Halloween has a complicated history. The holiday originates in Gaelic tradition as Samhain. It is the mark of the end of the light half of the year and ushers in the dark half of the year. It symbolizes what must die to be reborn. It is believed to be when the veil between the spiritual and physical world is thin. It is a time to celebrate those that have passed on and laying to rest what no longer serves our greater purpose.

The Catholic church eventually adopted the festival to the eve of all saints day on November 1st precipitating all souls day, November 2nd. All souls day is meant to honor all of those that have passed on similar to the traditional Samhain. Latin cultures celebrate El Dia de los Muertos on November 2, 2018 to honor the dead.

“A year of beauty. A year of plenty.
A year of planting. A year of harvest.
A year of forests. A year of healing.
A year of vision. A year of passion.
A year of rebirth.

This year may we renew the earth.
This year may we renew the earth.

Let it begin with each step we take.
And let it begin with each change we make.
And let it begin with each chain we break.
And let it begin every time we awake.”

Chant from the Reclaiming Samhain

In all the festivities of costumes and candy, there is ancient spiritual significance attached to Samhain. It is a time to celebrate the many successes of the past year. It also time to release what is dead and dying. Celebrate all that has been harvested and let go of all that no longer can remain. Remember those that are no longer present and charish those that still remain. Let us begin a new year with love and hope.

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