Cultural Crossover

When I grew up Halloween was strictly for kids.  Now that it seems to be a ‘major’ holiday for people of all ages, it is useful to understand its origins.
It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from an ancient Celtic harvest festival called Samhain (pronounced SAH-win or SOW-in), which marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the ‘darker half’ of the year.  This time was considered a porous boundary between the physical world and the ‘otherworld’.   Offerings of food and drink, or portions of crops were left outside one’s home for the spirit realm.
Souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their homes seeking hospitality at this time.  Hence, prayers for them were said, followed by household festivities, rituals and games. Apples and nuts were often used in divinations intended to foretell one’s future. Sounding familiar?  The flames, smoke and ashes of special bonfires were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers, and also used for divination.
This all also reminds me of the class I just co-taught on Shamanic Feng Shui.  We spoke about energy/chi and our interconnection to the unseen world.  We practiced rituals linked to the ancient heritage from which Black Hat Tibetan Buddhist Feng Shui comes.
Thinking of spooky Halloween, in ancient China a specific gourd called a calabash was dried and used as a medicine, wine or water container to keep people alive on their journeys. Taoist monks used the Wu Lou (the Chinese name for the calabash) to absorb and imprison bad or harmful, evil spirits. The thought being that after the spirit entered the Wu Lou, it could not passed back out the narrow ‘neck’.
Now we use this same gourd or Wu Lou as a feng shui adjustment at the front door and other places in the home, to protect against “negative” energies or illness.  You can find a Wu Lou made of crystal and metal, along with the natural gourd variety.  A red string tied to the neck of the Wu Lou distinguishes it as a feng shui adjustment.
There are many traditions accessible to support and protect us these days. Feng shui and space clearing are how I get my house in order for the darker half of the year.  Call or write and I will tell you more about protecting and enhancing your environment.
Happy Harvest Season and of course, Happy Halloween!
 Judith & Sacred Currents


Integrative Interior Design ~ Feng Shui Consulting ~ Space Clearing

Judith Wendell  212-410-1832   917-903-9390

Sacred Currents, 11 East 88th Street, New York, NY 10128