November 1st, 2010

Halloween Rising

Give it a few more years and I predict Halloween will be an official holiday in the UK.  It has already elbowed Bonfire Night aside, and must be running neck and neck with Easter in the competition to become our second most popular feast- after Christmas. The churches won't like it, of course, but the churches carry less and less weight in the national discourse. 

TV coverage this year included a remarkably friendly report from a blasted heath somewhere in Leicestershire where a group of druids (but they looked more like bog-standard pagans to me) were running a circle in the wind and the rain- and drinking mead from a horn. Druidry achieved charitable status as a bona fide religion a few weeks back- which is another straw in the wind.

Slowly, but by measurable increments, Britain is becoming a pagan country. I don't mean that vast numbers are going to be joining covens or groves,  but that a distinctly pagan frame of mind- impatient with religious dogma, hedonistic, secular but superstitious, keen on Nature- is becoming the national norm. Most people still think druids and witches are a bit weird and extreme- what with all that dressing-up and stuff-  but- like the TV reporter in Leicestershire- they're coming to find themselves more and more in sympathy, less and less spooked.