Thursday, October 29, 2009
There are ancient teachings around the traditions of carving pumpkins for Halloween. Some of these teachings have recently been "claimed" by the Christian Church as their own, which is only a pathetic attempt to justify the fact that they cannot control their people. Their people resonate with some of the ancient traditions and so in order to not lose their parishioners, they take the original teachings and spin it in a way that "feels good" and claim it as their own. Whatever.
So in the original traditions, feasts were laid out at night to feed the ancestral spirits. Samhain, or Halloween, is a time when the Veils are very thin between this world and the Otherworlds. In order for our modern society to be able to "predict" the event, it is marked as October 31st on our calendars. But Samhain actually is the full moon closest to the 31st of October. So this year the time is actually on the 2nd of November. The spirits were honored by having a feast laid out. This was a sacrificial feast of gourds, corn, grains, cooked foods etc. These feasts were never consumed by the people. They were laid out overnight and then composted the next day. To feed on the feast was considered to be very poor form, much like theft. It would bring about very bad karma. And for anyone who has actually fed on a feast that was meant for the Spirits, you will know that the food has a dead or depleted taste anyway and really does not nourish the living body.
So then there was the issue of helping the spirits find their way to the food. Candles were lit, but the wind could easily blow out the candle. So shelter for the candle was needed as well as a protection for the feast so that passers by would not just up and take the food. Pumpkin lanterns were made so that all would know that this food was sacred for the spirits and to not take any, lest you set yourself up for some nasty consequences.
When creating a pumpkin lantern, or Jack'0'Lantern, one first opens it up, much like opening up one's mind for any form of sacred undertaking. Then one scoops out the pulp, the mind clutter. Once the clutter is expelled from the mind, one's eyes and ears can open to see and hear what is actually right there in front of us all the time, that being the guidance of Spirit. Some carve out a nose, so that it opens the breath, which is the flow of energy, as well. Then there is a mouth that is carved so that we are able to "spread the word" of Spirit. All this is then lit up with a candle in order to allow Spirit to shine forth from within. The lantern is then set out with the food to invite Spirit to join in the feast. Energetically the feast is consumed and then the remains, or "left overs", are composted, honoring the cycle of birth, life, death and decay, and rebirth.
So there you have it. Here is wishing you all a vibrant Samhain!