Wearing masks

As we draw closer to Halloween, I had a feeling that may ritual for tomorrow may involve a devil mask that I bought for last year. This would probably make sense, making use of a Halloween tradition, possibly even to draw out or immerse myself a demonic element and use it to somehow empower or enlighten myself. At the same time though, I’m not crazy about the idea of wearing a mask.

To me, there’s still the idea that people were masks to please other people, fit into the crowd, and deny who they really are. And in today’s society, I see masks as being things that people wear when they get into mobs into order to smash things up or try to ruin people’s lives for no good reason, or as something that you wear when you’re mad at “the system” and you want to resist but you don’t have the courage to resist without concealing yourself with some mask.

Seriously, I always thought being free as an individual didn’t mean being part of a mob and wearing their masks.

But when I think of pagans and members of folk traditions wearing masks, I think something very different, partly because they’re not using masks to oppose “the system”, let alone the willingness to vandalize private businesses and call it protest. It’s the same for when we wear masks on Halloween. When we wear masks in a traditional context, perhaps it’s not to hide anything, or hide from anything. It might be to indulge in a certain role, and achieve a kind of gratification, even fulfillment, from it. It might be to provide an easy link between the mind and certain energies and ideas symbolized by the mask. It might simply be entertaining. But this only makes sense in a certain context and if the mask is literal.

I am ultimately willing to wear a devil mask for Halloween in order to link myself with a certain demonic and dark element for this Halloween, but that’s for the purpose of personal ritual. And with regards to Halloween, masks generally just come with the tradition I guess. If you blindly go with the flow of it, it’s not really that good, but if you consciously choose to use it, it could be useful.

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3 responses to “Wearing masks

  1. I think you are quite right about the positive attributes of mask use, they can be very creative, and help people bring things out of themselves, or get out of habitual selves into more authentic selves. They also in a sense acknowledge that to some extent we all wear masks, at least subconsciously, so they help us to turn our appearance into a conduit of authenticity through a conscious play. And when we wear masks for each other (as it types of role play), we can also do it for mutual fulfilment. It is quite paradioxical, but we can express deeper parts of our true natures by assuming things we didn’t (previously) think of as ourselves

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