posted on Oct, 28 2012 @ 09:59 PM
With all the negative threads usually running rampant on ATS with fear and paranoia about Halloween, I thought we could all use a bit of a break and
speak of the positive spiritual aspects of one of the most holy days of the year. Regardless of your path or religion, there is something to
appreciate about the cross quarter between Autumn equinox and Winter solstice.
Christians, Catholics, Witches, New Agers, and most Pagans have something to gain from the magic and wisdom on Samhain. There are a few religions
that are directly opposed the holiday like Judaism and Islam but even many who follow those faiths simply enjoy the day for it's cultural
significance and just might buy a bowl of candy for the kids.
I don't want to turn this into a lecture of an attempt at an educational thread (It's not like I have a PHD in Halloween) but I just wanted to give
some people some ideas on ways they can connect to the spirits if they chose to. This is the night where the veil is the thinnest and the womb
becomes the tomb with respects to how the Earth and her seasons operate. If your religion prevents you from partaking in that sort of thing, there
are other secular activities you can try.
Fun things to do for the spiritually conservative -
- Carve a Jack-O'- Lantern - These started out as turnips, actually. It's based on an old Irish/Christian legend of an mean drunk named
Jack. Jack played a trick on the Devil and made him angry. When he died, he went to hell because he was a mean drunk and the Devil didn't want him.
The Devil tossed him a turnip and a lit coal from hell and told him to find a resting place. Jack was cursed to wander forever looking for a resting
place, his way lit only with a "Jack-O'-Lantern. Cool, eh?
- Bob for apples - Ancient folk religions (and other Pagan faiths) used this to divine the future. Of course, this was later adopted by
Christians as a fun game for parties. For fun, this year, as you bob for that apple, ask a question and see what comes to your mind as your face is
- Trick or Treat! - This is a nice safe tradition for Christians as they are the ones who made it up. This is largely thought to have started
with All Saints Day (the day after Halloween). Peasants would go door-to-door in the day(s) proceeding the All Saints Feast to ask for money to buy
food for the feast. There was also an element of people playing pranks on their neighbors and that was blamed on goblins. So, if you want to really
make Trick-or-Treating historically accurate, ask for money!
- Imagery and decorations - This is a tough call and I didn't know whether or not to consider this a Christian or Pagan tradition. Black
cats, bats, etc, are all considered conduits for speaking with the dead. On the other hand, many believe them as protection against spirits. I can
see the appeal to both parties here.
Fun things to do for the brave! Wooo! -
- Real decorations - Decorate for presentations of the passage of death. The Hunter, Crone, harvest produce like corn and squashes. And, of
course, lots of spooky skeletons and ghosts! Personally, I find anything with gore and blood to be tacky and distracting but I'm not gonna judge.
This all sets your local atmosphere to a welcoming one to any lonely and sad incorporeal wanderers who might be straggling by your home.
- Make a spirit candle - Anoint a white candle with patchouli oil. If you are feeling randy, say a quiet prayer of "With this candle, by its
light; welcome spirits this Samhain night". That'll put you in the right mood, for sure! Also, place that candle inside your outdoor carved
pumpkin to show the spirits the way to your home.
- Set out a "dumb supper" - Place an extra setting for dinner with an empty seat. Serve all courses in reverse order and no talking through
the entire meal. You can designate the empty spot for a missed relative or you can simply leave it open for any lonely passer-bye. This is the
"dumbed" down version but the intent is still there.
- Honor the dead with cider - This is more of a self-reflecting act and not really a tradition or ritual. Drink apple cider with cinnamon in
it while you passively honor the dead. Just contemplate on the sacrifices, love, and accomplishments that have been lived out in people who came
- Feed the spirits - In your garden or yard along your walkway, bury a pomegranate or an apple to serve as food for passing spirits. Kind of
like leaving out cookies for Santa. If Santa were dead, I guess.
- Resolutions - Write resolutions on paper and burn them over a black candle. This is the time of death. Death of bad things and bad habits
are aspects people forget about.
So there you have it. Hopefully there is something on that list for everybody to use to spice up Samhain this year. Just keep in mind that the third
harvest is an important part of the cycle. People think the holiday is too centered around death and dark themes but they often don't realize it is
actually a required component to life and rebirth and that is what should be thought of when you are staring at plastic skulls and little kids
dressed as zombies.
So, without further ado, HAPPY SAMHAIN EVERYBODY!