By AFEA member Seán O'Neill
Halloween is a celebration observed in several countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.
It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain. Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. This is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Samhain was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. This meant the Aos Sí, the ‘spirits’ or ‘fairies’, could more easily come into our world. The tradition of dressing up is believed to have been a way of imitating, and disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí who some believed could take you back with them to their world. If they saw you looking like a spirit or deceased being they would ignore you as a potential candidate for bring back with them.
Our links to our departed family and relatives have a place in the 5 Element Acupuncture tradition. There are acupuncture points which allow us to draw upon the wisdom and support of deceased ancestors. Some of the names of these points provide a direct clue as to one of the potential gifts or strengths of the point which can be drawn upon.
Below is a list of some the acupuncture points which can be used in this context.
“Assembly of Ancestors” – a point on the Triple Heater channel.
“Heavenly Ancestor” ~ a point on the Small Intestine channel.
“Prince’s Grandson” ~ a point on the Spleen channel.
“One Hundred Meetings” ~ a point on the Governor Vessel channel
October 31st is in the Autumn season which is associated the Metal Element in 5 Element Acupuncture tradition. The Metal Element helps us to be ‘inspired’ and to ‘let go’. It governs the functioning of our Lungs and Colon/Bowels. November is a season where we remember the dead and there is a certain poignancy to this experience. In the Nei Jing one of the key ancient acupuncture texts it says that the season of Autumn “…give to the human voice the ability to weep and to wail.” It is not unusual for someone going through a period of grief to experience bowel problems and / or breathing difficulties for a while. If these persist beyond a reasonable time, it can indicate that the person is “stuck” in the grief and may need assistance completing the grieving process and moving on. 5 Element Acupuncture has the tools to help this to happen.