Global Goddess Oracle
|Volume Four||Table of Contents||Samhain 2006|
understand the original meaning of Halloween, one simply needs to look
at the time of year in which this holiday falls and go back many, many
years in history.
time is autumn. The last
harvest has been gathered. The
trees are beginning to lose their leaves and the air is crisp,
portending of what is to come - winter.
There is no central heat. Homes
are primitive and clothes are not what they are now.
All food that will be consumed in the coming months must be
stored, for there will be no fresh food until well into spring.
Herbs are harvested, dried and stored so that should sickness
come there might be hope of survival.
You must preserve enough. Your
very life depends on it!
the animals are brought in from the fields.
There is not enough food to keep them all through the coming
winter, so only the breeding stock are kept alive.
The rest are slaughtered and preserved for food.
is a busy time and a very frightening one as well.
No one knows who will survive.
Many will die from cold, sickness and lack of food.
Winter means death.
those people of long ago, who were polytheistic, it seemed that the
Divine Mother had gone away, for she represented growth and abundance
and these were no longer evident. Her
Consort seemed to be present only in the seed from the crops.
In their preparation for this time of darkness, it was very
important that any assistance available, be called upon.
Therefore, it was commonly believed that, out of need, the
spirits of those who had gone before, were more readily available to
call upon for help, protection, advice and counsel.
Hence - ghosts and goblins!
Later, when this time of year was no longer as threatening, the
traditions of the Jack-O-Lantern and dressing up were begun as a way to
scare off those very same spirits.
was also a well-understood fact that every death was also a birth.
Along with preparation for the hard times, they also looked
forward and rejoiced at the coming birth of Spring and the return of
their Mother. They
celebrated this, their last harvest, and stored carefully.
They sorted the seed and chose the finest to be saved to insure
an abundant crop the following year.
old name for Halloween, as celebrated in Celtic lands, was Samhain,
pronounced Sow - in. After
the arrival of Christianity the name changed to Hallomas and later to
All Hallows Eve, a time to honor the dead.
Many Christian churches today celebrate All Saints Day.
The day is honored by the Hispanic people as the Days of the
Dead. My family uses
this time of year to honor those of our family who are no longer with
us. A good group activity is to plan a trip to a cemetery that has been
neglected and do some sprucing up.
There are many departed souls who no longer have family to take
on this loving act.
a wonderful Samhain and celebrate that we no longer must fear winter.
Celebrate for life is good!
The Days of the Dead