Guy Fawks night or Cracker night, as we used to call it, has long gone. Catherine wheels and Sparklers and Tom Thumbs along with Double Bungers were all the go. Done as a community event with good adult supervision, all went well, but there were many tragic incidents that left children with fingers blown off and blind eyes. Hallowe’en was there but not nearly as significant.
According to Elizabeth Farrelly (The hidden depths of Halloween, SMH, Sat. 28.10.17) there is more to it than simply orange pumpkins and scary face masks.
“Guy Fawkes is exposed as honouring terrorism, while Halloween reveals its roots in ancient spiritual practice, conjuring our druidic past and mapping a possible future.” says Farrelly.
Being on the eve of All Saints’ Day (aka All Hallows), it marks the start of the annual welcome to the souls of the departed: All Saints on November 1 and All Souls, November 2.
“Of course, these are Christian festivals. As usual, though, they occupy the remains of ancient pagan rites, and therefore mark auspicious moments of the earth’s seasonal cycle.
In fact All Hallows engulfed not one but two pre-existing religious festivals – the Celtic Samhain (pronounced Sow-in) and the pre-Spanish Central American Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos).”
Interpreted by some as being nothing more than superstitions, “Isn’t it possible that a worshipful approach to nature would be less stupid than continuing to regard the earth as our toy, to be trashed at our pleasure,” Farrelly asks.
“The basic idea is familiar enough – spirit within matter: body as temple of the soul, temple as container of god. Traditionally, ground became sacralised through the interment of the dead, or through sacrifice. Hence, Halloween.
Roger Scruton, philosopher, Catholic and arch Tory, argues that our relationship with earth is an “I to You encounter”. It’s a depth-to-depth connection, the loss or destruction of which, he argues, brings “not hatred but an ever-expanding heartlessness”. Ring any bells?
He’s not proposing the Gaia theory, which – conceiving the earth as a complex system – is still scientistic. Rather, he makes humans and nature equivalent moral entities engaged in what he calls an “erotic” relationship; subject-to-subject, face-to-face. It’s a love thing. Until we see this, and live accordingly, we’ll never truly belong on the planet.”
So amid all the hoo hah spare a thought for the real meaning of Hallowe’en and nurturing a sense of belonging to our earth mother. Read the full story at: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-hidden-depths-of-halloween-20171026-gz8uxx.html