This time of year….

Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.

William Shakespeare

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Scottish saying

Halloween Pumpkins, Witch, Devil, and Black Cat
(vintage halloween card)

What is it about this time of year…
This time of year when we seem to crave the supernatural?
Is it in our nature to lean-in, ever so closely,
to those ancient tales of the “other side”?

Halloween,
what once was an evening relegated to the innocence of the imaginations of children,
has grown to become the second largest commercial “holiday” following Christmas.
No longer is All Hallow’s Eve a single night for young children to don costumes…
all the while as they canvass their neighborhoods, singing trick or treat,
as they amass a small mountain of candy…

Adults have gotten deep into the act.
With Halloween merry making and party going exceeding that of New Years Eve…
For it has now become a month long event….

Yet aside from candy and costumes, which innocently afford one the opportunity to play
dress up as some alter ego,
Halloween has become, more or less, a spiritual excuse.
An open invitation allowing ourselves to taste a bit of a spiritual realm…
But the trouble…
for that is what it becomes, a trouble…
lies in the choice of realms…

Bemused, you may wonder if there is a problem with this yearly interest,
of which borders on obsession,
in this revelry of the realm of the spirits…

And I fear that…yes, perhaps there is.

For you see, we are indeed spiritual beings…
with spirituality being hardwired into our DNA—
And history has proven that it is not necessarily always a need
for a monotheistic God that we seek,
but some sort of spirituality none the less.

Hollywood has long jumped on the bandwagon of our desire to examine spiritual realms,
while at the same time allowing us to exert that odd need to be frightened.
Spook and Horror movies, as well as those tales of witchcraft,
demon possession and specters, have long topped box offices
as we have an almost sick obsession with such.

It is as if cultures worldwide use Halloween as some sort of green light,
a go ahead in affording ourselves permission to dabble in the art of
fortune telling, tarot cards, palm readers, seances, Ouija boards,
paranormal hunting…the supernatural.
All coupled with jaunts to places that are supposedly haunted, creepy and even perhaps dangerous…
and lest we forget the trips to the myriads of haunted / horror houses
which open throughout the month.

Even Disney and Six Flags have each gotten into the act…

So we tell ourselves that that makes it all perfectly safe and harmless.

And yes Halloween, and the thought of spirits,
does indeed course through the blood of humankind….
With those roots traveling far back to Celtic Europe, the ancient Pagan Middle Eastern Kingdoms,
ancient tribes of the Americas, Asia and even Africa—
as every race of people has had that aspect of the supernatural and mystical tied
to their very beginnings.

So maybe we’ve just deem it as all innocent fun as we explore this need of the mystical.

Perhaps we merely convince ourselves that it’s simply wired
deep within the ancient core of our brains…
this odd desire to be scared and frightened…
all the while as we parle into a realm different from our own…

Maybe it’s just something we simply enjoy…

“So what,” we grouse, if it morphs into something else…
something other…
“I’m not scared, I don’t believe in that
hocus locus business…it’s just harmless fun…”

Yet there is just something troubling about it all…
Something actually quite unsettling…
Something actually very dangerous..

For in the naiveté of opening seemingly harmless doors,
we enter into an on-going battle…
an ancient battle for which we are simply not prepared to fight…

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world and against the
spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:12-13

13 comments on “This time of year….

  1. Thank you, this was encouraging to read. I too notice how Halloween starts sometime in August and has become such a season for adults seeking play, but also the supernatural. There are some ancient roots to this celebration, but really it only began about a century ago in America and has now grown. It’s kind of sad we don’t have a festival for celebrating the positive, the light, the good things about the supernatural. That’s kind of viewed as crazy, while dressing up and toying with the dark things isn’t. Go figure.

    • truly—and as you say America’s interest in such goes back to Victorian times…and yet Washington Irving with his legend of Sleepy Hallow and the fascination with the Salem Witch trials do show our early interests in the darker realm…the thing that has always worried me is how we have allowed our enthusiasm and our imaginations to run into the darkness, rather than, as you say, to the Light….

  2. David says:

    I think it was the movie ET that caused Halloween celebrations to cross the Atlantic. Prior to that I don’t remember anyone bothering with it over here. Most of the UK churches oppose Halloween and many hold light parties. Our church takes the light party out into the community and we set up in a local park where we have a ‘Treat or Treat’ party.

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    Interesting you mentioned Disney getting into the Halloween goulish act. This week our family went to Disneyland and it scared my little ones (they are under 5). There’s more to it than what most people realize…

  4. atimetoshare.me says:

    LOL – I now live in the “Halloween Capital of the World” Anoka, MN

  5. Slippery slopes indeed does our culture walk upon. We’ve quit celebrating Halloween at all these days. 🙂 ❤

    • We don’t either—when our son was little we would take him to trick or treat and carve a pumpkin—but as he got older, we just did more of a harvest thing with fall decorations that could run to Thanksgiving…

      • Yes, we did too, but then she hasn’t allowed it with any of her children. Most schools and churches do a harvest celebration like you are talking about and they would do that. 🙂

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