Fall is in the air. You can almost smell the cinnamon and spice floating out of windows as you pass. The days are shorter. The light is softer and sweeter for it. If you look around, you can see plump jack-o-lanterns out on porches as early as the first week of October. By now, strings of orange and black lights and comical skeletons are dancing in neighborhood windows. Yes, it is that time of year and we call it Samhain.
Any 30-second search of the internet will give you a lot of information on the history of Samhain – also called Halloween - and how it is that we have come to celebrate this time of the year. Peg Aloi is the Media Coordinator over at Witchvox.com. She has a very informative article on Samhain and its traditions here: http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=holidays&id=2204.
One thing that all the articles agree on and the history supports is that for a very long time people have been aware that the barrier between the living and the dead is particularly thin this time of the year. Different people’s opinion vary about which day is the actual “point zero” for this mystic effect. Some claim that it is the full moon of October that marks the day that the veil between the worlds is thinnest. Other’s claim that there is something mystical about October 31st in and of itself. Still others look to the full dark of the New Moon of October. It is possible that all three days have special significance, but I’m sure that no one would entirely agree with that either.
Each season marks its own spiritual point of the Wheel of the Year. In each season there is a lesson to be learned and – much like in any school – there are many smaller lessons that braid together to convey the larger lesson. Fall is the time for us to clean house – physically and spiritually – of all the unnecessary things in order to make sure that no space that is needed is wasted on unnecessary clutter. It is time to lay aside those things that we will need to survive winter. Isn’t it interesting that in the middle of this life inventory we are called to remember our Ancestors – both recent and remote?
No, it is not. Too often we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the material world. We are not a still people. Winter often forces that stillness upon us, and Fall is our time to prepare for its coming. Our Ancestors represent wisdom and experience. They have gone and done what we have not. More importantly they have had time to consider the ramifications of what has happened in their lives and to look back on those experiences and place them in the spectrum of life – to step back and see where things fit in their lives.
So, I invite you to remember your Ancestors this Samhain more than usual. Make that Ancestor Table and lay out their favorite foods. Put up their pictures and decorate it with pumpkins and skulls and colorful crepe paper. Take a moment to sit and chat with them and listen in your heart to what they want to say to you.
And eat a little candy. I hear its good for the soul.
High priestess, eclectic, neo-pagan, reverend, searcher, thinker, spiritualist -- these are all titles and descriptions that Katrina Butcher can own. She also has a master's in library science from UK, and a B.A. in English and humanities: cultural studies from U of L. Having been on an...
Examiner.com is a content destination powered by over 100,000+ independent contributors. Every week our contributors post thousands of informative and entertaining articles designed to feed your curiosity on the subjects that you crave.