Our Halloween celebrations will be on Friday the 31st, the last day of the month, and the Moon will be in the outre sign Aquarius — what a happy, quirky, and joyous placement for our trick or treaters! With the weather cooperating, there will be lots of fun to be had with a sense of whimsy and eccentricity! This year’s costumes should be original, glitzy, comfortable, and outlandish! Aquarius loves to go over the top with artistry and originality — all adding to the light-hearted fun we expect during the early evening hours of tricks or treats, parties and gatherings of every kind.
The Pagan celebration of Samhain (Sahwen) will encompass many different meetings and convergences — in covens or groups of like-minded folks where there will be incantations, spells, blessings, prayers, and other-worldly ongoings that will try to blend the spirit world with that of the living. In Salem Massachusetts there will be an influx of curious tourists, interested young folks and those who are truly practitioners of the clandestine arts. The streets will teem with costumed adults, teens, children and toddlers all agape at the fascinating happenings throughout the town. Magic will be in the air, spirits will be present, and an eerie good time will be had by all. Salem’s history is one of controversy with strong feelings held by our ancestors about the practices of any but Christian religious rites. Many rules and ordinances were enacted to control the local population into conforming to strict Puritan standards — those who practiced any rituals outside the professed norm were persecuted, exiled from the group, or if found to be practicing Witchcraft — hanged.
Today there is some leeway within our communities to allow those who have alternate beliefs to go about their business without rancor. However, we have a long way to go before total acceptance for one and all is truly the law of the land in the real world. We humans have a need to belong to a group, clan, family, or community — within which we have a role to perform. Whether club, commune, cult, social group, church, family or collective — our need to connect with our fellow man is paramount to our idea of who we are, where we belong in society, and what our personal activity will be within our group.
However, Halloween — a night of ancient practice — honoring those who have crossed over, remembering our loved ones with melancholy and love, immersing ourselves into an old ritual of protection and invocation. Remembering our past, and by our actions honoring those who went before — creating a pathway for us to follow. We can but allow ourselves to feel the presence of their spirits in the continued haven of their love. We find sustenance in knowing our loved ones are still with us in spirit. The thread of our familial relationships remains throughout eternity — we are bonded to one another in a never-ending promise of loving kindness and caring. They await our return into their transcendent and mystical world, always guiding us on our daily mundane rounds throughout our lifetime here. Our connections in this lifetime will continue throughout time — we must honor our acquaintances, our friends, and especially our family members who have departed this mortal coil.
Of course, a night of being given candy treats will always be fun — as children we went house to house crying out “Trick or Treat” — most often being given a candy bar or home-made treat as we skipped along the street. Dressed in our costumes that varied from princess to super-hero, fairy to devil, pirate to spaceman — arriving home to pour all of our gathered goodies onto the floor or table to peruse and choose our favorites. Swapping those less favored treats with our siblings and perhaps our parents — excited, exhausted and exhilarated — we soon went to our beds to dream about our busy night of frantic joy! How simple and refreshing the innocence of our Halloweens of days past — how joyous and naive our ritual of “Trick or Treat” seems in retrospect. We were so lucky to enjoy the simplicity of a children’s celebration of a holy occasion — how beautiful the simple acceptance of a child. We long to return to that simplicity of acceptance and inclusion.
I have been lucky enough to be the recipient of some very special Sabbat cakes — baked during a Venus hour and imbued with incantations of love and magic! My very beautiful friend Jone would always be sure to bake plenty of these tasty treats to pass along to her friends — she would deliver them personally, dressed in her Halloween finery with fall flowers and autumn leaves in her hair, robes of vibrant hue swirling around her, magical talismans protecting her, with wand or staff — she would sweep in with enchanted energy, filling the air with fairy dust, and present us with a platter laden with Sabbat cakes for all my family. For those who hadn’t yet met their true love — they could place the cake under their pillow at night to invoke a dream of their future mate. I always felt they were a little piece of magical and mystical energy to be enjoyed with a hot cup of tea! Oh well, I can never resist a home-made treat! Thank you Jone for so many years of friendship — and — oh yes — those wonderful Sabbat cakes with their sweet and thoughtful message of forever!
Enjoy your own idea of celebrating Halloween or All Soul’s Day — send prayer and invocation to all who have crossed over, send healing and love to those who are ailing and in despair, remember those loved ones who no longer are here with us, and who have entered that amorphous place of transcendence where we will all meet some day — and believe you are always an integral part of the whole of humankind — a never-ending continuum of love. Peace!