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Author Topic: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans  (Read 6690 times)

Sefiru

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2016, 06:39:39 pm »
Quote from: Beryl;198586

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!


Thanks! And that is indeed what I would call a rutabaga. I suppose back in the day, people had them stacked up in their root cellars so finding a soft one might not have been as difficult.

rocquelaire

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2016, 04:05:23 am »
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!


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I'm 33, from the West of Scotland, and Halloween was quite a big deal when I was growing up. We went guising, made spooky decorations, ducked for apples and played a game that involved eating a treacle-covered scone or pancake that was hanging from a string, while having your hands tied behind your back.

So for me, Halloween games and celebrations pre-date my Samhain celebrations and they have nothing to do with each other.
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Beryl

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2016, 04:16:08 am »
Quote from: rocquelaire;198600
I'm 33, from the West of Scotland, and Halloween was quite a big deal when I was growing up. We went guising, made spooky decorations, ducked for apples and played a game that involved eating a treacle-covered scone or pancake that was hanging from a string, while having your hands tied behind your back.

So for me, Halloween games and celebrations pre-date my Samhain celebrations and they have nothing to do with each other.

 
Oh, good point, actually, my dad's parents were both born in England, but on his dad's side he was very proudly Of Scottish Descent (his dad's dad, I *think* - we had a little thingy on the mantle with the Clan Motto and a Bit Of The Tartan, and such), so some of it could have come from looking into that, rather than the Northern Englishness?

Sophia C

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2016, 04:18:07 am »
Quote from: rocquelaire;198600
I'm 33, from the West of Scotland, and Halloween was quite a big deal when I was growing up. We went guising, made spooky decorations, ducked for apples and played a game that involved eating a treacle-covered scone or pancake that was hanging from a string, while having your hands tied behind your back.

So for me, Halloween games and celebrations pre-date my Samhain celebrations and they have nothing to do with each other.

 
Oh yeah, I've heard about Halloween stuff from my Scottish friends, and my Irish family do the turnip-carving thing. I think it might have been down here in the culture-less south that there was less of it. My Scottish friend, who's from one of the islands, talks about going from house to house asking for gifts and blessings for the year to come. I forget which island she's from, but there are a lot of local traditions there. So I can well believe there are places in the UK that have retained pre-Americanisation traditions better than where I'm from. Poor old urbanised London. Alas, Halloween here now is mostly kids throwing fireworks at cars and demanding sweets and threatening to egg people's houses if they don't hand them over. (This year was really scary - I didn't set foot outside, but not just because of the spirits!) I wonder why I live here sometimes!


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Demophon

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2016, 07:01:27 pm »
Quote from: Noctua;198080
Here's how I see it, though: the Charge of the Goddess, which most Wiccans follow last I checked, specifically calls for both mirth and reverence, paired together. So turning a deeply spiritual holiday into an occasion with a bit of fun in it too is still well within acceptable bounds, I'd imagine.

It's also funny that you mention the Catholic church as being very reverent and focused on tradition, because the Catholic church I attended when I was young would have Fr. Chuck give the Christmas morning mass every year while wearing a Santa hat. I know that's not going to be everyone's experience, but it at least illustrates that it's not all serious business everywhere.


OK, I give in. You and those who have made similar posts are right, the cheese stands alone. I admit I'm an uptight cow who doesn't understand alcohol culture and am irritated by rampant commercialism, but I shouldn't piss on other people's fun. I don't think I'm very good at compartmentalizing the various levels of holiday celebration (commercial, social, religious). At Christmas I have no time for Santa Claus or Jingle Bells, I like Lessons and Carols and Solemn Midnight Mass. This time of year is the same, I'll take an All Souls Requiem Mass over silly costumes any day. I had to admit, I do insist on watching Hocus Pocus and various Tim Burton movies (Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride) during the Halloween season.

Oíche

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2016, 07:18:54 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.

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.

It's probably just another case of solitary eclectic Wicca being accessible to the mainstream, and anyone who likes Practical Magic can buy some silly book in the New Age section of a major bookstore and pretend to be Sally Owens without a full grasp of the tradition whose label they are claiming. It's really nothing new, but I guess I'm just an old grump.

I celebrate Samhain, it is an important time to me to honour those who have passed on and certain deities that I associate with this time of the year. Samhain is also the beginning of Irish winter for me- something which has come in with a bang during the last two weeks- it has gotten noticeably colder here.

However, I also celebrate Halloween because I enjoy it. It's a huge cultural festival in Ireland and I see no reason why I shouldn't celebrate both! I held my Samhain observance and attended my local ritual which was a respectful and somber affair- but I also enjoyed myself and ate lots of sweets on the night itself. They are related in the Irish mindset, but distinct festivals.
And Hocus Pocus has been a favourite of mine since long before I became a pagan so I'm not gonna stop loving Halloween now- as far as I'm concerned, it is perfectly fine to celebrate both ;)

As an aside, a Czech friend of mine carved an apple this year which I thought was a really cute idea!
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 07:20:14 pm by Oíche »
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Oskar

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2016, 09:50:10 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.

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.

It's probably just another case of solitary eclectic Wicca being accessible to the mainstream, and anyone who likes Practical Magic can buy some silly book in the New Age section of a major bookstore and pretend to be Sally Owens without a full grasp of the tradition whose label they are claiming. It's really nothing new, but I guess I'm just an old grump.

 
Each to their own. I have two Halloweens. The first I regard as Samhain on the night of the 1st of June, the start of Winter here in Western Outback New South Wales. This is a solemn time to honour my Ancestors. The second is the Americanised Halloween night - the 31st October, the more light-hearted dress up / trick or treat social occasion. It has no relevance to my practice but is just a fun date of the year.

AsraiDouglas

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2016, 12:10:17 am »
Quote from: Demophon;198716
OK, I give in. You and those who have made similar posts are right, the cheese stands alone. I admit I'm an uptight cow who doesn't understand alcohol culture and am irritated by rampant commercialism, but I shouldn't piss on other people's fun. I don't think I'm very good at compartmentalizing the various levels of holiday celebration (commercial, social, religious). At Christmas I have no time for Santa Claus or Jingle Bells, I like Lessons and Carols and Solemn Midnight Mass. This time of year is the same, I'll take an All Souls Requiem Mass over silly costumes any day. I had to admit, I do insist on watching Hocus Pocus and various Tim Burton movies (Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride) during the Halloween season.


I waffle between being all "WOO HALLOWEEN LET'S GET DRUNK ON CIDER AND EAT ALL THE PUMPKIN THINGS" and "Take my Holiday seriously!  This is meaningful for me!"

I grew up Catholic, so I'm all about that solemnity on the actual day of a holiday.  But I'm also a bit traumatized from having worked retail and trying to get Halloween off because it's a holiday was basically impossible...

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2016, 12:52:21 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;198716
OK, I give in. You and those who have made similar posts are right, the cheese stands alone. I admit I'm an uptight cow who doesn't understand alcohol culture and am irritated by rampant commercialism, but I shouldn't piss on other people's fun. I don't think I'm very good at compartmentalizing the various levels of holiday celebration (commercial, social, religious). At Christmas I have no time for Santa Claus or Jingle Bells, I like Lessons and Carols and Solemn Midnight Mass. This time of year is the same, I'll take an All Souls Requiem Mass over silly costumes any day. I had to admit, I do insist on watching Hocus Pocus and various Tim Burton movies (Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride) during the Halloween season.

 
Hey man, you do you. It doesn't make you a bad person or anything, just potentially less likely to be invited to parties. You have every right to focus on the solemn side of the holiday if that's what you like.

Me, I just get drunk, wear a morbid costume, drink PSLs for a month straight and eat a ton of candy.... THEN have the ultra serious rituals. Sometimes you can have it both ways.

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2016, 12:54:22 pm »
Quote from: Morag;198062
...sounds like the same sort of hand-wringing that comes up pretty much every Pagan Pride about the pagans who ~dare~ wear fairy wings or glitter or fun costumes to PPD because apparently "serious about one's religion" also needs to mean "dresses in neutrals and is solemn all the time".

 
See, great, now I'm just picturing all khaki and it's giving me hives. St. Tim Gunn preserve us.

mandrina

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Re: Irreverence Towards Halloween, Even Among Pagans
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2016, 02:52:41 pm »
Quote from: Morag;198062
....


TBH your whole post sounds like the same sort of hand-wringing that comes up pretty much every Pagan Pride about the pagans who ~dare~ wear fairy wings or glitter or fun costumes to PPD because apparently "serious about one's religion" also needs to mean "dresses in neutrals and is solemn all the time". Personally I'm not really interested in community with pagans who are going to shame me for letting my freak flag fly or being more interested in ecstatic, mirthful worship than the alternative.

I mean there are way worse things that fellow pagans or witches could be doing than ~gasp~ enjoying dressing up or having fun on a holiday that is also secular so I'd much rather save what few spoons I have for being upset for the important stuff.

 
Side note:  And fairy wings are useful with small children.  Put them on a leash and you get dirty looks, put fairy wings and a leash on them, and they are oh so cute.  And no dirty looks. Religion should be fun as well as everything else.  Fun, challenging, interesting, fulfilling, is way better than fear.  Now if complete seriousness is (general) your thing, then great, otherwise leave some fun for the rest of us.  

as a side note, we finally got a story about my perfect mother from my grandmother.  it seems i got my stroller/ harness houdini escape moves directly from my mother.
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