All Hallows Eve
It’s here again…. All Hallows Eve, or Halloween. It hasn’t smelt like Autumn yet as we have been enjoying some glorious warm weather, but the clocks went back yesterday, and as if by magic, we had a light frost last night, and the smell of autumn is now in the air!
The veils grow thin.
Halloween is always a good marker for the arrival of autumn with the pumpkins ready for storage, and apples brought in to make juice and cider. Lantern carving is an age old tradition. Lit pumpkins set out on the 31st to guide lost spirits home, as the veil between the two worlds grows thin. This is not a time to be afraid of the ghosts and the ghouls, as we were led to believe. Too much TV for many children out there!
This is a time where we can give thanks for the bountiful supply of autumnal harvest. We notice the trees changing colour and animals preparing for the winter months ahead. Mother Nature begins to slow up and settle in, hunkering down for the winter season ahead.
We can connect with our ancestors.
As with many festivals, The history behind Samhain, Summers End, is an interesting one. November 1st is actually Samhain, but we celebrate it on the 31st October. 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. No matter how out of sync we think the seasons are, somehow at Halloween, it all falls in to place.
The Day of The Dead
The Day Of The Dead is something we are seeing a lot of these days. It is celebrated by Catholics in New Mexico on the 1st and 2nd of November, with huge street parties and processions. The 1st is celebrating children, the 2nd celebration those who have passed before us. You will have noticed brightly coloured sugar skulls, and amazing face painting at many Halloween parties. A real mix of traditions being seen everywhere. Read more about this amazing festival here.
This is the start of the New Year.
In Celtic tradition, this is the start of the New Year. So it’s a good time for you to reflect and look forward. Set your ceremony space and light candles of warm autumnal colours. Pick fruits and nuts and lay them nearby. Set your intentions. Be mindful and take some time to just be. Take some deeper breaths in the cool night air. If the weather permits, light the fire pit. 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. Without them, you wouldn’t be here.
Rest. Recalibrate. Enjoy.