Beth Owl’s Daughter reminds us that tonight is “Punkie Night,” an ancient celebration from Somerset England which is celebrated by the carving of pumpkin-like mangolds. Beth writes, “Throughout Somerset, locals use the term “spunky” to refer to Will-o-the-Wisps — a ball of light seen at night rising up from a marsh or bog.” In Christianized England these “spunkies” were thought to be the souls of unbaptized children who wandered eternally through the night, but the pagans saw spunkies as being trickster sprites; the carved and lit pumpkins were meant to turn the tables and trick the spunkies.
I don’t know what it is about Somerset and adjacent Wiltshire: these magical places are the sites not only of Avebury and Stonehenge, but also of most of the world’s crop circles. In any case, modern day “spunkies,” called “orbs,” are frequently found in new crop circles and there is much speculation about the nature of these balls of light. Are they UFOs? Are they conscious beings?
I’ll be writing more about Samhain which is celebrated by contemporary pagans in lieu of Hallowe’en on October 31st; the actual astrological date of Samhain is when the Sun reaches 15 degrees Scorpio which this year will be on November 7th.
Watch the video below to see orbs at work.