It is close to that magical day, October 31st, known to most people as Halloween, and known to witches as Samhain. It is the day when we can openly communicate with our ancestors, when the ghosts step out of the shadows, and when the day fades into night with a grey and sullen sky…
But why this day? What is so special about Halloween, or Samhain? There is lots of folklore surrounding the holiday. Here in the UK, we never used to celebrate Halloween quite so much when I was a child. We did a bit of apple bobbing and maybe had a party at home with friends, but that was about it. Fancy dress involved a white bedsheet, and we didn’t really decorate the house. But then we adopted many of the more fun aspects from our American neighbours, so that Halloween has evolved into something far more frivolous than I think it set out to be.
I will not share facts and features right now. You can find those in abundance all over the internet. Here is my understanding of Samhain: the trees have mostly shed their leaves, and all that remains are stark, naked branches that will slumber throughout the winter months to come. Smaller animals have burrowed away to hibernate through the cold season, birds have migrated to warmer places, and there is a definite chill in the air.
This thinning of the veil that we speak about is merely symbolic. I can see it in my mind’s eye. Our Great Mother, Gaia, has settled her babies off to sleep, and now we make way for creatures of darkness and shadow. They were there all along, they always are, but not all humans are prepared to see them. Some days I feel more connected to the spirit world. Other days it passes me by. But on Samhain, when the air is thin and cold, and the sky is grey, I feel them, and I see them. Do you?
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