Our topic at hand for the week of Halloween is a related but different custom — the observation of Samhain. This most sacred and solemn of the Pagan holidays occurs at the time of the traditional Celtic new year, and for Pagans today it is a time to remember those who have died. For many, the day is a time for communing and celebrating with loved ones who have passed and for seeking insight through divination. It is a time for quietude in the dark time of the year in the Northern hemisphere, a time for reassessment, and for looking forward to renewal. Wendy Sheridan, Mary McGinley, and Robin Renée each talk about the Samhain customs that speak to them most and how they navigate enjoying all the fun of the secular version of the celebration, Halloween, in the same time frame. Robin shares a Samhain poem that you can see on her website, and the three co-hosts interpret readings using handmade Viking runes, The Shakespeare Oracle, and The Aquarian Tarot. Wendy gives little-known information about the artist behind the classic Rider-Waite Tarot, Pamela Coleman Smith.
In keeping with the Samhain and Halloween theme, October 31 is also National Magic Day and National Increase Your Psychic Powers Day. It is also Girl Scout Founder’s Day and Knock Knock Joke Day (hence the silly beginning to this episode). In the news, there is “creativity” involved in voter suppression and there are dueling hexes and prayers at work engaging in a political fight in the metaphysical realm. Birthday shout outs go to Peter Jackson, Ethel Waters, Al Paxton, John Candy, Michael Landon, Neal Stephenson, Bernard Edwards, Willow Smith, and Piper Perabo, who Mary is happy to have worked with on a very funny play by George Bernard Shaw.
Before the main discussion gets started, a correction is in order: Mary and Wendy discuss how they were both right in Episode 21 about aspects of the plot of Sophie’s Choice. They each had selective memory, combined with some conflation with Hobson’s Choice.
Blessed Samhain and Happy Halloween!
The Leftscape – the shape of progressive conversation: “Samhain Traditions (Episode 22).”