A PAGAN HOLIDAY CELEBRATION :
also known as: Halloween, ShadowFest, Martinmas, Old Hallowmas
SAMHAIN : (October 31st -Nov 1st) The Last Harvest. The Earth nods a sad farewell to the God. We know that he will once again be reborn of the Goddess and the cycle will continue. This is the time of reflection, the time to honor the Ancients who have gone on before us and the time of Seeing (divination). As we contemplate the Wheel of the Year, we come to recognize our own part in the eternal cycle of Life.
The Celtic peoples called the time between Samhain (pronounced SOW-in in Ireland, SOW-een in Wales, SAV-en in Scotland or even SAM-haine in non Gaelic speaking countries) and Brigids Day the period of little sun. Thus, Samhain is often named the Last Harvest or Summers End. Better known as Halloween.
While almost all Celtic based traditions recognize this Holiday as the end of the old year, some groups do not celebrate the coming of the new year until Yule. Some consider the time between Samhain and Yule as a time which does not even exist on the Earthly plane. The time which is no time was considered in the old days to be both very magical and very dangerous. So even today, we celebrate this Holiday with a mixture of joyous celebration and spine tingling reverence.
The Samhain Holiday begins at sundown on October 31st. The night tide 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 is 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 (fairy) 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.
Some Witches use a chant at the beginning of the Feast to welcome their ancestors. One of these, as an example goes like this:
And so it is, we gather again,
The feast of our dead to begin.
Our Ancients, our Ancestors we invite, Come!
And follow the setting of the sun.
Whom do we call? We call them by name,
(Insert the name of an ancestor you wish to welcome.)
The Ancients have come! Here with us stand
Where ever the country, where ever the land
They leave us not, to travel alone;
Flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone!
Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Great be their Power!
Past ones and present-at this very hour!
Welcome within are the dead who are kin,
Feast here with us and rest here within
Our hearth is your hearth and welcome to thee;
Old tales to tell and new visions to see!
It is also customary to light a new candle for the new year. This ritual harkens back to the days when Samhain was one of only two days - the other being Beltaine - when it was considered correct to extinguish the hearth fire and then to re-light it. If your fire failed at any other time of the year, it was thought to be very bad luck indeed.
Upon the rekindling of the fire in the morning, this so-called blessing was often said :
We Call Upon The Sacred Three:
To Save... To Shield... To Surround
The Hearth... The House... The Household
This Night, Each Night, Every Night.!
Many Witches of the Old Ways, actually celebrate two Samhains or Halloweens. The Old date for Samhain occurs when the sun has reached 15 degrees Scorpio. (As a side note, the Catholic Church has borrowed this same day to celebrate the holiday of Martinmas. (This is a Christian feast observed in commemoration of the death and burial of Saint Martin of Tours. November 11 is the day on which this feast is observed.) So if you follow this way, you can always celebrate the party aspect with your friends on one date and the worship part with your kin on the other.
October 31st, commonly called Halloween, is associated with many customs, some of them mysterious, some light-hearted, some of them downright odd. Why do we bob for apples, carve pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, and tell ghost stories on this night? Why do children go door-to-door asking for candy, dressed in fantastical costumes? How is Halloween connected to All Souls Day, celebrated by some Christian denominations on November 1st? What is the significance of this holiday for modern-day Witches?
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HALLOWE'EN
Halloween has its origins in the British Isles. While the modern tradition of trick or treat developed in the United States, it too is based on folk customs brought to this country with Irish immigrants after 1840. Since ancient times in Ireland, Scotland, and England, October 31st has been celebrated as a feast for the dead, and also the day that marks the new year. Mexico observes a Day of the Dead on this day, as do other world cultures.
For early Europeans, this time of the year marked the beginning of the cold, lean months to come; the flocks were brought in from the fields to live in sheds until spring. Some animals were slaughtered, and the meat preserved to provide food for winter. The last gathering of crops was known as Harvest Home, celebrated with fairs and festivals. In addition to its agriculture significance, the ancient Celts also saw Samhain as a very spiritual time. Because October 31st lies exactly between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice, it is theorized that ancient peoples, with their reliance on astrology, thought it was a very potent time for magic and communion with spirits. The veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was said to be at its thinnest on this day; so the dead were invited to return to feast with their loved ones; welcomed in from the cold, much as the animals were brought inside. Ancient customs range from placing food out for dead ancestors, to performing rituals for communicating with those who had passed over.
Communion with the dead was thought to be the work of witches and sorcerers, although the common folk thought nothing of it. Because the rise of the Church led to growing suspicion of the pagan ways of country dwellers, Samhain also became associated with witches, black cats, bats (night creatures), ghosts and other spooky things... the stereotype of the old hag riding the broomstick is simply a caricature; fairy tales have exploited this image for centuries.
Divination of the future was also commonly practiced at this magically-potent time; since it was also the Celtic New Year, people focused on their desires for the coming year. Certain traditions, such as bobbing for apples, roasting nuts in the fire, and baking cakes which contained tokens of luck, are actually ancient methods of telling fortunes.
SO WHAT ABOUT THOSE JACK-O-LANTERNS?
Other old traditions have survived to this day; lanterns carved out of pumpkins and turnips were used to provide light on a night when huge bonfires were lit, and all households let their fires go out so they could be rekindled from this new fire; this was believed to be good luck for all households. The name Jack-O-Lantern means Jack of the Lantern, and comes from an old Irish tale. Jack was a man who could enter neither heaven nor hell and was condemned to wander through the night with only a candle in a turnip for light. Or so goes the legend...
But such folk names were commonly given to nature spirits, like the Jack in the Green, or to plants believed to possess magical properties, like John O Dreams, or Jack in the Pulpit. Irish fairy lore is full of such references. Since candles placed in hollowed-out pumpkins or turnips (commonly grown for food and abundant at this time of year) would produce flickering flames, especially on cold nights in October, this phenomenon may have led to the association of spirits with the lanterns; and this in turn may have led to the tradition of carving scary faces on them. It is an old legend that candle flames which flicker on Samhain night are being touched by the spirits of dead ancestors, or ghosts.
OKAY! WHAT ABOUT THE CANDY!
Trick or treat as it is practiced in the United States is a complex custom believed to derive from several Samhain traditions. Since Irish immigrants were predominantly Catholic, they were more likely to observe All Souls Day. But Irelands folk traditions die hard, and the old ways of Samhain were remembered. The old tradition of going door to door asking for donations of money or food for the New Years feast, was carried over to the United States from the British Isles. Hogmanay was celebrated January 1st in rural Scotland, and there are records of a trick or treat type of custom; curses would be invoked on those who did not give generously; while those who did give from their hearts were blessed and praised. Hence, the notion of trick or treat was born (although this greeting was not commonly used until the 1930s in the US). The wearing of costumes is an ancient practice; villagers would dress as ghosts, to escort the spirits of the dead to the outskirts of the town, at the end of the nights celebration.
By the 1920s, trick or treat became a way of letting off steam for those urban poor living in crowded conditions. Innocent acts of vandalism (soaping windows, etc.) gave way to violent, cruel acts. Organizations like the Boy Scouts tried to organize ways for this holiday to become safe and fun; they started the practice of encouraging good children to visit shops and homes asking for treats, so as to prevent criminal acts. These beggars nights became very popular and have evolved to what we know as Halloween today.
WHAT DO MODERN WITCHES DO AT HALLOWE'EN?
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, runes (magic charms) or chants). 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.
Some witches look on Samhain as a time to prepare for the long, dark months of winter, a time of introspection and drawing inward. They may bid goodbye to the summer with one last celebratory rite. They may have harvest feasts, with vegetables and fruits they have grown, or home-brewed cider or mead (fermented honey and water). They may give thanks for what they have, projecting for abundance through the winter. Still others may celebrate with costume parties, enjoying treats and good times with friends. There are as many ways of observing Samhain as there are witches in the world!
THE FIRE FESTIVALS
There were four Major High Days celebrated by the Paleopagan Druids throughout the Celtic territories: Samhain, Oimelc, Beltane and Lughnasadh (in the Irish spellings). Four additional High Days (Winter Solstice or Midwinter, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice or Midsummer, and Fall Equinox), which are based on Germanic or other Indo-European cultures, are also celebrated in the Neopagan Druid calendar, along with others based on mainstream holidays. The most common practice for the calculation of Samhain, Oimelc, Beltane & Lughnasadh has been, for the last several centuries, to use the civil calendar days or eves of November 1st, February 1st, May 1st and August 1st, respectively.
These four major holy days are traditionally referred to as fire festivals because to the ancient Celts, as with all the Indo-European Paleopagans, fire was a physical symbol of divinity, holiness, truth, and beauty. Whether in Ireland or India, among the Germans or the Hittites, sacred fires were kindled on every important religious occasion. To this very day, among Eastern and Western Catholics, you cant have a satisfying ritual without a few candles being lit!
Samhain is the most important of the fire festivals, because it marks the Celtic New Year (a week later the Celts Indo-European cousins in India celebrate Divali, which is their New Years festival). Samhain was the original festival that became All Saints Day in the Christian calendar. Since the Celts, like many cultures, started every day at sunset of the night before, this became the evening of All Hallows (hallowed = holy = saint) which was eventually contracted into Hallow-een or the modern Halloween.
Among other things, Samhain is the beginning of the winter half of the year (the seasons of Geimredh and Earrach) and is known as the Day Between Years (the year, like the day, began with its dark half). The day before Samhain is the last day of the old year and the day after Samhain is the first day of the new year. Being between years, it is considered a very magical time, when the dead walk among the living and the veils between past, present and future may be lifted in prophecy and divination.
There is some evidence to indicate that three days were spent celebrating this festival. Philip Carr-Gomm, Chosen Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, speaking of both Paleopagan and Mesopagan Druids in England, had this to say about it in his Elements of the Druid Tradition :
Samhuinn, from 31 October to 2 November was a time of no-time. Celtic society, like all early societies, was highly structured and organized, everyone knew their place. But to allow that order to be psychologically comfortable, the Celts knew that there had to be a time when order and structure were abolished, when chaos could reign. And Samhuinn, was such a time. Time was abolished for the three days of this festival and people did crazy things, men dressed as women and women as men. Farmers gates were unhinged and left in ditches, peoples horses were moved to different fields, and children would knock on neighbors doors for food and treats in a way that we still find today, in a watered-down way, in the custom of trick-or-treating on Halloween.
But behind this apparent lunacy, lies a deeper meaning. The Druids knew that these three days had a special quality about them. The veil between this world and the World of the Ancestors was drawn aside on these nights, and for those who were prepared, journeys could be made in safety to the other side. The Druid rites, therefore, were concerned with making contact with the spirits of the departed, who were seen as sources of guidance and inspiration rather than as sources of dread. The dark moon, the time when no moon can be seen in the sky, was the phase of the moon which ruled this time, because it represents a time in which our mortal sight needs to be obscured in order for us to see into the other worlds.
The dead are honored and feasted, not as the dead, but as the living spirits of loved ones and of guardians who hold the root-wisdom of the tribe. With the coming of Christianity, this festival was turned into Halloween (31 October), All Hallows [All Saints Day] (1 November), and [All Souls Day] (2 November). Here we can see most clearly the way in which Christianity built on the Pagan foundations it found rooted in these isles. Not only does the purpose of the festival match with the earlier one, but even the unusual length of the festival is the same.
The Christian Church was unable to get the people to stop celebrating this holiday, so they simply sprinkled a little holy water on it and gave it new names, as they did with other Paleopagan holidays and customs. So when Satanic Panic-ers come to your local school board and try to get Halloween removed from the public schools because its a Pagan holiday, they are perfectly correct. Of course, Valentines Day/Lupercalia, Easter/Eostre, and Christmas/Yule also have many Paleopagan elements associated with their dating and / or symbols. So if we decide to rid the public schools of all holidays that have Pagan aspects to them, there wont be many left for the kids (adults too!) to enjoy.
WHERE DOES THIS CUSTOM COME FROM?
Is it really ancient, a few centuries old, or relatively modern? Lets look at the evidence :
Kevin Danaher, in his book The Year in Ireland, has a long discussion of the traditional Irish celebrations of this festival. In one section on Hallow-Een Guisers, he says : A familiar sight in Dublin city on and about October 31st is that of small groups of children, arrayed in grotesque garments and with faces masked or painted, accosting the passers-by or knocking on house doors with the request: Help the Hallow Een party! Any apples or nuts? in the expectation of being given small presents; this, incidentally, is all the more remarkable as it is the only folk custom of the kind which has survived in the metropolis.
A couple of generations ago, in parts of Dublin and in other areas of Ireland, the groups would have consisted of young men and grown boys, who often travelled considerable distances in their quest, with consequently greater reward. The proceeds were usually expended on a Hallow Een party, with music, dancing, feasting and so on, at some chosen house, and not merely consumed on the spot as with the children nowadays...
Irisleabhar na Gaedhilge, ii, 370, states that in parts of Count Waterford : Hallow Een is called oidhche na h-aimléise, The night of mischief or con. It was a custom in the county - it survives still in places - for the boys to assemble in gangs, and, headed by a few horn-blowers who were always selected for their strength of lungs, to visit all the farmers houses in the district and levy a sort of blackmail, good humoredly asked for, and as cheerfully given. They afterward met at some rendezvous, and in merry revelry celebrated the festival of Samhain in their own way. When the distant winding of the horns was heard, the bean a tigh [woman of the house] prepared for their reception, and got ready the money or builín (white bread) to be handed to them through the half-opened door. Whoever heard the wild scurry of their rush through a farm-yard to the kitchen-door - there was always a race amongst them to get possession of the latch - will not question the propriety of the word aimiléis [mischief] applied to their proceedings. The leader of the band chanted a sort of recitative in Gaelic, intoning it with a strong nasal twang to conceal his identity, in which the good-wife was called upon to do honor to Samhain...
Before and after the arrival of Christianity, early November was when people in Western and Northern Europe finished the last of their harvesting, butchered their excess stock (so the surviving animals would have enough food to make it through the winter), and held great feasts. They invited their ancestors to join them, decorated family graves, and told ghost stories - all of which may strike some monotheists today as spiritually erroneous, but which hardly seems evil - and many modern polytheists do much the same. So where does trick or treating come in?
(1) At various times and places in the Middle Ages, customs developed of beggars, then children, asking for soul cakes on All Souls Day.
(2) At some other Medieval times and places, costumed holiday parading, singing and dancing at May Day, Halloween, and Yule (with different themes, of course, though sometimes with similar characters, such as the Hobby Horse) became popular in Ireland and the British Isles. Originally these costumed celebrants were adults and older teens, who would go from house to house (as Danaher describes above) demanding beer and munchies in exchange for their performances, which mixed Pagan and Christian symbols and themes. While many Neopagans may think these folk customs go all the way back to Paleopagan times, the evidence to support that is thin.
(3) To the medieval householders, of course, being thought stingy (especially in front of the visiting ancestors and fairy folk at Halloween) would be very bad luck, as it would violate the ancient laws of hospitality. Perhaps there were some inebriated paraders who might have decided to come back later in the night and play tricks upon those who hadnt rewarded them properly, but any references to such are fairly modern.
(4) In 1605 CE, Guy Fawkes abortive effort to blow up the British Parliament on November 5th, led to the creation of Guy Fawkes Day, celebrated by the burning of effigies of Fawkes in bonfires and children dressing in rags to beg for money for fireworks. As the decades rolled by, this became thoroughly entwined with Halloween celebrations and customs. This is not surprising, considering that bonfires were a central part of the old Samhain/Halloween tradition, and that Nov. 5th was actually closer to the astrological date for Samhain than the 1st was!
(5) In 19th Century America, rural immigrants from Ireland and Scotland kept gender-specific Halloween customs from their homelands : girls stayed indoors and did divination games, while the boys roamed outdoors engaging in almost equally ritualized pranks, which their elders blamed on the spirits being abroad that night.
(6) Also in mid-19th Century New York, children called ragamuffins would dress in costumes and beg for pennies from adults on Thanksgiving Day.
(7) Things got nastier with increased urbanization and poverty in the 1930s. Adults began casting about for ways to control the previously harmless but now increasingly expensive and dangerous vandalism of the boys. Towns and cities began organizing safe Halloween events and householders began giving out bribes to the neighborhood kids as a way to distract them away from their previous anarchy. The ragamuffins disappeared or switched their date to Halloween. The term trick or treat, finally appears in print around 1939!
By the mid 20th century in Ireland and Britain, it seems only the smaller children would dress up and parade to the neighbors houses, do little performances, then ask for a reward. American kids seem to remember this with their chants of Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg, and other classic tunes done for no reason other than because its traditional.
Is Halloween an appropriate holiday for Christians to celebrate? I suppose that depends on which kind of Christians are asking. Conservative Christians, who often place far more emphasis on (the parts they like of) the Old Testament than they do the New Testament, can simply point to the genuinely traditional Halloween customs of divination and communication with otherworldly spirits and dead ancestors, and say these activities are forbidden to them. Liberal Christians, who usually pay more attention to the New than the Old Testament, may come to different conclusions. Moderate Christians, of course, will be caught in the middle as usual. But no one, regardless of religion, should need to accept or pass along lies and errors about Halloween, or indeed any other religious topic, in order to make a spiritual decision for him or herself, or their children.
All Souls Day (November 1), also known as All Hallows Day or All Saints Day, is a christianized version of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, the Feast of the Dead. Samhain, now known as Halloween, began on the night of October 31, because ancient days were reckoned from evening to evening, rather than from midnight to midnight as we do now (hence the prominence of eves, as in Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, Halloween, etc).
The Celtic new year began at Samhain, named for the primeval Lord of the Dead, Samana. The sacred night was also a feast of the fairies, who ruled the festival, but departed thereafter for their winter retreat, not to return to our world until Beltane, the Mayday festivity which heralded the onset of summer. Because ghosts and fairies roamed the earth on this night, it was dangerous for mortals to go abroad without ritual precautions. Supernatural beings had the propensity to steal the unwary and take them away to their timeless lands, never to be seen again - or to take their souls, leaving the poor unhappy mortals lost and confused in the twilight zone.
In ancient Ireland, the people were wont to call this mysterious and dangerous night the Vigil of Saman. Growth was at its lowest point and cold increasing, so magical bonfires were lit to encourage the sun. People would leap over them and drive cattle through the flames; even witches were burned on them in later times. Purification by fire got rid of evil influences. Ghosts and fairies were both active. Food offerings would be left for both and it was dangerous to travel on this night for fear of being led astray by fairies; iron or steel would be carried, for the fairy folk hated anything made of iron and would avoid it at all costs.
Samhain in those days was very much a time of chaos and the reversal of normal order. This led to a plague of trickery: the blocking of chimneys, leading off of cattle, throwing cabbage at notables and so on. The hearth had to be swept clean and a fire kept burning for the dead. It was also a season for divination and the reading of omens, such as placing two nuts in the fire as a test for lovers : burning steadily denoted constancy, popping meant inconstancy. Rites varied from one region to another. It is described it as a night of magic charms and divinations, reading the future with witches mirrors and nutshell ashes, ducking for apples in tubs of water (representing soul-symbols in the Cauldron of Regeneration) and other objectionable rites. Even today, it is said that a girl who peels an apple before a mirror on Halloween will see the image of her future husband in the glass.
Of course the original divinations were oracular utterances by the ancestral dead, who came up from their tombs on Halloween, sometimes bringing gifts to the children of their living descendants. In Sicilian Halloween tradition, the dead relations have become the good fairies of the little ones. Similar customs are observed at Christmas.
Pagans celebrated their New Year feast at Halloween, sacrificing domestic animals to their god Zimiennik (Samanik / Samana). If the lord of the underworld accepted the offering on behalf of all the dead, the spirits were satisfied and would refrain from doing harm. If not adequately propitiated, they might descend on the world as vengeful ghosts, led by demons and witches (priestesses) who summoned them. Witches and ghosts are still associated with Halloween, together with such soul-symbols as owls, bats, and cats. The pagan idea used to be that crucial joints between the seasons opened cracks in the fabric of space-time, allowing contact between the ghost world and the mortal one.
Apples and nuts associated with Samhain and Halloween were also connected with the ancient Roman festival of Pomona, on November 1st, a feast of the ripening of the fruits and a time when the summer stores were opened for winter consumption. The apple was the Celtic Silver Bough and the fruit of the other world, symbolizing love, fertility, wisdom and divination; the fruit of heaven and of wise men. The hazel was the sacred tree of the Celtic groves and, like all nuts, represented hidden wisdom, lovers and peace. As the tree of life, it grew in Avalon by the sacred pool.
After the advent of Christianity, crosses were made and fixed to house, byre and stable doors. Bonfires were lit as the Samhain pile and ashes and burning brands were thrown out. There were also parties of guisers going about collecting apples, nuts or money and the hobby-horse, or a horses head, figured in the ceremonies. The evil powers were the Formorians and in earlier times human sacrifice was said to be practiced; this was not only to propitiate the powers but also to bring fertility.
Traces of human sacrifice are also seen in the Welsh Black Sow ceremony in which everyone ran downhill as fast as possible shouting the Black Sow take the hindermost, the last person being the victim. The Black Sow was the spirit of evil, cold and death.
The wholesale killing of animals was not only for winter food, but because there was not enough feed for them in the fields in winter. The slaughter took on a ritual and sacrificial aspect among the Celts and Teutons and bore the marks of an earlier pastoral festival with the emphasis on semi-divine animals. Feasting followed and the dead were also feasted. In Germany and Gaul, boisterous processions took place and men dressed in animal masks and skins, thus gaining contact with the sacred animals and with the deities. At Samhain, a sheaf of corn, a branch of evergreen or mistletoe symbolically carried on the dying powers of vegetation. Carrying or decorating with evergreens demonstrates that life has not died. Pliny gives an account of a Druid festival of the cutting of the mistletoe from an oak tree: it was cut with a golden sickle and caught in a white cloak, as it must never touch the ground. Two white bulls were sacrificed and a feast held.
Samhain was also a time of truce with no fighting, violence or divorce allowed, hence it was a time of marriage. Accounts were closed, debts collected, contracts made and servants hired.
So Halloween has an extensive history, reaching back into the mists of time. The rituals we so light-heartedly employ today have their origins in the most serious protective rites, designed to keep the world of the supernatural at bay.
The Bible does not say that it is all right to celebrate pagan holidays. It says over and over not to worship the true God the way others worshiped their false gods. In addition, God commands his people to worship the days He created for worship. I am convinced that all the christian holidays are of pagan origin. The first century church (disciples and apostles) did not celebrate any of the current holidays. For this reason Christians should NOT be celebrating counterfeits that came later. While there is nothing to be gained spiritually from these, there is harm in the keeping of them in that they distract and muddy the whole purpose of why we exist, and what Gods purpose for us really is.
First, Christians should know what Halloween stands for, then read Ephesians 5: 11. Halloween is the dark side of our world. Satan has many faces. Christians should get to know him well for the simple fact that he will not be able to deceive us.
The custom of Halloween is traced to the Druid festival of the dead. The Roman Pantheon was built by Emperor Hadrian in 100 A.D. as a temple to the goddess Cybele and other Roman deities. It became the principle place of worship. Roman pagans were known to pray for the dead. Rome was captured and the Pantheon fell into disrepair. Emperor Phocas captured Rome and gave the Pantheon to Pope Boniface IV in 609. He reconsecrated it to the Virgin Mary and resumed using the temple to pray for the dead, only now it was Christianized, as men added the unscriptural teaching of purgatory. St. Peters in Rome was built over a graveyard, of all things, located outside ancient Rome. Oh! The juxtaposition of Druidic beliefs and the Bishop of Rome (aka: the Pope)!
Most of the preceding text is derived and mainly extracted from research sources (including pagan worshippers and witches) and varies little from my personal opinion. The truth speaks for itself, and dwindles the opportunity of options based on human speculation or form of belief. For those of you who forsake the truth, you will never be made free from pagan activities, no matter how tradition or religion packages the deceptive onslaught of Satan. Just like Christmas and several other customs of modern Christianity, many pagan holidays have been absorbed and modified by the church. The Bible tells us that Satan will have his time on Earth during the final days of the end times. You may as well enjoy the pleasures of evil while you can because they will not last! Alas, if you refuse to understand the incredible meaning these days have, you will continue to carve your pumpkins, but as you light the candles of tradition, may the flames remind you of a hell that is real and part of your not so distant future. As you hand out the treats that encourage the heathen who masquerade around disguised by the costumes of evil, perhaps you will be reminded of the vicar of the pinnacle of all profanity, he who has endorsed the institution of such unscriptural irreverence and parades year round garbed in the sacreligious Satanic costumes of the Mother church, the one who has landed the role of the biggest trickster of all modern humanity, the Pope himself.
Barbara G. Walker (1986) The Womans Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Harper and Row, Publishers: San Francisco, CA.
J. C. Cooper (1990) The Aquarian Dictionary of Festivals, The Aquarian Press: Wellingborough, England
Isaac Bonewits. Copyright © 1974, 1999 C.E. Edited for length.