Car, Ode and I had the best time this past weekend at the 22nd Annual Detroit Witches Ball. Good food, great music, abundant drinks and people dressed in finery. Some chose to wear evening gowns and dinner jackets while other people dressed to represent their paths and traditions, while still more took the opportunity to dress for the holiday season we are now enjoying--Halloween.
I believe it's safe to say a good time was had by all.
While enjoying the feasting and celebrating, I had the chance to chat with a lovely woman while we waited in line for hor d'oeuvres. She mentioned a friend who had bought a "costume" to wear to her first ever Witches Ball. Now, the woman telling me this story didn't elaborate on what raised her suspicion but she intuited her friend had no idea the party she would be attending was not a typical Halloween shindig. So, she let her friend know that the event was in fact a Witches Ball---for real---sponsored by actual pagans. The woman reported that her friend took the news with aplomb and decided to go and enjoy herself rather than be judgemental or full of fear.
This is a good thing! Some people might have rallied a prayer vigil outside the doors of the hall where the event was being hosted.
Oddly enough, a few days after the Witches Ball while shopping I got into a conversation with a store clerk who inquired about my weekend and I mentioned I'd gone to a bazaar and ball. Upon further questioning, I told her it was the Witches Ball. The clerk gave me a long look and just said,
"You must really like Halloween, huh?"
Why yes, I do.
Having a sabbat which shares a secular holiday can be a good thing. October is the Season of the Witch (so to speak) so that means a lot of people (as mentioned in our podcast Wheel of the Year: Samhain) can be more open in expressing their Pagan selves to the world and most folks around them won't blink an eye. To the casual observer, much of what we do and believe as Wiccans, Witches, Pagans, Heathens, et al, is odd, mysterious or just plain scary. Halloween gives "permission" for at least some in society to shrug their shoulders and pass it off (for the most part) as holiday whimsy.
Eh. I can live with that.