It's October, which means that almost anywhere you go, you'll see signs of Halloween. From spooky decorations around the neighborhood, to carved pumpkins adorning front porches, to giant bags of candy piled high in supermarket aisles, it's impossible to miss the festivities which culminate on October 31st. But why do we celebrate this holiday in the first place? What is Halloween? How did it begin? Curiously enough, most people can't answer that question.
The origins of Halloween date back centuries, to pagan and Celtic peoples living in Britain and ancient Ireland prior to the spread of Christianity. In Celtic tradition, the 31st of October marks a holiday known as "Samhain." Celebrating the end of the harvest season and the onset of the dark portion of the year, Samhain (typically pronounced "Sow-In") was ushered in with giant feasts and bonfires that burned late into the night.
Samhain also represented a time when the doors between the human world and the spirit world were thought to be the most open. This cast a far more sinister shadow on the autumnal festival, as many believed ghosts, witches, goblins, black cats and demons were roaming about.
Observers used this time to send messages to the supernatural powers who were believed to control the levers of nature. Some cast spells in favor of specific outcomes. It was also believed to be the only day one could invoke the devil's help to such ends.
But it wasn't all sinister Samhain became seen as an ideal time for marriage, luck, health, even death. People also left offerings of food and drink outside for the visiting spirits and fairies, an invitation for the ghosts of dead family members to join them at the feast table.
Saints Go Marching
However, the complexion of October 31st changed dramatically as Western Christianity gained a foothold in the area.
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as All Saints' Day. The night of October 31st, then, became known as All Hallows' Eve. This was later shortened to "Halloween" ("hallow" means saint, or holy person, and "een" is a contraction of "eve", or the evening before).
His reasons for choosing this specific date have been the subject of widespread speculation, but some scholars believe it was a direct attempt to undermine Celtic traditions and win more people over to the Christian faith. As Christianity became the dominant religion in the region, Samhain and its Celtic observers were increasingly pushed into the shadows.
A Commercialized Resurgence
Curiously, early Americans (many of Puritan faith) refused to recognize Halloween because it was viewed primarily as a Catholic holiday. In fact, it only began to gain traction in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century when millions of Irish immigrants migrated to the United States, bringing with them a strong tradition of celebrating Halloween.
Since then, Halloween has evolved into the event we recognize today: a largely secular holiday that has become highly commercialized. Far from its spiritual roots, Halloween is now primarily a light-hearted affair full of fun costumes, tasty treats, and spooky decorations.
But that doesn't mean Halloween is totally devoid of meaning. There's a fascinating history behind the ever-popular Jack O' Lantern, for example. And some conservative Christians still bristle at Halloween, convinced it's the work of the devil in action.
Despite its commercialization, you can make the argument that Halloween helps to bring some levity to the idea that our long-gone ancestors are visiting us, and perhaps there is value in that.
However, it's also important to note that Samhain is not a dormant holiday of the past it is still widely celebrated in pagan and Wiccan communities today. Participants view it as a serious holiday to be treated with reverence and respect. In their belief system, Samhain is a solemn spiritual event not a light-hearted affair.
So, for those who will be celebrating Halloween this year, perhaps take a moment to recognize the deep roots of this curious cultural tradition we've adapted. Moreover, be respectful to others you meet you never know if they might view the day through a slightly different lens.
Halloween/Samhain also meets a need. In embracing the dark half of the year, it's a time to turn inward to examine the shadow within ourselves. It's a time to acknowledge the part of ourselves that does not shine so bright. Our prejudices, grudges, greed, addictions, hatred, and all the things that keep us from being the best version of who we want to be. Many pagans work to bring these aspects into the light, learning to rise above them, how to use them for a more positive effect and to find a way to build better attitudes. Acknowledging the negatives and bringing them into ritual to dissolve or transmute, is a means of growing beyond the things that conflict within ourselves. Sometimes the demons and evil spirits are simply the the shadows we hold within. This is a good time to work on these things.
Thank you...I sppreciate this balanced response...to the meaning of Samhain. We are creatures of Light and Dark just like Mother Nature/ Mother Earth. We must integrate both.
I agree. My only addition to these sentiments is to remain vigilant daily of these darker issues to continue to rise above them. Let us never forget, we have an obligation to each other to edify and not cast obstacles. Thank you fur your writings, well done.
praying this to my guardian angel
I appreciate what you said here.
Very well put! Excellent ideas.
Very interesting. And well said❣
Of course Christians will say that Samhain has to do with the devil. To enlist the help of the Christian devil, one has to be Christian. Samhain was around way before Christianity.
Double right! Thanks for saying this.
I am Wiccan and it's a day to remember those who have passed away and give a thought to those loved ones that used to be in your life and are now in the Summer lands. It definitely is Pagan new year and a good time to look at the shadow self and introspectively look at how to cleanse and clear that what is no longer needed anymore. I dont like how the day has become commercialised and personally feel it makes a mockery of one of the most Pagan sacred days of the year. That's just my opinion as a Wiccan Priest. It's very much open to interpretation depending on what Pagan background you come from.
Personally, and though many pagan clergy attempt to make it so through shaky reconstruction, I have never been able to reconcile Samhain being the pagan new year. It DOES initiate a point of endings, the last harvest and brings respect for those who have passed. Yule/the Winter Solstice, which is the beginning of a new yearly cycle and the return of growing daylight, has all the aspects of new beginnings. This is the point when the seasons begin again. I am pagan, but I do not buy into all the contradiction and questionable BS that is impractical and intended to influence and manipulate the pagan population. I have experienced various pagan clergy that express themselves as though they have vast knowledge of ancient practices, when, in fact, there are only bits and pieces of those cultures that can be accurately portrayed. Those who believe they know all, and teach, are simply pushing their own spiritual agenda, rather than guiding others to explore their own personal path.
I used to struggle with this, as well, but have since figured it out in a way that makes sense in my own practice, so I thought I might offer it up as an added tidbit to think about.
As we are all aware, the Wheel of the Year is based around the agricultural year; Samhain, being the final harvest, the death of the crops, dying of the trees, and culling of livestock intended for winter sustenance. Also, the collection and drying of seeds for future crops, and preparing for the coming year.
At this time, the farmland goes dormant. Nothing grows, nothing is born, everything is still and quiet. This is the period of death and decay leading up to Yule, the longest, darkest night, which welcomes the return of the Sun, the spark of life, the initial breath, the beginning of the year.
Nothing in nature is sharp and clean cut, but a flowing cycle, so Samhain being the end of the year (in my mind) is the “beginning of the end”, the commencement of the period of death and darkness, an anticipatory pause, which flows gradually into the spark of life that returns at Yule, the “end of the end” of the year, awakening the hope and potential for growth and abundance to come.
I do hope this wasn’t too rambly and made some sort of sense! I’ve never attempted to get my thoughts about this out in plain English before. ?
Blessings upon you!
Jechanovia.... It's good to express your thoughts. I no longer struggle with it. I just don't listen to those who try to tell me when the new year falls and I take all the pagan myth with a grain of salt. It's up to the individual, but it sounds like you are in a good place. Bright blessings
Clear, concise and easily understood. Your interpretation, commentary and reasoning is greatly appreciated.
Not rambly at all. Succinctly put. This is what my beliefs are and I am so happy being a Pagan and an initiated Witch of 42 years. I live my beliefs each and every day and wouldn't dream of rubbishing any one else's beliefs. I don't evangelise my faith but will answer questions that are put to me. I m proud of my faith because it is the adoration of Life and all living things are part of my family. Hear only your own song and sing it proudly Bright Blessings xxx
I agree with much of what you're saying, and in fact all of us are making it up (even the big established religions, but that's another conversation). But there is a way of looking at things, according to which Samhain is the end of the agricultural year and the beginning of a fallow period, a period when the mundane world is inchoate and the veil between it and the spirit world is thin, out of which the sun/Goddess/world is reborn at Winter Solstice. I think what matters most is to be using symbols and metaphors for the Great Mystery and the cycle of life-death-rebirth that work for you. (So Samhain as new year, maybe not so much, for you.)
In a sense, we ARE all making it up. The universe speaks to each person in a different way. We adopt the spiritual philosophies of others or we come to a path that evolves to our specific needs. If your path leads you to expand you heart and work for constructive outcomes, then you're probably doing what is right for you. The pagan new year is not important. It's the new beginnings that count.
I'm on board with Lori here, with both statements, but more importantly the first, as I see Yule as the pagan New Year as well. Though I think there is good parallel between Samhain and Yom Kippur in the religious meanings and tones.
No, Yom Kippur is the last day of asking forgiveness from ones that a person has wronged in the past year from the day of Rosh Hashona, my Jewish New Year, 10 days previously. We (the Jews) ask forgiveness for anyone we have wronged so we can be sealed in the Book of Life for another year on this day of Yom Kippur.
Interesting parallel since both are part of me.
I also view Samhain as an ending to the old year. A time to wrap things up and bring order to chaos. The New year for me begins at the Solstice as the wheel returns to the light. Blessings to all.
It makes more sense to me. Bright blessings
Lori I love your posts. I am a pagan and a witch. The witch who took me under her wings so many decades ago explained Samhain and Yule in this way - at Samhain we celebrate the harvest, be it the foods we eat or the souls of those who have crossed over. The time between Samhain and Yule is a time of reflection and darkness. It is a nothing time and as we clear out all that we don't need we begin to prepare for the New time when the Sun begins it's return on the Yule. Much like what Jechanovia has said. If I didn't know that my friend and mentor now resides on the other side of the veil I could almost her her voice when reading Jechanovia's post.
She used to get so upset when folks would discuss how the Southern Hemisphere was opposite the Northern Hemisphere. She would correct them that these time were established long before there was the Celtic traditions in the Southern Hemisphere. So each of us brings our own outlook on the Old Religion.
Thank you. This is how I always celebrated it and at the end a womyn's Spiral Dance. I am saddened I live in a place with few Pagan women to celebrate in a Pagan Spiral Dance or even more ordinary circle.
However there are a few Festivals this time of year that do. Unfortunately none close to me. If you get to celebrate in community that is precious. Of all things I miss in California were Dianic rituals and ESPECIALLY the Spiral Dance where we honored all those who passed and even more particularly those who passed in the current year. Their names were spoken. We could bring pictures of our Ancestors to put on the altars. This is Sacred.
Unfortunately Hollywood has so demonized Hallows to make it a scary holiday to fear, rather than honor, when all their scary movies come out...and the " Hellhouses" of the extreme Right.
something missing is the fact that it was also the Celtic New Year, which is why it was such an auspicious day for things like weddings.
Jews as the master commercializers? Seem like this is indulging in stereotypes. Halloween does not show any "influence of Jewish traditions", but rather of Pagan traditions (as others have pointed out). Christianity, on the other hand, started out as Jewish messianism -- and only took off as a separate religion after the Roman slaughter of the Jews and destruction of the Jewish temples in Jerusalem and Egypt. After the last messianic rebellions were crushed by the Romans under Hadrian, more and more Pagan custumes gradually were adopted by Christianity to make it more attractive to Pagans and therefore more "catholic" -- i;e;, whole and universal. It served well as a unifying force within Empire -- but at the expense of making Jews and Judaism the outcasts. Every empire and every cult seems to need an outcast or "other" to unite against. It's as true today as it was 2000 years ago.
As a person of God i love all humans no matter what they believe!
I need no God in order to love all humans.
I am love so no need "to love"
As with all western religious rites that have their roots in the natural world, Halloween is a time to revere the predictability and order to the universe. It is a time of celebration. Halloween also helped western man motivate himself to survive, a feat that offered his ancestors an evolutionary advantage over other peoples. The best men survived and thrived. They built civilization. Westmen are facing grave threats from others and their own brothers today. The best Westmen will survive and thrive. Halloween is a time to rejoice in the past and prepare for the future, just as it always was.
Bigotry on parade...
"Western man's evolutionary advantage"? "Westmen facing grave threats from others"? "The best Westmen will survive"?
This western woman is not impressed by your supremacist claptrap.
Nice article, however, it should be noted that Christian holidays, Easter and Christmas, have some basis in pagan cultures.
Lets put things into perspective shall we? Color me a Gnostic or Pagan and proud of it. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are sick demented diseases implanted by the Archons to mislead Humanity and take them down the wrong road towards self destruction or Apocalyptic self annihilation. Look at history and you will see how this was done. The Hebrew god Yahweh in the bible is the chief Archon, or Demiurge and the Jesus Cult spread the big lie. Sophia or the planet earth (our mother) is our real connection to the creative force or the divine emanation. First the so-called Pagans were killed and burned at the stake by the hundreds of thousands in Europe by the christian cult, and then if that was not enough they came to Turtle Island (america) and killed off the indigenous (pagans or savages as they called them) here. The Scrip-tures have become or are a playbook used by the dark Archontic influenced leaders of this world to bring about what the diseased minds of humanity have bought into and expect. This off-planet christian god is a total and complete hoax and false creator! Do your own research! That's exactly why we have the sick world we are experiencing now..and I don't mean physically sick either because that's part (pandemic) of the apocalyptic narrative as well! Mentally sick is what I am talking about..a mass Psychosis! BTW Pagan means oneness with nature,,not some kind of Satanic (fictional) devil worshiper!
People will always love rituals whether it be pagan, or some other religion. It’s just the way people are.
Next up, Christmas, winter solstice, or Yule. ?❤️
I Love The Lord God With All My Might Heart & Soul.
We all see, or don't see, our spiritual path the way we WANT to see it. The only right path is one that enriches life and builds bridges to help others, regardless of religious affiliation.
Exactly right - well said
In order for the above to be true, Jesus Christ has to be wrong. He said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one came to the Father except through Him.
There are as many vsried paths as there are people upon this earth. Our role as sporotual leaders isn't to choose the path a.person follows, but rather to support them on thier journey.
Truth, enligjtenmenr, and the divine are found where you least expect them. Keep.your eyes, heart, and mind open, and filled with love.
Jesus sounded like a typical male egotist, full of his own importance.
Well Julie, if you don't believe that the true path enriches life and builds bridges to help others, then you don't believe in Jesus.
Yes, he was wrong.
Thank you for sharing.
I love my secular humanism, and my freedom of thought, and my ability to reason, with all my heart.
Just sharing and agreeing - I ran across this some time ago when I asked the question, where did Amen come from? https://truththeory.com/2017/11/25/egyptian-roots-say-amen-prayer/ and this from Google: Where did the word Amen came from? Origins of amen.... It means “it is so” or “so it be.” Amen is derived from the Hebrew āmēn, which means “certainty,” “truth,” and “verily.” In English, the word has two primary pronunciations: ah-men or ay-men.
Actually, AMEN does come from Hebrew. It is a contracted form of Ani Maamin which means I believe.
You can find the devil in anything if you try hard enough and are paranoid in that direction. I choose not to and can find the spirit of Jesus in kids having fun and people being generous.
Of all the comments, so far, I like yours the best. To this date, we, as human beings don't quite know everything in the universe, yet. Probably never will. I choose to believe in God and the spirit of Jesus as merciful and fun-loving. Not the angry God as depicted by so many of the religions/cults of the world. So, yes, if the celebration of an ancient holiday brings fun and giggles to some, I don't think God nor the spirit of Jesus really minds. Some folks just need to lighten up and relax. Have some fun. Thanks, Bob.
The fact that Halloween has its roots in paganism means that the devil is involved. Under no circumstances would Jesus Christ condone any celebration involving the demonic world. it is a very serious situation because in the spirit world, demonic spirits look for any and every opportunity to enter into and influence human beings. When on this earth Jesus overcame Satan during the period of His temptation. The devil although defeated by Jesus has continued to remain as the temporary god of this world (until Christ Jesus returns) whose sole purpose is to deceive the whole world. One of his clever deceptions is in making everyone believe Halloween is a harmless time of fun. Please be very careful what you believe and participate in. Tom
The devil was not created by man in time to be responsible for Halloween. Being pagan does not mean the devil. If you're so concerned about the pagan beginning of Halloween you better NOT celebrate Christmas or Easter. Both are loaded with pagan symbols and traditions. Some "christians" are so full of themselves that can't see the forest for the trees.
It sounds as though you too need to be very careful what you believe and participate in Tom. You have been taken over by your indoctrination and religious dogma. The difference is that children will grow up and change their belief structure, hopefully by using logic and reason and not an old book of tales and myth.
So true Lion.... Tom Phillips has stepped into a very cut off belief system. The only deception here is Tom's own spiritual reality and/or the sick people that have taught him that these things are true. When one starts wallowing in what one THINKS is demonic and takes evil spirits as a serious situation, that person is living in a self inflicted nightmare, which sounds more like a horror movie than a loving religion. He needs some serious counseling.
Lori, Judge not lest ye be judged.
Meaning what Rev BH?
You call it judging.. I would say she used logic & evidence which draws the conclusion that Tom's version is pretty unlikely to be true. There's what a book says & then there is all the evidence we experience. These gaps are too large to ignore for folks that weren't indoctrinated for years. You can do your best to try to indoctrinate more to believe fact & faith are the same. I suspect that the time of religion is nearing its end and look forward to the day we can interact with each other without that weirdness being involved.
Most of those identifying as Wiccans that I have met do this as a revolt against the Evangelical teachings of hate or not acceptance of the LGBT community and those who tromp down other faiths putting them in a prejudged pile they rail about. The more traditional ways they don't relate to. I think it is ironic these reasons that are cited regarding traditional ways are disliked but they would participate in older traditional religious ways. These are people in my circle of acquaintances and is not meant to reflect on every person of the wiccan religion.
I also am tired of hearing the "comparison" at Easter to the Wiccan religion. I did chastise by messenger to a facebook/dance sister in a manner she could understand. I did tell her we are actually celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. That her comparison does not come forward to pick at any other faith and it's ironic she is not making the same comparison to Hindu or Muslim who have holiday celebrations at the same time. She is Muslim by the way. She did take down the post and was very apologetic about the post. I still can't support her business, she was respected by me for her talent at one time. I know I have to work on that layer of forgiveness.
Actually, Anita, in Greek mythology The Goddess Demeter's daughter, Persephone, rose from the under world returning to her Mother Goddess and is celebrated on the first day of Spring. The similarities are there. The christians had a strong desire to pull the early pagans toward a more patriarchal direction. Women were considered inferior.
Okay, first the Pagan Holiday OSTARA (sound kinda similar to EASTER? Yes, the Christians meant for it to) is a celebration of the Spring Equinox. In Pagan Mythology, this was a celebration of the Sun God ascendency to power over the winter. Days became longer and life was renewed (Often termed as RESERRECTED). This was also the day he "became a man", meaning he was wed to the Goddess of the Earth. The mating of the two brought life the the world around them, symbolized by EGGS from the womb and was also represented by baby animals of all kinds but primarily by the gentle animals, like bunnies, chicks, and lambs. The entire holiday was represented by A CROSS representing the meeting of the spirit and the material, and it was a time of song and dance, with SWEETS given, feasting, and PARADES. You can look at EVERY CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY and you will find a MUCH OLDER Pagan Festival that has a lot of the same symbolism...because that was how the new Christian Church integrated and indoctrinated those they oppressed. Now, as to you "chastising" someone, that is just the height of arrogance as well as a slap in the face to the teachings of Christianity (I mean ACTUAL Christianity, rather than what so many modern preachers are teaching their cult members these days)...and now you say "I still can't support her business, she was respected by me for her talent at one time."? Did her talent suddenly diminish because she believes different from you? You would just turn your back on someone and use a difference of beliefs as an excuse? You should maybe try FOLLOWING your religion instead of preaching it. Matthew 9:10-13
"I also am tired of hearing the "comparison" at Easter to the Wiccan religion. I did chastise by messenger to a facebook/dance sister in a manner she could understand. I did tell her we are actually celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. That her comparison does not come forward to pick at any other faith and it's ironic she is not making the same comparison to Hindu or Muslim who have holiday celebrations at the same time. She is Muslim by the way. She did take down the post and was very apologetic about the post. I still can't support her business, she was respected by me for her talent at one time. I know I have to work on that layer of forgiveness." . This is exactly the kind of condescending attitude that has chased so many away from your "loving" church. You speak about her as though she is somehow daft or less than because she believes different than you. As though you were talking to a wayward child and not a full grown woman with a mind and heart of her own. What gives you the right to do so? Your religious superiority complex? Please spare us your "wisdom" from your seat on your high horse lest your God judges you for usurping his "right" to judge.
Oh dear Tom, be careful not to empower the evil you so fear in your life.
Tom i hope within the last year you have done some research. Forget where the word comes from. Learn about Paganism it is not evil. Surely they are not dancing around fires wishing harm on others or invoking underworlds. That is of a different color all around. Working with elements is not evil. Honoring the sun, moon, planets, Gods and Goddesses is really not much different than the Catholic church that burns incense, prays to saints, angels and archangels. Half the time i don't understand what they are saying except up, down, up, down being disabled that is quite hard. God is within me, "I AM." Go to a Christian church and they speak tongues, but only certain christian churches. Some don't even let others learn tongue or know tongue. In order to claim you know something... know it. The way you speak of paganism is a perfect example of why some do not search for comfort in the standard church. I love theology and accept whatever religion my client lives by. As long as they live in good faith, do right by others and ye harm none. The golden rule: Do unto others as you would like done to thee. I believe it is in Mathews.
I choose to believe in God and the spirit of Jesus as merciful and fun-loving? Have you really read the bible? God has condoned and told people to sell daughters to mobs for rape, supports slavery, orders parents to kill children and other "good deeds".
I think most Christians have only read, or have been taught, the nice bits. Some Christians don't even read the Bible, yet believe it. That's how gullible many of them are.
This is an excellent forum to help Christians become educated in the Bible, and/or religious history, to open their eyes. I'd love to know how many there are that only "read" comments in this forum that have given them lots of food for thought, and hopefully some might have changed their views completely on religion.
Strange how unfamiliar so many christians are with the bible and its contents. Or, are they aware and simply ignore, whitewash, or use woo-woo words to avoid the hard topics that are so rampant throughout the pages. I consider this just the weirdest thing that a human can do. Ignore statements and pretend they don't mean that. That is beyond my comprehension.
I have to agree... first of all, if God is the Creator, The One, the All that is, the entire Universe... then the devil and all other personas, perceptions and conceptions and truly, all things in existence, are no less a part of that One, and are perhaps best described as opposing or alternative phases or degrees of that One flowing, inseparable energy. Inescapably, everything in this reality has two opposing sides.... but that doesn't make either side good or bad, any farther than one's own judgement determines it or them to be. Things just are. As a guitar string vibrates, it has two sides to its movement.... back and forth... they could be described as phases or "positive" and "negative" oscillations... but, is one phase actually better than the other? In physics, they are of equal and opposite power. Without both sides, there is no vibration and no sound. The "good/+" and the "bad/-" are both necessary constituents of the evolving whole. This is true of all things and forces.
All the oldest philosophies advise against judgement, because we cannot know, ultimately, how a "good" thing may turn "bad", or a "bad" thing, "good" - we just have to wait and see, and no two of us will see the same identical reality or share the same observations or conclusions about what we perceive, anyway. Judgement is a war over two mentally-constructed, presumptive fallacies, as to which one is valid, usually fought for the ego's chance to be right. Why judge?
That and, if God created everything.... doesn't that mean he created a sense of humour, too? What's funny to one, may not be funny to another, or may even be offensive.... but only because one judges the thing "not funny" or "offensive". Live lovingly, do your best, keep your own highest truth, accept what is and be grateful for every second of the gift of Life you have been given, "humour" and all. Why judge?
I agree with your basic concept, but I don't agree with "good" and "bad" being connected to the creative energies. Those are a human creation. The polarities of the creative forces/God are creative and destructive energies, which are quite different from "good and bad". The creative and destructive energies are the building blocks of the universe. They have formed everything in existence. They also work within us, physically and spiritually, continuously reshaping our sense of reality. We have created the concept of good and bad as a means of dealing with everyday choices. Some folks like imposing this into religion as God vs Devil, or to justify their belief in evil spirits, demons, angels, fairies and other thought forms that evolved from mythology.
Then would this creative force be responsible for babies that suffer and die within days of birth? This has always been a question for me whenever l encounter the concept of an active, loving "God" that can be prayed to for your benefit. Perhaps there is a passive force that has always existed that is also within us that we can spiritually tune into for "enlightenment." This is our soul that returns to the passive force once our physical bodies can no longer support it.
The principle of Yin and Yang is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, for example, female-male, dark-light and old-young. The principle, dating from the 3rd century BCE or even earlier, is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy and culture in general. The two opposites of Yin and Yang attract and complement each other and, as their symbol illustrates, each side has at its core an element of the other (represented by the small dots). Neither pole is superior to the other and, as an increase in one brings a corresponding decrease in the other, a correct balance between the two poles must be reached in order to achieve harmony.
Bob, you are a reasonable soul.
Yes. Seeing the good things helps us to rise above the doom and gloom sayers.
Yes, Bob. I like to say, "If you want to hear the voice of God, go to the schoolyard at recess."
I’m sure Jesus and God have much greater and higher concerns than whether anyone has a little fun on Halloween. I would suspect that they are good with just about anything done with love in our hearts.
love all we need
keep light on
Keep an open mind and don’t forget to show love.
As a Christian I will say I never got into many holidays but as a father I also see a need to let kids get out and have fun learning about roots of pagan holidays is always fascinating to me and helps me see things as some others see it plus allows me the opportunity to become educated on topics so I can relate with more people and more faiths. It falls under the principal That you should love everyone and communicate with them you don’t have to agree with them but love them. Halloween is fun and any Christian that sees it as an excuse to hate a group of people or find fear in the day aren’t showing what it truly means to be a Christian.
Thank you, learing about others beliefs is the way forward and you are obviously bringing up your children to make their own choices from a place of knowledge.
As a self-styled RABBI that is married to a Wicca/Pagan practitioner and both being Irish and somewhat of light-researchers, Samhain is a time of CELEBRATING the summer harvest, preparing for the cold months, celebrating ALL that the year has given us and CELEBRATING life with MARRIAGES, BIRTHS, UNIONS and eventually, those that pass to the life beyond. WHAT IS EVIL ABOUT ANY OF THIS and hiding from devils (which is a Christian creation). Yes, there is a Celtic afterworld (ruled by Arawan) but there is no malevolence in ANY of this. The Celts were practical people seeking answers for their beliefs (as all ancient people/civilizations did) as anthropologists have discovered over the decades of research. To equate this holiday with ANYTHING diabolic is ludicrous and, quite simply, stupid! If you feel this is an opportunity to show ignorance to a culture that PRECEEDS any of the 3 major religions (Jewish, Catholic, Muslim), I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!
I like what you've said. How much for the bridge?????? LOL....Bright blessings!
Not for all the gold in Babylon, lol, lol. Blessed Be...
Hi Mike. One correction here; "devils (which is a Christian creation)" In my studies I've found that the concept of a "creator of evil" as one separate from "God the creator of good", originated in Persia long before Jesus' time. But . . . The concept is not in Eastern thought nor natural cultures elsewhere in the world. Sure there are mischief makers, but they are usually "Clown Gods" not devils. There is no evil in Nature. A lamb does not think the lion evil when it is being eaten. More correctly then, it is a Christian perpetuation (emphasis on pet). Smile.
I am a Christian and I have never met one those who thinks Halloween is evil, although i know they're out there. It's hard to view 4 year old ballerinas and batmans es evil. The scariest trick or treater I have ever seen was a five year old boy in a three piece suit who said he was a LAWYER.
The problem with some believers is that they don't realize their halo is on too tight.
The Devil. My how those Catholic nuns and fire and brimstone preachers have beaten that dogmatic clap trap in to your brains folks. For the rational and reasoned minds I pose this. IF GOD created the universe from its own sheer force of spirit and will and all contained therein. How could any one of these creations pose any meaningful challenge to GOD, when GOD can simply erase all or any one thing with the equivalent of a thought? Simple answer, it can't. All the evil done in this world is done by the minds, mouths and hands of humans.
Do you think Jesus is more concerned about a child dressing up like a witch or hundreds of children separated from their families at the U.S. border in horrible conditions, or all the women and children being slaughtered in Yemen with bombs stamped USA, or with the thousands of Kurdish and Yazidi women and children about to be slaughtered by Turkish troops. I wonder how Jesus looks on all those who watch these and all the other horrors in our world giving tacit approval of it all by their silence? I wonder how Jesus feels about the near three quarters of a million homeless that sleep on our streets each night, 70,000 of them children. I wonder how Jesus feels about the apparent decades of pedophilia that took place in the Boy Scouts? With so many more real matters to be concerned with what is the big deal about one night of fantasy.
I am carving my scary pumpkins because I enjoy it. The book folks around here seem so locked too says that when Jesus returns he will come with flames in his eyes and a sword in his mouth and that no one should look forward to that day. Do you think on that day the folks who celebrated Halloween will be the biggest concern or will all the other things we allow the rest of the year be a bigger issue? Things that make you go Hmm.
Faith without action and sacrifice is hollow. You do not get out of this circus by sitting in church on Sunday while lying, cheating and stealing the rest of the week. No matter how many men in funny hats tell you so.
Peace to all,
Samhain is, to me, a very important event of the year. It’s the day we can welcome our ancestors into our home easily. It’s the end of the year for life on the land, laying dormant, and awaiting Yule for the breath of life to bring it back. Yes, on Samhain you have to keep an eye out for the bad spirits( spirits of those who wish you ill), but they are few and far between if you’ve been leading a good life. If you’ve led a good life so far, the fey and nature spirits will help you keep the bad ones away anyway.
I do understand your statement, but at the risk of upsetting the Pagan community please bear with me for a second.
I have been a Christian, and I have been a Wiccan. I know the rites very well. I’ve been involved with them all......for years....... I have moved on.
For me, having left Christianity, I found that I was looking for some sort of spirituality to replace it. At the time, Paganism (Wicca) filled that slot. After a few years, I came to realize that I had conned myself and had left one man made cult full of its rituals for another. I even conned myself into believing the fey really existed along with all of nature’s spirits, good and bad.
I am now here to tell you that in reality, having been involved with many sabbats, esbats, tarot, scrying, runes etc it was all as real as I wanted it to be. Humanity is easily convinced of things it doesn’t know or understand, and as such, is easily persuaded to believe in untruths just as much as religionists are.
I have now moved on to accept logic, reason, and reality.
If, of course, it serves your needs, just as religion does for others, I say keep it in your life and enjoy it. I enjoyed my time being involved in both religion, and paganism.
Wow again, Lion..... I'm impressed. That was nicely said. Though I do consider myself pagan, I can relate to what you've said more than what Ian Foster contributed.
Most people don't recognize that the images within spiritual beliefs are actually created by their own needs and desires, including evil spirits, but if it a person feels better having evil spirits included within their personal spiritual reality, then I say go for it. I'm not sure why that would be a good thing, but many pagans believe in them and influence other pagans to believe in them, and so it goes on and on and on, just as it does in other religions. "Influenced" is what happens to those who allow it.
And then, for another christianized "pagan" celebration, I present: El Dia de Los Muertos. Deal with it, folks: these celebrations are not only here to stay, they're GROWING.
I love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday. I admit, I love all the costumes and the decorations and all the commercial crap! hehe. But...this story is so interesting to me. I had read about this long before, but forgot about it. I love the day of the Dead and how they celebrate their dead loved ones. It seems as that was part of the original Samhain was also celebrate our dead loved ones. Just beautiful really.
I have read all the comments and what It boils down to is this, if you enjoy Halloween, Christmas, and all the other holidays, religious and non religious ones enjoy them. If you don't, don't. Trying to figure out what is ok, by someone's standards, is just going to give you a headache... Peace and love to all.
Halloween basically today in the USA is a day of celebration of understanding that nation wide some kids go to bed hungry for food and handing out free candy is in fact putting much needed calories into the less fortunate children whom might only be able to get a school lunch that's only 5 days a week. some of these kids keep this candy for those long week ends when the little left overs in the fridge are too dried out to be eaten. So I think we as good people of Faith should indeed dress up and decorate the front yards and light them brightly so all kids feel welcomed to grab all they can is a good thing to do Sharing is Caring. The kids will grow up hoping to be grown ups with a good house and a good job so they too can give out candy. Plus when Christmas comes around they'll know how to give and wrap their give a ways with joy and love. JFH 10/25/2019
The Devil does show up at peoples houses that do not have a Jack O' Lantern on their pouch to scare away the Devil. This is also the day that those of the dead and unholy can enter any any House of Worship that also do not have that Jack O' Lantern on their front steps. What has bother me is that only the Devil shows up at homes that only believe in the Devil in the first place. The other faiths are left alone.
When did Jesus go out for Halloween?
Teach what we know to be true, and rejoice in the Lord everyday!
The problem is; what can be “demonstrated” as truth when it comes to religion? There isn’t even any evidence that any god really exists, hence the number of religions/cults that exist, all claiming to have the right one.
Teach what we KNOW to be true. Isn't it arrogant to teach our spiritual point of view as being a truth? So who's spiritual point of view would that be? Would it be yours, Anna? Would it be the Dalai Lama's? Would it be Jesus, who never actually wrote anything down? Perhaps it's the teachings of Buddha. What is it that any human can honestly state as unwavering spiritual truth? The only truths are the positive, beneficial, life enriching messages for ALL, not just for one specific group, that come from all the spiritual teachers and voices of wisdom. Truth comes as a universal language that build bridges and unifies people in peace and harmony. If you only speak in your language you cannot connect to those who truly need to hear the message. The message must come from the heart of the universe, not from SOMEONES religious perspective.
Christianity long ago co-opted this once "hallowed" holiday, originally nothing more than a fall festival acknowledging the passing seasons, and how we, too, experience "passage" from one life cycle to another. And honoring those who have passed. In our culture it's called Halloween. Some call it "all saints." Christians created and have "managed" Halloween these many years. As has their "industry." Long ago, it was a way that the "haves" appeased the "have not's": the latter being allowed a night of entreating the former for treats, favors and services. The poor were expected to be grateful. Now , the concern seems to be saving the poor by denying the institutions constructed to appease (and control) them by taking away their ability to petition, but consigning them to hell if they don't comply. That is what is known as "trick or treat."
And in deference to Justin Bieber's young wife: marriage to him should be scary enough!
I do enjoyed all the comments from A-Z. I also really enjoyed the arguments as well. My conclusion is that the Halloween have come to stay like other ones too, Christmas etc, so please just let us enjoy the shows and forget the rest. After all, the children are the beneficiaries of it all. SOJ.
Simply love one another all the while wearing the full armor of God.
What’s wrong with just loving one another as best we all can, period? Why bring a mythical god into the equation?
It’s like saying: “Simply love one another all the while wearing the full armor of Voldemort, or Zeus. Can you see how ludicrous that statement sounds?
I don't study calendars, but people who do tell me that Halloween/Day Of The Dead commemorates the start of Noah's flood.
Intesting information.. Thank you. Bless everyone and be safe
Very interesting read.
I’m curious, seeing as how the Romans during the 3d actual Century of the Catholic Church had committed genocide and the Church suppressed any hint of it during the Centuries following against the Celtic and Druids as well as other pagan religions, plus that tradition had no written language, so how can moderns who practice ancient traditions claim to know so much about it? According to Catholic Tradition Hallows Een was a festival of remembering dead relatives the night before the day for honoring church minor and not canonized saints who were deceased and that evolved into talking about death and visiting spirits. Early 1st C Christians met in cemeteries prior to Constantine. In the Latino Catholic culture the Dia De Muerte celebrations and feasting evolved on this day. Modern commercialized Halloween is greatly influenced by the entertainment industry that back 100 years ago had been under control and influence of Jewish traditions.
Halloween commemorates the start of Noah's flood. That was part of the process of bringing down the tree of life, which put an end to the nephilim.