The Season of Halloween: Ted explains its significance to Paige Maddison in Destiny’s Gate

In celebration of Halloween, here is an excerpt from Destiny’s Gate:       

                        CHAPTER ELEVEN

   Devil’s Night, Hallowfire  and Sam…what?

Exactly four nights before All Hallows’ Eve, I heard a voice
as I struggled to fall asleep. The voice was authoritative and
acknowledged that I was doing my protection prayers very
well. And that now was the time for me to start saying the
following prayer each night, and as many times throughout
the days ahead as I could, I am praying for the lost souls that
walk this earth to transition through the white light for the good
-ness of humankind. I answered back: Might I add — and for the
goodness of themselves? And the reply was: Of course. Without
hesitation, I prayed hard each night and day for the spirits
that walk this earth, lost souls, to join the spirits of the light.
On devil’s night, I tossed and turned in bed and could not
quieten my mind. I felt excitement in the air as energy
swirled around me. In fact, I had sensed the energy growing
in the past few days although I could not detect where it
was coming from. I was agitated to say the least. I tried to
focus on a centering thought, the moment when mom and I hugged on the stairwell leading down from the attic; the day she shared her favourite childhood memories of her hideaway and the porcelain dolls stored in the attic at O’Brien Manor.

Then my mind wandered back to our arrival at the estate.
Upon first glimpse of the grounds, I remembered a sensation
of mystery, mixed with glory and anticipation, in meeting my
grandparents and discovering my heritage at O’Brien Manor.
It seemed so very long ago. There was an air now of excited
energy whirling around my bedroom; it was so distracting, I
could not stand it any longer and bolted from my room to the
kitchen. I found grandpa seated at the breakfast nook staring
into space. Not wanting to scare him upon my approach, I
cleared my throat to announce he had company.
Grandpa jumped and demanded, “Paige, what are you
doing up at this time of night?”
“I might ask you the same thing? You haven’t been well,
grandpa. Does this mean you’re feeling better? Or is it
because your birthday’s tomorrow, on Halloween?” I smiled
broadly. “Hanna told me.”
Grandpa chuckled, “Well, I’m glad we have some alone
time. Come here and sit with me awhile.” He patted the
bench seat next to him and I hurriedly sat down. Grandpa
continued, “Not because of my birthday, Paige. I don’t like
to celebrate it. Chappy’s coming.” Grandpa looked at me
quizzically, then continued, “You know…nicky nicky nine
door? Samhainn?”
“Sam…what?” I responded, my left eyebrow arched.
“Oh, I should have guessed you wouldn’t know what that
is. Of course! It saddens me that through the estrangement
with your mom and grandma and I, our heritage was never
shared with you. My fault….” he said as his voice trailed off.
Grandpa snapped out of it and proceeded, “Samhainn is a
Gaelic word for the biggest of Celtic festivals. It was believed on the last day of the old Celtic calendar, when it grows dark at sunset, time is neither of the old year ending on Halloween
or the new year which starts November 1st. It is also a time
where interactions between humans and the spirit world, or
the Otherworld, are at their peak. Samhainn means hallow
tide or season, the feast of all-souls. The souls of the dead are
said to be free on the new day of the year called All Souls’ Day,
November 2nd..In Celtic history, November 1st was All Saints’
Day, celebrating all saints, and November 2nd was All Souls’
Day which involved praying for those souls stuck in purgatory
and asking for their release to Heaven. It was on this day
that my ancestors believed the sins of the evil dead could be
atoned for with gifts and sacrifices to the Otherworld. These
included offerings of food, religious rituals, and entertainment…
But on Samhainn many folks believed people were
highly influenced by forces of the Otherworld. Divination
was performed so predictions or omens of the future could
be achieved. Sacrifices were offered.” Grandpa stopped
talking and shivered, before carrying on. “Bonfires were built
atop hills to rejuvenate the sun and to guide the good spirits
on their journey and to banish the evil ones. Feasts were
prepared to feed their ancestors’ souls, to appease them, and
spells were sometimes invoked during this time. Afterwards,
people would wear scary masks they thought protected them
from evil but what also reflected the evil spirits milling about
in the darkness…the evil invisible to the naked eye. The
masks and costumes you see today have been passed down
from my Scottish ancestors, generation to generation. This
custom was called galoshans and children in Scotland had to
perform a song, a joke, or sometimes a card trick to receive
coins, apples or nuts. It eventually became known as the
Eve of all Hallows or All Saints and the more modern term
Hallowe’en. Anyway…that is why I am up tonight. I’m dreading
what may come tomorrow night.” Grandpa retrieved his hanky…

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