How to Survive as an Artist

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Two Resources and a telephone strategy session

  In the strategy session, I work with you to develop a new path or “blueprint” to attract new buyers and expand your audience.

 


We are living in difficult times and it is challenging to survive as an artist and creative person

Everything is uncertain  – 

Erosion of personal freedoms and privacy 

Degradation of the environment and climate change

Pollutants and chemicals in our water and air

Health challenges and chronic disease

Food and the dangers of industrial farming 

Changes in economic and financial realities

Political disruptions

Difficulties in relationships

Every aspect of our lives is under pressure right now

and artists and all creative people are particularly sensitive and intuitive and are feeling this more intensely now than at any other time


Surviving as an Artist

I recently asked some of our community of artists what were the biggest frustrations or challenges they faced as artists.


A common thread emerged from their responses –- the frustration in finding reliable representation and in having their work exhibited or seen –

                “finding someone who has the know how and who could promote my work in the right way, particularly in larger projects or commissions.”  The often expressed desire was to have a sincere partner or agent(s) -– “someone to stand behind you and believe in your work.”

While having total confidence in their own work and in their ability to create, many admitted that their weakest point was being able to promote themselves.



I can help you to develop a strategy to survive as an artist during these uncertain times

As the economy has constricted, artists and other creative people have been some of the most affected, and art acquisitions have been viewed as a luxury that can easily be dismissed as unnecessary.

Creating a work of art is labor intensive, so it is impossible to calculate a price for the “sale value” of a work of art based on the length of time it took to create.  An artist simply cannot “charge by the hour”.


And combining this with the reality of high gallery commissions, many artists have found that with existing fee structures, they wind up paying more than they can sell the artwork for. Another risk is working with the so-called  “vanity galleries” that promise to promote your art and establish your reputation – but in reality are designed to extract money from you offering little in return.

Many reputable gallery owners continue to promote the artists in their stable — and do an excellent job of supporting artists and promoting new talent. But galleries are businesses and need to be profitable to stay in business  —  An important fact you need to keep in mind if you are seeking gallery representation and assistance.


There are alternatives ….

But  there are alternatives to the traditional artist – gallery working relationships.  The huge expansion of social media and the opportunities for communication that the internet  has created, can  increase your visibility, help  you discover new places to exhibit or display your work, and attract new buyers. There are many more options today that can be explored:


  1. Art has become essential in many types of projects and spaces. It can be used as a social connector in the workplace and can forge links with the community.  Other options are…

Working with local arts councils or other commissioning bodies.
Reaching new audiences in airports, hotels, municipal transport authorities.
Creating projects that incorporate community involvement.
Exhibiting in corporate galleries, community centers and other non-traditional spaces.
Artist co-ops.
Museum advisory services.
Art banks and arts counsels, art centers


Two Resources and a telephone strategy session

 As a guide, I can work with you to develop a path or “blueprint” on how to navigate through this period., and develop some strategies for survival



So the basics . The Artist’s Survival Blueprint features:

Insider’s Guide to Art in the Workplace ebook reveals how a corporate curator thinks, how they make their decisions, and how companies run their art programs, It is a synthesis of the insights I’ve gained during the past 50 years of documenting the world of corporate art.

One-hour personal strategy session that will give you a crystal clear vision of how to attract new buyers; will set targets for your promotional plans and uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging you and blocking your success 
—you will leave the strategy session renewed, inspired, energized

2020 Edition of the International Directory of Corporate Art Collections, the only source of information on over 700 art programs in workplace settings and non-traditional spaces. This is simply the best source of information for what is happening with art in business and the workplace.  2020 edition will be released on February 15.



It is a new way of thinking and a way of noticing opportunities – and that is what the Artist’s Blueprint is for.   I’d like to invite you to take advantage of the Artist’s Strategy Blueprint.

Order the three-part Artist’s Strategy Plan below



Yes, I would like to order the Artist’s Strategy Blueprint that includes the “Insider’s Guide, the personal strategy session, and the 2020 / 2021 Edition of the International Directory of Corporate Art Collections for $87.     

Note: the International Directory and Insider’s Guide ebook are in Adobe PDF format that can be used on either PCs or Apple.  

The Directory is currently at a special 30% pre-publication discount price until February 14.  After that the Artist’s Strategy Blueprint will be $99.


NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: When you purchase this three-part artist’s strategy blueprint, you will receive a separate email with information about your order, and a brief questionnaire to schedule the strategy coaching session. Please make sure that you are providing the correct email address, otherwise, I cannot reach you.

After you have placed your order, your name and email address is forwarded to me for checking and verification. It may take a few hours for me to see your order — I am in the North American East Coast time zone.

For more information , contact the Editor at publications@humanities-exchange.org

If you wish to order a printed version of the Directory (550 pages), the charge is an additional $30 plus postage. Contact me at the email address above



 

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Help needed, please read……

It is the end of the year and I realize that you have probably been bombarded with requests for donations and help for several months.


But I will be unusually direct here — We are facing eviction and having to end our information and advising  services,  publications, and exhibition projects


Projects such as a major environmental exhibition that is a call to action with artists from around the world making statements about the current environmental crisis.  additional information at  http://humanities-exchange.org/sample-page/a-wheel-within-a-wheel/

The 2020 updating of information for the International Directory of Corporate Art Collections, to be published on January 19

The Dufy by Design exhibition that is on display now in Japan and will be re-designed and begin a  tour in the US the following year.   The expanded exhibition will highlight Dufy’s work with costume design and the theatre, and the beautiful dresses created by costume designer Anthony Powell for his production of My Fair Lady at the Chatelet in Paris, and the Kirov in St Petersburg


……. If at least 500 people give $12 to the Humanities Exchange  and International Art Alliance, then our financial crisis will be at an end and we can continue to follow through on these projects..


in exchange for your help, I will send you pdfs of the latest publications that will make charming New Year gifts for your friends, family and colleagues


The publications that will be sent to you in digital pdf format:


Edible Architecture               
 An entertaining and delightful gift for your friends — Edible Architecture amazes and celebrates  gingerbread houses around the world, and gives a  fascinating look into a world of exhibitions, competitions, chefs, and creators.

Let’s Hit the Road Again, our new book and traveling exhibition explores the car’s impact on American life and society and  celebrates America’s love affair with the automobile.  A perfect “read” for you and your car loving friends

The International Directory of Corporate Art Collections, 2018 edition.  Highlights information on over 700 art programs in workplaoce settings and non-traditional spaces. This includes corporations, small businesses, partnerships, corporate foundations, airports, municipal transport and metro networks, cruise ships, hotels, and hospitals.  ……..it is simply the best source of information for what is happening with art in business and the workplace.


Please help us by clicking on the payment button below, and donating a small amount.  Every week, several thousands visit our websites to access the information and resources, free from annoying ads.  You can see more informaton on  the websites at …….



The Greenhouse Site
http://thegreenhousesite.com/

It is no longer possible to deny that our planet has become steadily and increasingly toxic, and that we are harming it at our own peril.  It has become essential  for us to stop our wasteful and polluting ways that are damaging our ecosystem, and placing the future and  survival of mankind and all life on this planet at risk.  The blog features articles on new creative initiatives.


The Humanities Exchange
http://humanities-exchange.org/

Founded in 1981, The Humanities Exchange is devoted to  encouraging understanding and mutual respect among cultures around the world through international exchange and the development and touring of  museum exhibitions.


Edible Architecture
http://ediblearchitecture.org/

Read the story of the magical houses, palaces, fairy tales, fantasy villages, and futuristic dwellings — all edible and temptingly aromatic.  …..An entertaining and delightful gift for your friends at Christmas.  Edible Architecture amazes and celebrates the world of Gingerbread Houses around the world, and shows a  fascinating world of exhibitions, competitions, chefs, and creators.


Dufy by Design
http://dufybydesign.com/


Corporate Art Brief
http://www.corporateartbrief.com/

The International Directory highlights information on over 700 art programs in workplaoce settings and non-traditional spaces. This includes corporations, small businesses, partnerships, corporate foundations, airports, municipal transport and metro networks, cruise ships, hotels, and hospitals.
……..it is simply the best source of information for what is happening with art in business and the workplace.  I will send you the last version of 2018.




Let’s Hit the Road Again — The Exhibition

Title of Artwork: Where we have been? Where are we going?  Artist: Romney Shelton Collins

Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?

Experience the Era and Celebrate America’s love affair with the Automobile

Let’s Hit the Road Again, the touring exhibition and companion book explores the car’s impact on American life and society and  celebrates America’s love affair with the automobile. 

During the first decades of the 20th century, the automobile transformed the way we live.

For the first time, people  could now hop into their cars, hit the road and escape from the places and circumstances that bound them.  The car gave people freedom – freedom to travel, freedom to explore, freedom to experience new ways of living.


The automobile transformed America — where we live, how we work, how we travel, what the cities and suburbs look like, our environment – all have been profoundly shaped by the car.

In Let’s Hit the Road Again artists from around the world have recycled discarded metal wheel coverings and hubcaps  — and turned them into fascinating and sometimes controversial artworks.


Take a  trip down memory lane and enjoy how 149 artists from the LandfillArt Collection  have celebrated this unique era .

……… As long as art has existed, some of it has pushed people to look beyond their comfort zones …….  And the exhibition and book opens your eyes a little wider.

 *   *

Artists have long used junkyards and trash heaps as source material.  By taking something discarded, they turned it into something beautiful, compelling or provocative.

The artists represented in the LandfillArt Collection,  have become a community encouraging and supporting the creative reuse and recycling of the earth’s resources.   The artists have explored the potential of re-using materials –   in their hands, workroom scraps, broken dishes, and even recycled paint have become art.  They have turned the ordinary into the extraordinary!

With such a diversity of creative expressions and mediums, the artists created a body of work, that makes us pause, ponder, and plan to make a difference in our own world.

*   *

The following are a few of the surprises and stories that await you in Let’s Hit the Road Again

Title of Artwork: Route 66 Revisited, by Thom Roslan

Explore  the lore and popular culture that surrounds some of the iconic cars, and the well- known highways and byways.  Several highways became outright legends on their own. 

Often called “The Mother Road,” Route 66 became one of the most famous roads in the US.  It originally ran from Chicago, before ending in Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). 

US 66 served as a primary route for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and the road supported the economies of the communities it passed through.

It was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” and  the Route 66 television show in the 1960s. The song “Get your kicks on Route 66.”became a monument to long-distance car travel..

*   *

Highway 61 North –  known as the “Blues Highway,” rivaled Route 66 as the most famous road in American music lore.  It was a major transit route out of the Deep South particularly for African Americans traveling north to Chicago, St Louis and Memphis.

The highway has a long musical history, being the supposed location where singer-songwriter Robert Johnson made a deal with the Devil for his successes.  The road later gave its name to Minnesota native Bob Dylan’s album Highway 61 Revisited.

 *   *

At its height, one in every six working Americans worked directly for the automobile industry, and Detroit was its epicenter.

Henry Ford in his own words……

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”

*   *

Cars of the Stars.   The high end automobiles, such as the Cadillac and Mercedes, became status symbols and were popular with celebrities, and  Hollywood stars. 

By 1910, Cadillac was the first manufacturer to mass-produce cars with enclosed cabins.  They invented climate control.  By 1964, everything on your Caddy could be controlled by thermostat, the first vehicle to ever offer such a cool ride.

The fascinating story behind Al Capone’s infamous getaway car – a Cadillac – that was custom built for him.   The gangster commissioned several armoured cars, but the most famous was a 1928 Cadillac – and thought to be one of the first cars to have body armour and bulletproof glass.

 *   *

The Pierce-Arrow was a status symbol, owned by many Hollywood stars and celebrities.  Most of the royalty of the world had at least one Pierce-Arrow in its collection. 

Actor Sessue Hayakawa, from the film Bridge on the River Kwai, drove a custom-ordered gold-plated Pierce-Arrow.

In 1909, U.S. President William Howard Taft ordered two Pierce-Arrows to be used for state occasions.

 *   *

Many television celebrities were used in car marketing. 

One of the most successful was Dinah Shore .  She was one of the first television celebrities whose name became synonymous with a product   — and during the 50s and early 60s, she was probably most responsible for putting Chevrolet automobiles in the driveways of millions. 

On her TV show she sang “the Chevy jingle” and the song became an anthem for the era; a tune approaching patriotic status.  By 1962-63 Chevy sales alone were more than 2 million a year, and all of the General Motors in those years amounted to half of all vehicles sold in the U.S.



Groucho Marx was another who became identified with a car make.  DeSoto sponsored the popular television game show You Bet Your Life from 1950 – 1958, in which host Groucho Marx urged viewers to visit a DeSoto dealer with the phrase “tell ’em Groucho sent you“, and to “drive a DeSoto before you decide“.  The DeSoto was named for Hernando de Soto to symbolize travel, adventure and pioneering.

 *   *

Title of Artwork: Chief, by James Dobney

Why did Pontiac use an Indian as their symbol.   The earliest Pontiac logos, show a side view of a Native American with a distinctive headdress.  

Pontiac,  or Obwandiyag (c. 1720 – 1769) was an Odawa war chief who led Native Americans in a struggle against British military occupation of the Great Lakes region. 

Pontiac’s War began in May 1763 when Pontiac and 300 followers attempted to take Fort Detroit by surprise.  They laid siege to the fort, where they were joined by more than 900 warriors from a half-dozen tribes.

  *   *

Title:  Chevy to the Levee, By Guinotte Wise

America’s love affair with the automobile was most evident in the music of the era.  

The Day Music Died …. 

So bye-bye, Miss American Pie, Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die, This’ll be the day that I die.”   

Chevy to the levee” is from  “American Pie,” which topped America’s music charts in 1972. Singer and songwriter Don McLean wrote it to mourn the death of three musicians in a 1959 airplane crash. Those who perished the “day the music died” included Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Jiles Perry Richardson Jr., “the Big Bopper.” The song’s familiar chorus is now part of American pop culture.

“Oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.”  –Janis Joplin

  *   *

The Volkswagen Beetle is arguably the most recognized industrial product shape ever produced.

But more than that, it has endured for generations, becoming a part of many families’ cultural history.

 *   *

The Jeep

The Jeep is the oldest four-wheel drive mass-production vehicles now known as SUVs.

 

“You know it’s important to have a Jeep in Los Angeles. That front wheel drive is crucial when it starts to snow on Rodeo Drive.” –Christopher Guest

*   *

Tail Fins and the Designers

With America’s passion for the jet age in the 1950s, the public was obsessed with the need to go fast. 

During the 1960s American automobiles came to resemble the jet with it’s tail fins.  Large tailfins,  designs reminiscent of rockets, and radio antennas that imitated Sputnik were common, due to the efforts of design pioneers such as Harley Earl.  So before the 1950s and 1960s were over,  designers were adding fins to every car they could.

“Dad called General Motors designer Harley Earl’s designs “chrome-plated barges,” .. he said that, if left to his own devices, Harley Earl would put fins on a TV or refrigerator.”   Raymond Loewy

 *   *

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Vision of the Future

Frank Lloyd Wright had three loves:   cars, architecture and the American landscape.  His annual road trips to Taliesin helped him refresh his architectural perspectve and vision.  And gave him a clear view of the country’s changing landscape, and how automobiles were transforming American society.

In his architectural projects, he designed many car-influenced  structures that included a filling station, a self-service parking garage, a “paradise on wheels housing project,” and, of course, his Jaguar showroom in New York City.

 *   *

For more information about the exhibition, see   here.   To schedule the exhibition or propose an exhibition site,  please contact Shirley Reiff Howarth at exhibitions@humanities-exchange.org

 *   *

The book, Let’s Hit the Road Again is now available and you cn see a full 182 page preview, with over 230 photographs by clicking on the photograph below:  Order single copies from that preview by clicking on the shopping cart at the top of the preview page

 


Let’s Hit the Road Again

By Shirley Reiff Howarth



Multple copies are available at a discount price:  over 10 copies with a 30% ciscount, and over 20 copies for a 40% discount — contact me for an invoice and shipping costs — srhowarth@humanities-exchange.org


If you would like a digital pdf copy of the entire 180 page book, you can order it here for $9.95, by clicking on the button below that will take you to paypal. When your payment is credited, I will then send you the pdf via wetransfer.

Thank you for your interest




Book Title:  Lets Hit the Road Again

Author: Shirley Reiff Howarth
184 pages, 230 illustrations
ISBN: 978–0–943488-27-1 Paperback
ISBN: 978–0–943488-26-4 Hardbound
Published in the United States of America
Book layout and design ©2019 The Humanities Exchange / Shirley Reiff Howarth
Website: : www.humanities-exchange.org
email:  exhibitions@humanities-exchange.org

Available from The Humanities Exchange,  Shirley Reiff Howarth,
2840 West Bay Drive, # 250, Belleair Bluffs, Florida 33770
Copies can be ordered from the Humanities Exchange website at:
http://humanities-exchange.org/

Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations,  associations, and others. For details, contact the address above.

Title: Sky High and Riding Low, by Susan Hammond

“I pesently own a Chrysler 300, and each time I drive to work in New York City I pass the beautiful Chrysler Building  I chose to create a hubcap showing antique Chryslers as well as the historic Chrysler Building.”   — Susan Hammond

Folk Art: Celebrating Spring with Decorated Eggs

Pysanky are intricately decorated Ukrainian eggs with symbols. The custom dates back over 2,000 years.

Celebrating Spring with colored eggs !

For thousands of years, the egg has been a powerful and ancient symbol of rebirth and the Spring Equinox  Today,  most historians believe that the holiday of Easter and the practice of decorating and coloring eggshells has its roots in ancient pagan culture.  

Sumerian, Babylonian, Persian, and pre-dynastic Egyptian cultures all celebrated the return of Spring.  These cultural relationships probably influenced early Christian and Islamic cultures in those regions, as they were spread through trade, religion, and political links from the areas around the Mediterranean.

Ostrich egg painted with red lines. Punic artwork found at the Villaricos necropolis in Cuevas del Almanzora (Province of Almeria, Andalusia, Spain), and dated between 6th and 4th centuries BC (Iron Age II). National Archaeological Museum of Spain (Madrid).

60,000 year old engraved ostrich eggshells have been discovered in South Africa , decorated with engraved hatched patterns. There is evidence that, even in ancient Roman culture, eggs decorated with vegetable dyes using onion skins, beets, and carrots were given as gifts during the spring festivals.

In Persia and present day Iran, the celebration of the New Year, incorporates colored eggs as part of the ceremonial Nowruz table. This 13-day spring festival falls on or around the vernal equinox in March and is believed to have originated in modern day Iran as part of the Zoroastrian religion. 

One theory for the name Easter, is that it probably came from Eastre, the Saxon name of the goddess of spring and fertility, Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox; traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter rabbit, a symbol of fertility, and in colored Easter eggs.

Mexican Cascarones

Civilizations worldwide have created rituals to celebrate a fertile spring, a time of renewal, regeneration and resurrection. Newer legends blended folklore and Christian beliefs and like the holiday of Easter itself, the art and craft of decorating eggs with different colors has also evolved over time.

Faberge Egg

The renowned Russian court artist and jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé made exquisitely decorated precious metal and gemstone eggs for the Romanov Dynasty. These Fabergé eggs resembled standard decorated eggs, but they were made from gold and precious stones.

This new book shows the varied sources for the folk art of coloring and decorating eggs, while demonstrating their  complexity in design and symbolism.

Eastern European cultures have exceptionally strong traditions of decorating eggs.  Created for hundreds of years in the Urkraine and other Slavic countries, the  extraordinarily delicate and beautiful  Pysanky eggs are highlighted — their  history and methods of decorating are discussed in the book.

Showing how the cultural traditions have merged and evolved over several thousand years of  history, this is a  book to enjoy with your family.

  • The Egg of Many Cultures:  Transforming a Celebration of the Rites of Spring to Easter
  • ISBN  978-0-943488-15-8
  • EBOOK, 60 pages, fully illustrated, 7″ x 7″
  • Price:     $3.95
  • Order through paypal below:



NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:     When you order the ebook with the  button above,  the download  link will then be sent to you in a separate email.   Please make sure that you are giving the correct email address, otherwise, I cannot reach you.   After you have placed your order, it is sent to me for verification so it may take a couple of hours —   I am in North American  East Coast time zone.


Table of Contents

Part I : History of Decorated Eggs

Colored Eggs – Modern Customs
Decorating Eggs: The Eariest History
Slavic Cultures and the Ukraine : The Pysanky
Mesopotamia and Early Christian Roots
Nowruz: Persian New Year
Early Christian Era-The Byzantine and Roman Church
Legends, Folklore and Superstitions
Mexico : Cascarones
Russia: The Faberge Eggs

Part II : Decorating the Eggs

Dying: Colors Created from Natural Dyes
Wax Resist
The Pysanky
The Technique for Creating Traditional Pysanky
Types of Decorated Eggs
Sharing Pysanky
Folk Symbols and Designs
Color Symbolism
Naturally Colored Eggs

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A Holiday Tradition: The Magic of Gingerbread Houses

Just in time for the holidays — a look at the tradition, the customs, the history, and the enthusiastic competitions. 


Every year thousands of pounds of flour, sugar, ginger, and candies are used to create magical houses, palaces, fairy tales, fantasy villages, and futuristic structures — all edible and temptingly aromatic.


Alice in Wonderland, from the Seattle Sheraton 2012 Display, Once Upon a Time.

Edible Architecture is the story of gingerbread houses — their link to the popular fairy tale Hansel and Grelel, the enthusiastic and highly competitive contests sponsored every year, the Guiness record breakers creating the largest houses or gingerbread villages, the traditions that are celebrated around the world, and the chefs that create these fantasy palaces from hundreds of pounds of flour, sugar, ginger, and candy.


Gingerbread houses have surged in popularity and it’s not too difficult to understand why. “Gingerbread House-making” combines the skills of baker, architect and visionary. For a family-designed gingerbread house, it takes many hands—both adult and child-size to construct the dream home. During the holiday season of sugar plum fairies and other food-related enchantment, it’s the perfect time to blend spices and flour to create a cookie palace.

The tradition of making decorated gingerbread houses probably began in Germany during the early 1800s, and was closely linked to the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel.



But no-one seems to know for certain if making Gingerbread Houses was inspired by the story of Hansel and Gretel, or the reverse — if Gingerbread Houses were already being made and inspired the tale.


Since the 1950s, it has been a White House tradition to have a special gingerbread houe for the enjoyment of the thousands of visitors during the holiday period.  In the last year of Barack Obama’s presidency in 2016, over 68,000 visitors and guests were entertained at the White House.


North Americans have been baking gingerbread for over 200 years, and even George Washington’s mother is credited with a recipe. The tradition of gingerbread baking was brought to the New World by the German-speaking communities of Pennsylvania and Maryland, and pastries were baked as ginger snap cookies and became popular as Christmas tree decorations.


Gingerbread house competitions have been popular in the US and Canada for over 20 years. 


The largest is spnsored by the Grove Park Inn in Ashville, North Carolina.  It attracts over 400 of the best designers from across the country every year.


Even the Guiness World Records have gotten into the excitement and their Largest Gingerbread House broke the world record in 2013 built by the Texas A&M Traditions Club in Bryan Texas,  The huge structure had an internal volume of 1,110 square meeters, length of 160 feet, and was 42 feet wide.  Covering an area of 2,520 square feet, the 21 foot ingerbread housee had an edible exterior mounted over a wooden frame.


For further information or orders of softbound and hardbound edition  please contact us at: exhibitions@humanities-exchange.org

Edible Architecture is available on Amazon in a Kindle Edition.

If you would like to buy the 120 page PDF edition of Edible Architecture for $4.95, please click on the button below





Bergen, Norway annual Gingerbread Village

Suddenly It’s Halloween !

Is it only a time for fun, putting on costumes, and trick-or-treating, or is it more?

Halloween is also a world of superstition, ancient myth, ghosts, and evil spirits

A book for the whole family to enjoy

Explore the the customs

the foods

the games

and the origins. 

 

And experience its ancient  myths and traditions


Halloween is surrounded with a world of superstition, ghosts, goblins and evil spirits that are to be avoided!



Its origins can be traced back over 2000 years to the Druids, and the Celtic culture in Ireland, Britain and Northern Europe.  Its roots lay in the feast of Samhain, which honored the dead on October 31st.

At this time, the souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes, and the autumn festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, goblins, black cats, fairies and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about the streets and villages at night.


 What about the witches?

They are the most mysterious entities associated  with Halloween. The word Witch comes from the word “Wicca” meaning “Wise One.”

When did they become feared and avoided?   

And why did they evolve into an ugly, hook-nosed woman, stirring up a steaming potion that is brewing away inside a cauldron?

Modern-day witches of the Western World still struggle to shake this historical stereotype. Most practice Wicca, an official religion, and Wiccans avoid evil and the appearance of evil at all costs. Their motto is to “harm none,” and they strive to live a peaceful, tolerant and balanced life in tune with nature and humanity.

Many modern-day witches still perform witchcraft, but there’s seldom anything sinister about it. Their spells and incantations are often derived from their Book of Shadows, a 20th-century collection of wisdom and witchcraft.  A modern-day witchcraft potion is more likely to be an herbal remedy for the flu instead of a hex to harm someone.



Explore the divinations and  fortune-telling of Halloween 


This is thought to be the most favourable time for divinations on marriage, luck, health, and death.

Many of these practices evolved from the celebration of Samhain — such as reading apple peels, interpreting the movements of roasted nuts and counting crows all were used to find answers to questions about children, fortune and love.

The Druids believed that the particular shape of various fruits and vegetables could help predict, or divine, the future.


The practice of fortunetelling carried over into America with activities like bobbing for apples, where unmarried young adults would take turns trying to bite an apple, either hanging from a tree or floating in water, without the use of their hands. The first person to bite into an apple would supposedly be the next to marry. Young women would also peel apples onto the ground in hopes of seeing their future husband’s name spelled out in the peels.



Ghosts and evil spirits

In Ireland especially, people thought that ghosts and spirits roamed after dark on Halloween — when mischievous and evil spirits roamed, and the mischievous spirits could play tricks on the living.

They lit candles or lanterns to keep the spirits away, and if they had to go outside, they wore costumes and masks to frighten the spirits or  “hide” from them  to keep from being recognized by the unearthly.




In Mexico, the Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, celebrates and honors friend and family members who have passed away. 

 It is said to be the time that heaven’s gates are opened and the spirits of loved ones are able to reunite with their friends and families.



Read the stories and rhymes about Halloween.

What about the Jack-O-Lantern — who was Jack

And enjoy the food traditions, some with ancient origins.  Pumpkins are carved, kids bob for apples, and candy is consumed in massive quantities – a lot of candy.  

In fact, the amount of candy eaten on Halloween has long surpassed the amount eaten at Christmas and Valentine’s Day. In 2011, $2.3 billion was spent on Halloween candy – that is a lot of sugar!

Today Halloween has gone from an informal affair to a holiday celebrated by millions of people. In the US, as much as $6 billion is spent annually on Halloween merchandise, and Halloween commercials fill the airwaves as early as September.


 


Experience all of this in our new book – Into the Heart of Halloween.  All of these topics and more.  Chapters include:

  • Worldwide Traditions
  • Origins in Samhain
  • Growth in North America
  • Customs – trick or treating, jack-o-lanterns,
  • Mexico: Day of the Dead
  • Festivals Around the World
  • A world of superstitions, ghosts, goblins and evil spirits
  • Witches, Magic and Divination
  • Foods of Halloween
  • Children’s Rhymes and Songs

A pdf copy of the book is available for $2.49.  Click on the paynow button below.  After payment has been credited by paypal, the ebook will be sent, so allow about 12 hours to receive it and make sure that you use the email where you would like to receive it.

In the Heart of Halloween – The Origins, Foods, and Customs

For further information the email address is transformations@humanities-exchange.org