When spirits walk among us…

So here we are, friends. It’s Halloween again. And my personal fave holiday, Día(s) de los Muertos. I love this time of year in this hemisphere, at the boundary between fall and winter, when the harvests are coming in and the earth digs its feet into November like an animal settling in for a long nap.

I’ve heard that there are still people in the British Isles who light bonfires in accordance with old, perhaps primal, Celtic traditions of Samhain (pronounced “sow-inn”). Legends tell us that Samhain marked the end of one cycle and the beginning of another, the shift in seasons an allegory for life, death, and birth/rebirth. It was a time of divination, as the border between spirit and non-spirit worlds diminished. Among pagans, Samhain is the Feast of the Dead, and it marks a time when the dead and the living are able to mingle, if only temporarily.

Like Día de los Muertos, the Feast of the Dead isn’t setting the dead up to be feared or reviled. Rather, it’s a celebration of life cycles, and the recognition that death is a part of life — as much a part of it as birth. And because death symbolizes all kinds of endings, Samhain brings reflection on the end of other things in our lives, like relationships, jobs, and other big changes we may have experienced over the past year. It’s a chance to come to terms with those things, so that we can move on to other things. It is, in a sense, a cosmic housecleaning.

Later Christians adopted some aspects of Samhain, and celebrated it as All Hallow’s Eve, October 31 (All Saints’ Day). Funny, how those old, old habits humans had refuse to die. An indication, perhaps, that the boundaries between past and present are always thinly veiled.

Interested in learning a bit more about Samhain and this time of year? Smashwords offers a pagan writers anthology featuring stories, poems, and articles by 40 pagan writers who will tell you what Samhain means to them and how they commemorate it.

source: Smashwords

This is a good time of year, my friends, to tear down a few of your own boundaries and see what lies on the other side.

So with that in mind, happy reading, happy writing, and happy Samhain.

6 thoughts on “When spirits walk among us…

  1. Halloween is my favorite holiday, too. It takes us outside of our everyday worlds into something energetic, mysterious, and otherworldly. We are more than our bodies and our training, we just don’t recognize it. And Halloween gives us an opportunity to engage in that. It allows us to look at things beyond our little worlds and to be other people. Many people need the holiday as permission, which is too bad, but good in a way because at least they get to indulge in that side of themselves once a year.

    Wow, that’s a lot of gibberish. I just really, really love the horror movie marathons!🙂

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  2. wtg R.G.!!!

    Can’t watch horror movies though … nightmares … same goes for animal movies, even if they have a happy ending!

    … thanks for the review of the book, Andi. I’ve bought it and am looking forward to a bit of a read-a-thon this weekend

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  3. I miss seeing Disney’s Night on Bald Mountain on Halloween. I suppose I could bestir myself to search it out on Fantasia.

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