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Author Topic: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans  (Read 7204 times)

HarpingHawke

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2016, 08:33:44 pm »
Quote from: Castus;198116
I was frankly confused by this thread title, as I had no idea Halloween was something people were supposed to be reverential towards.

 
I mean, I was gonna light some incense and watch Rocky Horror, so. ;)

Random Parenthetical Thought: (Costuming there is p important, and fluid-gender-as-shapeshifting seems to be a thing, so I could learn something from it this year, actually. YMMV)
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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2016, 08:43:16 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;198127
I mean, I was gonna light some incense and watch Rocky Horror, so. ;)

Random Parenthetical Thought: (Costuming there is p important, and fluid-gender-as-shapeshifting seems to be a thing, so I could learn something from it this year, actually. YMMV)

 
I always support learning from Rocky Horror 0/
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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2016, 09:42:44 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;198127
I mean, I was gonna light some incense and watch Rocky Horror, so. ;)


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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2016, 01:03:52 am »
Quote from: Aisling;198132
Would that be Frank-N-cense?

 
Wasn't gonna be before that horribly magnificent pun! :D:
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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2016, 06:21:23 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;198138
Wasn't gonna be before that horribly magnificent pun! :D:

 
Sometimes I just can't help myself. :whis:
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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2016, 05:54:24 pm »
Quote from: Castus;198116
I was frankly confused by this thread title, as I had no idea Halloween was something people were supposed to be reverential towards.

 
Heh - this. As a Brit(TM) I have no feelings towards Halloween, which wasn't celebrated here much recently, until it was re-imported from North America. (Which of course I am a bit grumpy about). My Samhain has nothing to do with Halloween - it doesn't even involve pumpkins - they're two different holidays to me. Which means I'm fine with people celebrating the 31st Oct in whatever way they want to. There are about to be a whole bunch of festivals of lights and fireworks here that also have nothing to do with each other and can all be enjoyed alongside each other!*

*Unless you have pets. She says, staring irritatedly in the direction of the window, from where explosion noises are emanating and have been for the past few days and it's not even Halloween and already they're jumping to Guy Fawkes Night what is the world coming to it's like starting the Christmas carols in October et cetera.
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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2016, 11:41:12 am »
Quote from: Demophon;198053
It just seems like even the self-identified witches I know in real life have an attitude that is like, "OMG I love October because I'm so morbid and I love the Nightmare Before Christmas. Halloween is so awesome, I'm gonna wear a goofy costume and get drunk." It's annoying in the mainstream culture, but among witches it's even worse. Maybe I'm stuck-up and overly pious, whatever religion I follow, but I remember being in my late teens and early twenties being a practicing pagan, and having a vastly different understanding of this holiday than the people around me. Being well over the age of 12, I feel silly dressing in some tacky costume. For me, November Eve was a solemn Feast of the Dead, a time for honouring one's ancestors, and ritually celebrating the Wiccan legend of the goddess's descent into the Realm of Death, where she learns his mysteries and teaches him those of rebirth in return. I realize that people in our culture like any excuse to get drunk and make fools of themselves, but when pagans and witches even just see Halloween in this shallow way, it's a bit worrying for the tradition.



Put me on team-Halloween, because I'm very much in the costume wearing, love to get drunk, have fun with it group....however our annual Day of the Dead ritual, while costumes are highly welcome, the ritual itself is always deeply moving, serious and heart-felt.

There is room for both in my life and in my practice.  I love learning and celebrating the mythology that surrounds the things I do...in many ways that is what makes my practice come to life for me.  Stories are how I related to things and why actions are meaningful for me.

I also think that costuming can be amazing.  You don't have to go tacky (although that can be fun too, if you embrace the tackiness!  but not something everyone would enjoy), you can go for a really detailed, home-made costume that speaks to you on a deeper level.  It is what you make of it!
 
Quote from: Demophon;198064


What irritates me is that there are people who will call themselves Wiccan and make a big fuss about how into October and Halloween they are, yet know next to nothing about the Legend of the Descent, or any other spiritual understandings of the occasion outside of what they learn from pop culture. Maybe I'm a jerk for being annoyed by that, but that's how it is. I guess there's a reason I gravitated towards the Catholic Church, where there is reverence, tradition, and unity, and could never relate very well to pagan groups.

 
I don't know if you are lumping Wiccans and witches together..but even if you are specifically talking about people who consider themselves Wiccan, many people consider Wicca to be their path, even if they aren't BTW initiated.  And even among the initiated, I expect there are differences in how one group celebrates from how another does...especially if they follow different lineages.

But there is also a huge group who are very solitary, who learned from mass media books or other people's websites.  They may have a serious desire to learn and practice, but might not yet have come upon the deeper meanings of things.  Or they may just be so happy to have a mainstream, socially acceptable outlet to express things they normally keep hidden.
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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2016, 04:04:08 pm »
This:
Quote from: Naomi J;198278
My Samhain has nothing to do with Halloween.. they're two different holidays to me. Which means I'm fine with people celebrating the 31st Oct in whatever way they want to. *

and this:
Quote from: Dynes Hysbys;198120
My tradition does not use calendar dates for Samhain so usually there is quite a gap between the two -( nearly 2 weeks last year) so they are clearly separate.

I grew up loving Halloween even before discovering my pagan inclinations, so I am all about the:
Quote from: Demophon;198053
"OMG I love October because I'm so morbid and I love the Nightmare Before Christmas. Halloween is so awesome, I'm gonna wear a goofy costume and get drunk."
Though, maybe not getting drunk, as that's not really my thing. I celebrate Halloween, and the modern culture of Halloween for all of October. It's my favorite time of year, so I can't not.

When I first started studying paganism, I tried celebrating the two together, but that really wasn't working out for me. Then I learned of astrological dates for the sabbats and esbats, and I haven't turned back since. So Samhain for me is most often not celebrated on Halloween. Nor do I approach it with solemnity, but that is my choice.

I'm a big proponent of death being a time to celebrate a person's life and legacy. So much so that when I go, I want people to have as much fun and laughter as they can at my own funeral. Samhain, for me, is approached similarly. It's a time to honor my ancestors, and those who came before; to remember them and celebrate the good times had. I also view it as the pagan New Year, and use it to look on the year ahead.

Beryl

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2016, 02:23:21 pm »
Quote from: Naomi J;198278
Heh - this. As a Brit(TM) I have no feelings towards Halloween, which wasn't celebrated here much recently, until it was re-imported from North America

 
Eh, depends who you ask - certainly trick or treating was a Strange Exciting Sweet-Based Foreign Mystery we only ever saw on TV growing up in the 80s and 90s, but we bobbed for apples, carved turnips (ah, the distinctive smell of candle-scorched turnip...) and sometimes did things like peeling an apple all in one go and flinging the peel over our shoulder to find out our future husbands' initial (usually S, sometimes O or C...) My birthday's in late October and there was often a bit of Hallowe'en crossover into my parties, from what I remember.

I also remember quite vividly (though sadly not vividly enough to recall the title to find a copy on abebooks) a book I had about witches, a mix of spooky child-friendly horror, crafts and toned-down history of the witch craze, which had a fairly long chapter on fun things to make for Hallowe'en, and I'm 99% sure it wasn't American, it had things like "make up a packet of jelly with milk and pour it into a rubber glove, let it set and then remove the glove for a spooky disembodied hand!"

Personally, I'm in team "make holidays work for you", whether that means Serious Business, Party Hard or a mix of the two (or indeed Don't Really Do Anything Other Than Have A Little Pray/Think.)

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2016, 06:28:08 pm »
Quote from: Beryl;198459
we bobbed for apples, carved turnips (ah, the distinctive smell of candle-scorched turnip...)

 
I've heard of this and I've always wondered - how big are these turnips? The ones we can buy around here are about the size of an apple and I'd think it would be tricky to fit a candle in one of those. :confused:

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2016, 03:24:21 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;198471
I've heard of this and I've always wondered - how big are these turnips? The ones we can buy around here are about the size of an apple and I'd think it would be tricky to fit a candle in one of those. :confused:

 
Beryl likely means big yellow turnips (rutabagas); it sounds like you're thinking of purple-top turnips. (If the terminology I've chosen here doesn't help sort it out, there's an archive-forum thread that turned into a discussion about international variance in food, especially vegetable, terminology, that delves specifically into the 'different things people call turnips' problem; the turnip subconvo starts here.)

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2016, 04:21:06 am »
Quote from: Beryl;198459
Eh, depends who you ask - certainly trick or treating was a Strange Exciting Sweet-Based Foreign Mystery we only ever saw on TV growing up in the 80s and 90s, but we bobbed for apples, carved turnips (ah, the distinctive smell of candle-scorched turnip...) and sometimes did things like peeling an apple all in one go and flinging the peel over our shoulder to find out our future husbands' initial (usually S, sometimes O or C...) My birthday's in late October and there was often a bit of Hallowe'en crossover into my parties, from what I remember.

I also remember quite vividly (though sadly not vividly enough to recall the title to find a copy on abebooks) a book I had about witches, a mix of spooky child-friendly horror, crafts and toned-down history of the witch craze, which had a fairly long chapter on fun things to make for Hallowe'en, and I'm 99% sure it wasn't American, it had things like "make up a packet of jelly with milk and pour it into a rubber glove, let it set and then remove the glove for a spooky disembodied hand!"

Personally, I'm in team "make holidays work for you", whether that means Serious Business, Party Hard or a mix of the two (or indeed Don't Really Do Anything Other Than Have A Little Pray/Think.)

 
Maybe it's a generational thing - perhaps you're a little older than me? Or a family/local culture thing. I did none of that (I'm 38) and was only barely aware of Halloween growing up. It was basically a thing I saw on American TV. I do remember a party at Brownies once, but most of us went without costumes!


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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2016, 10:34:57 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;198053
This is something I notice every year, and while I don't necessarily celebrate Samhain/November Eve as a pagan sabbat anymore, I do have a sentimental attachment to it remaining from when I followed neo-paganism more closely.
Eh. Halloween wasn't even a thing in Australia - or at least the small city I'm from, until like 5 years ago. Many Aussie patriots are still anti-Halloween, being under the impression it's strictly American and therefore "American bullshit".
My parents always shunned it. I was taught to shun it.
Nowadays, we just buy lollies for potential tick-or-treaters and that's really it.
Holidays dont really have any relevance towards me. I just like to think what my ancestors were up to on "X"-day 200+ years ago.
But since I dont live on a farm, I have electricity and have access to the same food all year round, the coming and going of seasons doesn't really affect me enough to celebrate it.
Christmas is nice, because my parents (I have no other family here) still make it traditionally East European (and though Christian, East European traditions have very prominent pagan undertones). But essentially it's still just "Christmas" and not any winter (or "summer" should I say) festival.
While my ancestors were celebrating the end of the fruitful and harvesting season, I'm sitting in an air-conditioned room with 35C+ degrees outside, eating supermarket food, either sourced locally or from god-knows where. Thus, the concept of Christmas is totally flipped in my opinion.
And same goes for any other European seasonal holiday.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 10:37:02 pm by Eevee »
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mandrina

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2016, 10:24:54 am »
Quote from: Eevee;198543
Eh. Halloween wasn't even a thing in Australia - or at least the small city I'm from, until like 5 years ago. Many Aussie patriots are still anti-Halloween, being under the impression it's strictly American and therefore "American bullshit".
My parents always shunned it. I was taught to shun it.
Nowadays, we just buy lollies for potential tick-or-treaters and that's really it.
Holidays dont really have any relevance towards me. I just like to think what my ancestors were up to on "X"-day 200+ years ago.
But since I dont live on a farm, I have electricity and have access to the same food all year round, the coming and going of seasons doesn't really affect me enough to celebrate it.
Christmas is nice, because my parents (I have no other family here) still make it traditionally East European (and though Christian, East European traditions have very prominent pagan undertones). But essentially it's still just "Christmas" and not any winter (or "summer" should I say) festival.
While my ancestors were celebrating the end of the fruitful and harvesting season, I'm sitting in an air-conditioned room with 35C+ degrees outside, eating supermarket food, either sourced locally or from god-knows where. Thus, the concept of Christmas is totally flipped in my opinion.
And same goes for any other European seasonal holiday.

just a comment, christmas isn't seasonal.  Christmas is placed in the Christian liturgical calendar without any reference to season.  Yule in Australia is in June, Midsummer is in December.

Halloween, or All Hallow's Eve, All Saints and All Souls is at the end of October and the first 2 days of November, no matter where you are in the world if you are a western Christian.  It's not seasonal.  Samhain in the southern Hemisphere is in May, Beltaine is at the same time as Halloween there, cause that's spring/summer.

Some of us northern pagans just conflate Halloween and Samhain when we're talking, when we shouldn't.  Sorry about that.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 10:30:25 am by mandrina »
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Beryl

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2016, 06:17:00 pm »
Quote from: Naomi J;198505
Maybe it's a generational thing - perhaps you're a little older than me? Or a family/local culture thing. I did none of that (I'm 38) and was only barely aware of Halloween growing up. It was basically a thing I saw on American TV. I do remember a party at Brownies once, but most of us went without costumes!

 
Actually, we're the same age! My family's from various bits of Up North, though (Tyneside, Merseyside, mainly, but mum lived kind of all over, growing up) and my parents were both kinda hippies - not exactly witchy/pagan, but kind of fringe-ly so, if you see what I mean, so it could be that they were more into it because of that?

We lived in London since just before I turned five, though, and we definitely did at least some stuff in school - only thing I can remember off the top of my head is a Hallowe'en party in secondary school, but I think there was other stuff in primary, but it kind of blurs with the Harvest Festival stuff (it was a CofE school). But yeah, it was maybe  more of a thing we did at home, I think. (Also, my mum REALLY likes apples, so that could have been a motivating factor ;) )

Oh, and for the person who was asking about the turnips, this is the sort of thing I mean:



I assume they must have been verrrrrry difficult to carve, though, raw turnip is practically rock hard, unless you have the foresight to buy one enough in advance for it to get a bit over ripe and soften a bit. Got to admit I don't think my hands would be up to it!

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