The Meaning of Halloween
The full name for Halloween is All Hallows’ Even, the day before All Saints Day, which in turn is followed by All Souls Day. Halloween is October 31st, All Saints November 1st, and All Souls November 2nd, although these dates can vary with different churches and organisations.
What is the meaning of Halloween?
Over the years, the holiday has taken on different meanings, rituals and festivities, although much of the symbolism remains intact. The following are various aspects of the reasons for celebration Halloween, often confused with Samhain by other religious or pagan practices.
Halloween: A time to remember the dead
These are times to remember the dead, especially one’s own relatives. All Saints Day is about those who have gone to Heaven, while All Souls is more sombre, praying for those who stay in Purgatory, according to Catholic belief. However, like so many other Church festivals, this was grafted onto far older pagan practices – the day of Samhain, or ‘Summer’s End’.
The Celts had two seasons, summer and winter, and the shift from one to another was very important, heralding a radical change of ‘vibe’. Samhain (pronounced sa-ween) was the start of a much more inward time, of reflection and focus on the spirit world. It is easy to glamourise this history. The truth is tribal fears of the powers of nature gave rise to brutality and human sacrifice. These days we can celebrate the rhythms of life in ways that are gentle and fun-loving – mirth with reverence.
Coming to Terms with Darkness
We are apt to link darkness with bad things, but that’s a negative way of looking at it. Darkness brings peace, thoughtfulness, and inward change. In the darkness of the soil seeds wait to germinate. Darkness can be like that for you also, if you decide to be positive about it, valuing extra contemplation and quiet activities. There’s also plenty of opportunity for a good time, because when the days are dim and nights long there’s an extra buzz in brightening them with lights and laughter.
The Pumpkin Lantern on Hallow's eyes
The most obvious Halloween symbol of light in darkness is the pumpkin. Although this tradition has been imported from America it is based on far older European habits of hollowing out root vegetables, cutting a scary face into the skin and putting a light inside. The pumpkin face is the Crone goddess, there to frighten away evil spirits. Pumpkins are easy to carve, so place one in your window and join in the fun.
Trick or Treat
The pumpkin in the window is taken, in many neighbourhoods, as a sign that trick-or-treaters are welcome. Why not? Have a store of sweets ready so you can reward the fancy-dress callers. This has been criticised as an excuse for terrorising the elderly and vulnerable, but in fact it is nothing of the sort – or shouldn’t be. It’s about expressing the ‘tricky’ side that we all have, which is better than suppressing it. Of course, this mustn’t get out of hand but it’s psychologically healthy – something out forebears knew instinctively, perhaps.
Remembering the Ancestors
The Ancestors were very important to tribal peoples who often venerated them as gods. Shamans would go into trance to consult their wisdom. It certainly feels right to remember your loved ones who have passed on. Create a small altar in your home, on a shelf or cupboard-top. There you can arrange photos of those who are no longer with you. Flowers, crystals, berries and leaves – or anything else that feels right to you - can all help to set the scene. Light candles and spend some time recalling the past, praying and talking to the deceased. In all probability you will feel a connection and may be aware that your dear ones are close.
Halloween: A Story Telling Season
The end of October was the start of the story-telling season. In times before the media people relied on memory, and the Bards could recite long stories, songs and poems totally by heart. There is a special magic to listening to a story. It enables you to make pictures in your head, changing the way your brain works and making you more creative. Why not assemble family or friends to read or recite short stories to each other? Or you could take it in turns to spin a yarn – it can be hilarious to see where the topic ends up. Candlelight and a feast can make this an inspiring occasion.
Spending some time alone is also productive. Get in the habit of meditating, or walking in the mist, scuffing dead leaves. Let yourself merge with the season and know that you also will be renewed.
If the idea of winter coming really is getting you down, and the Halloween activities above aren’t cheering you up, then why not get support? At TheCircle you can always contact a Psychic or Medium who can help you. The darkness can be depressing, but a light can and will be shone upon your difficulties. Benefit from a Psychic Reading, check your Horoscope, get some advice, insight and support to find the true meaning of Halloween for yourself. A Clairvoyant Reading can show ways to believe in better and enjoy yourself, so make contact with us without delay
PUBLISHED: 26 OCTOBER 2015