characters.
The veils grow thin.
This is a time where we as mortals can access the dimensions that have gone before. We can connect with our ancestors and give thanks to mother nature for her bountiful supply of autumnal harvest. We notice her nod her head in the trees before she hunkers down for the winter season ahead. For me this is not a time to be afraid of the ghosts and the ghouls, although as a child that was all I knew – going to bed and hiding so deep under the covers that no ghost could find me. How frightened I was!
The history behind Samhain (Summers End) is an interesting one. As with many festivals, the celebration is on the eve of the day. November 1st is actually Samhain, but we celebrate it tonight. Children have been led to believe its all about the scary stuff, but it’s not. It’s a time when it is believed we can connect with ancestors. A time when we can honour them and a chance to be thankful. There are many traditions which originate in Europe and have spread throughout the world. One being giving an offering of fruits and nuts to spirits. Late October was always the celtic nut harvest. It is a time to store the harvest, sweep away the old and prepare for the new. The more time I spend in the countryside, the more I embrace the true essence of the change of seasons. Tonight on my walk out with the dog, it really smelt like the season had turned. It was cool, and still, with a misty air.
The Day of The Dead
On the other side of the pond, The Day Of The Dead is celebrated by Catholics in New Mexico on the 1st of November with huge street parties and processions. These amazing parties weren’t really know over here until a James Bond film was set in one of the processions, and more recently in the Jack Reacher film.
For the Celtic tradition, this is the start of the New Year.
Candles and lit pumpkins are to guide lost spirits home, not to ward off evil. This is the perfect time to set your ceremony space and light candles of warm autumnal colours. Pick fruits and nuts and lay them nearby. Set your intentions, and clear out old limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Be mindful, take some time to just ‘be’, and take some deeper breaths in the cool night air. Know that you are mortal and walking your path on the earth, but deep inside you are spirit. Welcome and give thanks to those who walked before you.
I am however very practical, and as MrH is home tonight, I won’t be going outside to light a fire and set ceremony. I am a lone witch, as you you know. I do however have a basket of teeth rotting sweets for any children that come calling. After all, they are having fun. One day they may look at the true essence behind this time of year.