For many people Halloween is their favorite holiday, hands down. Is it the candy, the costumes, the pumpkins, the atmosphere, the abandon, the synchronicity of all of these, or something else unseen but felt?
Beyond the annoyance of the commercial emergence of spooky lawn and door decorations in August, when October comes in properly with the leaves turning and a nip in the air, Halloween presents itself as a promise. There is a spaciousness, an invitation to explore what you might become.
Surely, demons, ghost and ghouls seem to hold sway, but the ‘no holds bar’ approach to All Hallows Eve stage whispers to us, “Hey you, yes you. Lighten up, you can be anything.” From a metaphysical point of view, we are all wearing a mask. What peeks out from behind our eyes, also looks out from everything with, and without, eyes. Halloween reminds us we are part of a grander masquerade.
There is also, perhaps, less judgement associated with this fete than with most family-centered holidays. There isn’t the insistent pressure to keep up personal appearances. Maybe, there is a pressure to perfect a costume, but while the public gaze is focused externally, the holiday provides a moment for you to enjoy a space inside yourself.
In fact, our internal prankster is called forth to frolic, if not from door to door, then whistling down the street of our hearts; splashing in the puddles of our internal canvases. Life itself is a playful prankster, dancing with free will. With these dance partners swirling about, anything can and inevitably does happen. Halloween is an open invitation to join in this dance.
Of course, it is only natural that someone will try and control this dance for us. Corporations capitalize, fundamentalists sermonize, mediocrity will homogenize…
Recently, someone told me it was dangerous and delusional to go around loving everybody. There was “this pesky little thing called “reality” out there.” It is this “reality” that is somehow questioned and challenged by Halloween. Reality can be a scary place, especially if we become ruled by fear, cold reason, or blinded by conviction.
As the seeming divide widens in our country and in the world, it becomes easier to cling to our convictions, our religions, our political parties. This can make us puritanical in whatever stance we are currently taking. It can make the circles we stand in smaller, as we become afraid to step outside of what we deem to be safe.
Halloween calls to us to come outside and play. It says, “Yes, there are frightening things in life, and you are one of them! Let’s face our fears together and recognize that we aren’t so different after all.
So, whether or not you a fan of this harvest holiday, may your bounty be sweet. May you give yourself permission to trick “reality” into a treat.