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Article Specs

VxAcct: 230739

Article ID: 4740

Section: whs

Age Group: Adult

Posted: October 7th. 2002

Views: 10196

Myth Makers [2]

by Kerr Cuhulain

Because Beltaine, a Celtic festival, traditionally occurs on April 30, some people today use the term Walpurgis to describe it. The association of witches with Walpurgis eventually led to the belief that Walpurgis was a Satanic holiday. For example, Anton LaVey names Walpurgis as one of the Satanic festivals in his Satanic Bible. That is one of the reasons that Frattarola probably has created a week long Satanic festival around this date. I will discuss another reason later in this article.

"Corpus De Baahl" is a Latin phrase meaning "body of Baahl." This is probably a reference to the mythical entity Baal that we have encountered elsewhere in this series and is probably meant as a corruption of "Corpus Christi" ("body of Christ").

The term "Da Muer," which appears twice in this calendar, is probably derived from the Cornish "Da" ("good") and "Vuer"/"Muer" ("large" or "great"). It seems to be a reference to the Great Rite in British traditions of Wicca. Of course these Great Rites are neither orgies nor sacrificial rites.

  • "DATE: June 21, CELEBRATION: Feast Day (Summer Solstice), TYPE: Orgies, USAGE: Oral, Anal, Vaginal, AGE: Any age (male or female, human or animal."(15)

NOTE: This is indeed the Summer Solstice, but none of the rest of the activities described by this calendar will be familiar to Pagans. Wiccans call the Solstice Litha or Alban Heruin. This is a "Lesser Sabbat" in the Wiccan calendar. It was originally a Saxon celebration incorporated into the Wiccan calendar as a celebration of the first fruits of the season. In some traditions, this day is celebrated as the Sacred Marriage of the Goddess and God. In others it is celebrated as the victory of the Lord of the waning year over the Lord of the Waxing year, to mark the point from which the days will shorten. None of these celebrations require orgies.

  • "DATE: July 1, CELEBRATION: Demon Revels, TYPE: Blood, USAGE: Druids sexual association with demons, AGE: Any age (female)."(16)

NOTE: I have been unable to find any religious group, including the Druids, who celebrate anything on July 1. July 1 is Canada Day. Perhaps Frattarola is suggesting that Canadians are Satanic?

  • "DATE: Aug. 3, CELEBRATION: Satanic Revels, TYPE: Sexual, USAGE: Oral, Anal, Vaginal, AGE: 7-17 (female)."(17)
  • "DATE: Sept. 7, CELEBRATION: Marriage to the Beast Satan, TYPE: Sexual, USAGE: Sacrifice, Dismemberment, AGE: Infant to 21 (female)."(18)

NOTE: These last two entries, August 3 and September 7, are days which no religious group seems to claim for a festival, including Pagans.

  • "DATE: Sept. 20, CELEBRATION: Midnight Host, TYPE: Blood, USAGE: Dismemberment (hands planted), AGE: Infant to 21 (female)."(19)
  • "DATE: Sept. 22, CELEBRATION: Feast Day (Fall Equinox), TYPE: Orgies, USAGE: Oral, Anal, Vaginal, AGE: Any age (male or female, human or animal)."(20)

NOTE: These last two entries are certainly related to the Fall Equinox. Wiccans call this day Mabon, after the Celtic deity Mabon, son of Modron ("mother"), who is mentioned in the story of Culhwch and Olwen. His name translates simply as "son". It is also known as Alban Elved. Mabon is a "Lesser Sabbat" which is the third and last harvest festival of the Wiccan calendar. It is a time of thanksgiving for the bounty of the earth which will sustain the people through the Winter. Pagans do not have orgies or dismember people on this or any other date.

  • "DATE: Oct. 29- Nov. 1, CELEBRATION: All Hallow Eve (Halloween), TYPE: Blood, Sexual, USAGE: Sexual climax association with the demons, AGE: Any age (male or female)."(21)

NOTE: A lot of the nonsense circulated about Satanism is based on Halloween customs, so I'm going to digress for a moment to examine them. Modern Halloween customs are derived from the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced "sow-in"). This is the Celtic New Year's Eve and was celebrated from sunset on October 31 to sunset on 1 November. The Welsh call it Calan Gaef or Nos Galan Gaeof and it is still celebrated today as Halloween, All Hallows Eve or Hallowmas.

Samhain was the end of the summer season and the beginning of the winter season for the Celts. To the Celts Samhain was the turning of the year, a time at which the barriers between the worlds of life and death were believed to be as thin as veils. For this reason it was believed that spirits of the departed could return, to be welcomed by their kin and celebrate with them. It was a time to honour those who have gone before us, not to fear them. It was also a time of truce for the Celtic tribes, when councils were held, legal judgements passed and agreements made.

Samhain is one of the two great fire festivals of the Celtic peoples, the other being Beltaine. Bonfires were lit all over Britain at Samhain. In many parts of Britain these fires were known as "Teanlas", "Teanlay", "Tindles" or "Tandles." Farmers would carry aloft pitch forks of flaming straw, burning splinters or smouldering faggots from these fires and carry them around the fields to bless them.

Samhain also marks the rising of the constellation of the Pleiades, which is to be found in the constellation Taurus. The setting and rising of the Pleiades are festivals celebrated in diverse cultures all around the world, marking the beginning and ending of the fishing and hunting seasons.

An ancient custom still practised in Ireland and Scotland is guising, the forerunner of the current "Trick or Treat" custom in North America. A procession of horn-blowing youths went from house to house fantastically dressed, collecting money or gifts of food. A related custom was "Hodening" of "Hoodening." A man would bear a horse's skull (or wooden horse's head) on a pole. The jaws of the horse's head were often wired and made to snap open and shut. Some of these horse skulls had candles inside them to cast an eerie light. The man bearing the skull covered himself with a stable blanket or sheet. This "Hooden Horse" would go from house to house accompanied by "soulers" who sang traditional seasonal songs.(22) The horse is, as I mentioned above, a symbol of Celtic Goddesses like Epona and Rhiannon. Often the soulers were children, who would sing their ancient souling-songs from door to door in return for gifts or food. In some places special cakes called "Soul cakes", "Saumas cakes", "Soulmas cakes", "Dole cakes" or "Dirge Loaves" were traditionally handed out to soulers. A traditional Shropshire souler's song goes like this:

"Soul! Soul! for a soul-cake!
I pray you, good missis, a soul-cake!
An apple, a pear, a plum or a cherry,
Or any good thing to make us all merry.
One for Peter, two for Paul
Three for Them who made us all.
Up with the kettle and down with the pan.
Give us good alms, and we'll be gone"(23).

Another, from Staffordshire, goes like this:

"Soul Day! Soul Day!
We've been praying for the souls departed;
So pray, good people, give us a cake,
For we are all poor people, well known to you before,
So give us a cake for charity's sake,
And our blessing we'll leave at your door"(24).

The modern "Jack O Lantern" has a long history. One of the colloquial names for Halloween in Sommerset is "Punkie Night." It got this name from the "punkies" or candle lanterns which the children would make from hollowed out gourds such as mangold-wurzels. In other places turnips or cabbage stalks (called in Scotland a "custock") were used to make lanterns. The children did not necessarily carve faces into them: Punkies were often carved with elaborate designs of animals, flowers, etc. A candle was put inside and a cord run through the top to provide a handle. The children would go from door to door begging candles for their punkies, singing:

"Its Punkie Night tonight.
Give us a candle, give us a light,
If you don't, you'll get a fright.

"Its Punkie Night tonight.
Adam and Eve, they'd never believe
Its Punkie Night tonight."(25)

The flame in each of the punkies represented the spirits of the departed that are remembered on Samhain. Lighting candles in remembrance is an old Samhain custom. All over Europe it was customary on Samhain to leave lighted candles in the windows to guide the spirits of departed relatives back to visit their living kin.

Sometimes candles were lit for the living, as a form of divination. In North Lancashire a ceremony of "Lating the Witches" takes place, where people light candles and carry them over the hills between 11 PM and midnight. If the candle remained lit then the person that it had been lit for was safe for the coming year, but if it went out, misfortune might be expected.

Another custom is the placing of twelve candles in a ring on the floor. People would jump the candles in turn, each candle representing a month of the year. If one went out when a person jumped over it, this meant that misfortune would befall that person in that month.

In Ireland and Brittany, food and drink was set out for the spirits of the departed. This was often referred to as the "Dumb Supper". Soul cakes may have originally been the food that was offered. Modern Wiccans often observe Samhain by serving a feast called a "Dumb Supper" at which strict silence is observed. A place is set at the table for the spirits.

A related custom involved the belief that all of the crops had to be harvested before Samhain. Anything left in the fields after Samhain was considered to be either blasted by the Puca or to be the property of the Puca. Since "Puca" is a term which is not found in ancient Celtic mythology and is probably a more recent import from the Danish invaders (who called them Puki), this is probably a more recent custom.

In the 7th century CE the Church established a Feast of All Saints, which was originally celebrated on May 13. It was moved to November 1st in 835 CE, to coincide with the festival of Samhain and probably with the purpose of giving the people a new reason to celebrate Samhain, a reason more palatable to the Church. In 988 CE the festival was expanded to November 2 in order to include a commemoration of the dead, which was called "All Soul's Eve" or "All Hallows Eve." This was later shortened to "Hallows Eve" and ultimately to the modern name "Hallowe'en" in Scotland in 1745.(26)

Nowadays, in North America, fireworks are also associated with Halloween. This was a custom of the British "Guy Fawke's Day" celebrations, commemorating the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the English Parliament Buildings, which is celebrated on November 5. It may have been included in the Halloween celebrations in North America by immigrants who no longer lived in a country that celebrates Guy Fawke's day but wished to continue the custom. The fireworks also seem to fit in with the fire festival theme of this holiday.

To return to America's Best Kept Secret's "Satanic Ritual Calendar": From the above description of Halloween customs you can easily see where the ideas about spirits or demons being about on this date came from. But it is anybody's guess what Passport Magazine's calendar entry for this date is supposed to mean. At any rate, while the Satanists have adopted this as a festival date due to the Christian associations involved with it, many other people that the Calvary Chapel would classify as "occultists" also observe festivities on this date that do not involve Satanism at all.

  • "DATE: Nov. 4, CELEBRATION: Satanic Revels, TYPE: Sexual, USAGE: Oral, Anal, Vaginal, AGE: Any age."(27)

NOTE: Once again, there is no Satanic festival associated with this date. There are also no traditional festivals here.

  • "DATE: Dec. 22, CELEBRATION: Feast Day, TYPE: Orgies, USAGE: Oral, Anal, Vaginal, AGE: Any age (male or female, human or animal)."(28)

NOTE: December 21 is the Christian Feast of Saint Thomas. It is also Yule, the Winter Solstice (December 21), a Lesser Sabbat in the Wiccan calendar, also known as Alban Arthuan. The word "Yule" first appeared in its modern spelling in 1475 CE. Circa 1450 CE it was spelled "Yoole" and circa 1200 CE it appeared in The Ormulum as "Yole." Before 899 CE it appeared in Old English as the word "Geol" or "Geola." The venerable Bede recorded it circa 726 CE in his history (written in Anglian Old English) as "Giuli." It may have originated in Scandinavian countries, since their word for this season is similar: "jul." In old Icelandic it is "jol."(29)

As a matter of interest, the term "Christmas" cannot be traced back as far as the term "Yule". It first appeared as "Cristmessa," or "Christ's festival" around 1100 CE. Another Old English variation was "Cristes Maesse." The expression "Christmas Eve" did not appear before 1300 CE (from "Cristenmesse Even"), Christmastide appeared in 1626 and although decorated trees appeared in England in the mid 1700s, the term "Christmas Tree" did not appear until 1835.(30)

Yule is the winter solstice: the longest night of the year. Some cultures hold a festival of light to commemorate the Goddess as Mother giving birth (once again) to the Sun God. Often this takes the form of getting up before the sun rises and lighting a bon fire. The celebrants stand around the fire, "singing the sun up" in celebration of the returning light. Others appoint coveners to represent the Young Lord (or the waxing year) and the Old Lord (the waning year) and play out a ritual drama of the Young Lord's victory over the Old to mark the point from which the days will lengthen.

Yule was another time of year that the custom of "Hodening" or "Hoodening" was practised. As in the Samhain Hodening, a man would drape a stable blanket or sheet over himself and carry about a horse's skull (sometimes a wooden horse's head) on a pole about four feet long. The jaws were often hinged and made to snap open and shut. He would go about from household to household at night with a small group of attendants. His visit was said to bring fertility and good fortune to the household. One of his attendants would lead him by the reins or a rope, another would carry a whip, sometimes a lighter person would ride on his back. Another of the attendants was a man dressed as a woman called "Mollie" or "Old Woman", who carried a besom. Originally this was probably a woman, perhaps a priestess. This group would greet the householders at the front door, the Hodening horse snapping his jaws and The Old Woman sweeping the entrance way to sweep out any bad luck. The Hodening party would enter the house and the occupants would tie a red ribbon on the horse's head.

None of this is Satanic.

[continued... Click HERE for page 3]






ABOUT...

Kerr Cuhulain


Location: Surrey, British Columbia

Website: http://www.officersofavalon.com

Bio: Kerr Cuhulain the author of this article, is known to the mundane world as Detective Constable Charles Ennis. Ennis, a former child abuse investigator, is the author of several articles on child abuse investigation that appeared in Law & Order Magazine. Better known to the Pagan community by his Wiccan name, Kerr Cuhulain, Ennis was the first Wiccan police officer to go public about his beliefs 28 years ago. Kerr is now the Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon. Kerr went on to write four books: The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca (Horned Owl Publishing), Wiccan Warrior and Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior. (Llewellyn Publications), as well as a book based on this series: Witch Hunts: Out of the Broom Closet (Spiral Publishing).

Email Kerr: cuhulain@telus.net

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