The spookiest of nights can be dated back over 2000 years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a night where it was thought that the barrier between worlds was at its thinnest and most easily breachable. On this frightening night, it was expected that monsters and fairies would roam. Some of these monsters were shape-shifting night wanderers. One, in particular, was called Pukah or Púca, a mischievous spirit who is said to bring good and bad energies in equal measures. It could appear in various insignificant forms like a horse, goat or cat, but could also take on a human form with animal features such as a swishy tail or pointy ears.
Samhain was a night of fear. This day marked the end of summer and the precious harvest, and was the beginning of endlessly dark and cold nights, a time associated with death. There was a strong haunting belief that ghosts of loved ones would return to earth on the night of 31 October. We know universally that light attracts light and dark attracts dark.
Across the world, we possess a macabre fascination of fear-provoking haunted houses. On Halloween night, we intentionally wander through the dark, allowing our imagination to run riot and create troubling shadows that taunt us. There is something deep within all of us that acknowledges our own mortality and death. In early Christian times in Britain, people would huddle together behind locked doors so that the wandering dead couldn’t drag them to the underworld. In the world of spirituality, our bodies are beautiful homes for our souls; when our bodies die, our soul transitions back into the spirit realm and thus the cycle is repeated.
Thankfully, Halloween has changed over the last two millennia. We no longer huddle in our houses waiting for the dead to return to their graves. We are so far removed from our fears of death hence our fascination to wander alongside them and be at one with unsettling darkness on the night of Halloween. We dress in the scariest outfits from the myths and legends of long ago; we become the witches and ghouls that would have chased away vengeful and mischievous spirits. We shroud ourselves in death and darkness. The trees lose their leaves and animals make a hasty retreat to their safe places of hibernation. Mother Nature makes it clear that she is transitioning through the freedom of summer to the nuture of winter.
From darkness, there becomes light. Spiritually, we are leaving the past behind and allowing ourselves to look at the potential of life not yet seen. By taking time to nurture and care for ourselves, we allow our dreams the freedom to manifest a new life of positivity and create things that we have not yet imagined. These nights of darkness encourage us to slow down and turn inwards and contemplate the passing of one phase and discover another. We can take the time to applaud our accomplishments, reflect on our past, and prepare for what we want to happen next.
Halloween is the time for mindfulness, we can all connect to the earth and relate to the cycle of the seasons. Be conscious of mother nature, and how she releases old life, hibernates for the winter and returns with a burst of new life each spring. You too are going through seasons in your life where parts of your past must be released so new growth and life can emerge.
However you choose to spend Halloween, remember it is a spiritual holiday. Take time to remember your loved ones that have crossed over and thank them for enriching your life. Honour your own cycle and season of living. We only have a limited time on the physical plane to accomplish our goals, so let go of the old and head into this next season with new ambition and perspective. Be fully open to new experiences and opportunities for material and spiritual growth. Watch out for spiritual tell-tale signs and trust your intuition.
Surround yourself with protective light before embarking on your magical inner journey.