Samhain/Halloween Greetings all,
We are getting closer to the night of All Hallow's Eve, or Samhain for those who choose to celebrate the ancient Celtic Pagan holiday. For many this evening of spooky stories and scary movies also involves costumes which unlike the origins of Halloween are the most recent addition to the holiday.
Halloween costumes first started in the 20th century, and most likely developed or morphed from the scary faces carved into turnips that were carried along the dark pathways and roadways as the adults went from house to house from one Halloween party to another. Halloween and the festivities that came along with it, was first brought to American by the Irish, who immigrated to this country during the 1880's and in such large numbers that their cultural beliefs and trends soon started to affect those in their new country.
And why not? No matter who you were, what your cultural identity, in the 1880's, especially at night, there was little to do except read by candle light, or gas light for those with wealth. There existed no technology, no radio, no television, the only music was from orchestras or the occasional fiddle or piano if one had one in the home and could play. Many cultures told stories, as storytelling was an ancient past time that had been passed down for thousands of years in many cultures and was the basis of the Bible and it's stories.
So when the Irish brought the festivities of Halloween to America, they brought the ghost stories, the house parties with music and dancing, the bobbing for apples, the various methods of divination, games like pin the tale on the donkey, or two people, a male and a female trying to take a bite out of a hanging apple from a string at the same time, and other fun games.
After going from house to house, partaking of the fun and games, having some food and drink, people would leave holding a turnip hollowed out, with a scary face carved into the front, in the manner we carve Jack O' Lanterns into pumpkins today. They would put a candle inside to light their way. The scary faces carved into the turnip was to scare away any evil demons that would be along the roadways after dark, and prevent them from following the revelers home. As it was a common belief that any evil spirits would be around after dark.
By the time the early 1900's came along the Halloween parties had developed to include Halloween costumes. These costumes had the same purpose, to keep scary evil demons from following the party goers home. Yet today we know so much more about what we send out and it coming back to us.
We know more about the energies we send out and what we draw into our lives. So many people wonder and are right now wondering about why they have such unhappy, chaotic, misery in their lives and look to blame others when in fact it is simply themselves! What do you put out? What do you do to others? How do you treat others? How do you present yourself? Yes, even at a Halloween costume party!
Since Halloween/Samhain is the start of our New Year, there is yet another level we look at. It has been a tradition or belief for centuries that what you have around you at the beginning of the year is the energy you bring around you for the upcoming year. So on Halloween night, you would not want to dress yourself in a devil's costume or a creature that is evil or hateful say like a psychotic deranged nurse for instance, just as an example, or a Hannibal Lecter or a serial killer, you get my drift.
Nor would you dress as an ugly witch. We dress as pretty witches, and sexy Goddesses, because that is what we are! Super heroes, and beings greater than we are, because in some respects that is what we will bring into our lives. Seriously there is too much of that other stuff for real in our world, the gore, the dark, the evil, the hate, to dress up and envelop yourself in that persona is what you can bring into your life and surround yourself with not only for that night but for the upcoming year. Don't do it!
For centuries, traditions have existed in all cultures of superstitions and beliefs whereas things done that would affect the home, your life, the family an d the year ahead. The groom picking up the bride and carrying her across the threshold before they crossed over the doorway into their new home after they married would set the good luck for their entire marriage or so legend told them.
For many cultures the first person to walk in to the home after the first stroke of the clock of the new year would determine the good or bad fortune for the household for the coming year. For some cultures there would be a pudding (dessert) or a cake or bread where a trinket or special item was baked inside and the person who was either lucky enough or unlucky enough to get the serving that contained it would have a certain type of luck for the upcoming year e.g. a ring meant a happy marriage, if a button you would be single for the coming year, a thimble if a woman found it would be a spinster, a coin would mean riches for the coming year and so on depending on what you found. Hopefully no one accidentally swallowed the token!!
Almost like the fortune cookie concept of today in Chinese restaurants, people always want a quick, easy peek into their future, and to have a way to ensure that, by doing something, like toasting with champagne at new Year's Eve, or the old practice of handing out cigars and smoking them at the time of a celebratory event.
If you think about it, our culture is rife with ancient practices from many cultures we have adopted that we often take very seriously, for instance the birthday cake! How many of you would have a birthday cake without the required candles!!?? Wouldn't seem right without blowing out your candles on your special day.
The same holds true with what I am describing with the Halloween costume, give it some thought. Choose a persona you wish you could wear all year long! If you could who would you be, what would you look like? Would you really want that ax stuck in your head all year long, really? I didn't think so.
Live, Laugh and Always Love, Ms. Faith
© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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