Halloween Symbolizes Death

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halloween-display

When people decorate their lawns for Halloween, do they really understand why they decorate their lawns the way they do?  Most people assume they are merely using spooky elements as part of Halloween.  Yet there is a theme that runs through many decorations and it subconsciously fits the original purpose of Halloween.  Halloween is a celebration of the dead and the spirit world.  Most Halloween decorations symbolize death.  Skeletons, ghosts, vampires, monsters, zombies…they are symbols of death and the dead.

halloween-lawn-decoration

I took a few pictures of Halloween decorations and the cemetery motif was widely used.  Tombstones and graves are obvious symbols of death.  What is so fun about death?  We face our fear of death by portraying it once a year.  The nice part is after the holiday; we pack away the decorations and can be grateful we were alive to celebrate it and the holidays ahead.

I wish everyone a happy Halloween and may we live to see another one.  Some of us won’t make it.

halloween-cemetery

Halloween decorations

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Hanged Man Halloween Decoration

Hanged Man Halloween Decoration

skeleton-hangingIt is amazing Halloween endures while retaining influence from its original pagan roots.  With all the costumes and decorations, Halloween is a celebration of the spirits and their spirit world.  When we decorate our homes we don’t realize we are creating a physical representation of the spirit world on our front lawns. 

Many of these Halloween decorations are quite gruesome.  They are recreating the dark side of the spirit world, the lower astral plane where dwell nasties: lost souls, low-vibration spirits and demons.  We might imagine today’s Halloween is mostly influenced by horror movies.  But what also inspires horror movies?  We tap into the lower astral realm, the place of dreams, imagination and nightmares.  Whatever hell might be, it can still reach out to the living.

Many Christians oppose Halloween, and they are being true to their understanding of the spiritual universe.  However, once in awhile it is fun to tap into that secret place where we can pretend to be someone or something else, and enjoy being scared, or to scare others.  The dark side has its thrills.  And right around the corner is Christmas with its lights.  Soon we’ll be recreating the heavens on our front lawns.  The higher astral plane’s turn is next.

Front Lawn Graveyard

Front Lawn Graveyard

 

Daylight orb in front of Halloween lawn decorations

Daylight orb in front of Halloween lawn decorations

Has Halloween been watered down?

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halloween-decoration

Halloween is my favorite American holiday.  Christmas is great, except we spend too much money.  Thanksgiving is about family and food but turkey makes me sleepy.  Halloween is for fun, without stress or worry.  We may not get the day off from work like the other Big Two holidays, but Halloween does not cost much either.  Our investment is in some trick-or-treating candy and perhaps a costume and some holiday decorations.  Some people really get into the Halloween spirit and do a great job with their home’s Halloween decoration.

Halloween started as a pagan European holiday to celebrate the end of summer and honor the denizens of the spirit world.  For some strange reason, modern America took this holiday to heart and turned it into a big deal.  This is odd considering American is essentially a Christian nation.  Then again, Christmas is partly a pagan holiday too.  It seems paganism has not been completely extinguished from the popular imagination.

ghoulHowever, there are people who frown on Halloween.  Some Christians understand the pagan background of Halloween and resist its allure.  Others don’t like the scary side of the holiday.  An example below is an article from a Chicago Tribune writer who does not like the fact that Halloween celebrates ghoulishness.

“The spirit of the Halloween holiday is exactly what I hate about it.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-talk-halloween-brotmanoct27,0,5937671.column

If anything, I think Halloween has been watered down and made too nice.  There was a time long ago when people actually believed in the reality of the Spirit World.  The autumn traditions were to celebrate our ancestors and placate the Unseen World.  People were in touch with the cycles of nature along with our connection to the spirits.

Now, Halloween is a joke!  The scary aspects of nature and the spirits have been reduced to cartoons.  This can be summed up with breakfast cereals using cuddly monsters on them (Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry).  The mighty faeries of the past became Disney characters.  There are still some scary parts to Halloween which evokes the dangers of the spirit world, but just as commercialism has watered down the meaning of Christmas, so it has with Halloween. 

frankenstein-halloween-decorations

Yet the spirit of Halloween still endures.  One example is the Wiccan celebration of Samhain.  I want to wish my Wiccan and pagan friends a wonderful Samhain!   And everybody else, have a fun Halloween.  This year Halloween is on a Saturday, so party on…Happy Halloween!

Occult meaning in Halloween costumes

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My Halloween Costumes

My Halloween Costumes

Halloween is a great holiday, and not just for children but for adults too.  It is now considered one of the top party days of the year.  Halloween has many traditions from trick-or-treat to carving pumpkins.  These traditions have pagan origins, which became popularized…and watered down.  My favorite tradition is dressing up in costume and heading out to a nightclub for a costume contest.  Nightclubs with big cash prizes tend to attract some really outstanding costumes.

Nosferatu Halloween Costume

Nosferatu Halloween Costume

Above are some costumes I’ve worn in Halloween’s past…a Freddy, a Red Devil and a Monster Hunter.  As the Red Devil I covered by face in red face paint, glued on some horns and pointy “Spock” ears and discovered it was a difficult and time consuming to clean off the face paint afterwards.  That was no fun.  I’ll stick with the simple facemasks, so I can quickly escape from the costume when the party is over.

To the left are some pictures I took over the years of others’ costumes that impressed me.  Some are really amazing.  People can put a lot of effort into their outfit. 

What is the point of the Halloween costume?  We could say it is just good fun, and so it is.  But as with nearly all Halloween traditions, there is symbolic and even spiritual significance behind the practices.  Is there a deeper occult meaning behind Halloween costumes and “dressing up”?

Having attended numerous costume parties, I’ve developed my own impression.  Watching partiers dressed up feels like we’ve entered a different world, a world outside of normality, something festive but bizarre.  Before us we have all manner of representations of the unknown.  Have we entered into an unconscious, unintended replica of the invisible spirit world?  Gathered together the costumed participants unknowingly mirror the spirit world, whose inhabitants (like faeries, demons and such) assume all manner of forms and shapes.

Thirteen Ghosts Jackal Costume

Thirteen Ghosts Jackal Costume

Wearing a costume has a psychological effect on the wearer and the observer.  Like an actor in a play, we become the character in a way.  And what characters are we becoming?  Very often creatures of imagination and spirit.  We use popular culture versions of these Beings of Spirit, but popular culture’s monsters have their origins in the folklore and the beliefs of the past.  Dracula, Jason, Freddy and such modern ghouls are a reflection of old beliefs…in ghosts, entities, the afterlife, and religion.

Examples of the role of masks are those worn by shaman or medicine men, which were used for religious and ceremonial purposes. These often-grotesque masks literally symbolized the spirits of the spirit world.  And the imagery often came from the shaman’s actual spiritual journey into this spirit world.  The mask physically represented the spirits, real or imagined.

Freddy Krueger Halloween Costumes

Freddy Krueger Halloween Costumes

When we dress up in our costumes on Halloween, imagine we attract invisible “visitors” to accompany us on our quest into the night.  Trick-or-treat or costume party, the whole point seems to be replicating the spirit world visiting the physical world for one night.  On Halloween legend suggests the barriers between the physical and the invisible world are thinnest.  The role of the costume is either to scare away these spirits…or to have them join in with us.  One night a year we pretend to be spirits ourselves.  What fun!