Ah, Halloween. The enchanted time when all the witches, ghosties, and creatures of the night are encouraged to come out and play. It has always been a magical time of year for me personally, ever since I was a tot. I can readily tell you what I dressed up for on this beloved holiday, since I was four. (4 years: Mickey Mouse.) Halloween has enjoyed quite the resurrection, and it is the perfect occasion to throw a theme party. Since I am the original theme party gal, I can happily throw some suggestions your way to make yours unique, and anything but run of the mill.
Can you help me? Do you know another term for Southern Spiritualism? Since the 80s, I've been a practitioner of Southern Spiritualism, an American tradition of African-based practices. I never hear the term used anymore, and no one knows what I'm referring to when I use it, so I'm hoping there's a term more people are familiar with.
I do not know what else to call what I practice, because I did not learn it from a book but from a community. The only other term we had for it back in the 80s was "American voodoo."
Here is a bit of cultural context that might help you identify the tradition:
As I often do in hard times, I turned to my oracle decks in search of some insight and some comfort after the horrific events in Santa Barbara this week. I expected a Goddess of Justice, like Athena, or a Goddess of Healing, like Sulis, to appear. So imagine my surprise when Erzulie, Vodou Lwa of Love and Luxury (among much else) made herself known to me.
I returned from the West Kentucky Hoodoo Rootworker Heritage Festival last evening. The festival site was set in farm country in western Kentucky and vast fields of soybeans formed a crescent around the encampment. A rooster crowed up the Sun each morning and coyotes yipped through the long, cool nights. We had one wet night and one cold night and days filled with one of the most diverse groups I've seen in my (admittedly limited) Pagan festival experience.
There were workshops, rituals, classes and plenty of networking with colleagues from as far away as Toronto. The food was good, the company cheerful and remarkably even-tempered. Lots of nice vendors tempted us all with their pretty wares and I can't even complain about the late-night karaoke simply because the folks doing it were having so much fun.