The Veil Between Worlds

I recently ran across an interesting series of Twitter posts from back in October that were assembled into graphics and posted to a Tumblr blog. The original Twitter user posted:

I did some research into “the veil between the worlds” a while back. Not a single example of pre-Victorian use.-Adrian Bott

“The concept of “thin places” (where the ‘veil between worlds’ is thin) was even worse – deemed “ancient Celtic”, actually invented in 1938.” -Adrian Bott

He goes on to say that he is looking for the earliest reference that he can find that mentions the concept that Samhain was seen as the time of year when the “veil grows thin” and that he suspects it will be a modern reference. He presents an interesting theory that this idea of the veil actually arose out of the 19th century Spiritualism movement and has been pasted onto Celtic folk traditions: “The Spiritualist concept of the Veil, born of parlour room seances & now retrospectively cast as a key element of Samhain“. He claims the belief that the mortal and spirit worlds were divided by a veil doesn’t seem to appear in the original lore and that there was no need for the idea of the veil at the time since magic and spirits filled the world around them.

The Tumblr blog post can be found here

Adrian Bott’s to the first tweet in the series.

Samhain, veil
“Discovering” the Celts
A Scottish Columbus?

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