Thoughts & Facts
Halloween is a melding of pagan (particularly Celtic) and Christian (primarily Catholic) practices - mixing Samhain (pronounced "sow-in," and meaning "summer’s end", it was / is the pagan new year marking the final harvest before winter. It encouraged contemplation of the past, of what was harvested that year and family and friends lost. It was also a time they looked towards their future. Themes of past and present, endings and beginnings, death and birth are all entwined), All Saints Day (a holiday for honoring early Christian martyrs) and All Souls Day (a day set aside to honor all of the dead). Also, not to be forgotten, is the Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos celebration (a time when many families remember their deceased and the continuation of life with a blend of Aztec ritual and Catholic theology. )
It’s been claimed by many that the veil between the living and the departed is at its thinnest during this season and souls are free to visit this world again. Some people who are religious, spiritual or have gifts of a paranormal nature can, it's been said, become more receptive to their abilities during this time.
Traditions and festivities have included trick-or-treating, feasts, bonfires, music, storytelling, games, prayers, vigils and cleaning or decorating the graves of deceased family members. Today, some of these activities have fallen by the wayside, giving way to movie marathons in place of stories, haunted houses in place of games and many church-sponsored "Hell House" activities that focus on saving one's soul rather than promoting prayers and vigils for those who have passed. This season is truly a magical time that has been looked upon with fear, fun, contemplation and reverence.
William knows the power this holiday holds and the reverence it deserves. Unfortunately, like many holidays, it has been reduced to easily graspable ideas. It can be fun to be frightened by things that lurk in the dark when it's somewhat expected, but what is more thrilling is the realization that there are many things still not completely understood about the world in which we live and its interaction with the rest of the universe. Many belief systems give explanations and there are many stories of happenings within the unseen realms that affect the earthly plain. William has delved into the "unknown" and has come away with a few tales and explanations of his own; as I am sure you have if you have entered into these realms. Williams' offerings for this season present some of his findings and possible proof that there is more to this world than what some wish to accept.