It’s October and Halloween will be here before you know it. Yes, I’m busy getting ready for Samhain (and I’ll have more to say about it later this month), but I also enjoy feeding the trick or treaters.

First, if anyone reading this blog doesn’t know what Samhain is, or if you still think it’s pronounced “SAM-hane” (it’s a Gaelic word, pronounced “SOW-en,” here are a couple of links to better explanations than I can give.

This one is a rather short article on WitchVox by Peg Aloi titled “You Call It Hallowe’en… We Call It Samhain”


And this is a longer piece by Isaac Bonewits titled “The Real Origins of Halloween”


I always loved Halloween as a kid. We lived “out in the country” where trick or treating was difficult, so I would always visit my cousin who lived in town and go around his neighborhood. I remember wearing boxed costumes a year or two, with the plastic mask that was hard to see out of and even harder to breathe through, especially on warm nights.

But most years I wanted to be a vampire. I talked my mother into making a black cape for me, and I’d wear it with my black clothes (see, my fashion sense started a LONG time ago!). It was the one time of year when I got to be who I wanted to be, instead of who everybody else wanted me to be.

Although Samhain is now much more important to me, I still enjoy Halloween. Cathy and I (mainly Cathy) like giving out candy to kids, and I’ve been carving pumpkins every year. There are too many people who would prefer Halloween went away (most of them Christian fundamentalists) – I think it’s my duty to help make sure it doesn’t.

So if you’re going to be home on Halloween, get some candy, carve a pumpkin, leave the porch light on, and help continue an enjoyable tradition.

You can celebrate Samhain after the kids are done.

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About John Beckett

I’m a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m an ordained priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship. I’m the Coordinating Officer of the Denton, Texas Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. This year I’m also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National. I’m a member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

I write as a spiritual practice. It helps me organize my thoughts and work through ideas and concepts. It helps me evaluate my beliefs and practices against my core values and against what I know (or at least, what I think I know) to be true. It helps me interpret my experiences (religious and otherwise) in ways that are both meaningful and honest.