Okay, I have to say it, full disclosure… For years I have not been a fan of Halloween, not since early in my twenties… sorry to disappoint! The tipping point was when I got my first house. Thanks to some insanely stupid traditions, Halloween suddenly became more of a “Save the Pumpkins!!!” yearly ordeal. After so many hours and monetary investment, my Fall decorating was my pride and joy… until the 31st of October rolled around. You’ve seen those smashed pumpkins in the roads, right? Some of them were mine…
Nowadays, I live out in the woods and although property damage is no longer a factor, I still lack considerable love for the holiday. This year, in a concerted effort to change my frame of mind, I began by looking to the seasonal calendar and I was reminded that this holiday was also Samhain. Okay, this was a start. I could deal with a celebration of the end of harvest season and the beginning of preparation for winter… shorter days, longer nights, stocking up on firewood and an invitation to turn inward.
But it wasn’t until I was knee deep in creating dragonfly pendants this week that I made a real connection with the holiday. Along with Samhain, two other observances occur on October 31st. All Hallow’s Eve, the eve of All Saints Day, is a day of Christian observance for remembering the dead… you could call it a more somber version of the Mexican celebration, Day of the Dead. And on the Wheel of the Year, Samhain, besides being a harvest celebration, is also considered a time of year when the veil becomes very thin between our world and the spirit world.
And how does this tie into my pendant making? Well, you see, in North American Zuni Indian lore the dragonfly is considered a messenger who carries prayers between the earthly world and the spirit world. Some Native American tribes hold the belief that ancestral spirits travel through the veil between these two worlds on the backs of dragonflies. I love this symbolism and I love the idea of honoring those who were precious to us but are no longer here.
So, on October 31st, I may not be sporting a scary costume or stocking up on candy, but I will be wearing my dragonfly pendant and lighting candles to celebrate the lives of those who brought so much love and joy into my life while they were here. And, in keeping with the spirit of full disclosure, on November 1st, you may just find me haunting the discounted candy isle in CVS…
Thank you for stopping by the blog! My name is Carol and I'm a metalsmith and fiber artist who makes amulets and talismans. You can find my work at Willowsongstudio.com