Well its Halloween eve night here in the UK and my thoughts turn to my evolving relationship with this time of year.
We all know halloween as a fun holiday for the kids, with great costumes and lots of trick and treating. Its a time of trickery and mirth. However it also has older connotations as a time when the veil between the worlds, the spiritual world and our material earthy home is at its thinest – thats why the children dress up and we have parties, to honour our departed ancestors and to scare the evil spirits away
Christians have always treated the season with caution with many shunning the witch costumes and having light parties instead.
Its also the Celtic New Year, Nos Calen Gaeaf another turn on the great wheel as cycles come full circle and its a time to bring in good times and light before the dark winter which in the past was hazardous because people died in the Winter
With the advent of new diseases like Covid 19 then we are perhaps returning to those times again when the winters were more deadly, and we need every celebration and ritual to keep our spirits up before potentially dark times ahead
I feel both the pagan and Christian ways of celebrating the festival are about scaring away the evil and darkness – I dont believe the old religions were about celebrating evil or the dark but were about embracing our shadows so that greater light could be brought forth for the year ahead. Playing tricks and revelry so people didn’t take themselves too seriously 🙂
So this year, in honouring the old and new in myself – I have done all the things that mark a modern festival – plenty of good food and sweets, carving a pumpkin and pumpkin soup but I also have comitted myself to spreading more light. I feel this honours all of my ancestors, of all kinds and religions and the traditions of my land. To help with this work I wrote a poem about all the little lights that we collectively are and can be in humanity – symbolised by the lighting of the pumpkin lanterns and bringing light into our homes, while we play being witches and ghouls. There is the shadows – and we honour them, but the purpose is to remember and shine our light into the darkness – scaring away all auspiciousness for the winter and year ahead.
The poem is called little Star (by Michelle Smith)
There are many lights in the darkness
Twinkling like the stars brilliant in starkness
Some flash on and off seeminingly broke
Covered briefly by the velvet cloak
But shine once more they do
One they rediscover their briliant hue
Some of them have a brilliant rainbow aura
Reflecting all the colours of the world in awe
Some of them shoot to the earth
Trailblazing bringing light to our hearth
Whatever kind of star you are
Know you are shining and seen from afar
We cant all be as great as the sun
But the light you shine brings joy and fun
To an otherwise bleak sky
So never give up and alway try
In little deeds however small or insignificant
There is always something to do there is no cant
Twinkle Twinkle collectively we are
Your inner light is precious little star
This is a time too to remember all the witches who died defending their right to be healers and priestesses, or even just the old women who had property someone wanted, so they were accused. MANY innocent women were killed during the times of the witch crazes and we can but hope that those times never return again.
Its a time also to remember the christians also who were in their time killed and persecuted for their faith – it seems everyone has their turn at being persecuted and killed – so this brings forth another important reason for the shadow work involved in this time of year – that we never again point the finger and persecute others for their way of honouring the Divine, celebrating life, the turns in the year and honouring the dead.
Its worth remembering that MOST people try to do good in their own way and tradition and very few people are purposefully getting up to pure evil even at this time of year. Those that do will in time suffer from the karmic implications of their actions, what goes around tends to come around like most cycles and seasons, which is another reminder of the turning of the Seasonal Wheel – everything has a time and a season.
However you choose to celebrate Halloween I hope its full of Joy and merriment and a trickster sense of humour 🙂