The leaves are change colors, beautiful shades of reds, yellows and oranges. You can hear the leaves crunching as you walk along a wooded path. The air is crisp, cool and dry. Darkness is dominating the sunlight. It feels as if the earth is dying, but you know it is not. The plants are protecting themselves from the cold winter months ahead. It is time to harvest the last of the crops and bring the herds down from the summer pastures. These are all signs that Samhain (Halloween) is upon us.
Samhain means summer’s end in Gaelic. This fall festival marks the beginning of a new cycle. It is the Celtic’s New Year. The Celtic’s day begins in the evening, so Halloween or Oct 31 evening is the start of the New Cycle. It is believed that the silence of darkness will give way to the whisperings of new beginnings at daybreak. It is a great time to reflect and release whatever is holding you back.
Samhain is also known as the festival of the dead. It is believed that on Oct 31, the veil between the living and the otherworld is broken. It is very easy to travel between worlds this day. There are rituals that provide hospitality for dead ancestors. Leaving doors and windows unlocked and placing food and drink outside will give ones ancestor free passage into ones home. One should set a place for deceased relatives at the dinner table because they would like to share a dinner with on Samhain. On this day many spirits enter our world, not all being friendly. Curving spirit guardians onto turnips and pumpkins, and placing them by your door will keep nasty spirits away.
As you can see many of our Halloween traditions date back thousands of years. As you are enjoying this season, remember this a very holy time for the Witch. It is a time when the gods, fairies and ancestors are the closest to you. Be aware this holiday season, because that tap on you shoulder maybe a spirit wishing to say hello.
Have a Blessed Samhain!