With my Christian upbringing, Halloween or All Hallows Eve is a time I was told of, where ghosts haunt and flaunt themselves one last time before Allhallowtide, a time to pray for and remember departed or demented souls.
But I have Celtic characteristics too and so Samhain is the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, winding into the long dark nights to come. Yet, what ever the name or origin, the date is always the 31st of October.
There have been many All Hallows Eves in my life and on this one in 2019, I am suddenly minded of when, on another such night, I experienced some real Halloween magic…
For over 5 years I was a Director at Damsels in Success – a personal development organisation for women; running groups and events across England and Scotland. On 30 October 2012, I had flown into Glasgow, powered by jet plane rather than fairy wings, to meet with my Scottish members.
Arriving at the meeting venue, I set about creating a gorgeous feminine ambience, by dressing it with candles, cushions and any other treasures I felt would suit the theme. Rather than carry all this with me on the flight from England, earlier on I had gone shopping in Glasgow town centre and bought some inexpensive ‘props’ as decoration, including golden candles and a pair of sparkly pink fairy wings.
I spent the night after the meeting at a friend’s house nearby in East Kilbride. It was Halloween and the neighbourhood children were out in their fancy dress costumes, tapping on doors and seeking treats. In Scotland ‘trick or treating’ is known as ‘guising’, sincechildren go out in disguise. In this particular household the children were invited indoors to ‘do a turn’ i.e. tell a joke, sing a song, etc., in order to earn their rewards.
And so it was that a succession of ghouls and monsters passed over the threshold and performed their Halloween magic. And in amongst a colourful group of ghosts, animals and witches, was a quiet little girl dressed in pink. “What are you?” we asked. “I’m a fairy” she said, “but I’ve lost my wings”.
Well, as luck or intuition would have it, I still happened to have the fairy wings I’d bought for the Damsels meeting. Normally – not having the room or luggage allowance to take such trinkets home, I would give or throw them away… but this time, as I was tidying the room up after everyone else had left, the voice in my head gave me the very clear instruction of: “Pack the wings”. So without question, I folded them up and into my suitcase they went.
Back in my friend’s living room, imagine the surprise of assorted children and adults as I flipped open my suitcase, pulled out my gift and said to the little girl “here are your wings!”. Everyone’s face was an absolute picture and the look on that fairy’s face was priceless, (and one I will always treasure…) shy, yet shining… I helped her on with her new appendages and she modelled them for us with the sweetest of smiles…
Right there was my own true fairy story and an adorable moment of Halloween magic. When I think back, I can interpret the instruction I received as happy serendipity or a sweet coercion of karma; maybe it was intuition, my higher self or whatever your spiritual deity of choice happens to be…
Listening to that thought and being ready to give a child her wings stuck in my psyche. As a result, wings and the flights they take us on have become a theme for me, in both a literal and figurative sense.
So how can I be in a position to continually create magic like this? When I meditate and concentrate, I can take flight and rise above the toils and heavy thoughts of life, to hover above and see them from a clearly over-arching perspective. From up there I see how things are and accept where I am. It’s then that solutions and suggestions of an exquisite clarity start to flow, just as when I was ‘told’ to “pack the wings.”
For me, meditation takes many forms, be that conscious mindfulness – of trying to empty my head of thoughts with ‘oms’ and visualisation; taking a walk around the block to clear my mind; or being inspired by a luscious piece of music or prose.
From what I do for myself, to what I share as a coach, I can comfortably liken the tools of the trade to providing my clients with wings. I can too, support them with where those wings will take them. Yet I can’t dictate the route, draw the map and I certainly cannot fly for them, since they have their own journeys to embark upon, with their individual destinations.
My own flights have taken me into the territory of writing fiction. The words I am currently working on are interwoven with the possibilities and complexities of where a glorious pair of wings can take the heroine of my very first novel. And one day, maybe even soon, I will give that book its own maiden flight.
But most of all, if ever I get a delectable instruction from an inscrutable voice telling me to “pack the wings,” or do anything else for that matter, I’ve learnt to listen and believe in the magic (or the logic or what ever else you like to label it)…
So I’m sending Samhain blessings to all faeries, daemons and anyone else navigating their way through the sunshine and clouds on this All Hallows Eve.
And to draw this passage to a cutely clichéd ending – it’s time to take flight then…
From Sandra x – A Flat Footed Faerie