The festival of Samhain

The darkness of the night combined with the fiery orange and red aura of fire.. It’s striking and beautiful. This time of year warrants reflection and perseverance .. it requires deep solemn reflection..

While we aren’t performing sacrifices today we still perform rituals that date back to ancient Celtic customs during the festival of Samhain. Others say that the origination of this Pagan holiday travel back even further in the annals of history. But the Celts did it so well that even a Pope had to create a religious All Saints Day to counter it.

And while some may say religion ‘took over’ pagan holidays, it’s interesting to consider that we still basically memorialize each pagan custom annually while religion falters as time beats on.

The bobbing for apples to see which young woman will marry a heroic male. The orange and black colors to symbolize death and the bright fires to honor the sun. The harvest. The end of summer.. the story of Stingy Jack tricking the devil only to rummage across the countryside forever cursed.

And the costumes. The idea that we needed to dress like the dead only to mix in with them so they couldn’t notice us when the veil was thing between the here and there.

Something about Halloween is visceral. Real. True. Something seems to connect us better this holiday than others. We all experience the darkness and have similar reactions. The seasonal depression and lack of vitamin D start to hit. We feel we can’t escape the encroaching night and vanishing act of the sun. There seems to be hopelessness but yet it’s supposed to be like this.

Samhain is the time for reflection and melancholy thought for those who have gone. Maybe tonight, with the thinness of the earthly realm, we’ll get to see them.

We all feel connected on Halloween even more than Christmas. During the Christmas season we spend time with friends an family. But on Halloween we present ourselves in costume or parties in groups of strangers. We all rummage the streets together and go to houses owned by people we never knew or saw. To give them tricks.. or ask for treats.

All of this is experienced as a communal event.

The connection is real..

While people may be brave and not prone to cheap frights, Halloween gives opportunity to be a little uneasy. What’s lurking behind shadows or in street alleys under a light. Which spirits were strong enough to get through…

And when, just when, will that light return. When will the sun be born again… we all crave light.

So reflect again. Be one with this planet and your soul.

It’s Halloween. Everyone’s entitled to one good scare.

Enjoy it now. Because Mariah defrosts earlier each year.