I wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore Pagan but I do attend rituals every now and then. I’ve studied everything from Eastern philosophies to Crowley and Wicca. As a paranormal investigator, Autumn is a time that is important to me because it’s when the veil gets thinner.
Halloween is more than just haunted houses and trick-or-treating. It’s a time to celebrate the dead as well as the Witches’ New Year. I still celebrate January 1st as the beginning of a traditional New Year, but Halloween (or Samhain) is around the time of the end of the harvest and the return of the King of Winter. It’s a time for a fresh start.
Samhain (a Gaelic harvest festival held October 1st-November 1st) is associated with the Catholic All Saints’ Day (and later All Souls’ Day). It was popularized as the Celtic New Year from the late 19th century. Many neo-pagans perform cleansing rituals, attend harvest festivals and throw effigies into bonfire flames.
So, if you’re having a rough year or you just want a fresh start, now is a great time to do it. As we start to head into Winter, remember the dead and be thankful for the harvest.