In the Dark: Witches, Wizards, & Halloween

By now, our culture being what it is -what it is being shaped into, I should say- you likely have heard of the Wiccan belief system. It is from this religion that the modern “witch” has arisen, and it may surprise you to know that, though it was once a very taboo practice, especially here in good ol’ puritanical America, it has in recent times seen a kind of rebirth. In fact, according to a fairly recent press release, Wicca is set to blossom into the third largest religion in America over the next few years¹ 

Let that sink in for a moment. Witchcraft is set to become the third largest religion in America, only being surpassed (for the time being) by Christianity and Islam. According to some figures, while Islam is the fastest growing major religion in the country at the moment, Wicca is actually spreading much more rapidly, with their numbers doubling every 30 months. At this moment, there are more than 200,000 registered witches across the nation, with approximately 8 million other unregistered practitioners.²

For a nation that once prided itself on its morality and dedication to good Christian values, one must wonder how we have fallen so far. In point of fact, I believe that it is no surprise that such a thing has occurred considered the doubled-edged sword we have plunged into our nation’s heart: one edge sliced through our morals with the social promotion of evermore anti-Christian entertainment; the other edge impaired our natural ability to discern what is good and right through the infusion of unnatural and un-Biblical practices within our society.

Bear with me for a moment as I wade into some divisive waters. Our entertainment has, especially over the last two decades, played, I believe, a great role in this cultural shift. Consider how books and especially films, such as the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series, have not only broadened the discussion about witchcraft and sorcery amongst the general populace, but also have made the case through their narratives that witchcraft can be good! Following that trend and the new awareness borne of it, many books and websites have capitalized on subject’s popularity, further providing a hungry population of seekers ample fodder to sate their desire for power and belonging.

As far as there being “good witches,” Bible believers in particular should know better. Despite whatever is shown in film or on television or written within books, those who trust in God should believe His word first, and He is absolutely clear and unambiguous on the matter:


Leviticus 19:31 – Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I [am] the LORD your God.

Exodus 22:18 – Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Leviticus 20:27 – A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood [shall be] upon them.

Deuteronomy 18:10 – There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch…

Leviticus 20:6 – And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

Revelation 21:8 – But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Galatians 5:19-21 – Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Friend, the list goes on and on. History has proven that Wicca, among other forms of witchcraft, had its origin in Babylon, and for those who believe in the truth, we know nothing good originated in that fallen kingdom.²

In that light, given the spirit of the month we find ourselves in, all this discussion of witchcraft  invariably leads to the holiday that October is best known for: Columbus Day. No, I’m just kidding. It’s Halloween.

Now, I have heard many times that the practice of Halloween is not in and of itself an evil or sinful thing so long as the believer doesn’t get carried away with the revelry. Well, maybe so, but we will come back to that shortly…

How much do you know about All Hallows Eve? Our modern holiday is based on the October 31st Wiccan celebration of Samhain (pronounced “SOW-EEN”), and during that time the witches of old believed the veil between the world of the living and the spirit realm grew very thin, allowing communion and transition to occur from one to the next with relative ease. To celebrate the occasion, magic spells would be cast amidst unbridled revelings, as stories were shared and games played. Familiar with the practice of “bobbing for apples?” It originated with the ancient Wiccans.

Our custom of “trick or treating” actually arose through the annual rituals of a similar group of pagans. The Druids of historic England, on October 31st, would set out at dusk on a torch lit procession, each wearing strange white robes and carrying sickles, and behind them they drug the freshly killed body of a male slave. The procession would walk along until coming to a home or village at which point the congregation would yell something akin to our “trick or treat.” Instead of looking for candy however, the druids demanded a woman, be it a daughter or a slave or some other unfortunate lady.

Their intent was less than wholesome, as her fate was to be raped, killed, and burned to cinders at a ritual site of erected stones. For those households or villages that gave a girl, they were rewarded with a pumpkin, a face carved across its surface, and within it a flickered candle made of human tallow, signifying that they had cooperated with the dark forces…

druidic-rocks
Druidic Rock Circle


For those that refused to give a girl, well, they were in for a long evening. Blood was taken from the dead male slave and with it a hexagram was drawn upon the door or wall of the village. With it came a curse that, over the course of that very night, spirits of their god, Cernnunos (The Horned Hunter of the Night), would come and scare a member of the household or village to death.³ 

Now, after that brief expedition into the history of Halloween, the question is this: should a believer partake, innocent as it may be, in a holiday that is absolutely soaked in blood and stained with evil paganism? For me, there is an inherent conflict of interest there at the very root of the matter, and our family instead finds plenty of opportunity to engage with others at our local church where we forgo “trick or treating” in favor of “trunk or treating.” It’s safer, by far, than traditional halloweening, and with plenty of food, fun and games, and offered up with an atmosphere of good, wholesome entertainment. I’m sure that similar alternatives are available in your area, and if not, why not organizer them yourself?

In any event, however you choose to celebrate (or not celebrate) the holiday, I pray that you and yours are safe, smart, and have a good time. God bless, everyone.

 

References:

  1. “Teachers of Witchcraft & Wicca Needed to Supply Global Shortage,” SALEM, MA (PRWEB) OCTOBER 15, 2011
  2. “The Fastest Growing Religion in America is Witchcraft,” Snyder, Michael, Oct. 30th, 2013
  3. “Halloween and the Forces of Darkness”, Pastor David J. Meyer

 

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Thank you very much, and God bless!

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