Be careful if you go down to the woods today…especially approaching dusk. It’s that time of the year when ghouls, goblins and other mischievous beings come out to scare and haunt and taunt. It’s dark and still and eerily silent in the woods on these days around the turning point of the Celtic year. For it is the time of the changing of the seasons. Summer is well and truly gone…Winter has come. The Celts lives revolved around agriculture and the seasons. This time would be the end of the harvest…indeed all berries and tree fruits were picked before Samhain because the breath of the Puca and other evil beings would fall upon them.
People dressed in masks and costumes to disguise themselves and frighten the evil spirits away. That’s where the tradition of dressing up at Halloween/Samhain comes from.
As kids we dressed in old clothes at Halloween. The only thing bought new was a mask. Nowadays the shops are full of costumes for children and adults alike. High priced badly made tat from China. The masks have become so grotesque and horrible…blood and gore…the more the merrier. Despite the recession this stuff is flying out of the shops. Amazes me!
For me it is a particularly poignant time of the year as it is the anniversary of my Father’s death. Twenty one years ago he left us at the age of fifty nine. I still miss him a lot. This year would have been his eightieth. I remember the funeral just before Halloween. While we were immersed in our grief and sadness everyone else was full of the joys of the season. Such is life!
Enjoy the dark time of the year…for us sure as night follows day the Sun will return in the Spring…warming the land for another growing season. Enjoy the fruits that have been harvested this year. The goodness of the Summer to sustain and nourish us through the dark time. A time of reflection, reading, crafting…glowing fires and hearty soups. Will we have snow or will it be a mild wet Winter? The answer will be revealed in time.
Enjoy the season that’s in it. Happy Samhain/Halloween to all who pass this way.