Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween: What witches say

What modern witches say about Halloween: (As a believer in Jesus Christ, can you read what they say and still desire to celebrate such a holiday? This is not a harmless holiday and it has nothing redeemable for Christians about it.)

Hallows Eve: The Season of the Witch and the Six Turnings for the Dark Master of Elfhame
"Christians love the white Christ. Muslims love Allah. Buddhist devotees of Kuan Yin love her dearly. What about we of the Old Faith? What is the nature of our Relationship with the Great Spirits that gave us birth, life, and who encircle us in ever-new images? What about the Dark Master who becomes powerful in the Winter? He rides the land with his Yell-Hounds, hunting for lost souls, and the old legends tell us that it was a lethal danger to be caught in the nighted countryside alone when the Horned Master's Hunt rode by. And his Lady? The Queen of the Dead, whose embraces and kisses are death and mourning? The pale faced, red-lipped ghastly Mother who is circled by the groaning and cackling dead? Can we love such beings as these? How should we relate to them? These are all good questions, questions that the season of Hallows affords us a good chance to consider."

Samhain in the Shadow of Halloween
"Samhain (pronounced sow-en) is, for Witches and Pagans, a High Holy Day, a great Sabbath. It is an honored day shown in the turning of the Great Wheel. Samhain is celebrated on October 31st -Nov 1st. It marks the end of Summer and the beginning of Winter. The name may be changed, but whether you call it Samhain, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Shadow Feast, All Hallows Eve, Old Hallowmas, All Souls Day, Last Harvest, etc., Samhain is a day of celebration. The Goddess offers a sad farewell to the God. We know that He will once again be reborn of the Goddess and the cycle will continue. In this time of reflection, may we remember and honor the Ancients who have gone on before us."

You Call It Hallowe'en... We Call It Samhain: It is an important holiday for us. Witches are diverse, and practice a variety of traditions. Many of us use this time to practice forms of divination (such as tarot or runes) . Many Witches also perform rituals to honor the dead; and may invite their deceased loved ones to visit for a time, if they choose. This is not a "seance" in the usual sense of the word; Witches extend an invitation, rather than summoning the dead, and we believe the world of the dead is very close to this one. So on Samhain, and again on Beltane (May 1st) , when the veil between the worlds is thin, we attempt to travel between those worlds. This is done through meditation, visualization, and astral projection. Because Witches acknowledge human existence as part of a cycle of life, death and rebirth, Samhain is a time to reflect on our mortality, and to confront our fears of dying.

From A Brief History of Hallowe'en: The Samhain Holiday begins at sundown on October 31st. The nightide was always a time to be wary of walking alone in the countryside. So much more on this Night when the veils between the worlds of humans and spirits was at its thinnest. Traditional lore speaks of the dead returning to visit their kin and the doors to the Lands of the Sidhe (pronounced "shee") or Faery Realm being opened."The Feast of the Dead" ("Fleadh nan Mairbh") is laid out by many to welcome these otherworldly visitors and gain their favor for the coming year. Many folks leave milk and cakes ("Bannock Samhain" ) outside their door on Samhain Eve or set a place at their table for their ancestors who may want to join in the celebrations with their kin and family.
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism: In its secular incarnation as "Halloween, " Samhain is second only to Christmas in the volume of related sales. Pumpkins, costumes, yard decorations and of course candy are put out on store shelves well before summer has gasped its last. And yet, if you asked the average shopper what the true origins of Halloween are, chances are you won’t get the same answer twice. This is what makes it such an ideal time to dispel the rumors and lies that are as plentiful as candy corn. A few years ago, I received a disturbing reminder that religious intolerance can proliferate anywhere, even in a sleepy, easygoing town like the one I live in. As a matter of fact, it was my daughter who drove home the lesson for me when she became visibly upset upon my query about how a Wednesday night youth group meeting she had attended with a friend at one of the local Protestant churches had gone. A bit of further questioning revealed that the pastor of the youth group had admonished the attendees against celebrating Halloween. “He said it’s the Devil’s night and that nobody should go trick-or treating!” she said miserably. “I didn’t DARE tell him that WE celebrate it, or that we call it Samhain!" Under the circumstances, I don’t think I would have, either. Of course, I hastened to assure her that the youth group pastor didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. But it got me to thinking that aside from my daughter, many other kids were being fed the same propaganda by this pastor, and possibly the pastors in other churches as well. Armed with the dogma of their faith and their prime objective of “saving souls, ” I doubt that any of them stopped to think that they were insulting members of a minority religion by bashing our most important holiday.

Halloween Witch
Halloween is a special time for this witch

An Interfaith Samhain
A shamanic witch and a Baptist minister celebrate Halloween together in northern California
. Sounds like the large numbers of Christians who insist on celebrating Halloween, a day that is the antithesis of what their religion stands for. Believers who would condemn this Baptist minister should examine whether their "innocent" activities on Halloween are in the same spirit of syncretism.

More: The Lore of Halloween, The Hidden God: an Observance of Samhain 

"... have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." [Ephesians 5:11]

"For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?" [2 Corinthians 6:14, 15]

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. [Deuteronomy 18:10-14]