The Magic of Halloween.

Halloween is a festive event. Handing out candy to all of the children in the neighborhood allows Me the chance to admire the adorable costumes. I make a point of preparing a pumpkin soup  to add to the splendor and excitement of the season. Neighbors decorate their  front windows, doors and porches with witches, pumpkins, ghosts, and skeletons. I’ve always felt a crisp and wonderful energy – Halloween is a time of magic.

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Have You ever wondered about the ancient roots of Halloween. Often Our traditions predate Christianity. The ancient festival of Samhain  was observed through out the  Celtic lands , in Ireland, Scotland and Isle of Man, from October 31 until November 1st. The date  falls at midpoint between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter solstice. For this reason, Samhain is  classified as a cross quarter date on the Wheel of the Year of The Celtic Calendar.  On this day the veil between our world  and other dimensions blur, as energy surges . It is said at this time Souls return through this veil to visit. Many  important events  recorded in Irish  Literature and Mythology are set during Samhain.   Feasts were prepared, with place settings and food set aside for departed souls. Ritual bonfires were lit for protection of homes, livestock and farms. Divination rituals were important at this time. People went door to door in costumes, or disguises, reciting verses in exchange for food. Samhain officially marked the conclusion of the harvest season, and signaled  the beginning of winter. In an agrarian society this involved preparing for the cold weather ahead. November 1st marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year.  Samhain evolved into All Hallow’s Eve. Many other European cultures developed similar traditions. The Ukrainian people celebrate Malanka, the second week of January. People dress up in costumes, and visit friends and neighbors door to door, singing and caroling. The event involves dressing in masks and costumes.

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By the 9th century, The Catholic Church  proclaimed  All Saint’s Day on November 1st, and All Souls Day on November 2.  Eventually Samhain, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day evolved  into the current observance of Halloween. In Mexico and Europe All Saints Day is observed on November 1st. Today, Celtic Neopagans and Wiccans observe Samhain. It is celebrated as a spiritual event incorporating the many of the original traditions and rituals  of the season.

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No discussion of Halloween would be complete with out the mention of  black cats.  During the middle ages,  cats were believed to have evil powers. Cats across the European Continent were killed in large numbers. Black Cats were thought to be exceptionally evil.  As soldiers and knights returned from the Crusades, rodents also boarded  the ships carrying the deadly Bubonic Plague. Because the cat population was almost exterminated, the Plague spread faster and faster, through out Europe. Often people who dared to own a cat would avoid death. The extermination of cats was halted. Cats were brought back in to the farms, villages, towns, and cities. Cats played an important roll in eliminating the Plague in Europe.

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Happy Thanksgiving

This year the Thanksgiving holiday falls on October 9th. In Canada, We observe Thanksgiving the second week of October. This is much earlier than in the United States, but the climate is generally colder ! Many Canadians have the experience of celebrating twice  – in October, then in November with Our  American neighbours.
Thanksgiving offers the opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Reflect on this. Gratitude creates a key which unlocks the doors of healing and prosperity. Replace stress with peace, worry with joy, and sadness with laughter.  Make a list of ten things You                love.  Focus on this list.  Add to this list each day. We spend far too much time focusing on problems and worries.
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Thanksgiving is a great time to get together with family and friends for a fantastic              meal. The fall scenery in Alberta is exquisite. Many people make it a point to get away for the weekend one last time before winter sets in.  Each Thanksgiving I am invited to two different dinners. I am fortunate, indeed.
This year I plan to start My Christmas shopping early. I say this every year, but this time really mean it. Blogging holds a  person accountable !!!  In addition to this, I have         prepared a list of projects I intend to complete this autumn.
  • I will prune all of the trees in My yard.
  • I will clean out My garage.
  • I will organize the storage area in My basement.
  • I will phone friends I have been meaning to phone.
  • I will reorganize My filing system and sort through paperwork.
  • I will read a new book a week.

Taking time out to spend time with family and friends is not a foolish luxury. It is an important way to build family unity and community involvement. Too often We rush about, never taking time to do the things we love to do. Time out on a holiday weekend gives us the opportunity to rest and rejuvinate. This is an essential part of the healing process.. Too often, We are so caught up in responsibilities, We neglect Our health and well being. We choose work over relaxation, material wealth over family, never questioning our strategies. This approach purchases a one way ticket to disease, anxiety, and debt. Remember to have some fun.

  • Listen To Your favorite music.
  • Read a book .
  • Go for a walk.
  • Rake leaves.
  • Spend time outdoors gardening.
  • Cycle on Your bike.
  • Hang out at the library
  • Spend time with a pet.
  • Start a scrapbook.
  • Learn a new langauge
  • Sign up for a course.
  • Play a musical instrument.
  • Watch a favourite movie.fairveiw oct 2008 036Visit a friend.Make a list of all of Your favourite activities. Keep this list handy. When  You are dealing with anxiety or depression, look at this list, and choose an activity or project. Often a  project may provide focus for thought and worry.  All of this thought and worry can be transmuted into a creative channel. See this as an opportunity for self expression. Start a journal and record Your thoughts, feelings and impressions.

 

Continue reading “Happy Thanksgiving”