October 31st marks the secular holiday known as Halloween. Halloween comes from the All Hallows Eve tradition. There’s a lot of mucking about with one group imposing and then superimposing one holiday over another here. Suffice it to say that there would be no Halloween without Samhain and as much as the Church tried to sanitize it, there is no denying what Samhain is really about. Even a trip to the dentist’s office likely involves a giant stuffed spider dripping down the wall. In fact, we may have to thank the Church for being our biggest groupies, rushing as they do to each ancient holiday and quickly trying to wallpaper the whole thing over in their image.
On the other hand, maybe you’re not down with your local Wiccans and their whole Sabbat trip, it’s a lot of work, amirite? So, what’s a lazy Pagan or plain old candy lover to do come the 31st???
First off, just appreciate all the underworld peeps peeking around every corner and haunting your dreamscape. The veil between worlds IS very thin the 24 hours from evening Oct 31-Nov 1. And frankly through the Winter Solstice but our scope is narrower for this discussion. From the Jack-O-Lanterns to the plastic witches and candy corns, as a human you are sharing rituals experienced by your most distant ancestors. Oh and I am not just speaking to you Western Europeans, every culture in every part of the world has some version of their Day of The Dead.
So kick back, stream a virtual campfire, have a cuppa something cinnamony-y and prepare to hand out or enjoy some treats yourself. And if you are more of the shake-hands-with-death (or History!) type, then the following link is a good place to get started. Take a trip down the rabbit hole with the endless resources the interwebs have to offer connecting you to the myriad traditions of our modern day Festival of The Dead.
As for the rest of you witches, I’ll be seeing you on the dark side very soon. It’s our time.