Monday, October 31, 2005

Hallowe'en Rant 2005


from a mostly Pagan
and respectfully irreverent perspective...

The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart.
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -

Hallowe'en, is not really a holiday, at least, it is not like other official holidays in the USA. We do not get off work for Hallowe'en unless we ask for the day off, there is not a Fall break from school and thankfully, some pencil neck bureaucrat has not suggested we celebrate it on some Monday or other so government workers can have an extended weekend off.

The thirty-first of October is Hallowe'en. And I, for one, am happy to let it be what it is -- something set aside from the rest, a day that does not morph into the hum-drum card and flowers occasion, namby-pamby date night, or ham n' turkey fest like what happens to most other official American holidays.

Nooooo. For those of us who cherish the macabre sense of it -- Hallowe'en is a happening; it is more a season than a night.

For me, Hallowe'en is a frame of mind. It is a journey into darkness - the darkness of heart and mind. It is a time of remembrance. It is a time of ruminative cleansing. I do not fear it. In fact, I think a fair amount of reflection on the darker aspects of my nature allows me to banish those traits that prove unfavorable forthwith.

Being a Scorpio - I apparently harbor the darkest thoughts of all, so astrologists say. But that does not mean I sit around in gloomy rooms with the doom of mankind on my mind. It means that whatever lurks in the dark of mind and spirit I call out, challenge and meet head on. It means I can embrace the dark side of my nature, engage it, and reign the beast in -- if need be.

...the night that marks the transition from autumn to winter seems to have been of olden the time of year when the souls of the departed were supposed to revisit their old homes in order to warm themselves by the fire and to comfort themselves with good cheer from their affectionate kinfolk. -- Sir James Frazer, The Golden Bough, 1890

So Hallowe'en is the Dark Carnival. It is the holiday that speaks to our superstitions and fears about death, the dead, the realm of the dead - in other words - the uncharted mysteries still unknown to the vast majority of us.

This is the one time a year where one can confront that which frightens us without misgiving. It is OK to be scared and to scare others. We can poke harmless fun at our ghoulish anxieties. On this night, it is OK to be a bit creepy, burn a candle for loved ones who have crossed over to the other side, set an empty plate at the table in anticipation of a ghostly visitor and allow the jack-o-lantern to burn throughout the night.

It is the departure from normal.
It is the danse macabre.
It is the mystique.
It is the masquerade.

Caliginous Chaos reigns supreme this night.

As you venture out into the velvet ink of the evening and the whisper of the wind as it rattles through bare branches sounds like a sigh from beyond the grave -- remember Hallowe'en is an ancient celebration although it was not always known by this name and the Old Ones linger in the shadows.

Does that give you a chill?

Give the night a little reverence. Say hello to the crescent that is the moon this year, hold a little part of the magick for yourself -- invoking it as you will on the secret anniversaries of the heart in years to come.

May your Jack-O-Lantern burn bright throughout the night my friends.

Brightest Blessings to You and Yours
this Hallowe'en 2005!

Respectfully yours in caliginous chaos
An it harm none – do as you will…
© 2005 (text revised 2018) All rights reserved