Did you know that trick or treating and wearing costumes were first done by the Druids to keep themselves safe from evil spirits?
Bobbing for Apples was done to obtain favor with the evil spirits. People would kneel around a tub of water filled with apples. The first person to get an apple without using their hands, would have good luck and favor from the spirits for the coming year.
Bonfires originally came from these nights when human and animal sacrifices were performed and they would throw the remains of the bodies into the fire. The next morning all that was left were ashes and bones- thus they got the name bonefIres- bonfIres.
Halloween or Samhain (“Feast of Samhain” the first feast of the witchcraft year) is celebrated on October 31st and is when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is believed to be the thinnest. It has been known for a long time as “The Festival of the Dead.” The Celtic tribes and their priests the Druids celebrated this day as an indicator for the change from life to death.
Halloween is all about celebrating the cycle of death and rebirth. While on the northern hemisphere, the leaves are dying and nature is preparing for the still of winter, in the southern hemisphere, the dormant buds are preparing to rebirth themselves and open to the start of summer. Death and rebirth is an important cycle that is seen in nature constantly, and it’s also something that is mirrored within us. We are always going through our own process of shedding, releasing and rebirthing ourselves as we travel through our life path.
Halloween is also considered as time to honor the “deaths” we have all experienced throughout the year. It is a time to make peace with all the things we have needed to let go of and to celebrate the cycle of the new.
In Pagan times, Samhain was celebrated as soon as the clock ticked over to November 1st, as it was believed on 1/11 spiritual activity was at its highest and the reason for that was due to the vibrations of the date 111.
If you see each number 1 as a pillar, you can see that the middle pillar represents the veil and “being stuck” between the two worlds. The veil between the living and the dead is also said to be thinnest due to the Sun’s position in the deep and intuitive sign of Scorpio. Scorpio energy is all about transformation, honoring the cycles of death and rebirth. It is said that it rules over the paranormal and our connection to other dimensions and portals.
Let’s go back to the symbolism of the three pillars (111)-it represents the darkness that falls between October 31st and November 1st and allows us and other beings to travel between dimensions. This is the origin of the tradition of the jack-o-lanterns and dressing up in costumes. People disguised themselves to protect from wandering spirits who could bring them harm.
Even though, Halloween is really a celebration of Mother Nature and the ever evolving energies that live around us and through us. As we know, energy cannot be destroyed instead, it simply changes its form, shifts from one form to another, and that is exactly what we are called to honor during this sacred time.
In pagan times, important rituals were conducted on Samhain to celebrate death, the gods, the spirits and to understand the connectedness of all beings and creatures in this Universe. However, Halloween is not a night to be afraid of. It is time to think about the fact that we are spiritual beings that never die. Instead, we live on in different forms and in different ways. We continually recreate ourselves through the cycles of life.
Whatever “deaths” you have experienced this year whether it be death of ideas, loved ones, attitudes, relationships, dreams and so on, Halloween is the perfect time to honor the shift and to honor the new energy that will now be welcomed into your life.
It is also right time to celebrate and remember loved ones who have crossed over. You can light a candle, leave out their favorite food or simply say a prayer or a blessing.
Remember, October 31st-November 1st is a powerful time for strengthening your intuition and connection to the Divine, eternal flame within.