Halloween

My grandma loved Halloween. She died just over 2 years ago now, something I’m still dealing with. I don’t know if I believe in this whole “thinning of the veil” thing, but I do think that she’s looking down on me in some way or another. I know she’s happier now than she was at the end, I think. I miss her quite a bit, but I am glad that I had even 19 years with her. Still. Halloween is a bit tough for me now, because it’s been my favorite holiday always, and yet it was hers too.

I don’t celebrate sabbats. They’re Wiccan, and I’m certainly not. So “Samhain” isn’t my kind of thing. And I’ve always seen the whole “thinning of the veil” thing as a Samhain kind of idea. And I don’t know…I’ve never gotten the whole idea that a certain time of year would lead to a better idea for spirits to come into contact. I think my skeptic mind comes in here, since I used to hear/sense ghosts and spirits at all times of year. So I never put much stock into times of year being all that special. For me, times of year don’t seem to hold much meaning in this respect, not at this point in my life. So I’m a skeptic on the whole idea that just because some cultures and practices look at it this way, that then it’s just assumed that everyone must then see it all this way. And, when you hear and sense spirits and ghosts at all times of year, well, it’s kind of hard to just go along with the talk of online pagans who insist that spirits are most active around Samhain (I know that most pagans don’t insist that, but online perception did seem to lean that way when I started getting more active in online communities). I’ve never understood the whole idea behind the “veil thinning”, if I’m honest. I guess I understand the mechanics, per say, behind the idea. But then…I don’t get the reasoning behind it. The reasoning confusing it me. Perhaps I don’t understand the full history of the actual Wiccan (by that I mean the coven-bound stuff that is lineage-protected stuff you have to be initated to learn like by Gardnerian tradition) reasoning for the Samhain stuff with the veil-thinning.

I think for me, I just don’t know really why it’s an important time of year for most modern pagans. I think I read somewhere it has something to do with the harvest, final harvest I believe. Which, I think makes sense for people who still live an agrarian life, or who farm. But for people who live in the city, I think it’s kind of funny. Especially people who are city-folk like me and don’t do anything out in the country. I mean…I hate the country. I like going out into the woods and stuff on occasion, but I’m a city gal through and through. And most people are like me. So it’s amusing to me when there are people like me, who then insist on this whole strict adherence to harvest-festivals, but they don’t actually understand why they’re participating. (Now, if they understand what they’re celebrating, I’m fine with it. It’s the one’s who celebrate without having a clue that drive me crazy) But the ones that drive me bonkers are the ones who don’t have a clue why the “veil thinning” is important, but they insist that it is. Those ones confuse me more than anything. If they don’t understand what they’re espousing, why do they do it? I mean…if I didn’t understand what was bothering me (z.B. ghosts), why would I deal with it?

I haven’t sensed or heard ghosts in a while. Granted, I haven’t been living in old houses for 2 years now. That’s a huge change for me. I’m used to living in 100+-year-old houses. I’m used to ghosts, spirits, whatever one wants to call them. I always could sense them growing up, or hear them. I had one that would help me lock my sister in the closet if she wouldn’t leave me alone to read my books at my first home growing up. Then we moved to the house that I just call the “Maxwell House”. That one, I think that ghost woman was murdered (the house is nearly 110 years old, the woman was probably alive 90+ years ago, so it’s very old news). She was scary. I’ve never been so scared of anything that I couldn’t see in my life. I refused to go into the basement of that house if I could avoid it, because that ghost actually unnerved me. She scared even my dad, and I don’t think he really believed in ghosts before that. My grandparent’s house had I think a ghost-cat, I vaguely remember it from when I was a kid.

But in the last 2 years I’ve been living in new houses, all less than 20 years old. It’s weird not living in old houses. New places have no spirits to them. I miss old vibes to places. I miss the old spirits that give houses their atmospheres. And much as ghosts and spirits sometimes unnerved me with the things I could sense, I miss it too. Halloween reminds me of all that I miss, and it reminds me that my grandma isn’t around to enjoy Halloween with.āˆ—

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I'm a bibliophile who loves collecting books. Definite cat person. Amateur historian and major geek, who loves all things Tolkien and Star Trek. I'm also fluent in German.

6 thoughts on “Halloween

  1. Samhain is important to many neopagans because neopaganism is- in vast majority at least- very celtic oriented and Samhain was, as near as we can tell, a pretty big freaking deal back then. Aside from that, I do notice an increase in spiritual activity during the between seasons, both spring and fall. It is much easier for me to communicate when the worlds are as close as they seem to be in those transitional seasons. This may be related to the phenomena seen around crossroads, mirrors, doorways, seashores and other threshold places. Transitions here make it easier to transition across worlds as well. This is my theory.

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    1. Hm…I’d never thought of transitional seasons as being similar to thresholds, crossroads or mirrors. Those I definitely can see as having phenomenal relations, but I’d never really thought that seasons had a similar kind of weight.

      And I suppose, given that I did start in Celtic mythology, I should have done research into holidays, not just the deities. šŸ™‚ (Fail on my research there I think, since I was always rather deity-focused in my research back then.)

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  2. The thinning of the veil was a Gaelic belief before it was wiccan. Samhain was a threshold time which were always sacred to the Celtic peoples. It’s a threshold time because it’s halfway between equinox and solstice as is Beltane the other time the veil is thin. Amd as a magic worker for over 30 years i can tell you it is easier to work at those 2 sabbats than say an equinox or a full moon.

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  3. I don’t have a garden (or a yard, for that matter) but the seasons do affect me. The autumn rain just started in earnest last week, and the farmer’s markets have begun rolling up for the winter. It’s also been my experience that there’s some “thinning of the veil,” as well as the beginning of the Wild Hunt season and it’s one of the two New Years I celebrate on a personal level, so I have personal organizing, cleaning and purging rituals wrapped up in that. I do think it’s a very personal thing, though – not every holiday is going to resonate, and that’s an okay thing. Go with what works for you.

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  4. Regarding the thinning of the veil, I am not very psychic, so do not perceive that much. All i know living in a northern hemisphere temperate zone is that there is a transition from life to death in nature, but then i live in the mountains to see and feel it. I am not sure how city dwellers connect with the seasons except from the advertising from the “Hallmark holidays” advertising. In the country i can feel life slipping away, and being older i guess i wonder if i will survive another winter.
    Regarding the “oath bound teachings of Gardnerian Wicca” I truly believe it has all been published on the internet.

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