Where did it all come from? October 31st is a day of ghosts, witches, goblins, and grotesque creatures. It is also a day of orange and black, of candles and jack-o-lanterns. Costume parties and strange customs occupy the minds of western civilization, and all of this seems to be intensifying every year. Children wearing every kind of costume imaginable, and some unimaginable, have been going for door to door for years at the end of October saying “trick or treat” and collecting bags full of treats. In recent years, many people have been decorating their yards as cemeteries and making their houses look spooky. Even churches have Halloween parties and set up “haunted houses” as fund raising projects. Where did it all come from, and what does it all mean? Most people would say it is all harmless fun. Some would venture to say, “If there is any witchcraft in it, it is white witchcraft.” In order to truly answer both of the questions where did it come from and what does it mean, we must go clear back to the origin of it all.
Halloween has its origin in the British Isles about 1300 years ago. In those days, there were many men and women who practiced a so-called “nature religion” known as Wicca. (The word “Wicca” means “wise ones.” The word “witch” is derived from “Wicca.”) The witches worked their spells and magic as individuals or sometimes in groups of 13 known as Covens. Sometimes the witches and wizards worked as a triumvirate or power of three. The female Wiccan was known as a witch, and the male Wiccan was known as a wizard. The word “warlock” was not used by witches to identify themselves. It is actually a Scotch-Gaelic word that means “traitor.” Satanists use the word “warlock.”
The Wiccans were worshipers of the “Earth Mother”, the sun, the moon, and stars. Witches do not believe in Satan. The Wiccans or witches meet every Friday night at a gathering called an “esbat.” They draw a magic circle with a six-pointed star in it called a “hexagram”, from which we get the word “hex.” The coven of 13 stand “sky clad” or naked in the hexagram and work spells by chanting and doing rituals such as “drawing down the moon.” The full moon is sacred to witches, especially if it is on a Friday. It is considered to be even greater if the Friday is the 13th day of the month.
Eight times each year, the witches celebrated a sabat and the ritual work and spell casting was always done on the eve of the sabat. The sabats are Imbolc on February 2nd, the spring equinox on March 22nd, Beltaine on May 1st, the summer solstice on June 22nd, Lugnahsaid on July 31st, the fall equinox on September 22nd, Samhain on October 31st, and the winter solstice on December 22nd, which is also known as Yule.
Witches have special ways of celebrating for each sabat, and even though they do not believe in Satan, it is Satan who gives them the experiences they have and deceives them into thinking it is the forces of nature they are tapping into. Halloween is the most important of the eight sabats in witchcraft and is known to the witches by the Scotch-Gaelic word “Samhain”, which is pronounced “SOW-EEN.” It is believed that on that night, the barrier between this world and the next, known as the astral plane, becomes very thin. The witches believe that this allows spirits of departed ones to travel freely back and forth between the earth and the spirit realm. Thus, Halloween is the highest day in Wiccan witchcraft. On that night for many centuries, witches would work their magic and then have wild parties all through the darkness of that night. They would play games, such as bobbing for apples, because witches regard the apple as sacred. The witches would also tell stories from their personal diaries of spells known as their “book of shadows.” These ghost stories would start when the hosting High Priest or Priestess would say, “A witches’ tale and a cup of ale for the host of our guests unseen.”
In those early days in England, there was another kind of witchcraft known as Druidism. The Druids were called “men of the oaks” and were a strange clan of men who dressed in white robes. The Druids worshiped Cernnunos, the “horned hunter of the night.“ Halloween was sacred to the Druids because their sun-god receded to the underworld on October 31st, which is why darkness increased and light decreased according to their reckoning.
As darkness set in on October 31st, the clan of Druids would put on their white robes and hoods. They would carry sickles and Celtic crosses as they began a torchlight procession. At the beginning of the procession, a male slave was killed and dragged by a rope fastened to his left ankle. The Druids would walk until they came to a house or a village where they shouted the equivalent of “trick or treat.” The treat was a slave girl or any female to be given to the Druids. If the people refused to give a girl as a “treat”, blood was taken from the dead slave and used to draw a hexagram or six-pointed star on the door or wall of the village. Spirits of the “horned hunter of the night” were invoked by the Druids to kill someone in that house or village by fear that night.
If the house or village gave a girl as a “treat”, the Druids put a pumpkin with a face carved in it in front of the door or gate of that place. Inside the pumpkin was a candle made of human tallow to keep evil spirits away. Thus, the Jack-O-Lantern was and is a sign that you have cooperated with Satan.
The treats or female victims were taken to Stonehenge where they were raped and killed and then sacrificed on the sacred bone-fire until only glowing embers were left. The “bonefire” is the origin of the modern day bonfire. As a matter of luck for winter survival, all villagers were expected to use the glowing embers of the bonefire to light their hearths.
As we can clearly see, Halloween is not harmless. Satan has people in our modern era mimicking the witches and Druids of old. All of this is cursed of God. We live in a time when witchcraft is being revived. Movies are filled with witchcraft and numerous television programs such as “Charmed” are teaching witchcraft to millions. The Harry Potter books are likewise furthering the cause of Satan! Halloween is no joke and is not harmless fun!
- Pastor David J. Meyer
The author was a non-Catholic Christian convert and former astrologer occultist. [As a non-Catholic he would not have understood the Catholic celebration of All Hallows' Eve the night before All Saints' Day, also known as All Hallows' Day, Hallowmas, the Feast of All Saints, or Solemnity of All Saints]
* For a Catholic's understanding of All Hallows' Eve see the links below: catholiceducation.org/…lture/catholic-contributions/all-hallow-s-eve.html +++ catholiceducation.org/…arenting/can-halloween-be-christianized-again.html +++ catholic.com/video/can-catholics-celebrate-halloween +++ catholic.com/qa/its-ok-to-celebrate-halloween +++ catholic.com/qa/trick-or-treat-is-harmless-fun +++ catholic.com/…azine/online-edition/is-halloween-a-pagan-festival