Did you ever wonder how Halloween really got started?
Did you ever think the end of October might be a good time to start a new year?
October is a time when the trees and shrubs are ending one cycle and beginning to prepare for winter. Did you know that according to the 13 month lunar calendar, also known as the Celtic tree calendar, the full moon nearest October 31st marks the end of this year and the beginning of the next? The elder, which is a shrub, represents October 3-30th – a beautiful shrub of the honeysuckle family with green leaves with finely cut edges; large clusters of small white flowers and black, purple or red berries.
October is my favourite month as it is a time to balance the carefree days of summer, give thanks for our blessings and prepare for winter.
“The Day” begins at sunset on the 30th, the day I was born, and ends at sunset on October 31st. There is also another name for “The Day” – “All Hallow’s Eve”! This was considered “festival time” when work and order were put aside and adults did crazy things and children would knock on doors for food.
There was also a deeper meaning —the veil between this world and the spirit world was moved aside and it was a time to contact the ancestors as sources of guidance and inspiration; hence making an honoured space in a grove of sacred trees, lighting candles in the dark, sitting in silence and remembering the dearly departed.
It is really quite interesting to know that no particular “tree” represents this day. On “The Day” thousands of years ago a grove of oak, fir or cedar would be the place the Celts, and later the Druids, would gather to invoke the healing power of trees. I hesitated to mention the name “Druids” because for most of my life I had no understanding of what the word meant. Apparently Druids were wise elders who had powerful positions as advisors and possessed great knowledge. Their symbol is the snake which represents “natural wisdom”!
“The Healing Power of Trees” is the name of a favourite book of mine by Sharlyn Hildago as she gives a clear explanation of the importance trees play in our lives now and back through the centuries and provides an understanding of a spiritual journey through The Celtic Tree Calendar. It’s a fascinating read!
November 1st begins the Celtic New Year! A time for releasing old patterns and shedding unhelpful influences. A time to thank our ancestors for their blessings but also release any of their weaknesses and traumas stored in our DNA and ancestral memory.
Instead of waiting until January 1st to think about our soul’s journey and what we might choose to change, it makes perfect sense to begin as winter sets in.