As I was carving the design my 16 year old daughter drew on the face of a pumpkin I went out and asked her why I was doing this and not her? She sort of laughed as she circled our large outdoor all weather trampoline and said, "I've got homework to do Dad as soon as I finish exercising." I got it and went in and set up to carve the pumpkin with a large butcher knife and buck like lock blade knife. As I carved it I thought about how this whole thing must have gotten started. Since I have studied Anthropology and cultural anthropology I think I have an idea of what it all means.
A Pumpkin would be something parents would carve for their children to scare away evil spirits but also to scare the children into doing what is right. It is sort of like all our ancestors are in (as ghosts) in these jack o'lanterns scaring away bad people and bad spirits from their families and children after they have gone over to the other side. Also, the "Day of the Dead" which is what Halloween is all about is the day that all the ghosts from the other side come back to visit relatives before the 7 sacred weeks before Christmas begin in Christian traditions. So, you have a more pagan holiday "Day of the Dead" and "Halloween" coming the day before the November 1st All Saints Day.
As an intuitive October, especially Halloween always sort of gave me the creepie crawlies as a kid growing up. I also, mostly trick or Treated as "Casper, the friendly Ghost" because this is a lot how I saw myself as a spirit as a nice person around all sorts of scary people growing up but still sort of as a ghost because this was more real for me than being alive as a child. I had already almost died of whooping cough at age 2 and the last year of being "Casper, the friendly Ghost" for Halloween I got Childhood epilepsy which made me want to kill myself to not go through that anymore. So, I saw myself as a ghost before epilepsy and also after when I was 15 and got over it and got to be spiritual and religious as a way to survive my near death experiences.
So, though I see the joy Halloween has always brought most people, to me it has always been a little scary, because I have always seen the dead as an intuitive, and growing up it was a little weird to deal with. "I see Dead People" like the kid in the movie.
However, now as an adult Halloween I don't approach with dread anymore just with a kind of uneasiness with all the ghosts flitting about in real time. I'm always very relieved when All Saints Day (November 1st begins) and the energy lifts us all into more of a heaven realm and that always brings me peace and happiness. Ghosts are okay but they are usually not very happy whereas Saints and Angels are always peaceful and happy.
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