Samhain. All Hallow’s Eve. Halloween.
Each of these names mean something different to everyone you speak to. And the legends, stories, and mythology come from many different sources and histories.
Some you talk to, will say it’s all about the costumes and the candy. Some will say that it’s about decorating your house with ghoulish images, and about setting up scary scenes for people that come calling. Others will say it’s all about spooky movies, and hiding behind corners to pop out and frighten your friends.
There are a lot of different ideas about the holiday found at the end of October.
And so, I’m here to tell you about my reason for the season.
Yes, I love the costumes, the candy, the decorations filled with spiders, bats, ghosts, skeletons, and other creepy things. I love the spooky, scary movies and the rest of it.
But, when you get right down to the whole feel of the month of October, and the actual night of Samhain… something changes for me.
In the Wiccan faith, and in fact, over many of the Pagan beliefs, there is a consensus that the veil between the living and the dead is thin at this time of year. That those on the other side of this barrier have the opportunity during this season to come to our side a little more freely, with a stronger sense of purpose and energy. They have greater access to the living, and can speak to us, bringing us signs of their presence.
More magickal spells are done at this time of the year, I believe, than any other. Partly, I think, because of the heightened awareness people have of the possibilities of what magick can do, with all the attention that paganism get. Witches play such a huge role at this time of year, due to the media hype, that they get asked at this time of year more than any other for spells.
But the strongest magicks are those that deal with honoring those who have passed before us. Seances, which I personally will not do, just for personal reasons, are popular during this season. I don’t believe that the spirits need a seance to manifest during this time, and to hold one… well, I feel that it’s disrespectful to those spirits who wish to remain at rest, as it more or less pulls them from the other realm to speak to and interact with this one. Leave those at peace, in their peace. And those that wish to cross over, temporarily, will do so in their own time and manner, without our interference.
Divination, the use of tarot cards, pendulums, runes, palm reading, etc., is done more at this time of year, as well. The reason for this is that many people believe that it is spirits from the other side that bring these messages of the future for the person getting the reading. I, personally, believe that the messages come from within the person being read, not from an outside source, but their own belief that Halloween allows this to be a stronger, clearer reading, opens them up more to this form of fortune telling, so it works better, because they believe it will.
In essence, the outward trappings of Halloween are fun. I’ll be the first to throw on a creepy costume and traipse around behind my children for trick-or-treating, or simply to get into the spirit of the season for those that come knocking at my door.
But the reason for the season… for me… is to honor those who went before.
And that, I do privately. Quietly. With dignity, respect, and love.
May Spirit light your way, and guide you home through the darkness.