Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Summers End....It's Halloween!

All Hallows Eve or perhaps better known to most as "Halloween" is my favorite time of the year.
It's the time of my birth, better known as All Saints Day, but I choose to celebrate All Saint's Day Eve or Samhain. Samhain is a Celtic tradition, meaning "Summers End", and a time which the door to summer, subtly closes, ushering in the harvest.

For me, it's an inbetween time, not only does the trees bring forth their spectacular color hues of gold and orange, but it's the perfect time of the year to "back-up and regroup"! Discard that which is not needed, mend that which is salvageable and prepare for the winter months ahead. So as this Samhain approaches, what is ending in you? What do you have inside that it is time to let go of? No healing is complete until you get beyond recovery. Everyone has vices, mine is cigarettes...The worst possible addiction known to man or woman.

A long time ago, our ancestors celebrated this period of time, between the old year and the new year. It was a time for harvest, for making preparations for the cold winter months ahead. Admittedly, I am preparing my freezer, with home-made soups, chili and sauces.

Also, tis the season for creating change, because when we make a change within, it creates a change without, so it's a good time to make affirmations, discarding unwanted habits and feelings, while bringing forth new ideas and transformations.

So, I will continue to celebrate this period of festivity, free from religious hindrance, persecution and blatant ignorance, thus enjoying the time of festivity, dressing up, and lighting a candle in memory of my relatives who have passed on. You never get too old to be festive and enjoy yourself. Use this time to relax, take stock of your life, spend an evening in retrospect...And you can do it alone or with friends.

In the past, and I'm sure there are current sentiments, attaching sinister connotations to this holiday. Please understand and do not get caught up with all of that ridiculous nonsense. Evil exists in this world, and does well to exist without a "holiday" to herald it. Just turn on your television and read the newspaper, because 365 days a year, Evil runs rampant! Mankind creates evil through their thoughts, words and deeds. All energy comes from one source, but people choose how they use energy. It has always been about choice, from the beginning of time to the present.

There are several recipes that can be used to enhance your festivities, and one of the most widely used is a dish that is Celtic, stemming from Ireland and Scotland, using Mashed Potatoes, Cabbage and Onions and is called Colcannon. It was an old Irish tradition to hide a charm in the dish. A ring for a bride, a button for a bachelor, an thimble for a spinster, and a coin for wealth, or any other item which local custom decreed, or whatever you "choose" that has meaning!
A warm loaf of Pumpkin bread and a tankard of Guinness sets it off, if you can handle it!

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