Halloween and Samhain: Eves of Transformation

Reblogging for future reference:

Mythology Matters

In a lecture about Halloween back in 1981, the mythologist Joseph Campbell argued that this holiday “gives us a chance to exercise our imagination – to bring out . . . some of the structuring forms that underlie our spiritual life and which we may forget in our daily work.” As an example, he noted that the Halloween costume “talks to and evokes something deeply inside which is more permanent, which is archetypal, which is more eternal within us than the secular character that we represent in the world” (Campbell, Lecture). These comments reflect the influence of Carl Jung on Campbell’s thought. The psychology and mythology underlying Halloween indeed hold the potential for personal transformation. As it happens, a precursor to Halloween, the pre-Christian Celtic Samhain festival, likewise appears to have been a festival of transformation. So in order to appreciate what Halloween can mean for us it is helpful…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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