TRICK OR TREAT?
How strange that on one specific night of the year, during the hours of darkness, we allow our children to dress up in costumes which make them unrecognisable, encouraging them to knock on the doors of strangers, often without parental supervision, to ask for sweets. The ‘trick or treating” of Halloween is perceived as harmless fun, an opportunity to engage in shared community activities with little or no perception of the potential dangers. Today many US States have passed legislation to ensure that registered pedophiles remain in their homes during Halloween when they are not allowed to give candy to children. New York’s “Halloween: Zero Tolerance” law allows state investigators to make unannounced home visits, curfew checks, and phone calls to enforce the laws. In most states violation may incur a felony charge punishable by up to three years in prison. Just as we would not allow our children to venture out alone and unprotected in every day life, we should not invite the attention of those whose motives and intentions may be questionable – whether they reside in this world or another.
We have forgotten the origin and significance of the 2000 year old Celtic pagan festival which was a celebration of natural cycles; a thanksgiving for harvest in preparation for the coming of winter. The festivities also marked the division between the spirit world and our own, it was believed that on this night the veils between the worlds was thinned making communication with departed souls easier.
Halloween has its roots in Samhain (pronounced Sow-en) the Celtic festival celebrated on November 1st, the day which marked the seasonal division of the year between light and darkness. The Celts followed a lunar calendar and festivities began on the eve before, October 31st. Deceased family and friends were remembered and honoured on this day; with an awareness that this day unfortunately also allowed other malevolent entities of the spirit world to cross over into the physical. Bonfires were therefore lit, with torchlight processions of masked revellers wearing costumes depicting the beings who inhabit the underworld. These were worn as a means of disguise in the hope that any unfriendly spirits they might meet would be tricked into believing they were ghosts, ghouls, goblins etc.
The later Christian association comes from the 7th century when All Saints Day was established by Pope Boniface lV to honour the departed saints of the church. Initially observed on May 13th. the feast day was moved to in the 9th century to November 1st by Pope Gregory lll , supposedly in an effort to integrate pre Christian pagan calendars. October 31st was then designated All Hallows Eve (eventually Halloween) a time to pray for the souls of the departed who had not yet entered heaven. Still later, pagan ritual was modified to a more acceptable form, children would dress up and go from door to door asking for ‘soul cakes’ in return for praying for the departed souls, the origin of ‘trick or treat’. The combination of pagan/Christian festival continues today in the more extreme form as in Mexico’s “Los Dias de los Muertos” (The Days of the Dead) when souls are invited to step over the threshold.
What we might ask has this got to do with a 21st century secular holiday? For the atheist or for those who consider a belief in the paranormal to be nothing more than the remnant of superstition. the answer is ‘Nothing’. Others retain if not a conviction then a healthy respect for the possibility that we are a soul with a body rather than simply a body with a mind. Halloween provides an opportunity to pause to consider the potential dimensions beyond the physical realm and those who may inhabit them.
White witchcraft or ritualized magic is the belief in the manipulation of natural forces for benevolent purposes eg healing, it has millions of adherents throughout the world.Today white witches continue to celebrate Samhain a major pagan religious festival on November 1st, commencing on 31st October. There is another form of ritualized magic which is far from benevolent. Satanism is a perversion of the healing arts, the worship of the ‘devil’ (deified evil) as a personification of the ego, which denies God in any form, elevating man as the supreme expression of consciousness. The anti Christ focus of the ‘black mass’ inverts the symbolism and artifacts of the Christian mass as a means of magnifying and directing cosmic forces. Satanic ritual has historically involved both human and animal sacrifice which continues among some adherents today, it has been linked to human trafficking, particularly of children. No surprise then that Halloween remains an important date in their calendar.
IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS – IT SIMPLY MAKES US MORE VULNERABLE.
Before we send our children out to have fun, dressed as vampires, ghouls and devils we might pause to consider the astral forces which do not dissolve, simply because we do not believe in their existence. We have the choice to align to positive or negative force fields and aspects of consciousness and also to reject them. As in all things decision requires informed choice. It is for each of us to decide whether or not we believe in supernatural forces or a spirit world. If we do, we must surely question whether or not the festival of Halloween potentially opens a portal between the worlds as our ancestors believed. For those with clairvoyant vision entities are all too real and operate in accordance with natural law – ‘like attracts like’. This might help us decide what costume we might choose to dress our child in. The increased awareness that consciousness is multi dimensional leads us to a fascinating study of paranormal realms and spheres and the journey of the soul. To be of value it should be more than an academic study, the knowledge should be applied.
‘There are more things in heaven and Earth Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy’ William Shakespeare
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