As a witch, I have an awkward confession to make…
I don’t really care for Halloween.
Mind you – I said Halloween, not Samhain. All Hallow’s Eve continues to be one of my favorite Sabbats. I do look forward to and enjoy the rituals that honor this time of the year.
But the trick-or-treating? The costumes? The crazy decorations? <shrug> Meh. I don’t really go for that stuff and I don’t really participate in it. I haven’t handed out candy bars for years. I usually make it a point not to be home on October 31st, or at the very least I turn off all the lights and hide away where I can’t be disturbed and don’t bother with the door.
And all those television programs celebrating the 31 days of Halloween – particularly with scary movies and the like? Truthfully, I don’t get it.
I’m sorry to say “bah, humbug” to Halloween, but I just don’t care for the way one of the holiest days in the Pagan Wheel of the Year has been turned into a commercialized sugar-high bloodfest of titillating terror.
Admittedly I don’t have children (not the humanoid variety, anyway)…and that makes it harder for me to identify with the appeal of Halloween, since I never had to dress the kids up and take them out to knock on doors. But even when my adult friends were inventing costumes and going out to parties, I was never a big fan of joining in on such festivities. Although I do recall one fun time when a local coven encouraged attendees to “dress up as your favorite deity” to attend a Samhain party/ritual.
Yes, I realize that the origins of Halloween have their beginnings in ancient Pagan practices, some of which I do enjoy and honor. I have to admit I do like pumpkin carving…and I have thought of trying the original practice of carving a turnip (I’ve always wondered how easy that is!)
But overall, I prefer to keep to the true meaning of Samhain, and see it as a time for honoring the Ancestors (perhaps even more meaningful for me since both of my parents have passed over, with Dad dying shortly before Samhain)…for honoring the shift from light into dark…of dreaming the darkness and rebirthing ourselves…of welcoming in the beginning of winter and the time of the Dark Crone.
Am I alone in feeling this way? Do any others have this same struggle with maintaining the sacredness of Samhain in the midst of the Halloween madness? How do you reconcile the two?