Halloween was originally known as Samhain, a Gaelic word for 'November'. It is believed that Samhain marked the Celtic New Year; a time for recognizing summer's end and celebrating the end of the harvest season. It was also a time for honoring the dead, a tradition that has held on in some Catholic church under the name "All Souls' Day". Even some Protestant churches recognize the dead sometime during the first week of November in "All Saints' Day" services. Pagans still celebrate and call the day Samhain.
It was believed that during the time of Samhain, the veil that separates the living world from the Otherworld was particularly thin. This meant that it was a potent time for divination, contacting ancestors who had passed through the veil and for paying homage to those ancestors. Offerings were left out for the spirits of these ancestors and in some parts of modern Scotland and Ireland this practice is still observed.
Since the veil between this world and the other is thin, it may also be a time when the veil between the conscious and unconscious may be thin. Also this is a time when our thoughts shift to the realm of the Otherworld and dreams are somewhat other-worldly so this might be another reason for increased dream recall. When a person enters Jungian analysis, their dream life almost always gains momentum because Jungian analysis relies so heavily on dream and dream symbolism. When the conscious mind begins focusing on the unconscious, the reward is better dream recall. The conscious mind decides that its dreams are relevant and important and assists the unconscious in getting its messages through to the waking brain. The same may happen during Halloween time. Dream recall may increase due to the added waking life focus on all things Otherwordly.
But what kinds of dreams is one rewarded with during Halloween? Is it a non-stop horror movie? A preponderance of nightmares? Not necessarily. The content of the dreams recalled may not match the "spookiness" of the season. In fact, quite the opposite might be true. One might be rewarded with wisdom inaccessible at other times of the year.
However, given the traditional focus of remembering those who have crossed, it might be that those inhabit that Otherworld might choose to show up in dreams. If so, pay attention to what they say. Remember, during this time the Celts actively sought out this kind of occurrence either via divination or dreams. They sought out their ancestors, they hoped for visitations from them, especially at this time of year. They would consider such a dream a gift, not a scary or spooky thing. If you have any control over your dreams and a loved one who has crossed appears in a dream, see if you can ask them questions--they may have the answer to a vexing problem or some golden wisdom.
Until next time, sleep well and dream out loud!
*~Aisling Ireland~* is an ordained Interfaith Minister, available for weddings and commitment ceremonies and a Spiritual Counselor providing dream interpretation and Tarot readings. To make an appointment check out her website at: Sang-Realta Spiritual Counseling
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