Monday, 1 November 2010


When it comes to festivals linked to certain seasons it is useful to think how and why these things came about before houses , for example, existed... yes, I do believe most of them are that old.

Mankind's place in the cycle of nature is the generator of these celebrations, and Halloween is no exception to this.

As trees and plants die back, at least in this part of the globe, there is little wonder that a festival around the concept of death should have arisen. Before central heating, and even now, a higher proportion of humans would have died in this period of the year than average.

Now death is the greatest transformation that a human would have experienced and that may still be true, seen in nature or in a fellow human it is always a striking event which never becomes mundane. The transformation of one state of being to another is a mystical event and, really, one we still have little understanding of.

The aged female in a primitive group had, maybe still does in some cultures, a closer connection to the cycle of birth and death in smaller social groups than the maiden, bride, wife or any male archetypes, so it is not surprising that she is chosen as the figurehead of the mystery of transformation. This figure has become Disneyfied to the Witch.

The Avatar is the greatest disguise anyone can adopt as far as I can see. We are all shapeshifters in a way that is unparalleled in history.

Previous tales of shapeshifters that have been witnessed, allegedly, have involved possession of the individual by another 'being'... tho this is technically incorrect, as it is an autonomous unconscious element within the individual's psyche which has in fact taken over while consciousness takes a back seat, letting the unconscious do the driving..... a bit like your red ink cartridge bursting in your printer and flooding every image with red.

With an avatar I can shapeshift while 'fully' conscious and don't fall down in a trance when I log off.

This puts us all in a transformative situation, we are all witches and wizards, potentially. The transformation which we are all involved in, know it or not, like it or not, is that which Jung calls Individuation. We are all working towards becoming more human, more complete as humans. The fact that Virtual Worlds can help us on this path is why I have often said that we are all undergoing therapy..

...and it's fun. Mostly.

Happy (not solstice) CrossQuarter day.



  1. One of the reasons I love virtual worlds so much is that it is, for myself, an opportunity to reach outside of my physical being and connect with other people on a pure energy/spirit level. It is indeed therapeutic, and spiritual as well.

    It's also a lot of fun to play dress up. haha.

  2. Just a clarification for you Soror:

    The festival of Halloween or Samhain is a Celtic custom. For them, Samhain was the end of the year and the beginning of New Year, as they count the beginging seedfall as "the beginning of things" just as a woman gets pregnant and takes 9 months to birth a baby.

    Therefore, this is New Year to me and to many pagans. We remember the past, both the year and all the years before (and our ancestors) during this period while the Tides change and we go forward to the New Year.

    The association with "death" is most often traced back to the simple agrarian necessity of slaughtering the excess cattle and domestic animals that couldn't be supported during the winter, taking into account the last harvest and the state of the winter granary and pantry supplies. Excess beasts were slaughtered and salted to last through the harsh winter months when the headcount of the herd could be compared to the final harvest and extropolated as to feed needed.

    The Celts also had the famed Wicker Man, their version of corporal punishment. Criminals who earned this judgement (and there weren't many who did) were kept all the preceeding year at state expense, in conditions much less onerous than even our own prisons; they were well-fed and allowed much free roaming about town until Samhain (usually accompanied by a gaoler or truant officer).

    The Wicker Man was stuffed with green grasses to produce much smoke, almost guaranteeing that the prisoners would be rendered unconscious by smoke inhalation before flames ever reached them; they were also drugged ("the Last Cup") in order to make their execution as painless as possible.

    These two things are the root of much of the "death and dismay" aspects of the modern Halloween celebration and are mostly the spurious slander of occupying Roman troops and official statecraft.

    btw, the association with pumpkin lights (or what were actually originally hollowed-out turnips) to repel "evil spirits" is a much later accretion and not an original Celt custom.

    Happy New Year! ^_^

  3. @ Carrie, I agree so completely.... :))

    @ Miso, thanks.... cool that we have a bit of kultur in 'ere....:))

  4. Great post!

    I agree with you Soror and Carrie. And thanks Miso for the information. Im very interested in the celtic culture.

    Sometimes we dont have to identify so much with our different shapes. Its maybee more like a theater play... but still its a way to evolve. I sort of have a need to show people I am the same person, regardles of shape. Thats my struggle, or call it "obsession" =)

    And I soo love the avie you have on the pic soror!! *envy* =)