Reflections on Halloween

It is the day after Halloween, some call Samhain.  Halloween is one of only two annual events that Satanists seem to collectively mark with any significance, though how they mark it is different for each Satanist.  This Satanist marks the event with the rare purchase of a lottery ticket, a symbolic act of sticking two fingers up at religious morality through the act of gambling.

For most people Halloween is an excuse to dress up, decorate their gardens and have a party.  My local community seems with each year to get more involved in the Halloween festival, decorating their gardens ever more extravagantly a week in advance of the event.  For most people, the symbols and meaning of Halloween is lost, a disconnection that raised some amusing observations: the shop raising money for the local hospice decorated with realistic skulls; the reception area of a nursing home for the elderly decorated with full size grim reapers.

I personally do not mark Halloween with much significance, other than it marks the start of winter in the North of this world.  Nature celebrated Halloween in its own way, a beautiful orange sunrise in the morning, an orange sunset at night as I raced on my bike in the growing darkness past ancient ruins shrouded in mist.  On this first day of winter, and for the next three months, I will be focused on decluttering, ending projects, eliminating dead and useless things, associations or relationships.  Winter is the time of endings.

For animistic and some modern cultures Halloween is a time of remembering deceased ancestors. The ancient Celts would bring out the bones of favoured ancestors from a communal shrine, often skulls, and position them in their own seats at the banqueting table.  The ancestors would be given food and drink, as the community retold the stories in a moment of remembering and celebration linking ancestors, the living and the descendants together in an unbroken narrative.

Halloween is one of four annual between moments betwixt the changing of seasons when the boundary between the material and spiritual worlds are at their closest.  These moments are when the living can reconnect with their ancestors, to seek their support for good health, harvest and prosperity; importantly, to hold on to the narrative, memory and culture of the identity of a community, tribe or family.

There is nothing sinister, evil or demonic about Halloween, it has and always been about honoring and remembering ancestors.  It is a shame that Halloween has for many been demeaned and commercialized to become devoid of meaning in the modern world..

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22 thoughts on “Reflections on Halloween

  1. I think it shows the power of money. If money is seen as a mere tool, holidays have a deeper meaning. If it’s seen as the goal, holidays have a materialistic meaning. To me, it’s all about maturity. Immature people have no depth, so they can’t appreciate deeper meanings.

  2. Halloween as we know it today in the USA evolved gradually over the past century, with lots of input from commercial interests. Since Roman Catholic immigrants were historically looked down upon by WASPy immigrants, the connection with ancient traditions from this time of year (a post harvest festival observing the cycle of birth/death/rebirth) preserved in a distorted form via the Catholic All Saints (Hallows) Day on Nov. 1 was mostly ignored.

    Where I live, Trick or Treat can never take place on Halloween. It is held on the last Thursday in October, unless that day is Halloween. People may not understand the old meaning behind the holiday, but it scares them anyway!

  3. I wouldn’t assign it any Satanic significance. Most trickster types will only go so far to prank. It’s all “Satanists are law-abiding citizens” blah blah.

    A time to indulge in pageantry and rich foods perhaps, but that’s pretty Nomian.

    During a vending event, a Spanish woman told me that Nov 1st is for the souls of Babies and Nov 2nd is for the adults. The eve of Dead Baby Day, makes me giggle and appeals to my morbid sense of humor.

    Halloween may have become a hallmark holiday but lest we forget it was rooted in superstitious beliefs. Displaced spirits may seek vengeance or opening the gateway to hellfire where tortured souls and their torturers were free to roam among the living; oh my! Weird European interpretations, myths and keeping people in line by preying on their uncertainty. “Are the dead really dead?”

    I agree, it just marks the end of the harvest season and gets one prepared for the cold winter months ahead. It’s last call for certain foods until next season.

    I’d say the best part of October is pumkin pie, squash bisque soup and of course the apples 😉

    • I think Halloween has its roots in animistic belief systems, such as those of the Celts, which considered people, place and even swords had a spirit.

      Yes, Halloween is “Nomian” although it is an event that individual Satanists will mark in their own Satanic way.

      • I was speaking to how Halloween is regarded in both ancient and modern society. Even the Celts held superstitious beliefs. Today it’s more of a hallmark holiday and agricultural marker. How would you define a Satanic Way?

  4. I try not to antagonise people either online or else in ‘real life’, but I’ve had good cause over the years to be extremely disappointed by the shortcomings of some of the Christian clergy I’ve met. As a general rule, I find these people are dismayed by the rabid enthusiasm with which kids dress up for Halloween, so while these lurid displays might not be the solemn remembrances of the ancestors that traditionalists like your good self and others might like, then at least the occasion’s being marked, which is better than being neglected or forgotten, and in the process, the Opposition are once again left wondering how they can inject similar enthusiasm into their own dreary observances.

    • True, the Halloween celebration is at least being marked in spite of protests of some Christian elements who think anything that is fun and contrary to their dogma is Satanic. Although Halloween, like so many annual celebrations, has become consumerist, there is no denying that child and adult alike are having fun dressing up and having a party.

  5. York PA went through years of legal battles a decade ago over a local minister who turned the annual Halloween parade into a Dead Baby Day event. He and his supporters, dressed in scrubs, carried representations of (supposed) aborted fetus parts as the parade’s finale. Watching the reports about the conflict on the evening news, I always wondered if the minister realized that his faith based protest could be filtered through some hipster/goth irony, becoming a horror feature of the parade. And probably was, for some people.

    None of the seasonal observance days favor LHP or RHP (or EHP, Either Hand Path). Nature doesn’t require the religious or spiritual traditions of humans to keep the earth rotating around the sun on its wobbling axis. As my magickal mentor wrote: “Only Man cares for Man. The Universe doesn’t give a shit.”

    • How true, nature is its own master, and humanity forgets that at their peril.

      Christian actions are full of irony, which the likes of The Satanic Temple can and does fully exploit against them.

  6. Africans been celebrating the rememberance of ancestors since the dawn of time. Only now the charismatic churches that sailed in land as missionaries now saying this is “demonic” and ish…i feel ya tho. Nice piece

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