Those who practice Tarot and/or are readers of my blog, know this charming fellow as Death- Key 13, of the Thoth Tarot. In the British Isles, he was known as LORD DREAD or DREADLORD and the end of October is his Holy Day! He is also known as the Semitic version of the Asiatic Sana, Samara (Aryan), or Samarium,"the leveler" And most of us know that you can level things very well with a skillful usage of a Scythe; a very particular harvesting tool of this dancing fellow.
He is the ever feared JUDGE OF THE DEAD, identified with the underworld King Yama and in the Sama Veda (Hindu), he was called the "Storm god", clothed in black clouds.
In the Rig Veda, he was Rudra, the
god of storms and medicine (shown with three faces) , as one knows, medicine of the ancients was particularly nasty!
In Europe and Asia, the black clouds of storms became the usual depiction of this deity, dressed in a hooded black all encompassing robe. The later version of him is called Satan, he was Prince of the Power of the Air, another way to say he has a "Stormy" nature.
The Celts know him as the god of SAMHAIN, the Feast of the dead, Christianized as All Souls day. The Medieval Gnostic's called him SAMMAEL OR SATANAEL or at least they were accused of worshiping him as such. But the Worshiping concept is suspect as that was the accusation of those who accused them of heresy and wanted their land and supposed riches.
What is mildly interesting, in early Britain, Samuel had a female counter part, SAMOTHEA (Death Goddess) who seems to have been another form of SKADI or SCATHA. Samothea, was considered to be the goddess of the mysterious (Arcane) land of Hyperborean, the land where Pythagoras traveled to learn the arts of letters, astronomy, and science from this All Wise Lady. The Greeks had Hades, and his wife Persephone.
Qabalist's know that Hermes/Thoth is the Magician (Magus) of letters, words and sound, while the Art of Forms (astronomy) is definitely the Domain of Binah as the Star card and science from The Art Card...(Alchemy) where He and She combine to make All, making the Dread Lord a Hermaphrodite.
Thus, one might say that Hyperborean was the Supernal Triangle of the Tree of Life, known as the World of Aziluth, which is across the Abyss and a place you can only reach after a death of your human realities.
According to the pagan lunar calendar, festivals were celebrated on the "eve" rather than the day. Thus Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, was the original festival that was later displaced to the fallowing day. The Irish called this Holy Night, the Vigil of Saman.
Christian's of the day, described this night as heretical practices, where magic charms and divination's, reading the future with Witches mirrors and nutshell ashes and other objectionable rites: Even the unholy act of ducking for apples in tubs of water, which was said to represent souls in the Cauldron of Regeneration.
But Halloween is not just limited to past superstition, even today it is believed that if a girl peels an apple before a mirror, on Halloween, she will see the image of her future husband in the glass. However, this is revised from the past belief in a deity, whom the ancient Celtics called "The Apple Woman" who they honored on this day, as the goddess of both life and death. She gave away magical apples which were laced either with a benevolent enchantment or a malevolent poison (Snow white is not an original story). The evolution of "Trick or Treat" was said to come from the Apple Woman celebration.According to Celtic Texts, the Apple Woman lived in a beautiful secluded forest by a sacred river, and this may also be whence we derive the apple as a forbidden fruit (garden of eden) which bestows life or death, for nowhere in the Bible is the apple mentioned as being the food of which Adam and Eve ate.
Pope Gregory (5 AD) declared November 1st to be All Saint's Day, hoping to obscure pagan rites into Christian affiliation. However, Hallowe'en and All Saint's have and/ or are also known in diverse cultures as: All Hallowmas, All Soul's Day, Mallowmas, The Druidic feast of the Spirits of the Air, The Day of the Dead (Mexico and South America), Rite of Hella (Scandinavia), and Isia or Helaria (Egyptian recovery from death and rebirth of Osiris).
However, today's celebration of parties, and candy/gift giving actually follows the original version of Samuele's day, as the original divination was considered to be Oracular utterances by the Elder dead (Ancestors) who came up from their tombs on Halloween, bearing gifts for the children of their living descendants.
Sicilian Halloween tradition, states that, " the dead relations have become the good fairies of the little ones." There are many more traditions across Europe. Even in Lithuania, there were burn offerings of domestic animals to their god ZIMIENNIK ( Samanik) , believing that if the Lord of the underworld accepted the offering on behalf of the dead, the spirits would do no harm. ( I often "give burnt offerings to the Gods", albeit unwillingly, on my outside grill and not necessarily on Halloween night.)
The Fact That Death is seen as an active force, relates to the fact that Death, acts like the Dark Energy that pushes the Universe outward, by pushing Life forward. In truth, Nature needs death to evolve and death is the evolutionary engine.
The objective Self, the Mortal Form, may fear it's own demise, but the Subjective Self, that is the Soul (that is 99.6% of You) does not. Spirit knows Death to be but a tool that transforms energy, as is Death merely Life transforming itself.
On that note:The celebration of Halloween, should be a celebration of the Spirit side of the Mirror, who survives mortality and does not fear it. Therefore, knowing full well, that by owning your own beast, you can push your Identity Forward into the Invisible Universe---and be Lord over Death which is Lord over time. Thus, the Thoth Tarot Death Card is a Rebirth Card, where we drop the old, and become the new.
So Party on "Boils and Ghouls", you are really celebrating your mastery over death on Halloween! It is only the Fear of Death that enslaves your Soul to the body!So please say hi to old Sam and Party hard, insuring that spring may be full of bounce!
Thank you for your interest, comments,and supportive donations. May you outlive your body and prosper the Universe!