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Musing about Halloween...

All Hallow's Eve...Samhain...All Saints Day...All Souls Day...the Night of the Dead.

Call it whatever you want to.

I've read the online news and blogs that I follow on the weekends. They are all abuzz with news of the annual display of righteous indignation of the religious (mostly Christian - because let's face it, that's what drives this particular train) right about what they consider to be a "satanic" holiday full of evil and danger, but don't seem to mind co-opting in order to host a few church "lock-ins" of children and adolescents.

My guess is that outside of those rigidly fundamentalist circles, most kids just see the evening of October 31 as a night they get to put on a costume and overdose on sugary treats given to them by their neighbors.

I also figure a good number of adolescents and teenagers are probably looking forward to either going to or participating in one "haunted house" or another.

For some of us, this day - not just the night - has a spiritual significance that has nothing whatsoever to do with any Christian construct.

It is the day of the year that we set aside time to remember and honor those who have gone before us.

Yes, we have a special day on which we remember our dead. We also do it at other times of the year, but ask a pagan what day is the special day for these remembrances, and you'll likely hear that it's this one.

We, individually and sometimes in groups of likeminded folk, make a ritual of it. Offerings are made. Some read lists of names before a bonfire, and some just close their eyes and remember silently. The ancestors acknowledge our gifts and attention.

It's so simple. Not sinister at all. But the fundies don't want to hear the truth. Maybe they don't honor their dead.

Chief Seattle mused about the same thing in 1854.

To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret...

Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander way beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return. Our dead never forget the beautiful world that gave them being...

Dead, did I say? There is no death, only a change of worlds.



Simply Pagan

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