Where Halloween and All Saints Day Actually Came From

Posted on October 31, 2011


There is much talk in the astrology reports about “the veil between the worlds being thinner at Halloween”. More chance to see spirits or communicate with “other worlds” In actuality, the tradition of “wearing costumes” and lighting “jack-o-lanterns” comes to us from a time before agriculture. It come to us from a time before any electricity, a time when an ember of fire was more precious than gold. This is actually a time of year that the Sun was marked as having one-eighth of the year to go before the longest night and shortest day occur. Most things in the Northern Hemisphere were going dormant or dying as the season of Winter approached.

Sammy Terry-An Indiana Tradition

That is why the attention to death this time of year. It is a reminder that life is precious and fragile. Different cultures and belief systems view the occasion in a vast array of ways, but the idea is the same: a reverent thankfulness that we will survive the short day and the challenges that come with them. Day of the Dead celebrates the ancestors that had to come before us and leave this Human world in order for us to exist. Many cultures have such remembrances and it is healthy not to forget where we come from.

This year the actual date that marks the Sun’s path crossing the marker for the “end of the growing season” is November 7th.

Long ago when humans hunted for their food, they would put the skin of the animal they were hunting (or one that would blend into the woods) disguising themselves to help get closer to the game. This is where the tradition of wearing a “costume” originally started.

And jack-o-lantern’s also have a beginning in survival and necessity.

Amber’s pumpkin creation 2011

During this same period of our history, huge fires would be lit and tended to in all major settlements. In order for the fire to survive the harsh winters, each person would take some of the embers home after the last hunt (and then later harvest). A common way to carry one’s embers home safely was to carve out a gourd and fill it with coals from the bon-fire. The holes in the sides would have served to give it enough oxygen to get it home still hot and lit.

The point of this information is to show that Halloween, All Saints Day, Il Giorno dei Morti, Day of the Dead are all the evolution of tasks that used to be done purely for survival, not for evil. The energy flow during this time of the year lends itself to people being more intuitive and sensitive to the unseen energies all around us. That is why we tend to “see and hear” more ghosts and spirits this time of year. Put all that evolution together and it becomes a spooky time of year. Actually it is a time to gather and remember what living and dying mean. To reflect that balance is needed to exist as a Human Being and that means becoming something different at times. IT also calls for us to understand and embrace the fact that the energy of our loved ones, our most precious, our ancestors is with us all of the time. We are just more aware of it at certain times than others.

Amber (in back) Bryce, Emersyn and Tanner last year on Halloween 2010

In the modern culture for American in particular, the dress up and get candy has permeated generations. And frankly I am glad. I watch the part of “Meet Me inSt. Louis” that had the Halloween celebration from back in the early 1800’s. What a drag. They had a big fire in town and the kids would go around, steal the furniture from people’s houses and throw it in the fire. They would also knock on a neighbor’s door and scream how much they hated that person and their family. It was really disturbing. I have never researched where that tradition came from, but I am certainly glad we moved on from that!

I hope no matter how you spend this next week, you take time to tell someone close how much they mean, and show them with your energy as well. Take a moment to tell someone how they remind you of a dear one who is no longer in Human form. Talk to those who have passed from the physical realm and let them know you feel them. They will do the same in return if you tune in and pay attention to the thoughts, smells and images you pick up while thinking of them.

Enjoy the fun, the magic and mystery. AmberLena