October has arrived and that means it’s time to begin the magical countdown to Halloween. The Spirit of Fall and Halloween offer rich traditions and opportunities to connect with nature and the spirit world. Perhaps it’s time to open up to the possibilities…. Each day up till October 31st, I’ll bring you mystical and magical tradition-filled ways to celebrate and embrace the spirit of the season.
Let’s begin with a brief history. Did you know that Halloween is one of the oldest holidays recorded, with its roots dating back to the Celts and Druids over 2000 years ago? The Celtic priests and people celebrated October 31st as the end of the year and November 1st was celebrated as the New Year, as they had completed an agricultural cycle in nature that culminated with the last of their harvest in October. They called this festival Samhain, which roughly translated means summer’s end and it was celebrated over a three day period.
On the eve of October 31st, the veil between the earth world and the spirit world grows thin and the spirits of the dead are easier to communicate with, along with other beings from the spiritual realms. Rituals were established to communicate with the other side as well as to create protection from unwanted visitors from these realms who could walk on the earth plane on this eve. The Celts were not the only group to celebrate this ritual, the Romans had a similar festival to honor the dead as well as many other cultures around the world. The end result of what we see today as the celebration of Halloween has come from these rituals, including wearing costumes to blend in so as not to be detected by other-worldly beings who walk the earth plane on this night.
Later, as the Roman empire and Catholic church worked to eradicate pagan beliefs and holidays from being celebrated and acknowledged, the calendar was changed to the Julian calendar, which then moved the celebration of the New Year to January 1st and the church worked to make November 1st a holiday known as All Saints Day. This is only one of many holidays that were rewritten by the church over the years. Try as they might though, they were never able to remove the celebration of All Hallows Eve and the celebration of the veil being lifted between this world and the spirit world, and so the holiday of Halloween has remained.
The history of holidays is one of the courses that I teach to students who study the ancient wisdom teachings with me. They always find it interesting when I discuss the date of January 1st, which we now toast as the New Year, yet it falls in the dead of winter. If one was working with the elements and magic of nature, would it not make more sense to make resolutions and plant seeds in the Fall, so that they would have time to germinate and sprout forth in the Spring? When one makes a resolution and plants that seed of thought in the dead of winter, there is little warmth and light to nurture these thoughts and it is no surprise to many of us, that the new year resolutions are dead and gone only a few weeks afterwards, as there was no nourishment for the seeds to take hold.
The Julian calendar by the way, has been replaced in most countries by the Gregorian calendar, enforced by Pope Gregory in 1582, because the calculatons of the calendar were off and the church needed to reform the calendar to connect with the moon cycle of the spring equinox, so that it could celebrate Easter on the equinox. Neither the Julian or Gregorian calendar works very well, as both moved away from a moon cycle to a sun cycle to count the days and to compensate with this change, events have to be juggled including shortening the month of February to 28 days and throwing in a leap year every four years to adjust. This calendar is out of rhythm with the cycles of the earth and nature and many cultures follow a different calendar system. As well, many are returning back to the 13 moons natural time calendar.
This is why many who understand the old ways in balance with nature, celebrate the New Year on November 1st and in some groups it is known as Witches New Year.
Let’s move on to modern day events. Did you know that in the early 20th century, Halloween was celebrated by adults in the U.S. with lavish and elaborate parties and children were rarely involved in the festivities? We have the Irish to thank for bringing many of the traditions with them as they moved to the US in the end of the 19th century and the customs of Halloween began to spread across America. Beginning in the 1920’s, it became very popular for adults to create very elaborate halloween costume parties and masquerade balls, the likes of which are only beginning to reappear today. The great depression brought an end to these elaborate celebrations, along with WWII. In the 1950’s, the celebration of Halloween on a large scale reappeared and this time the focus was on a holiday for children. The custom of Trick or Treating was established to connect neighbors and communities closer together as the baby boom era had created a focus on raising children.
The trends of the 21st century are returning to an adult style celebration with masquerade balls, costume parties and decor including animated characters and houses decorated and transformed into haunted castles and mansions. Halloween is the second most popular holiday celebrated in the US, Christmas rings in at number one.
With this in mind dear readers, I offer the first idea in our series of magically inspired ideas…
Enlighten others on the history of Halloween and help end harmful and baseless superstitions.
Help debunk a superstition that is based on fear, like the one that says black cats are bad luck. In ancient Egypt, black cats were revered in honor of the goddess Bast. Many cultures find black cats to be the luckiest color of all. Read WikiAnswers for more information on how black cats have been revered throughout the ages by many cultures. Share how Halloween is celebrated in various customs around the world. This website has some beautiful photos showcasing how the holiday is celebrated in different countries.
Until next time dear readers, happy haunting!
Enjoyed this article? Kala welcomes your comments and reads them all. Don’t miss a thing! Subscribe by clicking the button at the top right corner of this article. By doing so, you’ll receive e-mail updates every time a new article by Kala Ambrose is posted – and it’s free! To read archived articles by Kala Ambrose, visit her main page at the National Haunted History Examiner and the National Metaphysical Spirituality Examiner.
More about Kala Ambrose: Kala Ambrose is an award winning author, intuitive and talk show host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show. Her thought-provoking interviews entice listeners to tune in around the globe! Described by her guests and listeners as discerning, empowering and inspiring, she speaks with world renowned authors, artists, teachers and researchers delving into metaphysical, holistic and paranormal topics. Kala’s book, 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled delves into the mysteries of ancient Egyptian mystery schools and explains their wisdom teachings. Kala Ambrose is a highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire. She lectures on the Ancient Wisdom Teachings of Egypt and the Mystery Schools, Working with Auras, Chakras and Energy Fields, and Wise Woman Wisdom.