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Carol St.Clair

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Handwriting Analysis
by Carol St. Clair

 

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Brief History of the Customs of Modern Hallowe'en
by Carol St. Clair


This first thing I want to make clear is that in no way am I putting down Christianity or any other religions. I am merely making comparisons as to how Hallowe'en has gotten such a bad image from some groups.

Long before Christianity, many other religions were honoured. Pagan religions were among the most prolific.

Most cultures worshipped the earth, seasons, sun, and moon. The word "pagan" originally meant "farm dweller" and referred to anyone who respected the circle of the year and honoured the changing seasons. By that definition you will find a great many "pagans" in every community. Talk to any farmer (even the Christian ones) and they will tell you that there are certain times of the year for planting and harvesting, for the birth and slaughter of animals. They work from sunrise to sunset and know that temperature, sunlight, and rain all play an important part in whether or not their farm will earn them a livelihood.

Hallowe'en or Samhain (pronounced sowen) does have its roots in pagan beliefs. It is a night of celebrations but not one that celebrates evil. In pre-Christian times the Celts and Druids celebrated this day as a festival to: A)mark the final harvest--the harvest of the hardy vegetables and meat. The earth was then prepared for its rejuvenating sleep or winter. B)To say goodbye to any friends or family who had passed away from November 1 of the previous year to October 30 of this year. October 31 was believed to be the one day of the year where the veil between our physical world and the spiritual world was the thinnest. This meant that spirits could come to the living to say goodbye and let their loved ones know that they had gone to a better place (Christians call it Heaven). But, just as there is good and evil in all humans, it was believed that some of these spirits could use this time to seek revenge on those who may have harmed them when they were alive. Hence, these ancient people worried about "evil spirits" frightening them. Pumpkins (a hardy vegetable) were carved with scary faces and placed outside homes or gatherings in an attempt to scare away any evil spirits.

The practice of dressing in costumes had two reasons. The first was safety. During the time of the Crusades non-Christians were branded as witches and jailed, tortured, and often killed. Therefore, out of fear, many people would claim to be Christian and secretly hold on to their pagan beliefs and customs in private or in small groups on masked gatherings at night. If they met in the dark and were wearing costumes and masks it reduced the risk of being seen and identified when observing pagan holidays. If someone was "found out" they would not be able to name the others in the group because they truly hadn't seen anyone else. Secondly, as Samhain does mark the celebration of the Druid New Year, people celebrated by dressing in costumes that represented the traits they felt they were lacking and wanted to possess. For example if you felt that you were too serious you would dress and act like a jester to add humour to your life. If you wanted grace and elegance you would dress as royalty. Not surprisingly, if you ask a child what they want to be for Hallowe'en they will undoubtedly will pick a costume that reflects who they want to be like, such as a TV or action hero.

I hope this helps put a bit of perspective on the true origins of Hallow'en. It was never intended to be an evil holiday. Fear, ignorance and prejudice are the real culprits for turning this day into an evil one.

Witches are not Satan worshippers (Satan is a product of Christian beliefs) and we take offence at anyone who suggests that we have allegiances with devils. We are not green, we don't usually have warts on our noses, don't eat small children, don't fly on a broom, and don't put curses on people. We have one tenet to live by: "so long as it harms none, do as you will". This means that we must strive to find our purpose in life, but not at the expense of others.

Blessed be

If anyone would like more information either about Wiccan spirituality or Graphology please contact me.
Carol St. Clair, SSW,CMG
( stpagan@hotmail.com )

I have been studying Graphology since 1982, and received my Master Graphologist Certification in 1998 though the Institute of Graphological Sciences in Dallas. I am currently studying to get my Documents Examiners Certification. So if anyone has a signature or document that is being disputed I would love to have a look at it (free of charge at this time).

In my "spare" time I am a counsellor in a Women's shelter, and the very proud mom to Erin a very happy and healthy one year old.

With the holidays fast approaching I would like to offer the folks at the Coffeerooms a unique gift idea. I am offering gift certificates for analysis for the discounted rate of $45.00 (usual cost $60.00) from October 1 - December 1, 2000. For more information about Handwriting analysis please contact Carol at stpagan@hotmail.com

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