Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween, Day of the Dead, Samhain (video)

Amber Larson, Crystal Quintero, Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Pat Macpherson, Pfc. Sandoval, Wisdom Quarterly; History Channel (history.com); Alexandria II; NortonSimon.org
(The History Channel) The true origins and "The Real Story of Halloween" or All Hallows' Eve

Waking up in white suburbia -- Pasadena, California -- on Halloween/Samhain* looking for adventure means a quick trip to Alexandria II (Alexandria I is in Egypt and too far). It is the east valley's own Bodhi Tree Bookstore for local witches.

Whatever we need, some accoutrements, Buddhist talismans, meditation cushion, Native American items, Day of the Dead baubles, crystals, white sage to smudge, a feather, a mystic singing bowl, and we're off to the Angeles Forest at the top of this street, Lave Avenue.
When we reach the limit of the road, we begin to hike to Echo Mountain. It's overcast and about to rain, which is strange after searing days of 100 degrees. The Dead (petas or pretas, remembered in the Buddhist texts known as the Petavatthu or "Ghost Stories") are preparing to cross the veil. They're there, not easily visible composed only of prana, air, and light (karma-born "spontaneous" devic/preta bodies). They're not really "dead," only gone from here, transitioned, transformed, but here to make contact, to be remembered. We miss them, so we still care for them.

RIP: On Art and Mourning (Norton Simon)
When we get back, we'll indulge our mourning by taking a stroll through the first floor halls of the Norton Simon Museum with its massive collection of Buddhist art from Gandhara and all parts of Asia. It's one of the best in the world.

Halloween/DOTD is for sexy costumes!
Then we'll travel south to Highland Park for some Dia de los Muertos celebration preparations. You're not really Californian unless you're at least a little Latin. Call it appreciation, call it cultural appropriation, call it whatever your best Latina friend calls it. I want to look like Sofia Vergara but will settle for Frida Kahlo or Eva Longoria or that macho guy. Tomorrow, the cemeteries will be filled with the living. Then we go to The Castle, a haunted house for a Halloween party/get-together to see who or what comes through the thin veil.

This was Mexico long before it was US
Most people in the US today live in what was Native American "Upper California," Mexico
Take seven finger and paint your skull bright colors (DesignCahat/deviantart.com)
Dia de Los Muertos: A Brief Overview

(National Hispanic Cultural Center) Synthesized between Mesoamerican (modern Aztec-Mayan Mexican lands between North and Central America) beliefs and European influences, Dia de los Muertos gives people the opportunity to remember lost loved ones with traditional offerings. This annual community program is one of our most popular events. Learn more at diadelosmuertos.

*Samhain (Sao-wynn)
Michelle Trachtenberg ("Truth or Scare"/Discovery Kids); text: Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit

Celts are good, Celts of Ireland are better, and the Irish of the US are best. So go west.

Yum, the scariest thing I could think of was to dress like a sexy zombie, arrrgh.

Where did the Celts originate?
Samhain (pronounced SOW-in) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from October 31 to November 1, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. This is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.

It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Imbolc, Bealtaine, and Lughnasadh. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Similar festivals are held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands such as the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall), Kalan Goañv (in Brittany), and Samaín (in Galicia, Spain).
Nirvana is better than dying/rebirth.
Samhain is believed to have Celtic pagan origins and there is evidence it has been an important date since ancient times. Some Neolithic passage tombs in Ireland are aligned with the sunrise around the time of Samhain. It is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. More 

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