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This blog is all about all the things that make me up. I am a Mother, I am a Pagan Witch, I am a Wife, I am a homemaker, I am a student, I am Spiritual, I am a Teacher, I am Liberal Hippie, I am a Voter, and I am extremely opinionated! Plan to see it all! If you don't like what you see, feel free to leave! However, chances are, if you stick around, you'll find more to love than hate!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Halloween Costume Choices & Pagans

Without a doubt Halloween is our families favorite holiday in this house. Having a Christian husband and Christian community Halloween is the one time a year where everyone embraces having a Witch around and enjoys themselves. So I do my best to go BIG! Decorations, Costumes, The BEST Candy on the block, even treat bags for mom with special offers, coupons, gift cards and more adult candy...  Seriously all out means ALL OUT for me!  This week I've been focusing on finding the perfect costumes for my kids and for myself. We all love to dress up and my oldest son is super excited that he will be able to wear his costume to school for Hallween! Of course now I also have to send in treats for his party as well - but being a Public School, they don't allow anything edible, so I'm going to have to find something "small toyish" to serve as a treat...

Because of all this and the simple need for me to find affordable options I have been searching through a number of websites, stores and whatever to find everything we will need and our last minute add on's and additions to our Halloween decor, and whatever else...

This year my oldest asked to be a Skeleton, my youngest wants to be a dragon and I am going to be a Greek Goddess... I think... My daughter is only 10 months old, so she isn't going to get to pick her costume this year, but I'm leaning towards witch maybe? This morning I was watching Good Morning America and they were talking about costumes for children and what is and isn't okay... I thought, "If your child is old enough to pick their own costume, let them!" It's not like a child is going to pick out a costume which is to scary for them, they are going to pick something they like... Problem solved...

But then one of the reporters had her 2 year old daughter on set and they were talking about her costume. She was dressed as a devil girl - tiny corset, horns, tail... It was SOOO cute! And for a second I though, hmm, maybe Madie could be a devil this year... That costume is just adorable. Then I thought again - "Is that really the image I want to project?"

Now, some people see the costumes people choose for Halloween as just that - costumes - clothing - nothing more. But is that really it? Are they simply clothes? Or do they show at least a small part of who we are on the inside? I would not ever dress as a monkey, an angel, a hooker or a nurse... Why not? Well, cause it's just not WHO I AM... A Greek Goddess on the other hand is completely me! As is a Witch, a "dark angel," a Pirate and a Vampire - all costumes I've worn. So doesn't that tend to connect the idea that we (or at the very least I) dress according to who we are internally? Halloween is said to be the day when we become outwardly who we are internally... I, and my choice in costumes, does seem to reflect that. People with crazy funny scenes of humor tend to wear funny costumes, people with a sense of beauty or holiness towards life tend to dress in costumes of that nature, people who have a darker sense of humor or a darker outlook on life tend to wear those costumes... I mean think for a second about who you are, and then consider the costumes you have worn... Chances are, unless you were wearing them for a play or something where you had no control over what they are, you picked your costumes soully because they spoke to you, they reflected you, at least on some level.

So then I thought as a Pagan, am I comfortable with my child being a devil? I don't believe in a devil, so should is it any different than a child dressing as any other mythical creature? Why then did the idea of my daughter as a devil - a cute devil no less - bother me so much?

Well, I have considered it a bit, and I posted a few questions online to see if other parents felt there were costume themes which were off limits. While none of the answers I got related to devil costumes or anything, many of the responses did refer to racist or "Nazi" type costumes as big "No-No's" for their kids. So although it wasn't quite the same thing, it is similar enough for me to think that my aversion to a costume theme isn't wrong, it's just on a different level. AKA, I'm not crazy! lol

But then I started to think, WHY am I so bothered by this devil? Should it bother me?

I obviously would never tell anyone else what they can or can't or should or shouldn't wear for Halloween, but I started to wonder if we wear costumes which reflect who we are, are devils really something we, as Pagans, should gravitate towards? Most Pagans, Witches and the like have, at least at some point in their practice, had to explain to someone (friend, family, neighbor, co-worker, etc) that Paganism, Witchcraft, Wicca, Druidism, whatever, has NOTHING to do with the Devil. We do nor worship the devil, we do not believe in the devil and we don't have any other supposed connection with the Devil or anything demonic... Why then would we want to walk around in a costume which would only reinforce such misconceptions?

I'll be honest, until today it was something I never thought about. I, like so many others, simply thought, you dress up as something different, not as yourself... But again, do we? Would someone who is not racist dress up like a KKK member? Then why would someone who is working (even passively) to reduce the level of connection between the Devil and their own faith then turn around and wear a devil costume - or put one on their child?

I've always been careful to ensure that there were no devils in my decorations and treats. Mostly because I don't like them, I feel they are cheesy and in some cases they even make people uncomfortable. So I've never seen a need for them. Plus, I do my best to make sure that all of our Halloween decor and activities can or do double as Samhain decor and activities... Again, having a Christian husband it's the easiest way for us to compromise... I don't hand pentacles because they make my husband uncomfortable, and I would never think of hanging demons or devils on the wall, much for the same reason. But also because I wouldn't want someone to walk in to my home, see a Satan statue and think "Oh, yeah, she's a witch, of course she loves Satan." Which makes me wonder why I never thought of this kind of thing before... Maybe just because it's never come up, or maybe because on some level I wanted to believe that our costumes and who we are are two different things (especially after some of the costumes I've worn) or maybe it's just because until now, I didn't reach a point in my life where I was working so hard to promote understanding and tolerance between faiths - so I didn't need to think about this stuff...

Whatever the reason, I'm glad it came up. Just like those other mother's I would never allow my children to dress as a KKK member, a Nazi or even a Confederate Soldier, but now I realize there are a few other additions that need to go on that list! And I'm thinking some rules need to be put in place before my children get old enough to remember they weren't always there.

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