The other day I was thinking. I know, I know, it was a dangerous thing for my poor little mind, but sometimes even I need to go down that road. And after some minutes of the poor little mice struggling to overcome inertia and get the wheels turning stuff like the following spewed out:
Halloween is one of the few co-created society-wide events in our society. Christmas is another one, the other “major” holidays less so. These are events where a majority of people buy into the event and work together to create an atmosphere. With Christmas, for example, people put lights on their houses and decorations outside for others to share in as an experience.
Small examples of this that I’ve experienced are small weekend pagan events where we all agree to co-create a particular world around us. I go to one entitled Pirates & Faeries. Everyone dresses up, decorates their living space, and work together to decorate our shared spaces. The results are spectacular. We live within a fantasy world that we have all worked together to create. Which also means that everywhere you go lies within that world so long as you stay within the boundaries.
Halloween is co-created on a much grander scale. Sure people opt out, but enough opt in that the entire day becomes a co-created “fantastical” world.
Monsters and dead things abound.
My gods, just think about this, being fearful is encouraged and celebrated. And then we’re taught to laugh at our fears. We are taught to wear our fears on the outside of our skin, to BE the very horrors that have us hiding under our covers.
How gods-freaking-fabulous-tastic is that?
Seriously. Look at this outlet we have given ourselves from mundane reality, and it’s for everyone! AND we’re saying it’s okay to be scared. And we’ll join with everyone else in making it happen. How wacked is that?
This is the only holiday/celebration in my society that goes beyond the shared co-creating of an environment (xmas does that with all the lights and external decorations) and invites us to GO INTO EACH OTHERS LIVES!
There are only two generally, sort of accepted ways to visit someone’s house if you don’t know them:
1) you’re selling something, from god to floor cleaners, cookies to makeup, you’re there to sell.
2) you’re begging for help, like a phone call for your car, a run-over pet, psychotic man in mask trying to kill you who turns out to be your brother who killed your older sister many years before and has now escaped from the prison/sanitarium and is now going to kill you
But then there is this bizarre, magical third reason:
3) It’s Halloween.
Um, wtf? Why on earth is it acceptable on this one day of the year to go wandering to some strangers house, ring their door, and ask for CANDY?!?
Just stop and think about it for a minute if it hasn’t already struck you. Outside of Halloween, have you ever just gone up to somebody’s house, knocked on their door and expected to receive something nice? Just try and picture it happening. Try and picture doing it.
And yet on Halloween, it’s expected. And that it’s okay for kids to do it (even now when we’re terrified to let them touch dirt let alone talk to strangers). And that those who have opted in (with the lit pumpkin) have agreed to a social contract to open that door and give out goodies.
This is so freaking bizarre it makes me proud to live here.
~Abysmal Witch, in her element.