Hallowe’en in Ireland these past few years has gone all American – big, expensive fancy costumes, lots and lots of lights, spiders and webs, and houses decorated to the max. It wasn’t like this when I was growing up, all we used to do was build and burn a bonfire, dip our faces into buckets of water to catch apples (hated doing that), eat brack and choke on the cheap ring wrapped in baking paper, paint our faces black and red and ask door to door to “Help the Hallowe’en Party”. I always thought that was a political party! But it was an Irish tradition that has been replaced with the American “Trick or Treat”.

For me Hallowe’en has always been a time when the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest. Another name for Hallowe’en is Samhain, and that translates as “the day of the dead”. A Celtic festival honouring the passing of the souls of our ancestors, a time where it is believed that the spiritual and material worlds touch for a moment, a time of greater potential for magic.

The Celts believed that the normal laws of space and time were held during Samhain and a window or a portal opened which allowed the dead to cross the veils into the land of the living. So if you are feeling the need, do ask the universe for extra protection and feel the energies around you become more solid and stronger. In the old days, just in case there was confusion with the opening of the portal, Jack O’Lanterns were made to help guide any lost souls back home. In those days turnips were carved out and candles placed inside them, but I do think pumkins are a lot easier to work with than turnips!

Take some time this year to honour the dead, those you know and those you did not know in body. Honour yourself too, where you are on your journey of life, how far you have come, and recognise how much work it has taken to be here, now. If you want to do a small ceremony, you could create an alter, light a candle in honour of the dead, perhaps one for yourself or for your family. You could say a prayer for healing, ask for help with something that is troubling you or send love and light from your heart to the world to help raise the vibration of Mother Earth. And of course, you could follow the ceremony by eating something sweet!!