Whole - Heal - Hell
Spirit - Opium - Meconium
This is the first of two overviews (the link for the companion overview is found at the end)
Any overview concerned with HALLOWEEN should touch upon ideas in HALL, HALLER, HALO, HALLO, HALLOW and HEALTH as well as fruitful fruits such as APPLES and pumpkins which are full of seeds.
Please note a companion overview (HALLOWEEN B).
Other related vistas are found in illustrated other companion overviews to illuminate related vistas about EXPIRED, SPIRITS, BIRTH, DISEASE, PAIN, PATIENT as well as LIFE, HEALTH and DEATH (please note the access botton "related topics" shown above on the right)
HALLOWEEN points to HALL in the sense of enclosure thus also to HOME, HELL as well as to HALLMARK or HALLOWed sites.
HALLO and HALLOA imply shouting or HOLLERING, as in HAIL and HEIL HITLER, signals of vigor and HEALTH which extend to WHOLE, WHOLLY, WHOLESOME and the old term HAL for HEALTH.
Regarding HEALTH and HEAL, the core idea can be summarized as preservation of self, aging not withstanding.
HEALTH also points toward WHOLE, WHOLLY and HOLY. In biologic and medical terms, health is a state of optimal HOMEOSTASIS or perpetuation of "self" under conditions of continous flux. Additional vistas open when deities such as Salus, Hygiea, Esculapius, Medicina, which are concerned with salubrity, health, healing and medicine are explored.
The above cascade brings us to HALLOWEEN, the name for a VIGIL held October 31st., also known as ALL HALLOWS (formerly ALLHALLOWS EVEN). This feast has survived many attempts by the Vatican to supplant the Druid, Celtic and ancient Roman elements of this festivity with Christian ecclesiastical overtones.
Halloween, as a Druid tradition, represents an ancient celebration to mark the "end of summer", and to welcome the " spirits of all the departed". As an ancient Roman tradition, Halloween represents the festivities celebrated each November 1st. in honor of POMONA, a deity that protected fruit orchards. Notably, in Japan and many other cultures, celebrations for deceased ancestors retain their vigor and importance.
In 61 AD, Roman rulers of Britain forbade human sacrifices during Halloween, but to this day, some people may destroy black cats in the belief that they represent the incarnation of evil spirits. With time, the Celtic Samhain, mixed with ancient Roman elements, became Halloween and continues to be celebrated as a vigil on October 31st.
In 731, Pope Gregory III declared November 1st as the "Day of all Saints" and in 834, Pope Gregroy IV and later Odilo, the radical Abott of Cluny, re-instituted the "Day of all Saints" and added the "Day of all dead", as a church-wide ecclesiastic festivity.
In 1484, the Vatican initiated a "war" against witches who were to be incinerated by public burning and black cats who were to be slaughtered.
HALLoween opens a gate to explore HELL, HEALth and death. It is provocative that HELL in Ukrainian and Spanish points to devil, sin, fornication, darkness and baking in the INFERnal heat of the INFERior strata of the world. Satan, on the other hand, may have whispered to John Milton to write:
"... the mind ...
is its own place ...
in itself can make
heaven of hell ...
hell of heaven ..."
Regarding DEATH, SPIRIT, GHOST, and WITCH, these "think-words" gain clarity from other languages distant from English. Death, in some tongues, points to stop, cease, sleep and peace. In other tongues, death points to failure, pestilence and loss. SPIRit points to properties of alcohol and breath or respiration, while in some languages, words with SPIR convey ideas of eternity.
GHOST and aGHAST point to breath or ATMA as in ATMOSphere which seems to underscore the ETHEReal nature of SPIRits. Another panorama emerges from legends about ancient GHOSTS such as LARVAe and LEMURES and the more contemporary PIXIES and POLTERGEIST or polter-ghosts.
The core power of WITCHES is foreSIGHT. In Ukrainian, WITCHes are called VIDma, while VIDomo and VID refer to KNOW and VISION. There are many stories about CHARming WITCHES who are called CHARivnas. Among the most famous witches, was the CHARismatic Baba Yaga mentioned later. Another CHARming legend is about three witches who had monocular VISion and shared a single eyeball. When Perseus stole their sole eye, they were forced to reveal the HIDEout of the HIDEous Gorgon Medusa. This ancient story, articulated by the Greeks underscores the CHARm and grit of WITCH stories with which they resist the oblivion of the ages.
The idea of WITCH or BRUJa in Spanish, was incorporated in BRUJula, the name for a magnetic compass, as if to imply that this modern instrument is beWITCHED. More recently, religious zealots discovered WITCHes in Salem, Massachusetts. More surprisingly, among our contemporaries are those who continue to believe that witches exist and in Spain, the Basque country is considered to be one favored site for witches to roam. In any case, WITCH is a word with roots in WEIBE, WICCA and UICTIMA pointing to VICTIM. Notably, the link of WITCH and VICTIM does not reflect ideas of mercy - instead, it underscores the human penchant to punish women who can beDEVIL or beWITCH, perhaps due the persistence of the belief that the DEVIL may be incarnate in carnal CHARMING or CHARISMATIC women.
BABA YAGA is the only witch who flies in a MORTAR, a "medication making" symbol. In Ukrainian MORTAR is MAKohon and MAK and MEKONISM refer to popies and addiction to OPIUM. MECONIUM refers to a green, paste like, sterile feces of a fetus or to a paste made from poppies from which OPIUM is extracted. The scope of powers of BABA YAGA are included in MACHOS and MAKHANA which denote "to make" and MAGIC and are explored in another illustrated overview.
The Druids believed that the spirits of the deceased gather on October 31st. and were guided by the deities to their final destinies. The feast provided an occasion for ghosts of the departed to visit their kin and engage in "trick and treat" as they searched for cheer and affection. Living relatives offered apples, nuts and lit bonfires to attract the spirits as well as to singe witches and their brooms. In some cultures, there are traditions akin to Halloween when, on a given day, relatives visit their deceased relatives to light candles on their tombs.
Halloween was imported to the USA mainly by Irish immigrants. Merchants fuel HALLOWEEN celebrations by selling emblems of spirits, ghosts, skeletons, and witches with their brooms along with apples, nuts and pumpkins.