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Friday, October 01, 2004
I designed a cute banner for the front page of our agency's website that read "Agency-I-Work-For wishes you a Happy & Safe Halloween". It had two little jack o' lanterns on it - very simple. Of course, I have to get everything approved before putting it up there, so I asked my supervisor what he thought.
"Well," he said, looking thoughtful, "I don't have a problem with it, but you need to check with the head-of-the-agency because some people might. Personally I think it's a good idea, but you know there are some that might be offended by that. Some people consider it a "Pagan" holiday and all."
The sad thing is he's absolutely right.
I cannot get my mind around those people, usually conservative Christians, that reject Halloween based upon its Pagan origins. The reason being that Christmas and Easter have those same, maybe more, Pagan foundations!
Please take a moment to read an essay I wrote on this very subject about a year ago:
Exposing Christian Holidays
A small city known as Plaquemine, Louisiana has a little newspaper that is distributed to towns and villages in Iberville parish. There is a small section for the local folk to post their opinions and thoughts called "Hotline". I'm writing this is in response to a post that appeared in the November 10, 2003 edition of the "Westbank Shopper".
The piece was titled "Time To Take A Stand" and read as follows:
It's that time of year again when evil tries to rear its ugly head and duly influence our children by trying to take their souls. That's right, I'm talking about Halloween, the one night of the year we give free reign to the Devil. Even good Christians give free reign to this holiday and dress their children in ghoulish costumes. What is wrong with you people? Unless we take a stand against Halloween, the day will come when Lucifer himself will rule this country. That day is almost here – look at the evil all around you people.
The "Westbank Shopper" claims to reach "17,000 Postal Patrons". 17,000+ people are reading this and possibly fearing that they are putting their soul, and their children's, in jeopardy by celebrating Halloween. Ignorance spawns fear – which creates hate, prejudice and intolerance. Yet ignorance can be abolished with knowledge.
While Halloween obviously has its origins in Pagan and occult history, the truth is that all of the so-called Christian holidays do. These "holy" Christians that balk at Halloween but celebrate Christmas with reverent faith do not even realize that Christmas and Easter are as Pagan in origin – or more – than Halloween itself!
Let's look at Christmas first. Named as "Christ-Mass", the celebrations surrounding it were considered "blasphemous" by the religious leaders of the day. Historians, and even most Christians, concede that Jesus Christ could not have been born on December 25. There is ample evidence to support this theory; even from the Bible itself:
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night." - LUKE 2:8
Shepherds did not tend their flocks in the dead of winter; this is known. The sheep were kept under shelter after mid-October to protect them from the harsh elements. Furthermore, astronomers have stated that the North Star would not have been visible on a December night.
The Bible never officially states that Jesus was born on the date of December 25. So why is this particular date celebrated as his birthday by millions of Christians? In 350, Pope Julius I pronounced that Jesus' birth would be celebrated on December 25. The reason is that in the early centuries, the Christian religion was working on converting Pagans and bringing them to Christ. To make the transition easier, many Pagan holidays were "turned around" to represent Christian milestones. The reasons for celebrating changed, but the dates remained the same.
December 25 is around the Winter Solstice; a time celebrated by Neo-Pagans as Yule or Yuletide. The history of celebrating at this time of year goes back, originally, to celebrations honoring the God Osiris and Goddess Isis. Many other occult religions have celebrated the birth or rebirth of their particular deities at this time of year. In ancient Rome, before the birth of Christ, it was celebrated as Saturnalia, to honor the God Saturn, for example. Ancient Greece celebrated the time of year known as the Winter Solstice with a holiday known as Lenaea, the Festival of the Wild Women. Druids of yore celebrated the changing of the seasons at this time of year with a festival known as Alban Arthuan, and the ancient Incans celebrated this date as "the Festival of the Sun where the god of the Sun, Wiracocha, is honored."
It is not only the date of Christmas that has its origins from other than Christianity itself. The "traditions" that are followed to celebrate Christmas come from a myriad of ancient and occult practices.
What we today know as carolers originated from the Roman festival of Saturnalia. Then known as Mummers, these were a group of people dressed in bright clothes who went from house to house entertaining neighbors during the holiday. Yule logs come directly from the tradition of ancient Pagans burning them in honor of the sun and the sun God Mithras. The kissing under mistletoe comes from these same traditions, and was originally done as part of a fertility ritual. These people also believed that hollyberries were food for the gods.
Not even the Christmas tree is original to this Christian holiday. Early-day Europeans brought evergreen trees into their homes during the cold and harsh winters to remind them that their crops would grow again come Spring. Evergreen was a symbol of fertility and good fortune, and was used in totems and rituals.
And what about Easter? Surely the day celebrated as the death and resurrection of Christ – an act Christians believe gives them their salvation – is sacred and has no "evil" origins?
In actuality, the time known as the Spring Equinox has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth. Being purified by death and an experience in an "evil world" is not a new concept at this time of year. Religoustolerance.com says there are three main themes that have always been celebrated at this time of year:
Easter is not restricted to, nor does it originate from, the Christian religion. Pagan religions throughout history have centered around a dying and rebirthing god.
The Norse Goddess Ostara, honored at the Spring Equinox, was symbolized by the hare and the egg – both representing, as did she, fertility. We have adopted the rabbit and egg as part of our own Easter celebrations. Dyeing Easter eggs comes from the rituals of Babylonians, and ancient Egyptians hung eggs in temples as a symbol of regenerative life.
It is well known that the "Easter lily" has been revered in ancient Pagan traditions as symbolically representing the reproductive organs. Most of the Spring Equinox holidays focused on fertility.
Sunrise service, as is practiced in many Christian churches, heralds directly from the practice of "welcoming the god" during the vernal equinox. The lighting of Easter candles in the church is believed to have derived from the custom of lighting bonfires during the ceremonies that took place this time of year.
Yes, Halloween may seem evil. Yet it is what it is. It does not hide behind presumably "good" Christian holidays that are truly masks of the traditions they originally were formed from. Before you rally against Halloween as an "evil" holiday, take a look at that which you consider "safe" and "holy". Nearly everything in the Christian religion has its foundation in occult practices.
This is why it angers me so to hear people knocking Halloween because of where it was derived. Halloween is no different or more evil than any other holiday celebrated by the majority today. If people would take the time to actually research the history of the religious practices they hold so sacred this kind of ignorance might be abolished.