Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another Socal Halloween


The deciduous trees in my neighborhood flare weakly with autumn color this time of year. They give up the ghost of their comely birthright and drop like the dead almost overnight. That other hint of fall, a breeze with a clean, brisk scent is overwhelmed by its studly cousins, the demon-ridden Santa Ana's. They burn and churn through our canyons, trample our dreams and herald our version of winter in Socal. Instead of rain, we get ash fall. My nose tickles, and a sulphuric odor permeates the city, or am I just getting ready for Halloween?

Demons and fairies are often malcontents which are at the heart of much storytelling throughout history. Sultry temptresses and mischievous sprites make cameos not only in mythology, but also in Milton and Shakespeare. Demons and fairies and other supernatural entities are the essence of human storytelling. It's a way to transmit values. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that "Demonology is the shadow of Theology . . . "

Much of the information posted here is taken from The Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, and Fallen Subversive Sprits  by Carol Mack.  Here are a few of my favorites:


Changelings:

Changelings are a type of fairy who steals human babies. They are also the “thing” left behind to fool the human parents. If your baby breaks stuff, or has teeth or speaks while still an infant, chances are you have a changeling.

One woman suspected she had a changeling. She was advised to boil eggshells, discarding the eggs. The Changeling, a newborn, asked, “What are you brewing?” This terrified the mother, of course, but she replied, “I’m brewing eggshells.” The Changeling became agitated, “Oh! In the fifteen hundred years that I have been alive, I have never seen anyone brew eggshells.” (From Carol Mack, A Field Guide to Demons, p 204-05).

The changeling knew it had blown his cover and disappeared, leaving behind the human infant in its place.

In Scotland, mothers were advised to feed their infants whiskey mixed with earth, apply hen excrement or salt or both, or stick pins and scissors or knives around the crib.

Shaitan:

Shaitan (also Satan) is a kind of djinni created by the fire of Allah.  Their modus is to lead humans into sin by temptation.  They also have a muse aspect, and can inspire artists and poets.  I want that job!

They also eat dirt and excrement.  Never mind on the job.

Shadow:

According to Carl Jung the Shadow is a person's inner demon.  It includes all that we hide.

Many people control the shadow with sheer will, but it will spring forth in projections and dreams.  Archetypal images of the shadow are vampires, devils and hybrid beasts.

Disarm the shadow by listening for it.   ". . . when the Shadow is recognized and respected as a natural part of each psyche and no longer repressed" spiritual growth can begin (Jung).

Like all demons, the Shadow is always changing its guise, so recognizing it is a lifelong process.