We know Halloween comes every year on October 31, and it’s Hallowe’en – short for All Hallow’s Eve. Halloween is actually an old Pagan feast, a Celtic New Year called Samhain, or “summer’s end.” What is it all about, other than Halloween costumes, candy, treats or tricks?
Halloween is a celebration of the spirits of the dead coming to visit the living. It’s like inviting all your ancestors over for a party, in celebration of their lives, and the lives they gave to us.
These days, it’s not really tied to any religion. Rather, it’s a huge commercialized event, with gigantic sales second only to Christmas. Interesting culturally, as so many people are really into hanging decorations of skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, and ghosts, and spend lots of time and money on costumes and parties.
Some people think that having any celebration of Halloween is anti-biblical, or anti-Christian in that it’s feasting around dark, dead, hellish and ghoulish symbols. I think just the opposite: it’s about renewal of faith and celebration of the living, especially with All Saints Day following.
Further, I think that honoring the “dark” shadow-side of ourselves is realistic and actually healthy. Accepting that we’re not perfect; that we make mistakes and mess up, and sin, is part of being able to resurrect and move on with living, doing the best we can. One of my favorite psychologists, Carl Jung wrote extensively on embracing our shadow; the dark part of our being. If we repress it, ignore or fake our shadow existence, we are inauthentic. Not being wholly ourselves can lead to illness, he taught. His theories have been expanded upon and used now for many years, with great affect.
So be a little dark and scary. Let that wild, dark, bad self have its day. Just don’t be too bad, and don’t forget to thank God for your life. Happy Halloween!
What dark, forgotten, scary side of YOU are you allowing to live this Halloween? Please comment.
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