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This article was published October 23rd.
On Oct. 31, most people will simply ignore the dark side of Halloween.
The vast majority of the population will dress up in costumes, go to parties and eat candy without ever even considering where the holiday came from or what certain people are doing behind closed doors.
But the truth is that Halloween night is one of the biggest nights of the year for witches, occultists and Satanists.
All over America, those who are deep into the dark arts will contact the dead, cast spells and conduct blood sacrifices. As you will see below, there is a reason why animal shelters across the country ban the adoption of black cats this time of the year.
But even our "innocent" Halloween traditions such as dressing up in costumes, "trick or treating" and carving jack-o'-lanterns all have their roots in ancient pagan practices. And every year the costumes for our young girls become even more sexually suggestive, the horror movies become even more demonic, and the public's fascination with the occult just continues to grow. It truly is a festival of death, but most people don't seem to care. In fact, experts are telling us that Halloween has now become America's second biggest holiday.
According to the National Retail Federation, nearly 70 percent of all Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, and spending is expected to shatter the all-time record.
According to the National Retail Federation's annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, total spending for Halloween is expected to reach $8.4 billion, an all-time high in the survey's 11-year history.
U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $82.93, up from last year's $74.34, with more than 171 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities this year.
To give you some context, total Halloween spending for 2009 came in at just $4.7 billion. So to say that the celebration of Halloween is growing would be a tremendous understatement.
Sadly, most people have no idea where this holiday originally came from. The truth is that a long time ago Catholicism attempted to "Christianize" an ancient pagan holiday known as Samhain:
The origins of Halloween are Celtic in tradition and have to do with observing the end of summer sacrifices to gods in Druidic tradition. In what is now Britain and France, it was the beginning of the Celtic year, and they believed Samhain, the lord of death, sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves. The waning of the sun and the approach of dark winter made the evil spirits rejoice and play nasty tricks. Believe it or not, most of our Halloween practices can be traced back to these old pagan rites and superstitions.
On the Wiccan calendar, Samhain is one of the most important points on "the wheel of the year." Wiccans believe that it is the day when "the god dies," and subsequently they celebrate his rebirth at Yule.
It is also a time when they believe that the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest, and so it is an opportune time for them to contact the dead. The following is much more on what Wiccans believe about Samhain from wicca.com:
Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means "End of Summer," and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.
It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two "spirit-nights" each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort.
Originally the "Feast of the Dead" was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the "wandering dead." Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.
The ancient practices described in those paragraphs sound very similar to what we do today in many ways, but without a doubt some of the traditions have evolved. For example, instead of carving turnips, those who celebrate Halloween carve pumpkins today.
You may not realize this, but Wicca is actually one of the fastest-growing religions in America. And on Oct. 31, Wiccans all over the nation will get together to conduct rituals and cast spells. Here is a blurb from Wikipedia about the Wiccan belief in "magic":
During ritual practices, which are often staged in a sacred circle, Wiccans cast spells or "workings" intended to bring about real changes in the physical world. Common Wiccan spells include those used for healing, for protection, fertility, or to banish negative influences. Many early Wiccans, such as Alex Sanders, Sybil Leek and Alex Winfield, referred to their own magic as "white magic," which contrasted with "black magic," which they associated with evil and Satanism. Sanders also used the similar terminology of "left hand path" to describe malevolent magic, and "right hand path" to describe magic performed with good intentions; terminology that had originated with the occultist Helena Blavatsky in the 19th century. Some modern Wiccans however have stopped using the white-black magic and left-right hand path dichotomies, arguing for instance that the colour black should not necessarily have any associations with evil.
If you are not familiar with these things, you may scoff at such practices. But the cold, hard reality of the matter is that they are very real. The dark side has power too, and those that have come out of witchcraft can tell you some stories that will stand your hair on end.
Wiccans think of themselves as "good," and so they tend to reject blood sacrifices and things of that nature.
But for those who are deeper into the occult, blood sacrifice is an essential part of Halloween. As I mentioned above, many animal shelters all over the nation ban the adoption of black cats this time of the year.
It's the week of Halloween, and maybe you don't know this, but if you suddenly wanted to adopt a black cat, you would probably have a hard time. That's because thanks to their association with witchcraft, accepted wisdom holds that Halloween is a time when people ritualistically mutilate black cats.
To test if this really was still accepted wisdom, I contacted some animal shelters near to our Los Angeles office, and they all told me they wouldn't let me adopt a black cat. One, The Lange Foundation—the type of animal rescue that takes in cats from city shelters before they can be euthanized—was willing to talk to me on the phone and explain: If someone were to call and ask specifically for a black cat, that would trigger the policy. "I would say 'not today!'" said one of the foundation's board members, Diana Nelson.
You may not want to believe it, but animals will be killed and little children will be abused on Halloween night. The following is what one ex-witch has shared regarding her experiences:
My parents told me before we went around the neighborhood we were going to go by the church (Mormon Church) to get some candy there. The church was very close to my grandmother's house, and I knew so from going often.
We went to the church and what happened next made my blood curdle. I was given candy, but that was just a prelude to the sexual abuse that would happen in a satanic ritual. On Halloween Satanists use young children, such as myself, as sexual idols to worship. Other children receive a far worse fate. Death. I know for some this is more than you can even think to believe, but it is true. I can barely write these words because the pain of the truth is almost more than I can bear. If it wasn't for the grace and love of Jesus Christ, I would not even be here writing this at all.
You may say, "It doesn't mean that to me," but you are just fooling yourself.
Could you take a Satanic Black Mass and turn it into a celebration of Jesus?
Of course not.
And yet so many Christians fully embrace Halloween and pretend that there is nothing wrong with it.
For the record, Satanists absolutely love Halloween. The following comes from the official Church of Satan website:
Satanists embrace what this holiday has become, and do not feel the need to be tied to ancient practices. This night, we smile at the amateur explorers of their own inner darkness, for we know that they enjoy their brief dip into the pool of the "shadow world." We encourage their tenebrous fantasies, the candied indulgence, and the wide-ranging evocation of our aesthetics (while tolerating some of the chintzy versions), even if it is but once a year. For the rest of the time, when those not of our meta-tribe shake their heads in wonder at us, we can point out that they may find some understanding by examining their own All Hallows Eve doings, but we generally find it simpler to just say: "Think of the Addams Family and you'll begin to see what we're about."
Satanists consider Halloween to be one of the most important "holidays" of the year. On page 96 of the Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey wrote the following:
"After one's own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht (May 1st) and Halloween."
Isn't that lovely?
Despite all of this, most Christians in America will happily celebrate Halloween on Oct. 31. In fact, one recent survey found that just 8 percent of all Christian pastors want their congregations to skip the holiday altogether. Instead, most of them want their members to invite people to a "Christian version of Halloween" at their churches. The following comes from LifeWay Research:
Two-thirds (67 percent) encourage church members to invite friends and neighbors to a fall festival, trunk-or-treat or judgment house. Pastors at bigger churches (those with 250 or more in attendance) are most likely to ask church members to invite their neighbors (86 percent) to an event at the church. Those from small churches (50 or less in attendance) are least likely (48 percent).
If the gospel is preached, I am all for people going to church on Oct. 31. But all too often these "alternative celebrations" are nothing more than repackaged versions of the same Satanic holiday that the world is celebrating. I like how Pastor Jamie Morgan described what our approach to this day should be.
Setting aside a day to celebrate evil, darkness, witchcraft, fear, death and the demonic brings disdain to God. Period. A Christian celebrating Halloween would be like a Satan worshiper putting up a nativity scene at Christmas while singing, "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" The two just don't go together. Jesus has nothing in common with Satan (2 Cor. 6:14), and neither should we.
And the truth is that God has wanted us to have nothing to do with occult practices from the very beginning. The following is what Deuteronomy 18:9-13 says in the Modern English version:
When you enter into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you must not learn to practice the abominations of those nations. There must not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or uses witchcraft, or an interpreter of omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts spells, or a spiritualist, or an occultist, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God will drive them out from before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
There will be many people who will read this article and will continue to celebrate Halloween just as they normally do. If that is you, then you need to understand that engaging in dark practices can open up doors to spiritual darkness for yourself and your entire family.
If you do that, then that is your choice, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Michael Snyder's book entitled "Living A Life That Really Matters" is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.
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