October 31st – All Hallows’ Eve

Hey folks!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, not really had a lot to say! Am settling in well at work, getting more confident and learning new things every day. So far so good 🙂

I can’t believe it’s the end of another month! This year has really flown by; and what a year it has been. So much has happened, and I’ve grown in strength each day. Yes I’ve had some down times too, but it’s mostly been an upward journey. Right now I’m feeling really good about things, and living each day happy and content. Of course there’s some stressful things happen every now and then, that’s just life! But, overall I’m doing really well and feeling really good.

My cold seems to be on it’s way out now thankfully, wish it would make a speedier retreat though! The cough is driving me nuts! But compared to how I felt at the weekend, I’m a lot better.

So, as today is All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween, I thought I’d explore the meaning of it. A little off topic from mental health, but that’s no bad thing!

It’s the evening before All Hallows’ Day, or All Saints Day. Which is then followed by All Souls Day on 2nd November. Hallow is an old English word for Holy person. All Saints Day is the day Catholics commemorate the saints. On a Google search, I found the following information, under the title “The Real Meaning of Halloween”:

But there’s a deeper spiritual meaning that underlies the holiday for Pagans and real Witches—those who follow earth-based Goddess traditions that predate Christianity. As we in the northern hemisphere move into the time of cold and the dark of winter, we celebrate our New Year, and honor both death and regeneration.

In Northern Europe, Samhain (the Celtic term for Halloween, pronounced sow-in as in ‘sour’) was the time when the cattle were moved from the summer pastures to winter shelter. It was the end of the growing season, the end of harvest, a time of thanksgiving, when the ancestors and the spirits of the beloved dead would return home to share in the feast. Death did not sever one’s connections with the community. People would leave offerings of food and drink for their loved ones, and set out candles to light their way home. Those traditions gave us many of our present day customs. Now we set out jack-o-lanterns and give offerings of candy to children—who are, after all, the ancestors returning in new forms.

Death and regeneration are always linked in Goddess thealogy. Birth, growth, death and renewal are a cycle that plays over and over again through natural systems and human lives. Embracing this cycle, we don’t need to fear death, but instead can see it as a stage of life and a gateway to some new form of being.

So Samhain is a time to remember and honor those who have died, to celebrate their lives and appreciate their gifts, to tell stories about them to the next generation so their memory will not be lost. In Latino cultures, Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead on November 2, is a time to visit the graves of loved ones, to feast there and honor their memory with altars and prayers. We set up altars in our homes, with pictures and mementos, and in my house, we like to invite friends and family to an ancestor dinner, where we cook traditional foods and share our family stories.

Samhain is also a time for deep spiritual work. At this time of year, we say, “the veil is thin that divides the worlds, the seen from the unseen, the day to day from the mysteries.” In San Francisco, the Reclaiming tradition of Wicca sponsors a big public ritual, where we celebrate the renewal and creativity that emerges from the dark, with elaborate altars, dance, music, culminating in a spiral danced by more than a thousand people that honors the energies of rebirth and renewal.

Halloween, and our traditions, are much misunderstood. This year, when you hand out candy or shepherd your children through the streets, we invite you to remember the deeper meaning of the holiday: that death is no barrier to love, and every ending brings a new beginning.
(Credit to Starhawk). 

Gets a little deep at the end, but I kind of like the idea that it has a deeper meaning; and I do believe that every ending does bring a new beginning. As the saying goes, “as one door closes, another shall open”.

Paganism is something that has always fascinated me; I may look into it further when I have the time.

Anyway, today is day 205 self harm free, and I have planned to have a tattoo extended to celebrate the big 200+. It’ll turn a single tattoo into a half sleeve, but it’s being left open with a view to making it into a full sleeve at some point in the future! Very exciting. It won’t cost as much as faith did though, as the design I have in mind is a lot less complicated.

I had some really good news this week; I’ve been awarded Personal Independence Payment! It feels like ages ago that I applied for it, well technically it was back in April when I was diagnosed, so 6 months! They also backdated it, so had a very nice lump sum as well. It means that we’re able to get a few things that we need (like a new mattress!) and have finally serviced the car! It was only 5,000 odd miles overdue it! It’s really given us the boost that we needed, and put us back on the straight and narrow financially, which is such a relief.

Financial stress has had a big impact on my mental health, so for that to be eased is a really good feeling. The best part of it is, I’m still entitled to it even though I’m working (I did check!).

So yeah, all is really good in my world right now, and long may it continue!!! *crosses fingers and hopes for the best…*

Right, as my word count is now over 1000 I best leave it there for tonight! Hope you’re all well and good 🙂 thanks for reading as always, until next time…..

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