[Ravensfort] FW: It's the Great Punkin Shoot - October 29 2011

Harry Billings humble_archer at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 18 18:58:10 PDT 2011

FYI is a fun shoot.








    It's the
          Great Punkin Shoot
    Oct. 29, just after
    Wanderer's Rest
    When Linus and Charlie Brown sat in
        the pumpkin patch all night waiting for the "Great Pumpkin" to
        come bearing gifts they had it all wrong. The grimacing,
        ugly-faced Jack o' Lanterns are not something we should welcome
        but are instead something we should be prepared to defend
        ourselves against..


        The tradition of carving Jack o' Lanterns goes back to ancient
        times when people believed evil spirits roamed the Earth and
        returned to their homes in winter. Irish legend tells of a rude,
        abrasive man named Jack who, upon his death, was not welcomed in
        Heaven or Hell. "Stingy Jack" had played tricks on the devil
        himself. Not even welcome in Purgatory, Jack was destined to
        haunt the Earthly world. He carried a lantern and came to
        represent souls trying to escape the forthcoming winter.


        Pagans in northern Europe held an annual festival to celebrate
        the harvest and prepare for winter long before Christianity
        spread to Scotland and Ireland. On the eve of the new year,
        Celts tried to prevent wayward dead souls from returning to
        their homes by carving faces on potatoes, rutabagas and turnips,
        and displaying them around their doors and windows.


        All-hallow, or All Holy Saints' Day, has been celebrated in much
        of Europe for twelve centuries. November 1st was designated to
        honor Saints and innocent youth, and welcome them back from
        their graves for visits with family. Offerings were made to
        their memories and to appease all souls that returned to visit.
        If not appeased, evil souls were thought to play tricks or wreak
        havoc. Because cake and sweets were plentiful in prosperous
        times, children went from house to house asking for treats and
        threatening the stingy with tricks. From old beliefs, the
        practices of Pagans and Christians in old Europe formed modern


        Irish immigrants in the New World carried on the tradition
        displaying carved Jack o' Lanterns on All Hallows' Eve. But,
        they carved faces on the gourds native to the land. Pumpkins
        were an important source of food and materials to the Native
        Americans and had helped the early colonists survive in the New
        World. Placing candles inside the gourds symbolized the fires
        that kept evil spirits away in old Europe.


        At the end of Fall, the Halloween celebration represents the
        time when things die before life returns to the Earth to bloom
        in Spring. The Jack o' Lantern is associated with the dead who
        have returned to haunt the Earth through winter carrying
        lanterns. Local folklore often tells of dark figures holding
        lanterns along highways and railroads. In the legends, the
        source of the eerie light can never be found.  
    Here in southern Ansteorra where I
        grew up we have our Ghostly Lantern in the form of Brit Bailey. 
        Cynthia and I had our wedding celebration at the Bar-X Ranch in
        Bailey's Prairie a mere arrow shot from Brit Bailey's grave. 
        Being a local boy, Brit Bailey and I are old friends and if he
        shows up I will be happy to share my jug with him.  
    For the past number of years I nave
        not seen old Brit, but Stingy Jack has shown up at my house with
        his lanterns.  I am convinced he is trying to steal my jug
        before I can share it with Brit or my friends.    
    You are all invited to Wanderer's
        Rest on Oct 29 to help me defend against Stingy Jack.  I am sure
        that with a few well placed arrow shots we can snuff out Jack's
        Lanterns and keep him at bay for another year.
    Strictly mundane, bring your
        archery gear and we will start shooting as soon as it is dark. 
        We will enjoy a variety of Pumpkin themed foods as well.

      To get here follow these directions to
        Wanderer's Rest.  http://www.scabrewer.com/punkin.html
      is not strictly necessary but is appreciated so we know
      approximately how many to plan for.

      Guests are encouraged to bring a Punkin
          themed food to share.   Please don't bring Punkin


    6:30PM   Guests Arrive

      7PM        Punkin Themed Potluck Dinner

      8PM        Punkin Shooting

      9PM        Punkin Themed Desserts

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