Home Lifestyle Holidays Halloween a chance to jump ship for a night

Halloween a chance to jump ship for a night

A moment of sensible safe celebration during the COVID grind.

Wednesday October 28, 2020 | SOUTH VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC

by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends

The roots of the Halloween celebration on October 31 lie in Celtic traditions to ward off evil spirits at that point in the celestial cycle when the veil between worlds is thinnest. Upon that the Catholic Church jumped in a hooked it in with their All Saints Day on November 1.

Since the later 20th century, All Hallows’ Eve has been observed by Celtic neopagans and Wiccans as Samhain, or something based on it, as a religious holiday.

Locally-grown pumpkins and squash, abundant in a Vancouver Island harvest. [Island Social Trends / Mary Brooke]

Where jack-o-lanterns came into it is how at the end of the harvest season those prolific pumpkin vines had produced many fruits which by the end of October were probably beginning to spoil. Cutting them up into spooky faces was just smart recycling (with a cosmic twist to ward off those spirits on All Hallows Eve) before tossing them into the field to compost for next year.

Astrological super-night:

To astrologers it’s all the same… Samhain is whenever the Sun is 15 degrees into Scorpio (exactly midway between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice). In 2020 that’s on November 6 (depending on your time zone).

For anyone who is fluent in astrology, this year’s Halloween is a gangbuster of opportunities and challenges for big changes in your life and in society!

On October 30 into October 31 the Moon will be full in Taurus and conjunct a retrograde Uranus. It is also a blue moon (one of two moons in a calendar month, the first one was on October 1-2, the harvest moon).

Mercury, Mars and Neptune and the asteroid Chiron are also retrograde, with Mercury squaring Saturn (a form of tough-love for your ideas about how things can and should change in your world). The Sun is moving toward an opposition with Uranus that peaks on November 4 (the astrological equivalent of fireworks!). There is also a super-stellium… Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are building to a Jupiter-Pluto conjunction the middle of November (that’s part of the momentum that’s been driving the socioeconomic changes during the pandemic).

Secularization of Halloween, COVID-twist in 2020:

In the last century, activities around Halloween have become secularized and commercialized. Autumn is punctuated by the fun and partying of Halloween costumes and it has been a retailer’s dream for candy sales.

safe Halloween, COVID
COVID-safe Halloween guidelines have been issued by the BC Centre for Disease Control.

This year the celebration of Halloween has emerged with a new role in modern society — a moment of relief in the long-slogging COVID-year calendar that is 2020 where we can relax, party and have fun with a tad of imagination and frivolity.

But even so, public health officials have put their sensible stamp on the day and evening with health precautions. Keep up your physical distancing, wear a mask, don’t touch shared surfaces, wash your hands before eating all that Halloween candy! No parties, say public health officials this year; keep your bubbles small and at home.

Decorating around town:

Decorating our homes and yards has been popular in the past for Halloween night, but this year has reached a new level of celebration for most of October. Around town there is much to see!

Island Social Trends journalist Kiley Verbowski went around Greater Victoria last week in search of amazing Halloween yard displays! Photos to come in a separate feature. [Subscribers will see that first. Become a subscriber!]

Happy Halloween jack-o-lanterns, cats, ghosts and witches in this yard display in Saanich this Halloween season. [Photo by Kiley Verbowski for Island Social Trends]
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