Skip to main content

Reconciling Beltaine and Halloween related Trick or Treating...

I've been really struggling...

It's just a little thing, but I know I've already offended many friends (I have a number of friends from the US, more than I even realised), and so I've been trying to reconcile my "issue" so I can get over it and move on.

My issue has been with the recent and rapid spread of the Halloween phenomenon in Australia.  It was almost unheard of 10 years ago, but now it's everywhere.  The thing that has been rubbing me up the wrong was the irritation over Halloween coinciding with Samhain in the northern hemisphere - Samhain being the time when the veil between life and afterlife is at it's thinnest.

A lot of people do view Halloween as being the modern version of the Pagan Sabbat of Samhain, but I've decided (for my own sanity sake) that it is not.  Here's why...

Samhain is the festival of summer's end, the harvest festival, and a cleansing time for people and livestock at they head into the darker months.  It is believed that the dead can reach through the veil at this time to retrieve the dying plant matter etc.  Now, there did used to be an Irish/Scottish tradition of children and beggars travelling from door to door begging for coins and food, and these people would dress as the dead (to ward of dead spirits taking them because they were disguised as already being dead) and perform blessings on households in exchange of food or money - not unlike the tradition of caroling, but that tradition has VERY LITTLE, IF ANYTHING to do with the Halloween tradition in the US of trick or treating.

The US tradition is barely 100 years old, and only became widely popular in the 1950s, and the Americans coined the term "Trick or Treat" as part of this SECULAR tradition.  The children who trick or treat dress in ALL SORTS of costumes, some do dress as witches or ghosts or mummies or zombies, but it's just as likely these days for children to dress as robots, The Little Mermaid, or various other cute characters.  They are not trying to ward of evil spirits or put blessings on the houses they visit in exchange for treats.

Most of the people who participate in trick or treating around the world are not Pagans.

So, basically, Halloween is a non-religious holiday, where people play with the taboo concepts of death and horror.

Therefore, the fact that people participate in this tradition in the Southern Hemiphere, where we are not at the end of the light half of the year, but rather at the beginning of it, is no afront to the Pagan Sabbat of Beltaine that also occurs on this day in the Southern Hemisphere.  It is merely coincidence.  Just as it is coincidence that it coincides with the Pagan Sabbat of Samhain in the northern hemisphere.  Samhain and Halloween are not the same thing, so Halloween is not the opposite to Beltaine.

This is how I've decided to reconcile the two in my mind, so I can get over my issue with people dressing their kids up in Halloween costumes on the Sabbat that celebrates the conception of new life!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...


At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Do you have low self-esteem?

I don't.

I used to think I did, but having met several people who really do have low self-esteem, I've now come to realise I actually have low confidence (and note I don't say low self-confidence, but more on that later), and that is a different breed of animal all together.

I was having a chat with a friend the other day about people who constantly put themselves down. If you are a participant in social media you might be aware of this kind of person. Everyone is smarter than them, prettier than them, more motivated, better organised, or has greater talent than them. It goes further, some of these people are not at all opposed to running themselves down to others with comments like, 'I'm so fat' (and not in a proud, fat acceptance way, but in a negative, self-loathing kind of way), or 'I'm stupid' or 'I'm ugly'.

Some people are just fishing for compliments, of course, but the ones who persist; the ones who simply cannot take a complimen…