Episode 59: Halloween Musings

Episode 59: Halloween Musings

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Why do we celebrate Halloween? Is it a spiritual holiday for you or just for fun? Let’s explore how we can go a little deeper on this holiday yet still create fun and laughter.

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HALLOWEEN MUSINGS

THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD

As a kid, I loved Halloween! My mom would dress us up like cats, with elaborate face makeup, or as a clown using a vintage curtain she fashioned into a jacket with big buttons. She purchased us store-bought costumes once, but they fell apart within one block, so she refused to do that again!

It was a time to get candy and eat as much as possible before my mom went through it for some treats, but she never explained why we were celebrating Halloween. I remember a lot of laughter and beautiful memories from this time of year. Now, as an adult, why do we celebrate Halloween?

THE TRADITION OF HALLOWEEN

While I never understood the meaning of Halloween as a child, it was a holiday we participated in. It was passed on from year to year and was a lot of fun. I later learned Halloween is a Celtic spiritual tradition. During this time of year, the Celtics believed spirits could come through, and they dressed up to ward them off.

Later, one of the Popes declared November 1st as All Saints Day, incorporating religion into this time. For the Celtics, it was known as Samhain, which is still part of the traditions we carry today. In Samhain, they would light bonfires and gather their last harvest as the bonfire or a fire in their hearth would burn down. They left out offerings to the souls that had transitioned as a way of honoring their departed loved ones!

Halloween is an auspicious time to honor our loved ones.

AS THE VEIL THINS

For me, Halloween has become a time and space to think about my loved ones who have passed on. I start to think about them more, allowing those memories to surface more frequently and vividly. If there’s any unresolved grief or communication, this period of the thinning veil between our human reality and our departed loved ones is an opportunity to honor them.

As I feel my loved ones come forward, I will talk to them. I will make offers to them on my altar. If there's something I know they loved, I will leave that out for them on my altar. This is a precious time for me to process grief and allow myself to invite healing into my life.

As the veil thins, our loved ones start to come forward.

WHAT ARE YOUR TRADITIONS?

When we celebrate traditions like Halloween or Christmas, we aren’t always aware of why we celebrate them. We are just doing what we’ve always done without asking ourselves why we are doing them. I’d like you to ask yourself why you are celebrating these traditions and what is your intention behind the observance.

Sometimes the meanings don’t make sense to you once you examine them. Perhaps the holiday meanings from your childhood family don’t resonate with you or your beliefs and values anymore.

If the traditions passed down to you no longer make sense to celebrate, what can you do to create your own observances that feel good to you? What intention can you set behind the holiday that allows you to create meaningful memories?

Even if the meaning behind the holiday no longer aligns with you now, it could be as simple as having some fun!

TIMES ARE CHANGING

Right now, in the United States, the practice of trick or treating is not what my generation remembers it to be. Recently, my in-laws heard a public service announcement to be cautious about the candy given out due to Fentanyl laced in the candy. It’s so sad that the parents and children have to worry about something so deadly and dangerous on a night meant for fun.

The tradition of trick or tricking has changed over the years because of situations like these. They have to change for the health and safety of our children! When traditions require change, and you find yourself uncomfortable with those changes, what can you do to honor the tradition in a new way? How can you make it feel good for you again?

What can you do to honor the tradition in a new way that feels good to you?

A WITCHY TRIP

Recently, my sisters and I took a trip to Salem, which is famous for being the location of the Salem Witch Trials. There was so much history around Halloween and Pagan traditions to explore with great curiosity. You can’t visit Salem without at least a small understanding of the deep history, and it was a fantastic opportunity for all of us!

When I am visiting a new place, I am there to observe everything with curiosity. I don’t take everything presented as truth, and I think this is important. While in Salem, I wasn’t going to assume I understood why things happened the way they did during the trials. I wasn’t there, at least not in this lifetime, as this human.

In times past, people had a different understanding of things and specific fears that caused certain people to act in particular ways. It was an amazing time of holding space to understand how people evolved with their traditions and beliefs.

THE SCARE FACTOR

If you are an empath, Halloween can be a time when your senses are on overload. With all the gore and scary imagery, it can get overwhelming. As a child, I used to love going to haunted houses and hayrides, but as an adult, my empath self would avoid these traditions to protect my mental health. What was fun as a child became something that made me anxious, worried, and afraid.

While on my trip to Salem, however, I wanted to experience things outside my comfort zone. I wanted to challenge myself to experience this without resistance. One of my sisters loves all the haunted tours, and I didn’t want to be left out! I haven’t laughed that hard in a long, long time. I had so much fun and could view what used to be too much of an opportunity to experience the joy from my childhood once again!

CHANGE IT UP!

The origins of Halloween make it a holiday some people associate with fear. It is a holiday where we acknowledge death, the spiritual realm, and what comes after this life. Not everyone is comfortable with these themes, and that’s okay.

Even if you don’t celebrate this holiday in the spiritual sense, you can still have fun! If you choose not to honor the dead, what can you celebrate? How can you create a holiday tradition that you truly love and look forward to each year?

Let’s laugh! Let’s have fun! Let’s make our own traditions that honor who we are now and what we value!

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Full transcription of the episode:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to today's episode. Happy Halloween. I remember Halloween as a kid as a day to dress up, to go get some candy, to go through our candy, and then eat as much as possible without my mom taking it away before she went through it. And it was a fun time. My mom would either dress us up as a cat, which she would paint our faces very elaborately, or we got to be a clown where I think my mom had like an old seventies curtain that she made into a jacket with some big buttons. And then we had some other costumes too. One time she actually bought us a costume that fell apart within one block. So my mom refused to ever buy a prepaid costume again.

Even thinking about these memories brings a lot of joy and a lot of laughter. I have lots of memories around Halloween, and it's such a cool holiday to celebrate if you celebrate it. Why do we celebrate it? Because as a kid, my mom actually never told me why we celebrate that. We just did it because it was something that kids did and it was just passed on and passed on. And with any tradition, the tradition can get diluted or changed along the way.

And so what Halloween is, is it's a Celtic spiritual tradition. And during this time, the Celtics believed that there was spirits that could come through based on the time of year and based on the day. And they would start dressing up to ward off the spirits. Then, one of the Popes made November 1 All Saints Day. Now, because the Pope made it All Saints Day, and then there was an All Souls Day, it became a part of religion so to speak. And the traditions, the Celtic traditions from Samhain were passed down in practice during All Saints Day and All Souls Day. And these traditions continue to be passed down.

Now, in Samhain, they would practice the midpoint between fall equinox and winter solstice. They would light bonfires and they would go and collect their last harvest and let the bonfire or the fire in their hearth burn down. They also leave out offerings for the souls that have transitioned. I believe this is a really super auspicious time to really honor our loved ones. For me as an adult, Halloween has become this space and time where any of my loved ones that have passed, they start to become heavy on my heart and not heavy in a bad way.

Well, it depends on the grief cycle that I'm in because sometimes it's really hard to process death. And if there's any space where there's unresolved grief, and also if there's any unresolved communication with that loved one that has passed also comes to the surface for me. In regards to Halloween, for me as an adult, this is where I really start to process and honor the veil that is really thin between our loved ones and our human reality.

I can feel these loved ones starting to come forward and I will start talking to them. I will start making offers to them on my altar. if there's something I knew that this loved one really loved, I will make sure I have that offer for them on my altar. For example, one of my loved ones really loved pistachios, and so that goes on my altar for them. It's also a time to assist with healing grief that has not been processed for me.

So when we have traditions like Halloween or Christmas or any other tradition that is in mainstream media, I want to invite you to ask yourself, why are you celebrating that tradition, and what intention do you have around that tradition? Because sometimes celebration of traditions might not actually make sense for you to celebrate it anymore. The meaning or the history behind it doesn't resonate with your beliefs or your values, or it might still resonate because it was something really fun that you did as a family. But what intention can you have behind it? Because I think everything in life needs some sort of intention, even if it's just to have fun. If it's just to have fun, what is the meaning behind it? And why do you want and what do you want to get out of that tradition?

I know there’s some really scary things going on in the world right now and one of those is actually, and I didn’t even plan to bring this us, but I’m being guided to bring this up. How we do trick-or-treating in the United States has been changing over the years for many different reasons. I was just talking to my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law and they live in a different state than us, but there’s been public service announcements around candy being laced with drugs. And the drug is extremely dangerous, extremely deadly, which is Fentanyl. We have a huge Fentanyl crisis in the United States and it’s sad that these kids have to worry about if something is laced in there. And so traditions change and just giving that example, the tradition of going trick or treating in that particular area is going to change. It has been changing. If there’s things that are changing and you don’t like it, what can you to honor the tradition in a new way that feels really good to you? What is your intention behind it?

I know for me, I started getting prepped for Halloween. My sisters and I just recently went to Salem and it was a really cool, quirky town where the Salem Witch Trials happened. So there’s a lot of history in terms of Halloween and Pagan traditions in this particular town. Anything, for me, as I’m visiting is I’m taking things in not as truth. And this is really important, I think, when it comes to traditions is I will take things in and observe them with great curiosity and explore them more and see how they resonate with me as I’m exploring them. So, for example, I’m not going to assume I understood why people did the things they did during the Salem Witch Trials. I wasn’t there, per se, as this human. In a previous life, I may have been, but as this human, I wasn’t. There were different beliefs and different understandings and different fears that caused people to act in a particular way. And there’s also power to be had.

So while we were in Salem, I was getting my witchy fix on, I was also getting an opportunity to hear about the history and the stories around this town and their traditions. One cannot go there without knowing about some of the history of film there, Halloween, and things like that and it’s really neat to get into.

One of the other things that some people are really scared about when it comes to Halloween is the gore and the scare, especially as an empath. For a long time, I wouldn’t want to participate in anything scary. I used to love going to haunted houses and things like that, haunted hayrides when I was a kid, and as an adult, I was like, “Nope. My empath self said too scary. That’s too much for my nervous system and I can’t do it.” But growing up, it was something really fun. I remember my aunt taking me to haunted houses. It was something that her and I would solo and it was something I loved doing with my aunt. We would go as a family to these things too and it was a lot of fun. And then as an adult, I got super scared, super worried, super nervous about how this impacts my mental health and I’m very, very, very protective of my mental health.

Now, while I was in Salem, I told myself I would do things outside of my comfort zone. I have been on this path of instead of resisting things, I get curious about how it will actually impact me if I try it, without the resistance. One of the things that I ended up doing was going to a bunch of little haunted tours, and things like that. And I laughed so hard during these times because there would be these mechanical machines and things like that, that would try to scare you. My being thought I would be so scared. My empath self was like, “Nope. I don’t want to do it!” But I told myself, I knew one of my sisters is really into stuff like that and I was like, “I’m going to show up because I don’t want to miss out. I want to hang out with my sisters.” And I laughed so hard. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time and I do think that there is horror and scary stuff that comes up based on the traditions that Halloween stems from where they are warding off evil spirits.

Whatever your traditions are for Halloween, have fun. There is something very spiritual about inviting fun into your life. I want you to laugh. I want you to have fun. I also want you to put some sort of spiritual meaning for this particular holiday. Even if you’re not celebrating the dead, whatever it is, what are you celebrating and how can you make it a tradition that you truly love and desire? And if it’s not a tradition for you, that is okay. Absolutely ok!

All right my friends, I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Please like and subscribe. It helps more than you know, I look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Have fun today. Take care! Bye!

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