In ancient paganism, the word Crone denoted an elder priestess or tribal matriarch; a cognate word is "crown," the symbol of a leader. The word was made pejorative when the Christian Church redefined all elder priestesses of the old religion as malevolent witches. Similarly, the word "hag" was once derived from Greek hagia—a holy woman—and also became a Christianized term for a witch.
Viewed as an underworld deity who cared for the dead, the Goddess as Crone ruled autumnal harvest festivals, when the spirits of dead ancestors could visit their descendants and share in the harvest feast. Among the Celts, the well-known "death's head at the feast" used to be an actual skull of an ancestor, set at the table to receive offerings, often with a candle set within it, to simulate the warmth of life and the light of vision.
Such was the origin of the jack-o-lantern.
"We still give children candy at Halloween, but we have forgotten why."
"Mask wearing for religious purposes has been common throughout history."
All three of these were formerly Crone figures of the original female Holy Trinity.
"She was sometimes perceived as the Crone form of the Cat Goddess Bast, whose priestesses were also midwives and to whom black cats were sacred. Hence, the still recognizably familiar 'familiar' of the witch."
"Lilith [was] one of the primary Earth Mother figures, who possessed the title of Mother of All Living, later transferred to Eve."
"Lilith's myths gave rise to Christianity's crudest notions about witches, not only their shape-shifting abilities and their animal familiars but also their occult power over men's genitals."
"The cauldron stood for birth, nurture, destruction and death, cyclic redistribution going on forever on a global scale, including everything from bacteria to the largest organisms."
The cauldron symbolized the idea that just as thought is inseparable from brain, so spirit is inseparable from body; the one is a function of the other. Native American cultures, for example, viewed the whole environment of earth, air, waters, plants and animals as sacred, because it was all part of their totemic ancestor-worship. The spirits of all clan members became part of the environment, just as the spirits of animals and plants that were eaten became part of the eater. So in a spiritual sense as much as in a material one, there was constant interchange between self and environment. Gods, ancestors, saviors, animal spirits and living humans all were part of the same mix. Hidden in this concept lie the familiar superstitions that claim gods or devils can take human form and vice versa, or that humans can be made into saints or demigods simply by the use of human words and magical formula....
"What would churches be today, if they had not so profitably driven the public mule with the carrot of heaven and the stick of hell?"
Freed from its collective dream/nightmare of both carrot and stick, the human creature might have gone in different directions and understood Halloween, the Season of the Crone, in entirely different ways. The Crone reminds us that religion-induced fear of death wastes our powers, while an honest acknowledgement that life must end may be the best incentive to true enjoyment of being alive. [source]
What Would Jesus Wear For Halloween?
Porque Los Muertos Estan En La Calle?
What Is Death? - El Dia De Los Muertos