R.Rose shares some lovely thoughts about the Samhain season…
We have been carving into vegetables for Ages, I’m sure. Celts won’t have had pumpkins; some say they may have used turnips. Perhaps it’s an ancient mischief made big in the mainstream? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Faces flickering out into the dark on Halloween / Hallow-e’en / Hallows Eve, remind us of spirits. They can be a nod to our ancestral heritage, if we choose them to be. Because this is what I know of Halloween, and this is my tradition; it is a time of honouring, and acknowledging our ancestors and their presence amongst us. As Autumn closes in, and winter begins, the ‘veil’ between the worlds is said to be thinnest. And this can be an invitation to look back, and remember that we are not living our lives alone, but we are part of a long, long line, full of human story. History, and herstory. Stories we can draw from.
Take time to pause, and honour the line of people who came before you, if that feels right.
It’s a magical time, the light finally giving in to the dark. We are entering the darkest, coldest phase of the year. Autumn is ending, winter is beginning. Knowing that we need the dark as much as the light – in all things – we can choose to embrace it wholeheartedly. The light will return in Spring, and for now, we can welcome the opportunity to journey inwards a while, carving out time to hibernate, and to rest, as our modern lives plough on relentlessly as our Earth slows and cools. Our Earth, tipping herself into balance. We can tip, too.
Cycles, always – all ways.
Trees are burying their final leaves, and we had our first frost yesterday. I woke to the early morning to the hum of a car engine, heaters on. So longing are we for warmth and light that we have even changed the clocks again. An extra hour of light in the morning, for a week or two. The cycles of the natural world peeking in to our lives unseen, almost.
The joy of it is – even though we spend much of the year feeling cold about the return of winter – we do greet it with great celebration. With children trick-or-treating all over the Western world tonight, candles lit for ancestors across cultures, and – in England – an evening of frosty bonfires with loved ones this week, we do mark the beginning of winter with huge celebration, with fire, and with light. Quite the party, really.
So, here’s a welcome to all souls, a welcome to this opportunity to remember and honour our roots. Light a candle and let it burn, if that feels right, and pause a while. And here’s a welcome to winter. Welcome to all the rich darkness you bring, time for reflection, curling up, and excuses to be cosy. Light a fire, and allow the embers to warm the bones that have carried you this year. Welcome back in.
Happy Halloween, happy Samhain, and wonderful, warm bonfires to you all.