Samhain, which is the pagan name for this time of year has evolved into what we now know as Halloween, a unofficial holiday that runs the gamut from emulating monsters and fright nights to people running around in costumes parading up and down streets and drinking themselves silly in bars. It’s the perfect excuse for men to put on dresses or gay priests to wear tutus. It is not in its origins quite all that.
The Apostolic tradition usurped this pagan festival and turned into All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days. (Hallows = Holies or Saints; E’en = Eve)
The late Scott Cunningham wrote quite a few books on Wicca and Paganism in his short time on the earth. And since this is the time of year to remember those who have passed on let’s recall what he had to say about it.
At Samhain … say farewell to the God. This is a temporary farewell. He isn’t wrapped in eternal darkness, but readies to be reborn of the Goddess at Yule.
Samhain also known as November Eve, Feast of the Dead, Feast of Apples, Hallows and All Hallows, once marked the time of sacrifice …
Samhain is a time of reflection, of looking back over the past year, of coming to terms with the one phenomenon of life over which we have no control – death.
…On this night the separation between the physical and spiritual realities is thin.
This is from Scott Cunningham’s Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Check out his bio.
This is the time to remember all of those who have gone before us: our forebears and all of those who have paved the way. It points the way to what all the world’s religions are about – the rhythm of life. God and the Goddess go through a yearly cycle of death and rebirth that reflects what humans experience in the Four Seasons.
But, hey, if wearing a pink tutu and scurrying about on Christopher Street or Castro Street or Spruce Street floats your boat, go for it! You can always remember those who have gone before. It’s a cycle after all.