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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philipians 4:8

I am mad @*%! Just so you know before you start reading.

Ok, I wasn't in the best frame of mind to start with. Migraines tend to do that to me & when it got bad enough that I resorted to rootling through the medicine tray there was no medication because I haven't had one of these in some time. I went to bed in my nice dark quiet bed & finally managed to sleep until Ditz came & woke me to take her to her singing lesson.

So far so good. A little woolly around the edges but functional. An hour looking for the top Ditz had seen & decided was just right for her exam [but told me about after the shops had closed!] was wearisome ~ & nothing else was what she had in mind. Argh! But you know, that's life with Ditz & it didn't make me particularly ratty.

Liddy gave us her car & went on to dinner with friends. Ditz & I went on to singing. Alison very happy with Ditz! Only her 3rd lesson & she has most of her singing nailed. We will do another lesson next week before rehearsals to run through some sight reading & sound tests but the reality is Ditz should blitz this. It is well within her capabilities.

I was asked again to sing in Singapore. Alison is not convinced that I cannot sing but as I said to Ditz in the car coming home, I can hear where the notes should be; I just can't make my voice put them there! Luckily for me I enjoy listening & am intrigued by the process of making music sound...well, musical.

Ditz, who fell into an elevator yesterday & now has a bunged up knee swollen to the size of a small melon & thinks that is a prime excuse for extra tea & sympathy & is limping round like the Hunchback of Notre Dame clutching at my frail frame like a drowning man on the way down for the 3rd time, meant I was desperate for coffee by the time we got back on the island. Coffee. Peace. Quiet.

Rant about to begin. You have been warned.

We were toddling home in our little red rocket when we spotted the first cluster of black witch's hats & gruesome masks. I have strong feelings about Halloween ~ all of them negative. You cannot dress evil up as righteousness no matter how you try & do it. This is a pagan festival ~ both literally & figuratively. I am aware pagan meant *country dweller* but it now has religious overtones. It originally celebrated Samhain, the dying of summer & literally means summer's end.

I'm a Celtist & know there was nothing harmless or benevolent about the original festival. It was a night of terror when the veil between the living & the dead thinned. The Celts did not parade around the place once the sun went down. They locked & barred their doors against whatever prowled the night outside. Read the old Celtic stories. Strong men, warriors of the king's war band, men who had faced death at the end of sword or spear, paled & trembled & were defeated in shame by the spirits of Samhein.

This is a festival when Moingfhinne, a snow goddess of sorcery, was worshipped. Like many Celtic deities she wasn't nice to know & had a thing for poisoning those who got in her way. The Celtic goddesses were also perceived as being... raunchy, for want of a better word, & their worship, as we know more particularly from Beltaine, included *fertility rites*. So not going there.

Samhein was when the last of the harvest was brought in. By this time of the year the first frosts had usually arrived so the excess livestock was driven between 2 bonfires & slaughtered for the winter. Anything not harvested belonged to the fairies ~ & don't think twee & cute. Celtic fairies were rather a nasty lot, especially if thwarted! The Celts had some pretty grotty habits that included lugging around, even talking to, the pickled heads of dead warriors. They nailed scalps to their roof beams & tied them to their horse's bridles so I have no trouble believing they drank blood. I mean we are talking about a people who turned one adversaries head into a drinking goblet!

This was a festival overseen by the druids. Do some reading & see the sort of practises the druids engaged in. Everything from human sacrifice to divination. They rounded up people & suspended them in wicker cages & set the whole thing on fire. Read about the bog man of Lindow Moss. Whether he was actually an Irish prince or an unlucky criminal he died a particularly nasty death.

Now here's the thing. Scripture doesn't say that these things aren't real & have no power. Scripture says don't do it! Don't play with fire. Don't toy with sin. Don't cede ground to the adversary. It says not to fill our minds with the ugly & the grotesque & frightening but to think on those things that will ennoble us rather than debase us.

It saddens me & makes me angry to see this festival growing stronger each year in Australia. I was angry to be accosted by a mob of younger teens as I drove home & forced off the road because they were deliberately making for our car. I find it an invasion of privacy to have a horde of children I have never laid eyes on before banging on my door half the night after candy I don't have. I think parents are remiss in their responsibilities to allow their children to wander even our island streets unsupervised after dark. It is not safe. We too have our share of pedophiles. I was disgusted to find the revellers had trashed an older neighbour's lawn. Ditz & I picked up the litter before we came inside.

And please, don't tell me it's really a celebration of All Hallows! All Hallows was the Church's attempt to Christianise a pagan festival. So many of the party games associated with this festival are actually old ways of divination ~ a scriptural no~no. As is chatting with the dead ~ or raising the dead. For the life of me I cannot see what attracts people to this festival of nightmarish activities. Certainly it is in no way Christian.

Ignorance is not bliss. This is sin candy~coated & packaged in lies. Satan must rub his hands in glee when even Christians dress up in the symbols of the lord of the dead & prance around indulging in activities expressly forbidden in scripture. Yeah I'm an crotchety old fuddy~duddy & no fun at all. I'm also right. :P


Homeschoolmum4Christ said...

Hi Ganeida,
I totally agree with what you have said about Halloween. It is an abomination to the Lord, and He tells us to have no part in the wicked works of evil.

Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Psalm 28:4


Jan Lyn said...

It does not excite me either. We have a set of Grands that have come to expect to see our girls. We kind of turn the tables on it all and have the girls make pumpkin bread, leaf rubbings and such to give away to them. Hope Ditz' knee is better soon!

seekingmyLord said...

I hope Ditz recovers quickly.

You already know my feelings on this "holiday"--although I dislike calling it that as, to me, a holiday should honor something worthwhile. The customs here do not honor anything worthwhile and certainly not the Lord. I don't even like that churches offer an "alternative" with trunk and treat.

I have only known two people who consider themselves Celtists. One would, of course, be you and the other is decidedly pagan. I thought it odd that the Lord placed her on my heart for a time, but I learned a great deal about her beliefs, practices, and the history of her religion. It has come to be handy to have that knowledge and recognize how much the Christian religion has been accommodating and adapting pagan influences throughout the ages and even in recent history.

I know we live in the age of grace, but still...the part that concerns me the most is that I wonder if we use that to rationalize and diminish what would be displeasing to the Lord. How many people fast, pray, and seek the Lord on the issue of Halloween so they know they are following his will and have peace from Him on the issue, rather passing it off lightly as just being harmless fun simply because they will not be wearing the scary costumes.

Anonymous said...

chanting/yelling at houses, throwing tomatoes and scaring & upsetting little girls was what it resulted in here. I've never liked it/celebrated it but when Im forced to try to explain such concepts to a young child who isn't ready to understand...

Ganeida said...

Jillian: I have no *tradition* where this holiday is concerned. Nor do I want one. It makes my skin crawl.

Jan Lyn: Between a rock & a hard place is an uncomfortable place to be. I can *give* on many strange practises but this one just creeps me out.

Seeking: Holiday means Holy Day ~ which Halloween definitely isn't! Grace is no excuse for sin ~ as Paul so clearly states. I wish I was good about recalling book, chapter & verse but I'm not. What I remember is the scripture.

Anon: we need to catch up again. Come for coffee one morning. Bring beano & Little Bean. We'll give them to Ditz to entertain. I'm sorry Beano got scared. They were behaving wickedly out our way too.

Molytail said...

Hmmmm. I can have good friends who carry very different views than my own, so we're good. :-P

Halloween here, to us, isn't anything to do with the ancient whatsits ~ it's just a dress-up party sort of thing, with no attachment to any of whatever it might have been way back. Know what I mean? It's not a 'celebration' of anything, the way that Christmas & Easter are - ie, a celebration connected to faith/worship - and it's not a celebration of respect/remembrance, in the way that Canada Day or Thanksgiving are....

We dress up ~ because it's fun (and the one time of the year that I can wear pigtails and not get weird looks LOL) and silly...we do the trick or treat because it's, again, fun & silly and a community thing. We do crafts like our pumpkins because it's fun & messy..Christopher painted his purple ~ if you want to see him singing & painting, there's a short vid on my blog *grin* ...and we love the salted seeds cooked up after...

I guess I look at it from the POV of view that it's the heart -- the intentions behind what a person is doing -- that tells the truth. If I was out there conducting some sort of ancient worship ceremony on my lawn, or praying to some kind of ancient 'god/goddess/something' while walking the neighbourhood with my owl & baby...then there'd be a problem. A BIG problem, because God sure wouldn't like that!

But we aren't. :-)

We're just being silly in our funny looking costumes (that aren't symbols of anything evil - an owl and two baby girls) and laughing at the decorations that ended up covered with snow here :-P

With all of that said, you *have* given me some things to think about and some stuff that I'd like to look up and read more about.. never let it be said that my mind isn't open to the views of friends or new bits of knowledge.


Molytail said...

I can hear where the notes should be; I just can't make my voice put them there!

That's me!! Cindy will sing me something to try - I listen, my ears hear what she sang...but then I open my mouth to sing the same and something entirely different comes out. She thinks it's hilarious. :-P

MamaOlive said...

Amen sister Ganeida!
Thank you!!! We don't do any "celebrating" either. No amount of sugar coating can make this day appropriate. Bob went out for groceries yesterday evening (I wouldn't let the children go because I knew all the store workers would be dressed up) and when he came home he said there were hordes of people out in the street. Since England doesn't do trick or treating quite like Americans, all the Americans drove in to our neighborhood to pester people. Oy! We kept the doors locked and the shades down, and just did our own thing in the house.
Reading Christian reviews of a Nintendo game, and the characters went through a "Halloween night" but the reviewer said there was nothing scary, and in all the game was fun. I finished that thinking, "When Christians don't think evil is scary..." Lord, help us. He said the day would come when men call evil 'good'.

And you wouldn't believe the grandparents who think it's a child's right to participate in this mess. From what I read, trick-or-treat wasn't widely done in the USA until the 1930's. We survived that long without it, how is it now deprivation to do without?

Ganeida said...

Moly, my love: Notice I didn't put this rant on *your* blog! lol I am funny about many *Christian* practises & symbols just because I do know their origons but I have a particular aversion to stuff meant to creep people out, scare them or encourages bad behaviour. The right for others to have their halloween impinged on our right not to be bothered in our own homes by partiers ~ or in my friend's case, having a small child have the wits scared out of her, or my neighbour having her possessions trashed. You may not do these things [I'm sure you don't] but plenty of others do. I know plenty of my American friends are perfectly comfortable with halloween but it is a festival that has never been part of our tradition until very recently & coming to it with no tradition & no history it freaks me out. I do not find kids dressing up as witches, ghouls, zombies, vampires *fun*. All I can think is what they represent & the sort of places those things would be found & my whole soul revolts.

MamaO: I know we don't always see eye to eye but on this one I think we're twin souls.

Wot? No baby yet?

seekingmyLord said...

Halloween seems to be very controversial among Christians, causing dissension and division. What does that say about it?

For me, that is reason enough see the evil that surrounds it and purposely err on the side of caution. Paul warn us not to do things that would make our Christian brothers and sisters stumble. For me, that is not just about mimicking the behavior or custom, but to practice something that would cause strife between Christians. There is too much going against what would be pleasing to my Lord to Halloween to make it "fun" for me.

As to dressing up and having treats and parties or visiting a neighbor to give a special treat or gift, I don't need Halloween to do these things; these are just the things we do.

Ganeida said...

Seeking: The *sensitives* in my house were deeply disturbed by the *spiritual residue* left by the trick~or~treaters. I have logical reasons for disliking halloween but my first reaction is an instinctive gut re~action. I am deeply disturbed that Australians seem to be buying into this more & more each year. Apart from anything else it is just another way to part people from their hard earned cash.

Molytail said...

You can rant on my blog if you like! :-P

You're right, we don't do things like that ~ and I'd be quite put out if anyone did it to us. A good natured scaring, I can deal with - meaning, if an adult friend wants to play a sneaky prank on me, bring it. I don't scare easily ~ I'm the ride junkie, remember? LOL ~ and I'll get them back, but scaring small kiddos or trashing people's property = fail.

it is a festival that has never been part of our tradition until very recently & coming to it with no tradition & no history it freaks me out.

I think that might be a part of how we view it differently -- in my life, it's just a fun dress up thing, cute costumes and candy...

Ha, you know what I just thought of? I know what to compare it to now -- I wasn't raised Christian, my folks were(are) Atheists.. yet, we still had Christmas. Christmas, for us, as kids, was NOT about celebrating the birth of Jesus - it was not about any kind of honour or worship or anything of the sort.. it was just a fun day with presents and a fat guy in a red suit.

Christmas is different for me now, as a Christian, but *that* is the sort of thing that Halloween is for us.. it's just a day of candy and plastic and facepaint -- it's as removed from any kind of older stuff as Christmas was for us as kids..

Does that make any sense? Ha, sometimes I don't get my words to settle down and play well with each other. :-P

{Though you have me curious about the 'spiritual residue' ... if you're willing to explain more, I'd love to understand. If not, that's fine too - I don't always want to talk about things.. despite how my replies may seem here LOL)

Ganeida said...

Moly: Have you ever walked into a church & *felt* the atmosphere of prayer that it is enmeshed in? That's sort of what I mean by *spiritual residue*... only this was ugly. Like a bad smell that lingers after the corpse has been removed. Not sure really how to explain it. We don't always pick up on it. Sometimes one person will & no~one else. This time Dearest, Ditz & I were all affected but none of us likes this stuff either.

I know what you mean but as I said, I know some weird stuff & it affects how I approach certain things. I *know* the origon of halloween & nothing can Christianise it in my view. I know the meaning of the symbols & rituals & I don't view them as harmless fun because there is power in these things ~ which is why God said not to dabble in them. However I am not your conscience & if you are right with God it is really none of my business.

Mrs. C said...

I celebrated Halloween as a child in the US and no longer celebrate it now. Most people think of it as Moly does and I am not reluctant to say hello and give a kid a piece of candy if she comes to my door. It isn't worth a big doctrinal fight with a four-year-old because I disagree with her dad, yk?

That being said, I do not put the light on for trick-or-treating time. I don't encourage lots of treaters with really good candy. I give out crummy stuff... just enough to meet social obligations. I used to be a real downer and pass out tracts, too, but I didn't this year.

Ganeida said...

As you would know we never had kids going round trick or treating. I don't know why they do it now. No~one has candy on hand for them??? This year's lot was lucky I was sick or they'd have got the lecture I posted here. lol

seekingmyLord said...

I added more fuel to the fire:

alecat said...

We've not participated in Halloween, but unfortunately been 'victims' with eggs thrown on the windows, or bricks thrown over the back fence.
The past few years have been a quieter time where we go away to visit my m-i-l on the south coast. It was quiet there, every year but this year. Even Ma was surprised that children were allowed to wander around at 10.30pm asking for treats, possibly meeting all sorts of strangers who only come down to holiday (it's Melbourne Cup weekend, so most have time off work).