ShadowsHalloween has arrived again bringing a bit more of a chill due to the cold temperatures not being conducive for youngsters out running from door to door in their Halloween costumes. They’ll likely have to wear something warm under their costumes because it’s somewhere around 32 degrees outside right now.

All Hallows Eve, which by some historians accounts, is of Celtic origins and centered around the festival time of harvest as well as the end of summer and the beginning of the days of cold and darkness. Halloween was considered the one night that the spirits of the dead awakened and re-visited their villages and homes where families would set out fruits and nuts as offerings for the possible night visitors. Bonfires were set ablaze mimicking the sun to help ward evil spirits and witches that were also wandering about in the night in search of souls to carry off.

Since prehistoric times, fire has been something that has been worshiped as well as feared. It invokes within people the most primitive of thoughts and feelings. There has been much written about how fire awakens the deep sensual wants and desires in humans. Sensuality is most generally attributed to sexual feelings but indeed it stirs feelings that span a much wider spectrum of primitive urges. Fire has been used in wartime to invoke fear as well as courage. It has been used to exacerbate tensions within a group by the speaker who is using fire to drive his or her beliefs deeper into the human psyche. I’m sure everyone can remember stories being told around campfires that seem to be easily recalled. That’s because the memory was driven deeper.

Yes, fire does have the ability to affect humans that have yet to be fully understood by researchers. Have you ever noticed how some of the most effective speakers prefer to speak at night or in windowless buildings where the lighting can be manipulated? Even entertainers in the music and drama fields pay close attention to lighting in an attempt to captivate their audiences more fully. Some say that watching the shadows beyond a fire is when it really gets interesting and a bit devilish. It seems the more one tries to focus on forms beyond the shadows, the more they continue to magically re-shaped themselves. There are those who claim to see animals, lifeless humans, and even entities from the other side of the universe.

Perhaps tonight, if you dare make a fire, you’ll encounter spirits that have been awakened on this once in a year occurrence called All Hallows Eve. Take special care not to look too closely into the shadows.

Joe Chodur

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