We’re just about to put the last of the grapes to bed. It was a great year for us. The successes far outweighed the disappointments. We usually have some form of harvest/Halloween dinner to celebrate, and after a few drinks, I try to convince winemaker Eric Glomski to tell a little story. It’s taken me a few years to get him to write it down, but here it is for all to enjoy:
The Ancient Pagan Rites of Halloween
By Eric Glomski
“Long ago, across vast cultural and political space, Halloween traveled and evolved from a deep, meaningful, multi-day ritual that blended spiritual and agrarian realities.
The spiritual lives of ancient pagans clearly developed alongside their struggles to coax a living from the earth. Day and night, summer and winter, and warm and cold forged dichotomies that lay inexorably alongside the ultimate relationship between life and death.
In pre-industrial times, as summer drew to a close and winter was ushered in through the autumnal equinox, agrarian peoples were faced with the realities of the harvest year. Had they stored enough crops for the winter? Was there enough fuel wood to stave off the bite of the damp north winds? If not, in certain years, many would find themselves begging door-to-door seeking help. If they were not rewarded with compassion in the form of food stores, tricks (and possibly vandalism) would sometimes be carried out against the unkind. (Our trick-or-treating is a vestige of this desperate act.)
At the same time, behind this physical reality lay the backdrop of the wild, pagan, mystical world. This time of year marked the point where all the Earth


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