Ireland, Scotland or Cornwall? Opinions vary. Ireland sits apart from Britain, a stretch of sea between them, Scotland is the extreme north of Britain, Cornwall the extreme south-west, all tend to retain traditions for the longest time, the sweeping brush of modernity takes longer to reach there to clear cobwebs. Ireland, Scotland or Cornwall - all could be correct....or none of them. The saying could just as easily have been dreamed up by some Victorian entrepreneur to help sell Halloween to The Great Unwashed.
Halloween: a special night during the time our Sun is moving through zodiac sign Scorpio, whose ruler is Pluto, planet of darkness, power and transformation. How better to represent all of this, cheerily and safely within the real world, than to do dress-up, an easy way to transform ourselves; then, using October's crop of pumpkins, carve frightening faces to be lit by a candle, so dispelling the darkness?
It's fun for the kids, and for the rest of us, as we open the door, bowl of candies in hand, to see the faces of the tiniest ones filled with excitement and puzzlement, wondering what the heck this is all about.
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - they're kind of apt for today:
The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.
Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.
These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star
An undiscovered planet in our sky.
And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,—
So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.