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A Halloween Spread!

“Dear ignoramuses,

Halloween is not 'a yankee holiday' celebrated only by gigantic toddlers wearing baseball caps back to front and spraying 'automobiles' with eggs. This is ignorance.

Halloween is an ancient druidic holiday, one the Celtic peoples have celebrated for millennia. It is the crack between the last golden rays of summer and the dark of winter; the delicately balanced tweak of the year before it is given over entirely to the dark; a time for the souls of the departed to squint, to peek and perhaps to travel through the gap. What could be more thrilling and worthy of celebration than that? It is a time to celebrate sweet bounty, as the harvest is brought in. It is a time of excitement and pleasure for children before the dark sets in. We should all celebrate that.

Pinatas on the other hand are heathen monstrosities and have no place in a civilised society.”

― Jenny Colgan, Welcome To Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop Of Dreams

We have reached the point in the year when we finally relinquish the summer to other gods.

Now we turn the expectations of our imagination to the falling leaves and Nature Spirits, the fire in the hearth, pumpkin pie and generally snuggling into the psyche, preparing for the long, dark winter ahead. Even if you live on the 20th floor of a high-rise building with bubbling radiators and the balcony is your connection to the natural world, one is still drawn into the rich, evocative feel of a personal harvest festival. This is the first ritual which is bringing out the warm jumpers and bigger coats from the back of the wardrobe.

Halloween is that point.

Halloween is a milestone in the passing ebb and flow of life’s mad circus. It is also when we realise that Christmas is just around the corner and living in times such as these, when a veritable social tempest rages outside our front door, we can take stock of what can be truly called a journey in 2020. 

Maybe we are wondering what will become of us in the forthcoming year.

If so, Halloween provides an opportunity to put those thoughts to one side and focus on the moment. Whether your intention is one of playfulness or magic or personal ritual, Halloween is the seasonal catalyst for ruminating on the spirit world and one’s ancestral heritage. 

I have quite a clan gathered in the Summerlands. I think of them often, whether it is Halloween or not, but there is something that connects us to the memories and ideas, the consciousness of those gone before us, it is something about the smell in the air in October and the light in the morning that brings a fullness to the heart. 

My Mother, for example, was a seasonal cook. Now would be the time that she would be planning the Christmas cake. Mum would also be into making Parkin, trays of it, a pudding that does not fit in with the bright, light summer time. Only the other day I was looking for ye olde recipe to make these satisfying slabs of ginger and molasses. Oh, the wholesomeness of it all!

It has been quite a year for all of us.

Many have lost loved ones to the Covid pandemic, others have had life changing experiences, all of us have succumbed to the fact that life will never be quite the same again. Perhaps like me you think about what our clans might have to say about it all. Interesting insofar as humanity is no stranger to catastrophe, what words of strength and mercy may they share with us?

Halloween is also Samhain, Gaelic for ‘summer’s end’.

October 31st is the end of the old Celtic year and November 1st is the beginning of a new one. It is celebrated for a bond amongst people, for community, a respect for the dead. It would serve us well to remember in this time of All Hallows that everything is sacred. 

The Celts would petition their ancestors to walk with them into the winter. This was for protection and guidance. The new year would be full of promise and possibilities and that death and disease would not carry off the living before their time.

This year, make your altars or your sacred space and invoke the connection of your forebears.

Put your image amongst the photos or pictures of them, make a living representation in your home of your bond, after all the emphasis of spiritualism, was and always has been about community. Even if your link with the ancestors has been tenuous, trust that in the world of light, good will be done.

Here is a spread to inspire you.

This is a seven card spread which looks at how you perceive yourself and how that will shape the next few months. It is aimed at you having confidence to be yourself and to shine your light and to take a moment to consider what inspiration might be coming from loved ones.

Draw a card for each position but you can add another one to bring further clarity if required. Why not try putting a Major Arcana in the position, put the rest of the majors on one side and then add one of the minors (including courts) next to it; experiment with the combinations!


The Witches Hat: How do others see me?

Scrying Mirror: How do I see myself?

Pumpkin Lantern: What is my light/gift in the world at this time?

Trick: What is holding me back?

Treat: What will assist me?

Black Cat: What is my own spirit saying to me?

Skeleton: A message from my ancestors.

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