December 5, 2022
I am made of…
I am made of a trip to Miami to visit Universal Studios, so young I don’t remember
and brushing my teeth every morning with a blue toothbrush.
I am made of walking into John Jay for the first day of 10th grade and meeting new teachers
I am made of playing basketball by myself in Dave and Buster and always being respectful to everyone
I am made of trick-or-treating in purge masks with my mom in Sunset Park.
Witchcraft: What is it?
As Halloween rolls around, and we start seeing ouija board decorations, grimoire notebooks, and pentacles both right-side up and reversed- in this day and age, we do not mind seeing these things around Halloween. Still, wearing anything with a pentacle on it when it is not this spooky season will get you a few stares and “are you a devil worshipper?” questions. I think we often forget the history of witchcraft around this time of the year, and we forget that witches, even today are demonized for practicing their craft. Perhaps we would be demonized less if more people understood what a spell was, that a pentacle represents good verse evil, and the five elements and that tarot cards do not predict the future.
First, witchcraft is a craft. It is not a religion. There are many witches who practice alongside Christianity in fact! Witchcraft is a very fluid and moldable practice. With it, you can make your own way to practice a religion, or something as necessary yet ignored, as self-care.
There are many misconceptions about the craft- again- like people believing a tarot reading will predict your future- that isn’t what it is, or what it does. A tarot reading simply gives you simple phrases to rephrase what may be going on in your life, and help push you in the right direction of mindfulness. Perhaps you do a past, present, and future reading about your dead-end job, and the card you drew for the future is death. That does not mean you are going to die, it means rebirth. Spells are another basic concept in witchcraft that is not understood by the general public. Spells are basically an alternative way of praying. Persay your friend broke their leg and you do a healing spell for them; their leg will not be magically better. Just as praying for your friend to heal will not magically fix their broken leg. It’s about intentions and sending positive energy to yourself, others, and the world.
In this craft, we honor nature, ourselves, and those around us. It is truly a very peaceful practice, and the notion that we go about hexing people is far from the truth. In fact, it is very looked down upon to ever hex anyone, and many texts, even texts dating back to the times of the Salem witch trials say “An ye harm none, do what ye will.”
Knowing more about witchcraft now, would you be interested in it/some aspects of it?
Natural Magick by Lindsay Squire
The Solitary Witch by Silver Ravenwolf
Staying Safe during Halloween
In the article, “COVID Trick-or-Treating Safely” I learned that trick-or-treating is pretty much safe now because there are more people getting vaccinated. Although there are still many children under the age of 12 that have not got vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that it is still safe for these children. It is still recommended that all of this happens outside. For example, people should only be attending outside events and in a small group. You should also still be wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer frequently.
How were you able to stay safe this Halloween?
Quarenting candy before eating it isn’t really necessary. Another way that you can stay safe is my arranging the candy rather than having the children dig into a bowl. In my opinion, I believe that by following these guidelines, there wouldn’t be anyone getting sick. For this reason, we will be able to keep going to future events.
What was the origin of Halloween?
Every year on the night of October 31, kids dress up and walk from door to door to say “Trick or Treat!”. This spooky holiday is called Halloween, and it has been a tradition for ages. The holiday originated from an ancient Celtic festival called Samhaim. However this night celebrated the Celt’s new year. The Celtic new year began on November first, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, which was often associated with death. The “… Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.” They believed during Samhain, the ghosts of the dead would return back to earth with the living. They believed that the ghosts would wreak havoc on the town people by killing their crops and livestock. So they would gather together wearing costumes such as animal heads and skins, and build a big sacred bonfire where they would sacrifice their crops and animals to the Celtic deities.
In 609 AD, Pope Boniface IV decided that All Saints and All Martyrs Day would be moved from May to November 1st. This day of celebration was also known as All-hallows, therefore the night before was known as All-Hallows Eve, which ultimately became Halloween. Halloween spread to the U.S. during the Colonial Era, where people celebrated the harvest, told ghost stories, and sang and danced. As immigrants came to the U.S. and popularized Halloween in the country even more, “… Americans began to dress up in costumes and go to house to house asking for food or money”, which is a tradition that is now known as “trick or treat”. The early celebration of Halloween in America was not welcomed by all, for it was mostly about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft, which were all somewhat taboo. The society pushed to get rid of anything frightening or disturbing from Halloween celebrations, which caused the holiday to lose its original superstitious and religious background. So in the late 1800s, America began to make the holiday a more communal celebration. For example, “Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day”, which included games and costumes. Halloween has changed greatly over time as it becomes more and more commercialized throughout society, however for many, it still has a superstitious, ghostly feeling for them.
What is so appealing about the horror industry?
With Halloween lurking around the corner and spooky sensations all around, it is the prime time for the horror industry. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year and since it is about two weeks away I was thinking about it a lot. Haunted houses and scary movies are some of my favorite things, but I started to wonder, why do I enjoy them? What is so great about getting scared and paying for it? What is the appeal of the horror industry?
Looking for this answer I came across this website. This article offered several different theories as to why we enjoy things that scare us. A theory from this website I found interesting was “Sensation-seeking” This means sensation-seeking personality types will seek out things that arouse sensation. “People who seek higher levels of arousal thoroughly enjoy the response -heightened feelings of awareness when their bodies go through intense experiences. These experiences range from watching horror films to skydiving and bungee jumping.” I think this theory could apply to me because I really enjoy things like scary movies, haunted houses, and rollercoasters; things that have high levels of arousal. Another article I found also supports this theory. This article, also says that certain people are more attracted to being scared than others. There isn’t really a set answer as to why we enjoy horror movies but I found a reasonable theory to explain for myself.