Little ground exists between Halloween and Freemasonry. Here and there a costume ball or an orange crepe paper centerpiece marks the passing of the season, but that is probably the extent of any connectivity. For me, the holiday has always been an important one even as my own little goblins have forsaken the quest for candy for more adult like pursuits.
This is the first year of a house devoid of pint sized celebrants leaving me to reorient myself to the signs of the season. Few could argue that the air itself reminds us that it is autumn – it comes from the harvest; the slow subjugation of the sun; the withering leaves. Today, I’ve come to see the holiday in a different perspective, a Hermetic point of view that, in a sense, encapsulates some importance of the season.
For me, Halloween is the point upon which my spiritual year turns. It is the window between the bountiful summer that comes from the victorious sun and its falls closer to the horizon. Autumn is the stretching shadow that foretells of things to come. This is when the cold seeps in, the dead begin to walk and ghosts skulk out from shadows.
As an adult, I’ve found a greater love of the holiday with a deeper sense of what it represents. My childhood memories of the season have paved the road of time with recollections of cheap drugstore costumes imbued with magical powers – powers that allowed me to wantonly go door-to-door in search of candy. These magical powers were not remarkable themselves but the costumes that they came from were. They gave me the power to pretend for a time to be someone else. Besides being a day of candy corn and mummy dogs, the celebration of Halloween is a way of celebrating the opposite ideation of ourselves – to be something more than what we are. In doing so, it allows us to assume that things power, if even if for an instance.
Understandably, this ignores the traditions of Samhain or dia de los muertos as they each in kind have their own specific practices. Rather than celebrating the dead or forestalling their return, I see the fundamental aspect of Halloween as the celebration of becoming something we wish we were. The season reminds us of this with the change in the air that it brings. It taunts us with the slowly enveloping cocoon of winter looming before us.
The lessons I glean from All Hallows Eve are the forces of change at work in both our physical and mental universe as we reminiscence and contemplate the imaginary roles of our past and future selves. It is the polarity that the Kyablion speaks of and the duality that such polarity embodies. From those thoughts go our fears on the flickering lights of the jack-o-lantern and upon the whispers of invisible ghosts.
The celebration of the harvest and of Halloween gives us command over the power of our past and shows us the potential of our future. It puts us in charge of who we are at this moment of being in a way similar to the action of becoming HIram Abiff. Fundamentally, it represents our own juxtaposition of static change giving us, perhaps, a glimpse of some dimensional otherness.
That’s what Halloween reminds me of – melancholy and spice; damp eyes wet with the glimmer of the future; it’s imagining what we want to be.
It’s Halloween, time for us to assume an imaginary mantle of some otherness of who we want to be… even if for just a few fleeting hours.