I thought of writing a blog on this after a conversation with my 13yr old son.
I had surgested that we put some Halloween decorations up, something fun to do during our two week 'firebreak' lockdown here in Wales.
His reply saddened me "what's the point Halloween is cancelled this year"
I asked him if he thought that because there was no 'trick or treating' allowed and he said yes, despite the fact he hasn't wanted to do that for a couple of years!
It struck me how sad it was that traditions within our year have been wrapped up in so much commercialism and fuelled by Hollywood that we have all lost the true meanings.
Christmas is still touched on in schools, but Halloween never has been to my knowledge.
To be fair, unless you come from or are raised by a family that celebrates nature's cycle then you would only have the commercial Hollywood to go by.
For me personally Halloween or Samhain marks the end of the yearly cycle, the beginning being at Yule.
It's a time for reflection on your year, this particular one will be interesting to reflect on!
What seeds did you plant in the spring, did they come to fruition? How did they grow. Did you achieve all you wanted to? Like I say this year's seeds got quite twarted for me! As it did for many others. But I have to reflect on the good things, how I have learned from the bad things that have happened to me personally, covid aside, what I did to cope and if that has worked. We have all struggled in one way or another.
I have been lucky, no one I know has passed over from this virus and that's a blessing. My business is holding on which I'm also thankful for. My loved ones are coping....sometimes only just.
Samhain has a reputation for being linked with death, with spirits and spookiness and in many ways this is deserved.
With the winter months firmly on the way, in the past communities would have taken stock of their supplies of grain & livestock. There would have been great feasts at Samhain, often the last chance to enjoy fresh food, before hunkering down.
Samhain in the old Celtic calendar, was one of the days that stood out of the normal days in the year, when the veil between the spirit world of the dead and that of the living would be at its thinnest. In my opinion you should not try and summon spirits as they should be left in peace, especially if they are your loved ones.
It is traditional though to light a candle in your window to guide welcome spirits home and deter the unwanted ones, this was the origin of the Halloween pumpkin lanterns.
Besides reflecting on my year I like to take this time to remember my family members and loved friends who have passed, to honour them at our table and think about the good things they brought to my life and how they helped to shape who I am....not always to the good but still to be acknowledged 😁
Needless to say, attempting to say all this to my 13yr old would have fallen on deaf ears (😂) so instead I thought I would write it down here, for anyone who was interested in what passes through this potters brain.