Halloween    Halloweens History, Superstitions and Omens    Magick 7




History Of Trick or Treat

The Druids believed that the spirits of the dead returned to the world of the living each year on the eve of November 1.Manyof the spirits were mischievous in nature, while some had evil streaks, and were delighted to harm humans. The white robe priests of the rights of Samhain wore masks upon their faces to disguise themselves as spirits. This would trick the walking dead into thinking they were one of them, and not flesh and bone mortals. Safely camouflaged the priests would gather without being victims of ghosts, fairies,, or demonic supernatural beings. The general population would wear clothes of the opposite gender to disguise themselves of being recognized by their ancestors. This confusion would prevent relatives from taking them back into the Other world at the end of the night.

In the “Burning Times” the dark period of history when people were executed throughout most of Europe for practicing Witchcraft. Practitioners of the old religion started to wear dark colored robes and masks. They gathered in forests and fields on Halloween night to celebrate the Sabbat, work powerful magickal spells and healing charms, and perform divinations. Their attire concealed their identities from those who might turn them in. The wearing of robes and masks that were means of protection for practitioners in the seventieth and eighteenth century, became a custom of wearing masks and costumes on Halloween and parading from house to house. This became as “guising,”
and it is believed to be originated from Scotland. They dressed and painted to look like ghosts, ghouls, and other supernatural creatures. The guisers would parade from house to house, filling the night with song and dance to intimidate malicious spirits and keep all evil at bay.

In Ireland ,the jack-o‘-lanterns gave the soft glow of light, which lit the way for those who went door to door. They demanded tribute for the old Pagan God Muck Olla. Guisers also collected special round loves known as “soul cakes” and other foods for the dead. It is believed that the charitable act of donating food or money to all beggars who showed up at the front door on Halloween night ensured one’s prosperity or offered protection against a wide range of misfortunes.

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the customs of guising were no more than whimsical masquerades for children. On Halloween they went door to door begging for apples and nuts and singing traditional Halloween folk songs, like this one from the English county of Shropshire:

Soul! Soul! A soul-cake!
I pray, good missis, a soul-cake!
An apple or pear, a plum or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for Him who made us all.
Up with the kettle, and down with the pan,
Give us good alms, and we’ll be gone.

If the guisers were refused a “treat” they would retaliate with a prank of some sort known as a “trick,” hence the term “trick or treat.” Traditional tricks in England were, stopping up chimneys with pieces of turf, blowing smoke through keyholes, and smashing glass bottles against walls to simulate the sound of windows smashing. In the nineteenth century guising was brought across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World, the United states by the immigrants, and eventually evolved to what Halloween is known today.

Other names by which Halloween has, and is still, known by include Calangaeaf, Day of the Dead, Feast of Spirits, Festival of the Dead, Martinmas, November Eve, Old Hallowmas, Samana, Samonios, Santos, Third Harvest, Third Festival of Harvest, Vigil of Saman, and Vigil of Todos. Modern day Pagans of Wicca prefer their Halloween sabbat by its original Celtic Name of Samhaim. There are also certain traditions in the Craft that use the name, Shadowfest, or simply October 31 as the Witches ‘New Year’s Eve.