Halloween, a Modern Take on an Ancient Holiday

Halloween or Samhain is traditionally the one night of the year when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. This means that the dead are closer to our world and that the living and the dead can communicate better than at any other time.

Does this mean that one should hold a séance or get a Ouija board to contact the dead? No, and you can take that Ouija board, sunder it in two, and insert it rectally, jagged edges pointed toward your inner linings. Those things are no joke. It’s like calling a random number in a town half full of serial killers, and giving your address to whoever picks up…and leaving your door unlocked for them to just come in.

What it means is that you can honor your loved ones who are no longer with you, talk to them, make peace or visit with them again. Even if you don’t believe all that, or truly believe that your loved ones have moved on, talking out your feelings of loss or gratitude or love can be therapeutic. The costumes were meant, among other things, to scare away the bad spirits that roam the earth at these times, or to render yourself unrecognizable so that they cannot find and torture you.

Samhain’s origins pre-date Christianity as a Celtic festival to celebrate the end of the harvest. Another thing Halloween stands for is the end of summer, the beginning of the dark half of the year, and the final harvest. Many people — pagans, New Age, neo-pagans, spiritually eclectic people — now see this as a time of death, but good death. Death means change, and end to the old way of life or of doing things. Since Halloween or Samhain is so closely linked with those who have passed on, the death of summer, and the nearness of death to our conscious and subconscious minds, people will often use this time to bring about the death of the self.

Again, we are not talking about literal death, but rather the death of the unwanted parts of ourselves. Think of it like a New Year’s resolution period where, instead of making positive affirmations (I want a better body, I want to start saving, I want to find a boyfriend, etc.) you cast off the shackles of what is keeping you where you are. It’s almost like a Reverse or Negative New Year. Instead of the previous examples, you cast things off, things you want to get rid of.

Some people will write what they want to get rid of on a piece of paper and then burn it, tear it up, soak it in water and throw it away, whatever. It’s the act of destroying these negative things, sending them into the abyss that is supposed to be both magickal and a spiritual, a mental severing of your bad habits. You may write things you want to get rid of like: 10 extra pounds, the compulsion to overeat, procrastination, greed, excessive spending, sexual indiscretion, ill health, etc. (No, you can’t get rid of Donald Trump this way. If only.)

Again, even if you believe Halloween is nothing but a modern holiday to eat candy, dress up like some variety of hooker (this goes for both males and females), party, and/or watch scary movies, why not write a few things you want to get rid of on a piece of paper? The self-examination and act of ridding yourself of these things can’t do any harm, and it just might help.

~ by Darren Endymion on October 31, 2016.

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