~ She walks upon ground, ancient loam with secret life buried, returning unto her.
Her thought lullaby moves and dances to form;
What she cannot speak.
The forest will hold this sacred alliance until flame fire untie.
An eve as sweet as clove, bathed in moon and silent wind-
She will go before me, through the dark forest, with the guardians of night… ~
Anyone who knows me, knows that autumn is my favorite season. I love hiking through the forest and the crackling sound that dry leaves make as you walk upon them. I even love the rich scent emanating from the leaves on the damp paths; earthen, spicy and dark.
I remember the fires my Father would start every season as My brother Ben and I would rake tall mounds of damp leaves to jump into from a tree. My Father also taught me to carve my first Jack-O-Lantern with his sharp fishing knife.
When the evening sky started to look like melted colors of purple, gray and gold, we would come into a warm house to sit by our fireplace and have hot chocolate in our pajamas.
Ben and I eagerly looked forward to dressing up for Halloween and I will never forget the year that I wore an authentic Dutch girl dress, braided hair and real (Hard) Dutch wooden shoes from my Grandmother Virginia Rose.
I have grown and those special times I speak of are distant memories, but very dear and fresh in my heart; as a photographer and writer I still enjoy telling my stories from my favorite season. I love to explore the rural haunts and Mid – west towns of America during the autumn season. I have collected many special photographs and stories that I try and share with you all when I can.
Below is an excerpt from a writing of mine about the historical origins of Halloween.
I hope you all are having a wonderful autumn and making special memories of your own…
Love and Hugs ~ Tommie
Halloween Eve Historical Origins
Halloween Eve, of which is also known to many as “All Hallows Evening” and “All Saints’ Eve” is celebrated by many countries on October 31st. The three day observance includes remembering our dear departed loved ones, saints and martyrs by placing candles on the graves of the dead.
The Halloween traditions of gathering with loved ones and friends, eating delicious foods and candies, dressing in costumes (called Guising) and playing tricks on others, are steeped in deep rooted pagan ideology.
It is believed by many that the Celtic harvest festivals like the Gaelic festival Samhain is the precursor and history of our Halloween Eve today. The Celtic festival of Samhain is derived from the Old Irish for a “summer’s end” It happened to be the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic calendar of which was celebrated on October 31st to November 1st in Scotland, Ireland and Isle of Man.
The word “Hallowe’en” means “holy evening” or “hallowed eve”. It dates to around 1745 and is Christian in origin.
The end of the harvest season was celebrated and anticipated by the villages and people. The Samhain marked the end of a harvest season and the beginning of the “darker half” or winter. Many people believed this time was essential and spiritual. They believed the “veil was thinner” so spirits and fairies, known as Aos Si, could enter this world more easy during this time.
Many of the things we do today such as dressing up, telling stories of hauntings and spirits, imbibing and enjoying sweets and baked goods, special bonfires and bobbing for apples were embraced by the people of the past.
In Ireland during the 1800’s candles were lit and good tidings offered to the departed loved ones and souls of the dead. Bonfires and fire in general were positioned around fields and homes to protect them. The flame mimicked the power of the sun, of which meant healing and growth and to keep at bay the darkness of winter days and decay.
The custom of wearing a costume or disguise and traveling from home to home reciting verses and songs in exchange for food can be traced back to the 16th century. Many people would dress like the Aos Si, souls of the dead and such thinking that it would protect oneself from the departed spirits.
The fun carved jack- o -lanterns we know of today started many years ago. In Ireland and the Scottish Highlands they would carve grotesque grimaces and faces on hollowed out turnips and wurzels. They would make lanterns out of these to ward off any evil spirits.