It’s autumn again, finally. My favorite season of the year. The air starts to cool and the leaves on the trees change. With the fall comes three of my favorite holidays: Halloween, my birthday, and Thanksgiving.
The first of these is Halloween. It’s spooky season! Everyone is on my level now. At least, most people are. There are a few people who don’t like Halloween, but we don’t talk to those people. Everyone else has a ghost story to tell, or at least a good horror movie in mind to watch. Dark clothes are okay to wear without someone who thinks they’re a smartass asking where the funeral is. The ghoul doll hanging in my window doesn’t raise quite as many eyebrows.
Now, Halloween as a holiday wears many masks. At its most basic, it’s a holiday primarily geared toward children. They get to dress up and demand candy from their neighbors! What’s more fun than that? For a Satanist like me, it’s all about fantasy and indulgence. The traditions of Samhain and Dias de los Muertos; both celebrations of the dead and, in the case of Samhain, the celebration of the new year (the Celts observed new years in the fall); are also observed on Halloween. But the most important aspect of Halloween is often overlooked, and that is creativity.
At its core, no matter which theme you happen to observe, Halloween is a celebration of creativity. We carve pumpkins (or turnips if you do Halloween Old World style) and display them in front of our doors. We make our own costumes and decorations. Sometimes we even compete over who wears the best costume, or who puts up the best decorations. Even without a competition, we put all of our effort and imagination into our Halloween crafts. Our decorations are put up with care and our costumes often take weeks to prepare. Sometimes we even create stories for our costumes, so that we become characters, not just ourselves in unusual clothes. Our Jack-o-lanterns, be they traditional Samhain turnip carvings or the more American pumpkin, are carved using symbols and images which are important and special to us, making them just as unique as we are. Celebrators of Dias de los Muertos create ofrendas and sugar skulls which are special and meaningful to the ancestors they’re honoring.
Halloween has a reputation as a Satanic holiday, and in many ways it is, but not for the reasons most non-Satanists might think. Yes, part of Halloween is a celebration of indulgence and of darkness. But more importantly, Halloween allows us to flex our creative muscles and showcase our talents. Creativity is something Satanists highly value, so it only makes sense that we use our favorite holiday to celebrate it. It’s just awesome that everyone else is on board with it too.