Halloween is called Samhein by pagans and it dates back over 2,000 years. It is also called All Hallows Eve. The name Halloween dates back to 1745 and is of Christian origin. It means Hallowed Evening or Holy Evening and is derived from All Hallows Eve which is Scottish and emerged around 1556.
During Samhein it is believed that on this night the veil between the world of the living and dead is thinned and communication is much easier. It is believed in this night that the spirits of the dead return to earth to walk again.
Samhein marks the end of the summer, beginning of winter, and the harvest.
Modern Halloween falls the day before the Christian holiday All Hallows Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2).
Myths associated with Halloween:
1. Pagans are Satanists and worship Satan- as explained earlier in a blog, most do not even believe in the Christian Satan.
2. At this time of year animal or human sacrifice happens- as explained in an earlier blog this does not happen. It goes well against the threefold law we abide by. We do not believe in bringing harm against another.
Most people don’t even stop. and consider where the names of even the simplest things come from. the days of the week are no such exception. We go through our lives year after year without even stopping to consider about that. Here’s a bit of information to consider about the names of the days of the week….
- Sunday- named after the sun god
- Monday- named after the moon god
- Tuesday- named after the god Tyr
- Wednesday- named after the god Odin
- Thursday- named after the god Thor
- Friday- named after the god Frigga
- Saturday- named after the god Saturn
Kind of sobering to think that even Christians use this terminology without so much of a blink of an eye…..
Here’s a list of recognized pagan/Wiccan holidays.
- Samihan- called Halloween today, but is known as the ending of the Celtic year. Behind at sunset October 31. Also called the feast of the dead. It is believed the veil between both worlds is thinned and it is considered this time is the best time for divination.
- Winte solstice or Yule- around December 21- a time of death and rebirth of the sun god. The days are at its shortest and the sun is at its lowest point. The full moon after Yule its considered the most powerful of the whole year.
- Imbole- February 1st or the first full moon in Aquarius.
- Spring equinox or ostara (eostara- Wicca)- around March 21- light and darkness are in balance but light is growing stronger.
- Beltaine (May day, Lady day)- around May 1st or the first full moon on Taurus. Primarily is a fertility festival with natural enhancements and offerings to wildings and elementals. It is a time of great magic.
- Summer solstic (midsummer or litha- Wicca) – around June 21- the hours of daylight are longest. Herbs gathered on this day are believed to be strongest.
- Lughnassadh (Lammas- Wicca)- August 1st our the first full moon in Leo- Pre harvest festival that is the turning point in mother earths year.
- Autumn equinox or Mabon- about September 21- a time of rest after labor. The hours of night and day are balanced, but darkness is increasing.
Most people who are not educated in paganism believe that paganism and Wicca are a synonomous term. This is far from the truth and I will attempt to explain these differences. This is based simply on my knowledge and opinion.
Pagan is an umbrella term. It’s used to describe religions that fall outside of Christianity. Wicca, Taoism, and Satanism are a few examples of these religions that fall under this umbrella term.
Wicca comes from the term witchcraft. It is so negatively looked at by those who do not understand the religion that the term Wicca was created to try to not build the stigma.
Paganism is a very old religion, where as Wicca is very young. Paganism predates Christianity. “Pagan” is defined as meaning “country dweller”, “Wicca” means “witchcraft”.
Pagans are usually polytheistic and believe in more than one God or goddess. Some wiccans believe in just a God, some goddesses, others believe in both, and yet others believe in multiple gods and goddesses.
Pagans and wiccans both use the symbol of the pentacle. It is upright and the 5 points symbolize : earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Satanism uses the inverted pentacle.
Wiccans do not believe in the Christian entity Satan.
Paganism does not have a founder. It is a very old religion. Wicca however has a founder, Gerald Gardner.
We will get into depth later about the holidays but this is a very interesting and startling bit of information. Pagans and wiccans have holidays they celebrate called sabbats and esbats. These holidays were originally pagan but were adopted by Wicca. Christianity stole these holidays in an attempt to convert pagans. This topic will be covered in a different blog.
Paganism does not require one to practice witchcraft. Wicca usually does practice witchcraft because that is where it was formed from.
Have you ever wondered why you have never been approached by a pagan or wiccan who has tried to “save your soul”? Countless times this has happened to me.
Maybe we feel safe already? I can’t tell you how many souls have tried to save me. They see the tattoos or the pentagram… and ding…. time to get to saving!!! I am very comfortable in my beliefs and not lost and searching. I don’t need to be propagandized. I will not propagandize you nor judge you. I don’t think my religion is right and the only way, and you should not as well.
The definition of a pagan is” a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions.” Merriam-Webster describes it as “1: heathen; especially: a follower of polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome) 2: one who had little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and materialistic goods; an irregular or hedonistic person.”
Paganism and pagans have a varied view painted from the outside world. We are called Satan worshippers even though some do not even believe in Satan. It is also said that we torture and kill animals, while most of its are quite the opposite. We love nature and go out of our way not to harm animals. I have yet to hear of someone in my belief system who sacrifices animals either. A majority of the myths and stigmatas associated with pagans is simply put in place because we are not understood and people naturally feast what they don’t know or understand. Much like for centuries the world was believed to be flat and the oceans riddled with monsters.
This blog is very complicated, but can be very informative. The complication is no one person holds the same beliefs or ideals. This is where it is vital for questions and comments to come into play. FEEDBACK! I can sit here and tout my thoughts and views, but they do not adequately reflect the full spectrum. Just the same as if I was to use published documents as a basis for this blog. It in no way fully describes a full cute of the religion.
I appreciate the first definition greatly. It does not seem to deem paganism as a bad thing. That is why I included it in this blog.
I have studied religions and did not take my choice of religion lightly when i became an adult. I was first a Presbyterian, then a Baptist. Neither religion suited me and created more questions. Paganism was simply amazing to me. It doesn’t leave me with unanswered questions. The religion feels to me like a well fitting glove and makes me feel comfortable and safe with it.
The second definition is not a favorite of mine. It seems to me that fear and misinformation drove the definition. When I hear the world heathen, I think of a wild and uneducated person. I simply do not see this as applying. The second definition…. well, “one who has little or no religion.” …. I THINK NOT! I have never heard of a pagan or wiccan who did not have a religion. As for the “sensual pleasures”… I have rarely noticed a single person who did not indulge in sensual pleasure. The “materialistic goods” I have yet to see happening either. Most pagans I have met are usually quite the opposite. ” an irregular or hedonistic person” … well, I don’t see irregular as being so bad in this day and age. Hedonistic is described as “engaged in the pursuit of pleasure; sensuality self-indulgent.” I do not see this as applicable in any way. I am not in the pursuit of pleasure or indulgence. Although that seems to be the nature of humans. Simply put, I would like to make a difference in the world I live in. I am constantly in the pursuit of happiness, helping others, and improving the world we live in.
I am writing a brief introduction. I know this is a long time coming. I have had my own trials to deal with these last couple of weeks. I’m still healing mentally and physically, but feel this will definitely help to attain full healing.
I grew up in South Carolina for a few years first as a Presbyterian, then devout Southern Baptist. Then in the late 80s, we moved to Texas. Where I was raised for 10 or so years more as a devout Southern Baptist. I was forced into this religion and never was truly happy with the religion.
As an older teenager I studied various religions and came to rest on paganism as very comfortable to me. In 2007 I came back to the religion and stayed there.
I am still growing spiritually, but I am tremendously happy with the religion and beliefs. It was like putting on a well fitting glove. Just feels safe and secure to me.
With that being said there is a lot of stigmas and myths associated with paganism and Wicca. I am going to try to work slowly through all of this. I’m not here for criticism or negativity. I am here to nurture a spirit of learning and growth.
Paganism and Wicca are still very highly misjudged and misunderstood. The trials still carry on today, but are very quickly becoming a thing that needs to be left in the past. We are all unique in our own rights spiritually, physically, and mentally and this should be celebrated, not criticized. Every one of us has an amazing potential to bring life changing ideas to mankind.
I will be doing research to really go through the history and origins of paganism. I intend this to be a fun blog so I will try to keep it from becoming mundane or boring. I always welcome questions and feedback. The info I post is not a solid absolute, because what I post is merely an opinion.
I look forward to this time and hope to grow in knowledge together. I am always looking for more ways to broaden my knowledge base and grow spiritually and mentally. there is still a world of knowledge yet for me to learn as well.