View Full Version : Samhain solemn, Halloween silly?

September 27th, 2002, 07:57 AM
Hi everyone!

I am thinking about writing an article for Greta's website, The Broom Closet (http://www.geocities.com/gretatheterrible/), where I have a couple of parenting aricles already posted. I would like to explore how parents reconcile the differences between celebrating Samhain and Halloween.

For instance, last year and again this year, I will celebrate Samhain on Nov 1, rather than Oct 31. My kids would not let me have a sit down solemn, family dinner where we honor and respect our ancestors while there is trick or treating to be done!

I have begun to wonder how to work the two holidays together, yet keep the meanings separate.

How do you pass along the deeper meanings of Samhain? How do you celebrate the two holidays? The same day? Differnet days? Both joyous and silly? Have you ever attempted a mute supper with your family?

Thanks for any responses. If I am able to write this article (intentions and capabilities are two very different things in my life currently:)) would you mind if I use your comments? Let me know!

September 27th, 2002, 12:00 PM
Well, last year, the J-man and I had the entire house to ourselves. Which was cool. So, I did set out a picture of my grandparents (from my parents wedding) and a mute supper for them.

James asked what it was about and I told him. He then wanted to leave something for our neighbor who had passed that summer.

This year, I'm off work, but I don't think we'll have the house to ourselves. In the morning, while he's at school I will honor my relatives and freinds who have passed. Then by the time he gets home from school, I'll be ready to be silly. :D

did that help at all?

Tammy Sullivan
September 27th, 2002, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by chryssi1
Hi everyone!

I am thinking about writing an article for Greta's website, The Broom Closet (http://www.geocities.com/gretatheterrible/),
Oh, YAY! I love your articles Chrissy and would be sooo tickled!!:D

September 27th, 2002, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by chryssi1
Have you ever attempted a mute supper with your family?

ROFLMAO!!! Oh, you are serious? there is no such thing as a mute anything where Trey is concerned....he has to sing or dance or quote something. Even when trying to play the silent game he will ask, "Am I being quiet enough?"

I think I like Ldystarlite's idea...when the kids are at school...and work (Mol), I can do my own thing. I may try to have a brief conversation with Trey about it...most every conversation with him is brief....he tends to wonder a little.

September 28th, 2002, 08:35 AM
Ldy, that is exactly what I am needing to know- Thanks!!!

Greta- *fingers crossed that I can get this done* :)

And Semele- that is my thoughts exactly!! :lol:

Anyone else?

September 29th, 2002, 07:19 PM
We live outside of town. So after we go do the candy walk in town, we come home and have a bon-fire. I talk with my grandparents while looking into the flames! My daughter likes to talk to them all the time! My hubby BBQ's a weenie LOL!
He's agnostic so he goes with the flow.
This year I'm going to have some paper to write down things I'd like to change about myself, (bad habits) and burn them in the fire.
I'll ask my daughter if she wants to also,
if not that's OK, she's pretty good anyway;)

October 11th, 2002, 10:30 AM
hey Greta... I finally wrote the article! I emailed it to you. Hope you like it.

October 11th, 2002, 11:37 AM
It's somewhat easier for me - I celebrate Samhain astrologically, which almost always happens in November, at 15 Scorpio. This year that happens to fall on the 9th of November.

Hallowe'en is a time to enjoy things with friends and their children. I like to help them take their kids out, or mind their house, or whatever. It means leaving where I live and travelling 3 hours home, but it's worth it.

It's funny, but the longer I've been pagan, the more my delight and joy at Hallowe'en has faded, to an extent. I don't get excited by costumes or black and orange or decorating the house nearly as much as I used to. I think I'm much more focused on the spiritual aspects of this time of year...but all work and no play makes Morgy a dull girl. I try to keep them balanced.


Witchy Cowgirl
October 12th, 2002, 11:48 AM
:rotfl:A mute supper! At my house! You gotta be kiddin'?:rotfl:
It's a nice idea though. Maybe later, after the kids are grown and living in a different state!

Originally posted by Morgandria

It's funny, but the longer I've been pagan, the more my delight and joy at Hallowe'en has faded, to an extent. I don't get excited by costumes or black and orange or decorating the house nearly as much as I used to. I think I'm much more focused on the spiritual aspects of this time of year...-M. :rotfl:

This year being my first offical Samhain, this had been a diffcult thing for me. Usually we through a HUGE Halloween party. Something I gear up for a year long. Hubby has said that I'm just like the mayor on Nightmare Before Christmas "Only 365 days till next Halloween" This year I really wanted to take a more spiritual approach. I was finding it really hard to try to tell the family I didn't want to have Halloween party. Good thing we were invited on a trip to take place when we usually have the party. Now the trip has been cancelled and I don't have time to plan the party.
So now after trick-or-treating I plan to come home and build a bon-fire and sit around and enjoy a quite evening with my family.

October 12th, 2002, 01:22 PM
I, for one, fully intend to make Trick Or Treating a vital religious part of my Samhain. :D

Tammy Sullivan
October 12th, 2002, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by chryssi1
hey Greta... I finally wrote the article! I emailed it to you. Hope you like it.
Well then you will be very happy as I certainly DO!!! I will post it to the site first thing tomorrow. I had to make a marathon trip for the last 30 hours, but will get the update finished ASAP. Great topic.

)O( ~ Khara~ )O(
October 13th, 2002, 12:25 AM
I wake up extra early on Samhain, I take my candles and my incense, pictures and momentos out on the lanai. There I spend a silent hour communing with those gone and giving thanks for the bounty received. I wake my oldest up earlier than the other two and allow him his quiet time, as noone he knows has ever died, he lights his candles and gives thanks.

In the evening we all go trick-or-treating, I cannot refuse them this simple pleasure, however we go early and end before 8:00.

Once home, the youngest go to bed and my oldest and I go to a special place I have and we cast our circle, call upon the elements and commune. This will be the first time he is allowed inside the circle though he has attended for years now.

I try very hard to raise my children on the celtic-wiccan-cherokee path. I have found the best is compromise on the little things and the big ones fall into the groove.

Witchy Cowgirl
October 13th, 2002, 07:52 AM
I like your idea.
Very nice, and simple.
Makes it easy.

October 14th, 2002, 05:32 PM
I consider Samhain and Halloween to be two very different holidays that just happen to land right next to eachother.

Halloween is for costumes, friends, candy, parties, getting drunk, loud music, all that fun stuff. :) It is a secular holiday, and I don't get too uptight about witch costumes or people doing fake tarot-card spreads, etc. Harmless fun, IMO. (In fact, I think I might dress up as a stereotypical witch myself this year - I found these great purple and black striped tights....*ahem* I digress...)

Samhain is genearally a time for stillness, for listening, for remembering, for revering, for paying respects and speaking to the recently and not-so-recently deceased. Also a private feast with my hubby and few select pagan friends at the start of the evening, to validate and celebrate the living and pay loud boisterous respects to those gone before us. No "mute" feast for me, it's a celebration, dangit. The stillness comes later, when I'm alone with the spirits.

Depending on how the calendar works out, I usually celebrate Samhain on Oct 31 night to Nov 1 morning, privately for the most part, except for the feast in the early evening. (I always take the entire week off from work so I have lots of time to get it all ready and then stay up all night)

Halloween I usually celebrate on a weekend before or after the fact, since I'm far too old to trick-or-treet anymore. (I tried, but people mock me, dangit!!) And it annoys the neighbors much less when you blast the music on a Saturday night instead of a Thursday or something, LOL.

I sometimes even throw a HUUUUGE Halloween feast for *all* my friends, as a sort of mirror to the smaller, more serious (but still boisterous) Samhain feast. (I just love to cook, and feed people, LOL)

I just can't give up on Halloween, it was my favorite holiday as a kid (even more than Christmas!), and as a teenager I threw many infamous parties in my parent's backyard. As an adult, I have continued with the partying, and I don't see any reason to stop. I figure the Gods can't possibly be offended by revelry and celebration at any time of the year, especially when I'm also paying attention to my spiritual health and duties on top of the pure celebrating we do. :)

October 15th, 2002, 02:26 AM
Every holiday has a soft and a light side for me.
As a child Samhain was marked with a special delight in getting a chance to be so close to the spirits.
I had an understanding of the old ways in which the holiday was celebrated.. why children wore masks etc.. and used to beat the ground with sticks to scare off bad\illmeaningspirits *i don't like the word "evil" . I also have always had a very traditional nature.. so clinging to the rite of opening the veil and saying goodbye.. or hello and goodbye.. to people and pets etc who have passed has been a necessity in my life.

Usually my circle holds their ritual the closest saturday to Samhain. So on the date I'm usually out trick or treating or at a party.

When I have my own place with my guy we'll probably have big parties and stuff, but also I'll have religious meets etc.
I think both aspects should be enjoyed really.

October 15th, 2002, 07:23 PM
Halloween has never been a really big thing for me, as I never celebrated it as a kid in Finland. We used to go trick-or-treating in Easter, dressed as witches (not Gothic style, but cheerful witchlets with red cheeks, aprons, checkered scarfs on our heads and brooms under our arms).

My kids love Halloween, though. My husband hates the commercialism and the unhealthy candy. He was very happy to hear that this Halloween (ie. Samhain) I'm planning on something more spiritual. The kids _loudly_ demanded their trick-or-treat time. So I have to juggle a bit there. I suppose it will mean honouring-the-ancestors-meal at lunch, trick-or-treating in the evening, candle burning and Tarot readings at night. Nov 1st. visit to the graveyard to show respect to those who have gone (and clean gravesites that have been neglected). Nov. 2nd on Saturday there will be a Samhain ritual with the local Pagans. I'm looking forward to it.

October 15th, 2002, 07:24 PM
AND I have to add that there are nice recipes, stories and ideas in Circle Round (by Starhawk and 2 other authors).

October 16th, 2002, 07:16 AM
It sounds as if most fo you have been able to find some great ways in which to blend the holidays or keep them separate as you see fit. That is wonderful!

If anyone would like to read the finished article, it is here (http://www.geocities.com/gretatheterrible/cpppoct.html)

Semele or mol, would you like this for the newsletter as well?

October 16th, 2002, 07:17 AM
And Ganga, yes, Circle Round has wonderful ideas. My kids still talk about leaving apples for Grandfather Deer. And we are planning on doing that again this year as well.


October 16th, 2002, 11:51 AM
Also, I read in Circle Round (I think) that unknowingly even non-Pagans are giving sweet blessings to the coming year when they give candy to the children who come on their door :)