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Hallowe’en, All Hallows Eve…Samhain – when the ghosts walk among us

Samhain skeletonWelcome to Hallowe’en, the day when the boundaries between worlds grow weak.

Malicious spirits and the unquiet dead press across thresholds, seeking revenge, closure…or entertainment. With the rise of the Christian church, and the prohibition of the ancient rituals, their access has grown easier as the years pass.

Before All Hallows Eve, when Christianity prefers that the world consider the lives and the deaths of saints and martyrs, was Samhain, the night between – between the old year and the new, between summer and autumn, between death and life itself.

The ancient Celtic clans left offerings of food outside their homes to appease the wandering, the mischievous, and the malevolent, hoping that they would accept the gifts and take trouble elsewhere.

Bonfires were fed through the night on the hills and in the villages to hold back the forces of death and decay.

Others wore masks, hoping to confuse the vengeful dead and see them take their search elsewhere until the dawn came.

Samhain Sparkly Badgers halloween 2018Today, disguises and food are a ritual for children, and bonfires cause air pollution. The ancient rites of the Light are nearly extinguished, and the dead rejoice as the veils thin.

Watch yourself, as the world turns closer and closer to Samhain, and voices murmur in empty rooms. Watch yourself, when you feel a chill. Watch yourself, when you see a familiar face in the crowd.

It’s Samhain.

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