Q: Why do we celebrate Halloween, and why do we concentrate on horror? I hate it all.
A: When I tune in to the energy of Halloween, the first thing I get is that people overall like to escape into fantasy, to dress up and become someone else sometimes. There’s more physical energy to be felt from partaking in the lower energies of horror and evil and violence and danger. I say physical energy because that’s felt in the body, which is the lower frequencies of the three energies I mainly deal with: body, mind, and spirit.
Spiritual energy is the highest frequency, but it is an energy that also needs a finely tuned physical body in order to feel and experience it. Otherwise we’re like humans trying to hear dog whistles. The lower energy that gets associated with Halloween is letting us be humans hearing noises all humans can hear. Most humans can’t experience the higher frequencies associated with spiritual energy, so they get energized by lower frequencies.
I personally have always had a strong aversion to Halloween, but have tried to make some peace with it throughout the years. One thing I never waver from, however, is letting my children dress up in violent costumes. Last year my son was a Whoopee cushion. I also don’t decorate with those violent images anywhere, or do anything that scares anyone.
But here are some different things to consider around the whole holiday of Halloween. First, it happens in the fall, right before the winter sets in (or if it’s like some years around here, right AFTER winter sets in), so it’s a ripe time for the symbolism of death that’s associated with the changing seasons.
It’s also kind of around the time of the fall equinox, a powerful time when the days are equal in length to the night, again a time that’s marked by the changes in our days. We know from this time on we will be experiencing an imbalance of sunlight to moonlight by measuring continuously heavier on the moonlight side. That’s associated with darkness, with mystery, with things we can’t see. It’s also a few days before All Saint’s Day when the ghosts of the dead are supposed to rise. Also All Hallow’s Eve, and even the Day of the Dead.
I think it’s possible to recreate the crass, overcommercialized holiday of Halloween (which most of the major holidays frankly are) into one of sacredness and one that has personal meaning. We can transcend the tendencies of the lower energy to have such a strong hold by becoming more aware and conscious and changing it on an individual basis.
I realized it was taking a lot of my energy fighting Halloween when I’m obviously outnumbered. Anytime men get to dress up like women and have that be perfectly okay, and people get to party and get candy, hey -– that’s a hard one to beat.
So I’ve taken more interest in the Day of the Dead. I’ve researched its history and want to expand my horizons this year by making skeleton cookies. I’ve talked about having a Day of the Dead party, but haven’t made it that far. I don’t know how well that will go over with the other parents. I was THRILLED to see that the Plains Art Museum was doing an art exhibit this fall around the Day of the Dead. I love to see other cultures represented in our community – I think it makes everything richer to be exposed to other perspectives and viewpoints.
So what IS the Day of the Dead? “Also known as Día de los Muertos, is an annual festival in Mexico and other parts of Latin America, commonly celebrated on November 1st and 2d. Its ancient Mesoamerican roots now augmented by Christian custom, it celebrates the dead with joy and humor rather than mourning, and coincides with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Family graves are cleaned and decorated, and home altars (ofrendas) are embellished with offerings, e.g., candles, photos, foods, flowers. Special holiday breads and sugar skulls are baked and consumed, and charmingly colorful folk-art skeletons engaged in a variety of everyday activities commemorate the day.” (information from “Day of the Dead.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 3 Oct. 2009
That sounds like a pretty great way to integrate life and death into our lives, with celebration rather than grisly symbolism. There could be a lot of ways to incorporate some of these ideas into our fall traditions. It could bring not only more meaning to our individual lives, but help expand us by exposing us to other cultures and experiences.
Earthly, physical, bodily “things” aren’t bad, but if WE are imbalanced we can make them feel that way. But I think it’s not only a good idea, but very important, to be able to integrate all three of our energies (body, mind and spirit) into our everyday lives. Then we may not feel we need that adrenaline rush that comes from witnessing, seeing, or thinking about violence, horror, and bloodshed and transform that energy into ways that can feed our whole lives. That physical energy can help us manifest the intuitive, creative ideas into our lives by bringing enthusiasm, drive and desire.
But again – if you ask yourself what that physical energy is encouraging you to do, you can get some good answers as to whether or not something is helpful to you. Call me judgmental, I can never see a justified reason for participating in the lower energies of violence, torture, killing or hatred, so don’t even try to justify it to me. But death? Death is a part of the whole circle – not separate. Maybe in our attempt to make peace with it we make a mockery of it by creating exaggerated scenes, scenarios and situations, staging dramas in the hopes that somehow we can make friends with that great Unknown.
But I don’t think that’s necessary. Maybe we just need to do a little sleuthing to uncover our feelings about death, then maybe we can just sit with our feelings to understand them better. Maybe we can do something simple to make sense of it all for us, maybe we just need to do one or two things to incorporate Death into our lives. Maybe we need to do a lot. I just know that there are a lot of rich resources and help out there if we’re interested in seeing this time of year in a fresh way, and of making healthy, life-energizing changes toward a more holistic view of things.
Halloween? No, not for me, thank you. Skull cookies and an altar to honor my departed loved ones? Now that’s an idea. Here are some links for more information on other fall holidays (or just Google or Bing “Day of the Dead”). Happy Dia de los Muertos, everyone!
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