Friday, October 5, 2012

October, My Love!

Yes! It's October again! As you might recall, last year I began my Halloween Countdown on the eve of October 1st.  This year I'm much less organized, but no less excited about the upcoming weeks!  My posts will not all be October themed (Ha, I'm such a bad liar), but I will probably be talking about it in some context.

There are a few reasons why I'm so psyched for October, which you may already know.  One of the reasons why I love October is that it's the lead-up to Samhain (or Halloween, whichever you choose to celebrate, however you choose to celebrate it), which has been a particularly spiritual and fun day for me ever since I was a small child (or at least it feels that way).  I've always been fascinated and affected by the holiday, and that hasn't stopped in my young adulthood! Of course, my rituals have changed-- I no longer trick or treat, and I don't spend the early hours of November 1st organizing my massive candy stash-- and identifying as a Pagan has changed my feelings about what Halloween/Samhain means to me, but I still have a special place in my heart for this particular celebration. I feel giddy with the anticipation of the end of the month, and (as always) this month makes me feel particularly energized-- I feel creative, like I could write a novel. I'm going to bed at night just buzzing with ideas!

I'm really excited about this month; for me this is the time when I feel the most spiritual, and a little bit witchy.  I don't really identify as a witch, but for many witches and wiccans this is the most holy time of the year, and as a large portion of the pagan population you can't help but get carried up in the frenzy.  This is the time of year for many pagans when the veil between this world and the "otherworld"-- and this can be defined as the underworld, the summerlands, what-have-you-- begins to thin out, and communication with ancestors/spirits is easier, and a lot more common.  People say Samhain shares this in common with Beltane, but I've never felt the pull for Beltane that I feel with Samhain.  Maybe that's a cultural thing-- after all, Halloween is a secular celebration that I have been a part of since my infancy, and it celebrates all things "otherworldly", whereas I have only recently been acquainted with celebrating Beltane.

Our Feast from 2010.  A surplus of desserts, but a great time had all around!

So, how am I celebrating this year? With a party, of course!  This year will be our 4th annual Harvest Feast, hosted by me, Kourtney, and my mother on the 31st.  Every year we cook up a harvest themed meal (you know, with vegetables and fruits that are normally harvested and eaten around this time) and invite friends and family over to eat and celebrate with us!  We prefer it to be a low-key affair, with mingling and fun music and perhaps a movie, and I almost hesitate to call it a party (I much prefer "gathering") because people assume it's gonna be some kind of college party with lots of booze and drunken giggling (and perhaps some vomit) and that's not the kind of party we're interested in hosting.  That's not to say I've never been to a party like that (I have a friend who also hosts a halloween party, and it's very much like one of the parties I've described-- it's the one party I go to every year!), I'm just not a big drinker, and most of the time I like to play board games and listen to music with my friends without being wasted. I have a lot more fun that way.

In addition to celebrating with friends and family, We will most likely be decorating/sprucing up the family altar, and leaving a bit of food out for those spirits/ancestors passing through that night.  We normally invite our guests to bring a picture or family heirloom belonging to a loved one who has passed on to put on the altar, although only a few actually bring something.  Samhain for me, in addition to being a harvest festival, is at time to honor your ancestors and be kind to the spirits passing through the veil, giving them a few "earthly" comforts.  We'll probably decorate the house with Halloween-type things, and perhaps we will finally (FINALLY) set up an altar in my room!  One can only hope (but I won't hope too hard).

Altar from 2010.

Anyway, I know this year Halloween is on a wednesday, but I'm hoping that this won't deter people too much from coming over to hang out for a bit.  There'll be food and music, and this is one of the few times of the year that I actually get to see some of my close friends (or spend time with new ones), so I hope people will still come!  We'll probably also pop on over to Thompson Street to see their crazy decorations!

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