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Episode 5: The Samhain Show

Episode 5: The Samhain Show
  1. History
    • High Mortality, Short Life-Spans
    • Seasonal Cycles of Abundance and Lack, Annual Culling of Herds in Preparation for Winter Months
    • All Cultures Prepared the Dead, Left Offerings, etc.
    • Beliefs in the Afterlife
  2. Enter Christianity
    • Tendency to absorb pre-existing festivals and traditions
    • All Saints’ moved from early summer
    • All Souls’ added to honour the “average Joes”
    • Martin Luther and the Protestant Revolution
    • Puritans disconnect from all things Catholic
  3. 19th Century
    • Irish immigrants bring traditions to America, following the “potato famine”
    • Revival of Catholic holidays and customs, desire to reclaim a sense of “home”
    • Turnips replaced by pumpkins
    • Young women played divination games
    • Civil War causes Halloween to fade for a time, because death too common, too real
  4. 20th Century
    • Pre-WWI, pranks and light-hearted fun, but as pranks got more destructive and violent,
    •  Pre-WWII, civil parades and public activities began, in order to tame the youth
    • WWII breaks-out, and Halloween fades again
    • After the war, prosperity, need for sense of fun again
    • Stores market costumes and candies for Halloween
    • By the 1970s, Hollywood films try to play up Halloween for adults
    •  In the 80s and 90s, more events are geared toward adults
  5. Modern Celebrations
    • Added to the Wheel of the Year in the 1950s
    • Various Traditions: Paganism, Dumb Supper, Vodou, Liberal Christian, etc.
    • Some scholars suggest it was the Celtic New Year, though not all agree
    • Time for divination
  6. Anti-Halloween Movement
    • Fundamentalism and Biblical Literalism
    • Scriptural rules against witchcraft and mediums, and so on
    • “Hell Houses”
    • Jesusween
  7. Pathworking

Resources:

“The Real Origins of Halloween”  by Isaac Bonewits

“Halloween Errors and Lies”  by Isaac Bonewits

Halloween by Silver Raven Wolf

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