In my Halloween-eve lecture at the New York Public Library, delivered October 30, 2013 at the Mid-Manhattan Branch, I highlight the ancient roots of Halloween and its rebirth in modern America.
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For me Halloween has always been more than just a holiday for costumes, parties, and trick-or-treating. It is a time of year that summons up occult interests that grew deep in me in childhood.
The spirit of tolerance and openness that suffused esoteric movements in early America forged a bond between the occult and liberalism. This was especially true in the nineteenth-century movement of Spiritualism.
Early America was a spiritually rocking place. For what it's worth, it remains so to this day for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.
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