The celebration of Samhain, or Halloween as it is more commonly called today, traces its origins to the occult observances and practices of religious pagans such as the Wicca, (another name for witchcraft) and the Druidism of the ancient British isles.
Samhain is, to this day, considered to be the most holy and coveted sabbat of the year by the Wiccans and other Pagan religions. It is a celebration of the end of the light half of the year and the beginning of the dark. It is believed to be a day to commune with and remember the dead and that during this time the veil between the natural and the spirit world is at its thinnest. Thus it is ideal for divination, necromancy and communion with dead spirits. See article: (Angels and Demons Part 5)
In its origins, Samhain was the supreme night of demonic jubilation. Spirits of the dead were thought to rise out of their graves and wander the countryside on that night. Frightened villagers tried to appease these wandering spirits by offering them gifts of fruit and nuts. This is the origin of our present day "trick-or-treat." They began the tradition of placing plates of the finest food and bits of treats that the household had to offer on their doorsteps, as gifts, to appease the hunger of the ghostly wanderers. If not placated, villagers feared that the spirits would kill their flocks or destroy their property. There were numerous other rituals such as the burning of animal sacrifices in large “bone fires” which were meant to help the Druids ward off bad spirits.
When Christianity spread to parts of Europe, instead of trying to abolish these pagan customs, the Roman Catholic Church tried to introduce ideas which reflected a more Christian world-view. The Romans had been observing the holiday of Feralia, intended to give rest and peace to the departed. Participants made sacrifices in honor of the dead, offered up prayers for them, and made oblations to them. So the Catholic church created a new holiday called All Saints Day to replace the pagan Roman festival of the dead. In the year 834 AD it was moved to November 1st, making October 31 “All Hallows' Eve” or Halloween.
Unfortunately, many people either do not know, or chose not to consider Halloween’s occult origins or current connections. All they know is that it is a day to celebrate ghosts, witches, goblins, and grotesque creatures, devils and demons. It a day of orange and black, of candles and jack-o-lanterns, of “trick or treat”, costume parties and other strange customs, and say it is all harmless fun.
But whether or not one takes seriously the current meteoric rise and growing popularity of ancient occult practices in our culture today, those who do practice such things take this event very seriously.
A quote from one contemporary occult web site dedicated to the practice of witchcraft says this:
Halloween, plain and simple is our favorite time of year. A true time for witches, Witchcraft itself, and Wiccans alike who feel that on this night the separation between the physical and spiritual realities is it's least guarded and it's veil the thinnest. It is a time for dimensional openings and workings, it is a somber holiday, one of dark clothes and thoughts for the dead, it is said to be the time when those of necromantic talents can speak with the dead and it is certainly a time to remember ones own dead.
Another occult site says this:
The veil between the material and spiritual realms is at its thinnest at Samhain, and Wiccans make use of this drawing close of the hidden worlds with both meditation, magic and divination, exploring their hopes and fears for the new year during this time of introspection and creativity.
It is amazing to this author how many people deny the fact of a deliberate and malevolent evil at work in the lives of human beings. Even those who acquiesce to the fact that there is a real and personal God, will choke at the thought that there are such things as witches and warlocks, devils and demons. Yet the Scriptures are very clear on the matter.
"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
See follow up article: Halloween, Witchcraft and the Bible
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