Friday, October 30, 2009
Halloween is the time of year when we put on masks and go out and be something, someone different than we are.
Yet this annual event of becoming someone else by putting on a costume or mask, is something we subconsciously do every day of the year and perhaps a different mask many times a day depending on where we are, who we are with, the role we have assumed, etc. We often choose the mask that matches the mask of the person we’re trying to please. The masks we have chosen to wear in our varied experiences are a way to keep us safe, but hides our true self from others and ourselves.
And that is exactly what the Celts were doing on Hollows Eve … trying to hide their identity to keep themselves safe. Celts who lived 2000 years ago, celebrated the New Year on Nov. 1. This marked the end of the Summer and harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold Winter. The Celts believed that transitions, times when things change from one state to another, had magical properties.
They, thus, believed the night before New Years was a powerful time in which the veils between the two realms was thinned , allowing one to move between the two worlds with ease. October 31st they celebrated Samhain or Hallow’s Eve, when the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. Afraid the undead would harm them and cause trouble, the Celts left out food on their door steps to keep their homes safe from these ghosts.
And if the Celts people needed to venture out on this eve, they would dress up in costume and don masks in hopes of being mistaken for one of the ghosts' fellow spirits. Just as we do with the masks we wear every day. To hide our true identity, to keep ourselves safe, to fit in, and pretend to be something we are not.
Indeed October 31st - Halloween – is a magical and powerful time. A transitional time. A time to get in touch with our inner spirit, to observe ourselves more clearly as the veil of illusion is thinned. As the lines of our two worlds, our inner self and our outer selves (our own ghosts), are blurred. Opening up the realms so we can move with ease into deeper regions of ourselves and begin to remove the masks.
This Halloween I am going to be someone totally different than I, or anyone has ever been...
I am going to be me!