Samhain? Halloween? Both?

So, it’s that time of year again. People are dressing up, the cold is coming… Sort of… It’s been unseasonably warm this year… It’s frigging October, Mother Nature, get a clue already!
What was i saying? Right!

So, as a Pagan, at this time of year, i celebrate Samhain. Some say this is the Pagan new year, others call this the Third Harvest and for others yet still, it’s the time of remembering our dead.
For me, personally, it’s a time to prepare for the Winter. Not many people have to do this physically these days. They do it, in the Pagan community at least, as a tradition, honouring the old ways and all that… But i have to do it every year because despite modern life, the Winter really hits me quite hard. The pain is worse, the depression is worse, my anxiety is through the roof! So i have to start winding things down, figuring out what is a priority this year and what isn’t… Stepping back from things i was doing during the Summer… As such, it’s quite a testy time for me… My fuse is shorter, my tolerance is seriously lacking and i’m, generally, just a bit of a dick!… More than usual!

So, it’s a little annoying that the holiday that bugs me the most, is right at the time when everything is bugging me just that little bit more! This isn’t because of my short temper, it’s because of the way others celebrate it…

Now, i’m one of those people who thinks that whatever you believe, it’s no one else’s business and so long as you’re not harming anyone, who cares, right?

Well… The way the larger chunk of Pagans celebrate Halloween/Samhain (which are two DIFFERENT holidays, by the way and about a bloody week apart!), that is hurting people.

It’s taken a long bloody time for Pagans to start getting some credibility and respect in this country again. It’s taken decades of work by some amazing people, for others to stop looking at us like we’re idiotic teenagers who just want to play at being witch. For some of us, this isn’t a game, it’s our life… And celebrating Samhain as the secular Halloween, is actually quite damaging to that work because, frankly, it makes you all look like you haven’t a clue what you’re doing…

Now, if you want to celebrate the secular Halloween, what it’s become culturally with trick or treating, costume parties and whatnot, that’s fine… But to do that and call it Paganism is spitting in the face of every person who is working their ass off to stop people from looking at us like we’re fools.

Samhain is a quarter point, whatever else it is. It’s the point between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice. These are deeply spiritual events for Pagans. We celebrate the changing of the seasons, we reflect, we prepare, we party together! And that’s all great! But this hasn’t a thing to do with Halloween, which is a Christian holiday and never has been Pagan. It’s the day before All Saints Day, believe it or not! Which is another Christian celebration.

Now, i’m not saying don’t celebrate both; i certainly do! We don’t have enough to celebrate and laugh about as a society these days, with all the shit we’re being put through by the governments we keep idiotically voting in as a collective… BUT, if you’re gong to celebrate, at least know what it is you’re celebrating! Separate the two! Because if not, you’re going to look as daft… Well… As you look in that Spongebob outfit in suspenders and heels… I’m not even joking, i saw someone dressed in that exact costume… I’m sure the real Spongebob would have been delighted! The guys legs were amazing! Where was i going with this? Remembering those pins has distracted me completely from the point!

Oh yeah!

If you want to learn more about Samhain, this blog post is fantastic, by a spiffing chap who really knows his stuff and has done more than the Love and Light brigade and opened more than one book and decided that was enough education for him… He really knows what he’s talking about…


So… The point to my rambling through my fibro fog was… Celebrate however you choose… But just remember that right now, the Pagan community is still fighting tooth and nail to not look like that teenager who saw The Craft that one time and decided they were an hereditary witch from some Royal Wicca bloodline (another thing i’ve seen people claim. *sigh*)… We’re succeeding in some areas… But each and every one of you are a representative of our cause, whether you like it or not… Someone i call friend, who i won’t name, said very recently, that the community is currently so small that each of us may well be the first Pagan that a person ever meets… Now… Thinking on that… When you think of the representatives of our community that you see speaking for us in the news or being in documentaries etc… Are you one of those that you feel proud to have speaking for you? Or are you one of those that make the rest of us roll our eyes so far, we’re not sure they’ll ever roll back? Because from where i’m sitting, most of you are the latter… And that’s really not fair on the rest of us…

So… However you celebrate, just have a think…

Happy Halloween…

Have a blessed Samhain!


2 thoughts on “Samhain? Halloween? Both?

  1. Thank you, Debbie, for stating a point I have been making for years, that the two are different to each other. Don’t get me wrong, I love the dressing up and the house decorating etc for Halloween, but a completely different tone is taken for Samhain. I have had a fairly good day today so I’ve spent all my spoons on a couple of cleaning tasks that needed doing and now I’m off to bed again!
    I love reading your stuff and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. Sending spoons and gentle hugs xx


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