Blessings to You!
Our recent visit to Salem, MA gave us a preview of Halloween. It was fun to watch as a parade of ghost and goblins strolled up and down the streets; and in and out of the shops. As frightening as the costumes may have been, there was the knowledge that this is just for fun.
The festival of Halloween first emerged as a Pagan celebration, during the October/November lunar cycle, marking the passage of the year from the "light half," to the "dark half." Costumes and treats were a part of this festival. Over time, when November 1st was declared by the Christian church as All Saints Day, the Pagan celebration evolved into "All Hallow's Eve," a Christian celebration with scary costumes to frighten away evil spirits on the night before the Saints were celebrated.
Over time, the original meanings have been lost. In some traditions this celebration is banned, in others it is pooh-poohed, and merchandisers see it as an opportunity to push store-bought costumes, decorations and candies. Oh...note that you will most likely have to walk through the Christmas items to get to the Halloween items! Consider the possibility that there is more! Could it be that Halloween is a "Holy Day of Opportunity?"
Yes it can! Consider these thoughts:
1) Celebrating the passage from the "light" to the "dark" half of the year.
This is the time when the weather tends to become cold, and we "hunker down" for the winter. It is a time to step back and turn within. It is a time of reflection and renewal. Why gripe and groan about the shortening days, when you can celebrate retreat and renewal? Turn off the TV, read, talk, journal, make soup. Mmmm.
2) Preparing for All Hallow's Day; All Saints Day.
Before we are ready to celebrate the Saints, our spiritual role models and metaphysically our purified virtues and qualities, we must "run off" the "evil" (error) spirits (thoughts, feelings and beliefs). Our transformation process must be completed by the awakening and empowerment of our spiritual faculties. The good news is that this is the inevitable end-result for all of us. How long this will take is up to each of us individually, and all of us collectively. Pre-Prayer for the holiday.
3) Trick or Treating
This also originated from a Pagan tradition. It was adopted by the Christian tradition in the 14th century when people would stop by homes, dressed in costume, and ask for food in exchange for prayers for the dead. Today the traditions are lost for the most part, as children run from door to door seeking candy. Here's an interesting metaphysical ponderable: The demand "trick or treat" means..."if you don't give me a treat, I am going to play a trick on you." In our lives, if we do not give a "treat," i.e. do our part, give our best, the result will be a "trick." In Truth it is no trick at all; it is the outworking of Spiritual Principle; Cause and Effect.
So...this year I invite you to truly get into the Halloween Spirit. Celebrate turning within, renewing. Consider the lives of the Saints who inspire us. Not just the religious saints, but the countless people who have led lives that inspire and motivate us to be and do our best. And here's a great idea..."Treat-it-Forward," see how many ways you can "treat" others without being asked.
Can't wait to share next weeks musing "Ghosts and Goblins and Zombies, Oh My!"
Rev. Alicia Leslie
Spirit of Unity Church