You love masks. Why shouldn’t you? Everyone loves masks. Everybody you know owns at least one, whether you’ve seen it or not. Since it's October, you’ll probably see them soon. Everyone will wear their mask before the month's end.

Do you know why people like masks? The history behind the human use of masks goes back millennia. Over time, our beliefs about masks have changed, but their purpose remains the same. The ancients used masks specifically to represent- or in some cases summon- gods and spirits. Masks were sacred; priests used them in all sorts of rituals, particularly sacrifices. Wearing masks granted priests power and authority by the old gods and all types of spirits- good, benign, and evil.

Over time, however, belief in the power of masks waned with growing  disbelief in spirits. They became meaningless props. People use them for plays, parties, and celebrations.

Soon, Halloween will be here, and you’ll see little children dressed as their favorite super heroes. They wear masks, and often times, the heroes’ masks give shy children courage and boldness that they normally wouldn’t have. You’ll see grown men disguised as women, and you’ll probably see virtuous women dressed as the lowliest of whores. People wear masks to experience the spirit of someone- or something- that isn’t them.

You don’t need to worry about the people who dress as something benign, but beware those who choose to dress as something evil for Halloween, even the children. Beware the witches, the vampires, the zombies, and the serial killers. Those people may usually be good or harmless, but when they've chosen to don the mask of something evil, they become something new.

The purpose of masks has never, ever changed.

 

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