Halloween comes to us from the pre-Christian festival of Samhain held October 31st, the last autumn night before the cold and darkness of winter. On this night – considered the Celtic New Year, the Druids believed that the supernatural world draws closer to the physical world, so human beings were more susceptible to the power and influence of the unseen.
Magic spells could be cast more easily, divination (predicting fortunes) was more revealing, and dreams held special significance.
Being Celtic somewhere in my ancestory, I do believe this. Being Human, I believe that Halloween is the perfect reminder that Magic flows through us and mystery infuses every encounter of every day. I’ve recently reminded myself of the joy of mindfulness, bringing my attention from my mind’s wanderings into this very moment, where I can create and believe in the magic of creating my own reality.
As a mother, I get great reminders every day of the magic I can weave. I always seem to conjure up that missing item for someone, I can make a feast from what happens to be in the fridge, I can coax a miraculous rose bush suffering from disease back to glorious life, I can make a potion for someone who is hurting and in pain.
As women, we carry, cradle and sustain life. We do all this and much more, but most of us are not aware of our tremendous power for good, we are asleep to our own spirituality. We’ve forgotten somehow how miraculously special we are.
I have my own reason to believe in Magic, especially on Halloween.
After having two gorgeous bouncy baby boys, the dream of a third child was already incubating and at some level I was convinced I was on the way to producing an all male football team. In some respects this would have been fine, but having had a close bond with my own Mother, I knew that I would probably keep breeding until I had a girl, or else give up when I’d had a sixth boy!
I had tried to coerce my Husband to follow the method of Dr. Shettles (sorry, I cant remember the book, this was 1983). Basically, statistically we have increased chances of having 2 babies of the same sex, and then an even greater chance of having 3 the same. I decided I’d like to try to tip the balance if possible, although my husband was playing no part in ‘the method’, mainly because the man was supposed to drink lots of coffee (which he loathed), and wear tight underpants (but he preferred boxers)!
So, it was up to me to play my part only, which was to be sure of when I ovulated and time our intimacies to encourage the favourable conception of a female.
Baby number 3 was conceived in Algeria, but by the time my pregnancy was underway, we were living in the former Yugoslavia. These were the days before routine scans or any other device that could have helped those 9 months of pregnancy pass by without the big ‘I wonder’?
After just one anti natal appointment in a Yugoslavian hospital, I was sure that wasn’t the place for me to deliver, so my friend who was a British midwife sent for a “Birthing pack’ from the UK and I was determined to give birth to number 3 naturally and serenely in our home. I had given birth to our first child in a quite basic but lovely Sri Lankan hospital so was pretty sure all would be well.
As fate (or divine timing) would have it, Russia turned off the gas to the plant we were commissioning in Yugoslavia and the job was cancelled. At 8 months pregnant, we packed up our trusty VW camper and set off for UK, where I had to register pretty quickly with the anti natal service. I campaigned quite tirelessly for a home delivery and eventually found a midwife who agreed to be on call for me. Another piece of fate meant that she broke her leg the week I was due to deliver so I had no choice but to submit to the hospital system.
Well to cut a long story short, I had to have an emergency caesarian so once even back then I’m sure the angels were watching over me!
One of my life’s most special memories is of slowly waking up from a general anesthetic. In good old Barnsley General Hospital. The room was dark and peaceful on that late autumn afternoon. Two nurses were gently bathing me. I heard one of them say ‘ wow! What a beautiful baby’, and the other replied ‘oh they are always beautiful after c sections, they’ve had the easy route’, and then the first nurse said ‘she will be so pleased because she already has two boys.’
So, this was my most special day for believing in the Magic of Halloween. My beautiful daughter was born on this day, she brought a lovely feminine balance into our masculine family and she has blossomed into a fine and graceful woman of wisdom in her own way, a special daughter and the best sister her brothers could have ever hoped for.