Trick or Treat!

SUBHEAD: You must secure your own sustainable sources of food, water, shelter, energy and community for the hard times ahead.

By Juan Wilson on 31 October 2011 for Island Breath -

Image above: Dancing at the LGTB Halloween party at the Kauai Beach Resort. Photo by Juan Wilson.

Yes it's Halloween again. Most of us celebrate it on 31 October, but traditionally it was celebrated in the first week of November as Autumn reached mid-season. That's halfway between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. This weekend my wife Linda and I were delighted to attended the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gender Halloween Party at the Kauai Beach Resorts. It was fabulous!

The event was attended by an expressive, creative group of people who knew how to have fun. Needless to say you didn't have to be LGBT to enjoy it. In modern America Halloween has evolved into the most popular holiday behind only Christmas.

This has riled some Christan groups that have taken offense at the pagan connotations that have not been properly scrubbed clean by their religion. In today's America we acknowledge the four seasons of the year on the exact days (and even hour) of the sun's Equinox's and Solstices, but have blurred or even forgotten the times of season midpoints. It is at the midpoint of season that we experience the epitome of the seasons richness.

These midpoints are called the cross-quarter days. In pre-Christian Celtic and Germanic tradition each change of season and its midpoint (cross-quarter day) was celebrated with observations related to the meaning of the Wheel of the Year and the Wheel of Life. Christianity co-opted many ancient traditions and the two most important are Easter (rebirth after death - at the beginning of Spring ~ March 21st) and Christmas (spiritual light in the darkest moment - at the beginning of Winter ~ December 25th).

The two cross-quarter days that survive with unvarnished pagan meaning are Mayday (the epitome of Spring on May 1st) and Halloween (the epitome of Autumn on October 31st). Mayday was a time for youth and procreation. In Europe Samhain (the traditional pagan name for Halloween) was the time after the harvest when the root cellars were full for the coming winter.

It was a time for feasting and celebration - but always with the knowledge that the long darkness was coming. Winter was at hand. Starvation or even death was just over the horizon. With that in mind I offer this observation. Today we passed the 7-billion human beings alive on the planet marker. Ouch!

 The Wheel of Civilization has just past its Halloween moment. It's time to take off the masks to see who we really are after the party is over. What's in the root cellar is what's in the root cellar. What you have in hand now must get you through the coming Winter. Arrange things carefully. That does not mean we will not have some good times ahead. There are the holidays even in the darkest part of Winter.

But be sure, the fantastic fun-ride roller-coaster of "Drill and Burn!" is coasting to a stop. You must secure your own sustainable sources of food, water, shelter, energy and community for the hard times ahead. The consequences of not doing so will not be negotiable. Trick or Treat!

Samhain Prayer From ( God of forest Fire, and light The daytime fades To longer night Thank you for the harvest’s bounty For lending your light to the land Blessed be, now, as you’re fading Find rest and strength in Summer Land Winter’s blanket Shall cover the Earth We await Yuletide And your re-birth God of sunshine Field and glen Merry meet, merry part, Merry meet again. .

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