Spring surge

by | Oct 25, 2018 | Seasons Newsletter | 16 comments



These children are full of the joy of spring. Yet at the end of October their schools and kindergartens will be encouraging them to don witches’ hats and commemorate death.


What are we on about?

How did this happen, that a northern hemisphere festival crept in and colonised our southern hemisphere minds in such a way?

I don’t object to honouring death. In fact I support us doing so — but I’m traditional. I want to be holding hands with nature when I go into the dark themes. I want nature to show me how, and to feel I’m at one with the cycle of life. Not this disjointed feeling.


For my northern hemisphere readers

If you are in the northern hemisphere, in the dying season, I would like to encourage you to go to the deeper meaning behind Halloween.


For my southern hemisphere readers

If you are in the southern hemisphere and feel the pressure from your children to take part in Halloween, maybe you could accept it as a pantomime, without letting it distract you from what is happening in nature.


Because October 31 in the southern hemisphere is the time of high spring, peak green, rising sap, and surging creativity.


Do you really want to miss out on all that?


Antidote the death scenes with bouquets of flowers, crowns of green, sprigs of green in your buttonholes, bird song, your song, poems, dancing and rejoicing.


Launch a new project.
Tackle the hard stuff.


Nature will support you.
Nature will laugh and link hands with you.


Dare to do what you’ve been putting off.
Let peak green embolden you.
Go with the surge!


Bright blessings,


For further reading about aligning the seasons to the southern hemisphere, check out my books Celebrating the Southern Seasons and Dancing with the Seasons.


This post is an excerpt from my Seasons Newsletter. To receive the Seasons Newsletter, you may sign up on the home page of this website and receive a free audio meditation.


  1. minnie biggs

    Juliet is always so positive and cheerful, and it is surprising and reassuring to read that she dislikes Halloween as much as I do. And I am a Yank! (Originally, now happy Aussie.)
    I never liked it when I lived in the northern hemisphere, and resisted it, successfully. Locking my doors, turning off the lights or else going out, elsewhere.
    But that it has made the ocean crossing to these southern lands where there is no tradition. is appalling. Ridiculous. Just an excuse for candy makers and costume shops to make extra money. Hype of the basest sort. All Saints and All Souls are another matter, to be dealt with respectfully, not through this commercial junk!

    • Juliet Batten

      Thanks Minnie, it’s interesting to hear your perspective, from Australia and USA. For some reason I feel less tolerant of this import this year. It may have something to do with the glorious spring we are having here in NZ, so it’s even more of a jarring contrast, and also because I’m working with children’s celebrations as part of my new writing, I so much want the children to rejoice in spring and not get swept along with something that is such a seasonal mismatch.

  2. Helen

    Lovely words about Samhain Juliet – and timely being here with my work in the Northern Hemisphere. Love Helen

    • Juliet Batten

      I’m so glad this resonated for you, travelling Kiwi, in your change of hemispheres! Thank you, lovely to see your comment.

  3. Margaret

    My understanding of Halloween is that it’s Samhain, a Celtic autumn festival when we can leave our windows open at night to welcome in the kind spirits of the departed and gain their blessing. We can leave food and drink for them – as some families probably still do for Father Xmas. At Halloween I put a smiley notice on my door saying “No trick or treating here, sorry”. I often (not every year) celebrate Samhain at what I see as the appropriate time here in Aotearoa/New Zealand – 30 April.

    • Juliet Batten

      Margaret, how good to hear your understanding of Samhain/Halloween. I too celebrate it on 30 April, and it feels so right then. Thank you.

  4. Hilary

    Hi Juliet – it’s a strange time to ‘celebrate’ not something we did as kids … Americanisation hadn’t reached England yet!!

    Love the change of seasons though … it does make one think about life … and the wind down, or for you the springing forth …

    Enjoy Spring – cheers Hilary

    • Juliet Batten

      Hilary, I also grew up un-Americanised. I like your phrases winding down or springing forth. You capture the contrast nicely. Thank you.

  5. :Penny

    As always, I love your seasonal posts, especially at this juncture in our calendars. Autumn (Fall) is upon us up here and is a season I love, as you know. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to realize that, at least around me, the Halloween celebrations have changed a bit, settled down. We do not get any trick-or-treaters, so . . . Off I go, on this fine, to do a bit more work putting the gardens to bed. 🙂

    • Juliet Batten

      Putting your gardens to bed, that sounds so cosy Penny, even as I am clearing out a big tangle of weeds and tucking new plants into the earth. Nice that your Halloween celebrations have settled down and you can enjoy the mellow quiet of Autumn.

  6. margo crick

    Hello Juliet, Margo here again, always enjoying your seasons letter. Also enjoying from way back when I first found “Celebrating the Southern Seasons ” with all the beautiful wisdom it brings.
    So I really don’t get involved with so called Halloween at this time of the year and love Samhain when it arrives for us in April in Aotearoa.
    Every thing is ” greening with life “,at present , a joyous time ,so thinking of death and the crossing places at the moment just doesn’t fit !!
    I’d like to say that I recently found again your wonderful “A Cup of Sunlight ” ,It is just the right time for me to start a new journal and truly appreciate the sacred inmy life. Thankyou again , Margo

    • Juliet Batten

      Hi Margo, how nice to hear from you, and to see how you’ve really taken on the seasonal alignment for our part of the world. I’m glad that you enjoy the seasons newsletter; also that you’ve rediscovered ‘A Cup of Sunlight’ and are finding ways to nurture your inner world. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  7. Denise Poyner

    Hi Juliet. I’m not a fan of Halloween. I am conflicted by it being at this time of year in our Southern Hemisphere mid-spring. And also the fact that it is not our celebration as are so many of our celebrations. We are deeply caught up in Northern hemisphere ritual. It certainly tangles up my sense of identity.

    Death felt very weird when I buried the ashes of my mother on October 13th. Here we are in full spring of spring. There is so much green to soak up, so much vibrant new growth in trees and in animal offspring. There is an inspired sense of getting outdoors. It seemed very odd to be burying the dead.

    I admit to have been driven by finalising my mother’s death by burying her ashes. I was anxious it had not been done. Perhaps though, I have learnt what I would have rather preferred by acting that out “wrongly”. Perhaps I needed more patience and tolerance and waited until next autumn.

    I haven’t much sense of celebrating “death” on April 30th. I am sure of you writing about it again. I will pay closer attention at that time.

    I have countered this though when I think about it. Yesterday, I was out with birding acquaintances exploring Whatipu beach for wrecked birds (death strangely enough), but also looking at wetlands in that area for bird activity. The wetlands are very beautiful with seed heads on a variety of grasses including our endemic oioi. There were a multitude of colours and landscape forms. And in babies, a family of black swans with older cygnets on a wetland pond. I saw many blessings on this wetland. It made me feel alive.

    Blessings to you, Juliet

    • Juliet Batten

      Denise, thank you so much for these reflections. I can resonate with a lot of what you say about Halloween. Your description of the wetlands is full of Spring life, so beautiful.

  8. Genevieve

    Hi Juliet, thank you for this reflection. “Celebrating the Southern Seasons” has been so useful and affirming for me. It can be very jarring to be at odds with the calendar of the rest of society — and unfortunately my lapsed-Catholic mother still shudders at anything she considers too “pagan”. It’s so good to know that other people observe the turn of the seasons (as they turn here in Aotearoa).

    It rained quite heavily here last night, so my partner & I stayed indoors and celebrated Beltane by decorating the table with flowers and lots of candles. Though we felt a bit foolish, we even leapt over circle of tealight candles – the best we could do for a bonfire in our apartment!

    • Juliet Batten

      Thanks so much Genevieve, that sounds like a great celebration. Leaping over the fire – I’ve often done that at Beltane, and if weather doesn’t permit, why then one improvises as you did! I’m so glad my book has been helpful. A lot of people are also enjoying the sequel, Dancing with the Seasons, which you’ll find on this website.


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