Posts filed under ‘religion’

April 3rd – Trilogy Trigger- Chris Ritchey

Chris Ritchey- CIA

This past month has been particularly  difficult, losing my  dear friend Paula to  the obscenity  that is cancer, the  “hell is other people” neighbors with  their  form of obscenity  invading  what little space we have. It is what is called “life” for want of a description.  As another departed friend used to  say   “everyone has a story”  and yet another ” there is no  laughter in hell”, but then again you  would have to  believe in a heaven if you  believe in hell.

Easter was this past weekend , another holiday  I  hypocritically  celebrate for the sake of loved ones and friends . I have pointed out my  views and Easter/Eastre has been noted – another pagan holiday  utilized, blended, absorbed  and  morphed for convenience sake of whatever was the popular faith  at the time  https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/ahhhhhh-easter-eastre-resurrecting-memories-eggs-and-crabs/

To  me all religion is another man’s myth dressed up  for the masses of whatever century  of which  you  happen to  be a part.

Irony, not to  be  outdone this year,  the weekend found Gavin’s 9th  birthday  and your Dad’s and Easter  all  falling together.

 

You  Dad born on another Easter Sunday  on the top of the kitchen table ( so the story  goes) let alone being April  Fool’s Day.

Triple play in memories flooded in- other Easters with  Papa Teddy  and Auntie Gladys coming down  from Canada especially  at Easter and Thanksgiving , they really  were the closest thing to  grandparents. Such  love , such  beautiful people. Your first Easter , you  decided to   crawl and Papa Teddy  spent the whole time steering you  away  from the fireplace hearth, fascinated even then by  flames.

Memories of you  being taken to  that “terrible to  me now” church  St. Mary’s  Lorain  https://www.parishesonline.com/find/st-mary-catholic-church-44052          by  your godparents on Easter Sunday .  Well…..up  until the time you  “shot the priest” with  a pretend gun and  something religious spilled  as someone in the procession jumped and there was such  a kafuffle apparently. I know you  were never again taken to  Easter Sunday  services there.

To  think that church  would play such  havoc in our lives bringing such anger and unkindness – due to  you  walking down that same aisle   and the taking of any  closure, denying our beliefs  by  your  controlling “in law family”( Lombardi/ Vika and offspring) and the “bride” Angela Lombardi ( Ritchey) now Murphy


not to  mention “their priest” Divis –

Sharing a laugh – but on whom?

 

There should have been overload in the confessional, one  would think,  although forgiveness is far from my  heart. Ah! what meaning in this life today of  a ‘mother’s curse” in days of myth and legend  a powerful instrument met now with  the word Karma??? Karma  borrowed once more from an even older religion…. I  wait ………

Gavin’s “birthday” or day  of his birth – hoping against hope as you  lay  in that terrible  Cleveland Clinic-  the lab rat- being made to  clinically  die to  “save you”.   I had to  leave you  that night  to  be with  your sister  as a new life came into  the world……….. torn once more………

Your Dad’s birthday – the years of playing pranks not just because it was April fools day but because your loved your jokes. The time you  took out an ad in the paper  selling the house .  Yes! all memories , uninvited guests along with  the ham,  steaks,  tulips and a missing space at the table.

And yet  laughter and smiles, little boys and a girl  looking for surprises, barely  able to  sit still as the grown-ups  took forever to  eat. Tales of other memories , other traditions  , pastel eggs mixed in with  camouflage eggs, a grandfather and his grandsons  sharing a moment  to  remember.

Yes all intertwined showing the colors and also  the greyness of what we have become – I love you – we all do……..

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April 3, 2018 at 11:29 am 1 comment

Oct. 3rd – the NON Viking funeral – Chris Ritchey

My mood has not changed, nothing seems to rouse me from my lethargic state of mind , not the ongoing hurricanes, the issues with Lorain, happiness when having one of my favourite people in the world visit- at least there was at last some laughter.

I have been Roku jumping from one channel to another from histories to murders and the ongoing documentaries of “end of life rituals” from around the world.

End of Life rituals- those rituals to give the dead their honor and due and supposedly give those that mourn some comfort and an outlet for their grief. Those were denied to your family by Tim and Sue Lombardi and their collective family , their daughter Angela of the do over Chris and wedding ritual, the Vyka, Gott, Zaworski, and Gonzales and even the “man of God- Father Daniel Divas . They took any honoring of your name Ritchey and any of our end of life ritual away from your family.https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/a-memory-of-vipers-chris-ritchey/

They could not take everything though from your aged grandmother , your father , sister, nephew and brother in law. As I was told of Angela’s ( a complete misnomer in that name in my opinion ) decision to withhold you from us and to take you that burying place- not of your faith and a place so intensely disliked by you (after experiencing their ritual of one of their own at that cemetery) and denying the time and place or knowledge of their rites to us . I knew that at least we had to try and I had to try to give to you what I could – to send your body from this dimension with love. Did those cretins of the cremains honestly believe I would let you go without honoring you and being involved in your goodbye? You were and are MY son I gave you life , I loved you in life , in death and now.

As I read the words of denial penned by your “bride” – I remembered the Viking ship. The ship you had to make for a class at LCCC- the brief- a piece of work made with all natural materials sourced from your home – you sat and carved and cut from a log from the wood pile, tree branches from your tree planted as a child, a piece of deer skin found in the garage and scraped down for the sail and finally burning not painting the decoration to add to the dimension.

I knew that Viking Ship which I carried around to college visits when you were transferring from LCCC was the closest thing I could do to give to you to honor the bravery of your fight against that disgusting disease. Your Nana called you her Viking and you were a warrior, so brave, hiding from us your pain. Something to show our love as well- the little England bear purchased from Harrods by you for me when you were returning from soccer in Manchester. I carried that little bear with me in those first dreadful days after you died whilst meanness , selfishness and grief fragmented us beyond all being . It was still damp from my tears.

So as your last journey took you into the flames we did our best to honor you , love you and negate the poison and irreverence shown by others, the items of love from us all- those denied – were with you ……. we still miss you every day and love you more than ever…….

October 2, 2017 at 9:58 pm 2 comments

The parallel world- lights bright- Christmas of White

whiteres
Another Christmas – it came anyway- no matter my world fell apart just days previous to its arrival. I could actually relate to Scrooge and his quote

“If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.” Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol

The lights decorating the houses blurred through tears, were wished away. No Christmas cards were opened as they lay on the mat intermingled with sympathy cards- my mother became the keeper of the cards . I wished the merriment over, I wished it all to go away. I had lost hope , my son, my belief in kindness in death (thanks to Tim and Sue Lombardi, their daughter and their “priest” , their “will of control”- that wickedness not forgiven.

angsuecol

What faith I had was taken with his Chris’ last breath and as I saw the faces of his church- going holier than thou in-laws , the look on his brides face, no grief there just a relief there would be no long term dealing with his illness. The haunting of a Christmas past not forgotten as lights twinkle and candles burn.

And yet Christmas comes again and again and once more I am caught up in its intrusiveness . I still “visit” Christmas – how do you deny the children, my grand children, their excitement, their belief in goodness , the love for all the trappings- they refuse to “tone down” Christmas. Christmas for them explodes with laughter and happiness- as it should be.

Nanacol2012
Christmas has been “managed in this house” – no tree adorns the living room, my mother sends and receives cards decorated her Christmas grotto in her little living room. Gone are the Christmas Past, Christmas present but the world of children’s wonder is visited.

Still the cry – Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, fought over as to the “greeting- the dogma of belief that your “holiday of religion” is the “real one” and Christian or not you should be caught up in Merry Christmas continues to wreak havoc around the world. .

I shop for little ones on line- and venture out only to get my daughter her special present , the children will receive their over the top present from Chris- the “Chris-miss- present”

On this latest trip to “holiday” as I waited in the line of ” holiday traffic” the radio started playing the “holiday happy music” as I reached to turn it off I realized this wasn’t one I had heard before ( maybe I had and had just forgotten). The song fitted my mood. I listened for a bit then traffic and horns of a different kind were blaring. I came home and went to the computer pulled up the song ( now forty years old )- another decade indeed another century – Vietnam- the Middle East the death and dying continuing. The song topped the UK charts – maybe it didn’t get played here in Lorain – it was controversial- this “Christmas Song” was one that struck home .

“I Believe in Father Christmas” is a song by English musician Greg Lake with lyrics by Peter Sinfield. Although it is often categorized as a Christmas song, this was not Lake’s intention. He said that he wrote the song in protest at the commercialization of Christmas. Sinfield, however, said that the words are about a loss of innocence and childhood belief. Released in 1975, the song reached number two on the UK Singles Chart.

They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin’s birth
I remember one Christmas morning
A winters light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire

They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a silent night
And they told me a fairy story
’till I believed in the Israelite
And I believed in father Christmas
And I looked to the sky with excited eyes
’till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise…………………

And so another Christmas comes and the questions linger along with the pain…..

December 21, 2016 at 9:37 pm 6 comments

December 3rd- End of Days- Chris Ritchey

croppedbreath
I haven’t had the strength of will to write this blog since November 11th. I use this place as therapy, as a way of documenting the rights and wrongs , the history of the place on the planet I find myself on any given day. There are over 60 categories and nearly 1,500 posts since I began in 2008. There are 59 draft posts in waiting….. but I am spent. It will take everything I have to write this post – not to do so would be “giving -up” in my world fraught with conflict.

I am not alone in the terrible place losing one’s son to cancer – watching hourly as life slipped away – the dying days – scared to sleep , scared to leave your son’s side just plain terrified of that day you know is coming when his strength gives out, fighting back those thoughts and ignoring your own eyes as you wait in the hope…. . Helpless as “so called” medical professionals in a teaching hospital used your son as a lab rat, the distancing from reality.
crop2chris
Then the terrible aftermath – the walking zombie like for days- your brain fighting against reality, not knowing how to function in the world you find yourself – your body trying to recover from the days of hopelessness, the anger toward those that in their selfishness and hypocrisy took away dignity, compassion in their need to control.

Pleased that you have more of your life behind you than in front of you – believing in your heart of hearts you will not survive for more than a few days the terrible gutting pain of grief- how could anyone bear this agony for any length of time ? Grief is a terminal disease of the heart and mind but with any chronic disease one finds ways to deal – some medicate, some use their faith as crutches, some choose counselling , some just exist and wait, some write……..

I have managed to get through your dying days for 5 years- the tricks of the grief trade coming to my aid when in public, the knowing where triggers lay, the avoidance of anyone or anything that can bring me crashing to my knees at any given moment . You deal with the grief of being, crippled , unsure still questioning. You survive the daily onslaught and live your life, not as imagined, but as it is.

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey


Maybe it is because for the first time the days match up with the dates of your end of days– Chris. Starting with Nov 11th – the days leading up to that Thursday of Thanksgiving when a Dr. found me alone in the waiting room to tell me you were dying- the hope on the Friday as the nurse told me

she had no such information and she would have been informed- back to hope

– the dreadfully ignorant people who flocked into that waiting room with their recipes, food and cackle. Looking to your father for strength, he , who was as helpless as I . The knowing I couldn’t physically keep up the vigil I had been keeping by your bedside for the two weeks – the sound of the vent- they visit me waking and sleeping.

Has this change to the cycle added more to my pain and remembering? I do know this year is the hardest yet and unbearable resurgence of the pain of being. . Those first weeks there was the anesthetic of “disbelief” this was happening . , the hope that I would wake from the nightmare and an anger that kept me upright.

Could it be that this “real world” where religious beliefs, differing across the planet, causing more mothers to weep , the zealots crying out once more – “test their beliefs before we show kindness and compassion”

christleadsarmysmall
In a spell-binding speech before a crowd of French knights, Urban exhorted his adherents to win back “the land of milk and honey” and avenge the Turkish atrocities allegedly perpetrated against their fellow Christians. He cited several of the gory details sent to him by Alexius Comnenus and ended by bidding them fight “for the remission of your sins, with the assurance of imperishable glory.” No matter his actual words, “Kill Moslems indiscriminately!” is what the crowd understood him to say and chanted back Deus le vult! Deus le vult!” (“God wills it! God wills it!”)
http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/1320Hist&Civ/chapters/15CRUSAD.htm

http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/holocaust/about/01/persecution.asp

four men armed with assault rifles and shouting “Allahu akbar” (“God is great!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/12015522/Manhunt-for-Salah-Abdeslam-as-Brussels-reopens-after-Paris-attacks-lockdown-Wednesday-live.html

““You’re a Christian – I mean, you can prove you’re a Christian,” he said. “You can’t prove it, then, you know, you err on the side of caution.”
http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/jeb-bush-would-back-refugees-who-prove-theyre-christian

Have these cries of intolerance, the platitudes spewed in the media and social media brought home the ignorance and hurt caused to your family by those that pray and prey.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/dec-4th-how-cold-is-cold-lombardi/
Those who preach and ignore basic doctrine of human kind. Could it be it has played a part these many “end of days” .
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/ignorestance-and-the-roman-catholic-church-part-4/

MASK MIST

What I do know is that for some reason I am “remembering ” hours and happenings that I had pushed into the deepest part of me, they are surfacing and with them the rawness of the time. Could it be I am more able to deal with these memories now, does my body and brain think I am stronger now- it is time for me to “deal” with them as they surface or is it that I am worn so thin in my defenses I can no longer hold them back?

Reaching out in the months after my son’s death, I found others of my ilk and I have borrowed words from one who articulates the grief from a place of knowing… a mother’s knowing …..

” the real horror of this “grief process”…It is not a process at all–it is a state of being; it only looms larger, more all consuming as time passes–not the reverse as we are led (told) to believe. The emptiness more glaring, the loneliness more overwhelming. Who could ever understand the way this nightmare grows and covers everything? Who could even admit this? “

Depths of Despair by  Chris Ritchey

Depths of Despair by Chris Ritchey


I have only been able to write this post in stages, tears blur the keyboard and the screen , I can only hold my breath so long before the welling in my heart is unbearable and the body goes into “save mode” I need to gather strength from your sister and nephews in order to write. I need to see the laughter, the innocence and tangible love that remains…

I love you and miss you Chris with all my broken heart and body……..

chrismeresglow1

December 3, 2015 at 12:33 pm 3 comments

Beltane -Angel feathers – fairy folk – and me

Green Man earth element

Green Man earth element

This evening is Beltane and many fire festivals across Europe, Ireland and Great Britain will herald its arrival.

At twilight, on Beltane Eve, fairy folk and magic abound, the veil between realms is thinnest now because the seasons are changing, the energies of nature are rising and with them the mysteries of new life approaching.
Beware then that the Fairy Queen doesn’t steal you away for an eternity outside time in her court sublime, and if you are spared – then welcome the May and enter the Summerlands the very next day. Celestial Elf http://celestialelfdanceoflife.blogspot.com/

I have tried and tried to remember when I first learned about fairies, it seems I knew about them before I could remember. My mum isn’t and wasn’t into fairies, I remember both grandmothers and their stories . The one, Nanny Bunyan was all romance with highway man and injustice in her poems to me as a child- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/my-gift-for-your-december-graces-fur-coat/
lordad
I can remember back to before I was three. My Nanny Hines was all gentle and loving but her stories were about family. So who told me about fairy folk ? There were so many days playing in the rockery at the end of our garden looking for fairies, fairy rings and building little houses for them. But I have no idea where my belief in the fairies came from- I just did believe in them with all my little innocent and child’s heart.

A few days ago one of the face book people put up the following picture with the caption ” Share if you believe”( the angel overseeing the rescue) As I looked at the picture ( and what I believe having had some experience is a photo shop sort of thing) I nearly wrote
angelwi

” Yes I believe in fairies”

I then realized the person sharing obviously did believe and who was I to make a sarcastic and unwarranted remark about what they believed to be true. My wondering mind then went to angel wings and feathers- no longer the child- I wondered why are angels usually depicted as having great bird wings with feathers .

angel collage

I know I am not blessed with an original thought- so I googled –why are angels depicted with feathers? Of course the answers made sense logically speaking :

1. Because when the Bible was written ( apparently the Bible as we know never said angels have wings man decided that ) that was the only way the writers could signify how angels traveled from one place to the other. The Bible was written so that most people could visualize the characters and how they operated.
2. In the space of little more than two centuries (from the 3rd to the 5th) the image of angels took on definite characteristics both in theology and in art -during that era paintings of angels were given wings to differentiate them from humans.

So after reading a much of a muchness to answer my question about angel feathers. Logically the reasoning angels are encumbered with great feathery appendages to their backs is because man needed to explain how angels flew or travelled and their only example of flying things were the birds, and their feathers hence feathers. After all butterfly- like wings would hardly hold up a man or woman those were saved for the fairies.

free-fairy-art-4-tn
And here I am again trying to find logic where there is none -except since feathery angel wings are man’s depiction it makes sense that photos of angels with wings hovering over an accident scene is also “man’s depiction”.

Ah beliefs, all entwined with stories that made sense in the man’s need for religion how many Catholics ( meaning the all-encompassing Christian beliefs” or those of Jewish face have used the word Karma in their everyday life and that comes from the oldest ( still practiced) religion today – Hinduism – http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/04/25/9-myths-about-hinduism-debunked/
Each of us has beliefs that are intertwined with other religions , our perception of angels not questioned and who is to say there aren’t fairies at the bottom of the garden , playing in the waterfalls – but one thing I know for sure there is something beyond our child like knowledge of this thing we call “life” and there are “no wings attached ” 😉
nikmiscelticso

April 30, 2015 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

March 3rd- Earth Spring – Chris Ritchey

chrisdafThese days of winter still linger outside the den window- snow still falling in March. The ground frozen- unyielding and yet below a small little bulb struggles to break through the hard coldness surrounding it. The energy within fights the blackness to reach the surface. Soon the snows will melt in a warming sun turning ice to life, giving moisture, warming the dormant earth until at last the bulb senses a release from the prison. Tentatively, it will send out a small shoot to search for the sunlight- pushing through undaunted and finally celebrating its freedom with a glory of fragrance, colours reflective of passion and hope.

I wish my life was like that – it isn’t- the bulb has more of a chance than I. My world is still dark and frozen. The questions rage on in my mind- WHY? Why is my beautiful son locked in that terrible place- thanks to others.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/december-11th-the-beginning-of-the-beginning/

He had no chance to see the coming spring.

Why?? rings through the bleakness – why if there is as supreme being , whatever the beliefs does he/she allow the horrors perpetrated in their names and yet daily those of light and laughter die? Why???
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/helpless-in-barbarity-fiend-feind-or-friend-2015/

chrsnow
I don’t know of any answer! I have been reminded of those things this week and your last days. The mask, I had to wear when in your ICU room, caused an allergic reaction under my nose and around my mouth. It took many days for it to heal properly after you died. The scar is there, unseen for the most-part but every so often with a cold virus it will flair. It did this week, from a distance it could be mistaken for a “Hitler moustache. Another subhuman- Roman Catholic altar boy who visited such horror upon mankind.
http://www.seawaves.us/na/web4/concordat.html

WHY?

And yet there is a beauty in this grief so profound as to sap the energy of life and laughter – it is the love that your Nana, Dad and sister still feel – not diminishing- as the world turns once more around the sun – one day I will know the answers ……. as will we all in the meantime I will put my faith in the earth , the sky , the sun and rain to bring forth life………. boost

March 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm 1 comment

Samhain – All Hallows Eve – a reprise

Celebrate Samhain 🙂 thanks to CelestialElff

Sue Lombardi witch

Last week found me pondering the narcissism of one’s beliefs being the paramount “belief” to be foisted upon others. Quite frankly I try to be very respectful of another person’s belief especially if they aren’t mirroring my own. I know what it is like to have one’s beliefs trampled upon , I have been devastated by the control of one group in negating my beliefs when it concerned the death of my son. ( Might does not make Right!) . I would not knowingly inflict that pain on anyone .
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/ignore-stance-and-the-roman-catholic-church-part-three/

It is a long story( as to the email received) and the person who had the idea the majority in the community would certainly agree because hey! aren’t we all Christian and Roman Catholic in Lorain They meant well and they have a good good heart. But once again there is a narcissistic naivety in assuming ALL in this community have the same beliefs just because you are a part of the “majority!. I am sure my email to them stating I had to disagree and that I don’t believe as they do and would have to come out against their proposal came as a bit of a shock.

Photo Lisa Miller Lorain 365 Blog

Photo Lisa Miller Lorain 365 Blog

As I watched Zombies walk in Lorain

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.531496826936192.1073741848.476252369127305&type=3 “bloody and yukky” and the enjoyment of the undead as they danced along celebrating “death” gearing up for Hallowe’en and the retail pushing of ghosts , goblins and witches. As I was taking that on board and Christianity and the “holi DAYS” and their meanings I decided to go on a journey of my own. There is a sanctimonious piety that happens here as to ones beliefs being the “ONLY” true belief. Let us go back in time to other rituals of other beliefs …….

Everything has a beginning somewhere even religious beliefs and some are a great deal older than the “recognized religions” in this part of the world!.
world-religion-symbols-thumb8129331-300x300

300th to 51st millennium BCE
223,000 – 100,000 BCE
The earliest evidence of Hominids, such as Neanderthals[2][3] and even Homo heidelbergensis,[3][4] deliberately disposing of deceased individuals usually in funerary caches. The graves, located throughout Eurasia (e.g. the Pontnewydd Cave, Atapuerca Mountains, Qafzeh, Es Skhul, Krapina),[3] are believed to represent the beginnings of ceremonial rites, although there is some debate about this.[5] Neanderthals placed their deceased in simple graves with little or no concern for grave goods or markers; however, their graves occasionally appeared with limestone blocks in or on them, possibly an archaic form of grave marking.[3] These practices were possibly the result of empathetic feelings towards fellow tribespeople, for example: an infant buried in the Dederiyeh Cave after its joints had disarticulated was placed with concern for the correct anatomical arrangement of its body parts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religion

We have to fast forward through thousands and thousands of years and about 87 thousand years later than that first evidence and over three thousand years before Christianity there were a groups of people – pagans – some call them :)but only since the 14th century wonder what they were called before that?

Green Man earth element

Green Man earth element

Pagans
Middle English, from Late Latin paganus, from Latin, civilian, country dweller, from pagus country district; akin to Latin pangere to fix — more at pact
First Known Use: 14th century heathen 1; especially : a follower of a polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome) one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods : an irreligious or hedonistic person

Druids – who celebrated October 31st as summers end.


http://www.albany.edu/~dp1252/isp523/halloween.html

Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) means “summer’s end” by the Celts. In old Germanic and Celtic societies, what we call equinoxes and solstices marked the middles of the season, not the beginnings.” Therefore if there exist an autumnal equinox, winter solstice, spring equinox and a summer solstice, there are also the beginning of autumn, winter, spring and summer. All of these eight dates were important. Summer’s end which meant the beginning of winter was an important time for people who survived on plants grown in the field and animals that were kept in pastures. “This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death” It is most likely this reason that the Druids (Celtic pagans) believed that the spirits of those who died the preceding year roamed the earth the night of Samhain

am_Druid cutting the Mistletoe mid C19th engvg

The Druids celebrated this holiday “with a great fire festival to encourage the dimming Sun not to vanish” and people “danced round bonfires to keep evil spirits away, but left their doors open in hopes that the kind spirits of loved ones might join them around their hearths”.
On this night, “divination was thought to be more effective than any other time, so methods were derived to ascertain who might marry, what great person might be born, who might rise to prominence, or who might die”.

Also during the celebration, the Celts “wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes”. Crops were burned and animals were sacrificed The spirits were believed to be either “entertained by the living”, or to “find a body to possess for the incoming year”. This all gives reasons as to why “dressing up like witches, ghosts and goblins, villagers could avoid being possessed.” (Navarro )
Roman Influence
By 43 AD, “Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory.” For the 400 years they occupied Celtic lands, two Roman festivals: Feralia (the commemoration of the passing of the dead) and a day to honor Pomona (the Roman goddess of fruits and trees). The apple served as a symbol for Pomona and which might have been incorporated into Samhain by the practice of “bobbing for apples”

Christian Influence
When “local people converted to Christianity during the early Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church often incorporated modified versions of older religious traditions in order to win converts.
Pope_Gregory_IV

” Pope Gregory IV wanted to substitute Samhain with All Saints’ Day in 835, but All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2nd) which is closer in resemblance to Samhain and Halloween today, was “first instituted at a French monastery in 998 and quickly spread throughout Europe” (MSN Learning & Research- Halloween).

In the 16th century, “Christian village children celebrated the vigil of All Saints’ by doing the Danse Macabre. The Seven Brethren whose grizzly death is described in the seventh chapter of the deuterocanonical book of Second Macabees” is also said to have resulted in children dressing up in grizzly costumes to signify these deaths.

So “which came first the “witch” or the priest, the goblins or gods, and what pagan holiday are you celebrating- the trick or the treat………….

October 30, 2014 at 12:59 pm 1 comment

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