Happy All Hallows Eve (Hallowe’en or Samhain to you)!

Hallowe’en

Punkie3 © Angela Porter 2010

Well, it’s that time of year again isn’t it?  And it’s another time to consider the truth vs. “The Truth“.  “The Truth” is that this is an ancient pagan holiday, mainly thanks to the writings of Frazer in ‘The Golden Bough’ where he cites this as The Truth, yet there is little evidence if any for it being so (see Hutton “The Stations of the Sun’ for more details)!

There were fairs and courts held in ancient Ireland at this time, a time called Samhain by them.

The Venerable Bede writes that this time of year was known as ‘Blod Monath’ which means Blood Month – the month where all unnecessary animals were slaughtered to save fodder and the people would feast on the parts that could not be preserved.

The truth is that it’s actually more of a Christian celebration in origin!  Today is the eve of a major Catholic festival – All Saints Day (1st November) which dates from the 8th Century.  All Souls Day (2nd November) was instituted around the year 1000 as a day to pray for the dead.  In England since the 19th Century, and increasingly in the 20th and 21st Centuries, it has gained a reputation as a night on which ghosts, witches and fairies are especially active.  Why this should be so is debatable, and returns to the truth vs. The Truth.

Different sections of society have claimed it for their own, or are rejecting it as being their own.  Who is right?  Everyone!  One thing is certain, Hallowe’en is big business, especially in America, and increasingly so here in Britain.

There are many traditional events and activities here that are overshadowed by the sheer bad behaviour and malice that a minority seem to partake in with delight.  It is an aspect of this time of year that I dislike…and I don’t need to say any more about that.

I do think it’s good that children can face their fears in a safe, measured and fun way.  We all like to be scared in a safe environment; if we didn’t then the horror films and books and games wouldn’t appeal to us.  It’s part of growing up, learning to manage our fears, to indulge in imagination, to experience a different world of wonder.  It’s not just Hallowe’en that allows children to explore this; the traditional fairy stories aren’t all sweetness and light are they?

As to it being a festival that promotes evil and satanism, well, I don’t think so.  Those who would be drawn to such systems would be regardless of Hallowe’en, lets be honest.

As much as I can be pedantic about ‘the truth’ and I like to know where the traditions and beliefs have come from (the scientist, researcher in me will not be denied), I also know that traditions change and evolve over time.  What is important, perhaps more than anything else, is that traditions link us together.  We can be sure that we are not the only ones having fun at this time, indulging in shared events, and it is that sharing that reaffirms that we are all connected in some way.

Auragraphs

Auragraph for Liz © Angela Porter 28 October 2010

Auragraphs are intuitive works of art that result from a sensitive person ‘tuning into’ another person’s energy, aura, being.  The colours, shapes, symbols and patterns all have meanings that can be interpreted, giving an insight into the recipients personality, life, and potential.  I’ve been experimenting with them for the last couple of months, and yesterday I was showing them to people at an open day at a local spiritual organisation.

A couple I had already done found their way to the people they were meant for.  Orders were taken for another couple, and all the proceeds are going into the organisations funds as donations.  It was an interesting experience for me in many ways.

Giving the interpretation (reading) for the recipient was interesting, and it was nice that they were so right.  Working with someone who wants one done for them and allowing the images/shapes to flow on to paper – just as sketches – and talking about why they are appearing and what they mean, and getting feed back on that was very interesting.

The two ordered have only been done as sketches; they will take around 12 hours each to complete, so that will keep me busy, as will writing down the readings for those verbally given will be interesting!  I really do need to carry my digital dictaphone with me more often I think.

The Ghost Train

Punkie1 © Angela Porter 2010I actually made it to the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway yesterday, after the open day at Treforest.

I didn’t arrive until around 5:30pm and most of the visitors had been and gone.  I did get to read one story to one family.  And that was fine.  Though I did enjoy winding up small children in a nice way, as well as saving them from the scary vampire who was stalking the carriages!  I do hope I’ll get to read some more stories today …

I really enjoy story telling /reading.  It’s another shared activity that bonds people together, allows them to make connections, and it’s also an opportunity for imaginations to be used, something that isn’t done so often these days.

This may be my last time at the railway, however.  I find the connections I once thought I had there are now very weak, if not non-existent.  Things change, which leads me to …

What All Hallows Eve Means to Me

Autumm Leaves © Angela Porter 2010

I always think of All Hallows Eve (Hallowe’en to you!) as mid-Autumn.  It certainly is this year; the world is wearing its coat of glorious flaming Autumn hues!  I love it when I drive along through a flurry of leaves blown off the trees by a sudden gust of wind.  The warmth of the colours envelops me as I journey around the world, a warm memory is being stored to see me through the cold, dark days of Winter.

The Earth is preparing to sleep through those Winter days, taking a hard-earned rest before coming to life again in the Spring.  All that is unnecessary, finished with, complete  is being shed, the falling leaves being symbolic of that.

As this clearing out happens out in the world of Nature, so it happens within.  It’s time to look back on the year, to give thanks for what is complete, finish that which is almost complete, and let go of that which is finished, has served its purpose, that we have outgrown.  In doing so we make space in our lives for further personal growth.  And this is the potted version of how I relate to this particular spoke on the wheel of the year.

For me, it seems the railway is to go.  My SmartCar and all her problems have gone.  I may soon be finished with counselling … but we’ll see about that, there’s still my self-image, confidence, self-love to be worked on.  I’m not sure about anything else, but that will become apparent as time goes on.

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