Halloween Hangover (Link Roundup)

Halloween just happened, and if you're Pagan know what that means: a flood of "meet the Witches/Pagans" articles from a variety of media outlets. I would normally unleash the hounds, but they had a long night, so I'll do my best to personally catch you up on the busiest media season for our family of faiths.Let's start off with the fact that CNN's Belief Blog featured a story on Pagans, complete with quotes from Clare Slaney-Davis, Michael "Pagan Theology" York, Holli Emore of Cherry Hill Seminary, Jenny "Researching Paganisms" Blain, and yours truly. Quote: Another key pagan belief is the freedom for each person to determine his or her own way to and view of the divine. "Paganism doe … [Read more...]

A Blessed Samhain

Tonight and tomorrow is when most modern Pagans celebrate Samhain. Samhain is the start of winter and of the new year in the old Celtic calendar. This is a time when the ancestors are honored, divinations for the new year are performed, and festivals are held in honor of the gods. It is a time of final harvest before the long winter ahead. It is perhaps the best-known and most widely celebrated of the modern Pagan holidays.An ancestor altar.This time of year also sees the celebration of Velu Laiks (“the time of spirits”) by Baltic Pagans,Winter Nights by Asatru in mid-October, Foundation Night in Ekklesía Antínoou, Fete Gede by Vodou practitioners, Día de los Muertos for followers of … [Read more...]

Halloween, Monotheism, and the Pagan Vacuum

Amity Shlaes is worried. She's worried about what the ever-growing popularity of Halloween might mean. "...as much as we'd like it to be, Halloween isn't secular. It is pagan. There's nothing else to call a set of ceremonies in which people utter magical phrases, flirt with the night and evoke the dead. One of my family's favorite Halloween props was a hand that moved, as though from the netherworld, when you reached to collect a few pieces of candy corn. Necromancy is a regular part of Halloween games. Zombie masks are one of this year's top- sellers. As grouchy theologians used to point out, the origin of Halloween was most likely Samhain, an ancient Celtic holiday on which the dead, in … [Read more...]

When “Jesus Ween” Just Isn’t Enough

We all had a good laugh about "Jesus Ween," didn't we? That misguided attempt to sanctify a day that had already been sanctified by the Catholic church way back in 609 CE, rightly mocked by Christians and Pagans alike. But the impulse to cleanse Halloween of its (perceived) Pagan/occult atmosphere has a darker side. If the "Ween-ers" are the Ned Flanders of anti-Halloween sentiments, then the followers of "spiritual warrior"/survivalist/conspiracy theorist Thomas R. Horn are a Jack T. Chick comic come to life. Just in time for Halloween they are plugging a new book entitled "God's Ghostbusters" (buy it before the world ends!) that ramps up the fear of P … [Read more...]


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