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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2000 5:26 am 
If you'll take a look outside at the moon you'll notice that the *real* halloween is not for another 6 or 7 days. In fact, I think the Almanac shows the 2nd day of the full moon on the 10th. So, if you thought it was halloween but oddly didn't feel like it was, now you know.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 5:10 am 
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Okay Tony-san - I hear you on the lunar calendar thing - the only problem is that we've had so many calendars throughout human reckoned time - who's to say? By solar reckoning - which our current calendar is only off by 1/4 of a day each of our "years" - it's pretty close - hence the solstices and equinoxes are determined that way - and Halloween - or Samhain - is halfway between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox if I remember correctly referred to as "cross-quarter day" - from a time when observing nature around us was more important than our computers or televisions! Image So by some accounts - the day is figured on a solar calendar - some probably by the lunar one... - like Easter and Christmas - the official date depends on who's in charge I guess.

Anyway - here's some history on Halloween...

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>
McBain's Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language says that "samhuinn" (the Scots Gaelic spelling) means "Hallow-tide" (the holiday), probably from roots meaning "summer's end;" with a possible derivation from the annual assembly at Tara every November 1st. MacFarlane's School Gaelic Dictionary defines it simply as "Hallowtide." ... "samhain" or "La Samhna" (to use the Irish spellings) is the first of November, or the month of November, or "Hallowtide/Halloween."
There were four Major High Days celebrated by the Paleopagan Druids throughout the Celtic territories: Samhain, Oimelc, Beltane & Lughnasadh (in the Irish spellings). Four additional High Days (Winter Solstice or "Midwinter," Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice or "Midsummer," and Fall Equinox), which are based on Germanic or other Indo-European cultures, are also celebrated in the Neopagan Druid calendar, along with others based on mainstream holidays (visit the linked essay for details).

The most common practice for the calculation of Samhain, Oimelc, Beltane & Lughnasadh has been, for the last several centuries, to use the civil calendar days or eves of November 1st, February 1st, May 1st and August 1st, respectively. [snip]

The Celtic Fire Festivals
These four major holy days are traditionally referred to as "fire festivals" because to the ancient Celts, as with all the Indo-European Paleopagans, fire was a physical symbol of divinity, holiness, truth, and beauty. Whether in Ireland or India, among the Germans or the Hittites, sacred fires were kindled on every important religious occasion. To this very day, among Eastern and Western Catholics, you can't have a satisfying ritual without a few candles being lit -- of course, the Satanic Panic-ers consider them Heathen too!

Samhain or "Samhuinn" is pronounced "sow-" (as in female pig) "-en" -- not "Sam Hain" -- because "mh" in the middle of an Irish word is a "w" sound. It's known in Modern Irish as Lá Samhna, in Welsh as Nos Galen-gaeof (that is, the Night of the Winter Calends), and in Manx as Laa Houney (Hollantide Day), Sauin or Souney. Samhain is the most important of the fire festivals, because it marks the Celtic New Year (a week later the Celt's Indo-European cousins in India celebrate Divali, which is their New Year's festival). Samhain was the original festival that became "All Saints' Day" in the Christian calendar. Since the Celts, like many cultures, started every day at sunset of the night before, this became the "evening" of "All Hallows" ("hallowed" = "holy" = "saint") which was eventually contracted into "Hallow-e'en" or the modern "Halloween."

Among other things, Samhain is the beginning of the Winter Half of the Year (the seasons of Geimredh & Earrach) and is known as "the Day Between Years" (the year, like the day, began with its dark half). The day before Samhain is the last day of the old year and the day after Samhain is the first day of the new year. Being "between years," it is considered a very magical time, when the dead walk among the living and the veils between past, present and future may be lifted in prophecy and divination.

Many important mythological events are said to have occured on that day. It was on a Samhain that the Nemedians captured the terrible Tower of Glass built by the evil Formorians; that the Tuatha De Danann later defeated the Formors once and for all; that Pwyll won his wife Rhiannon from Gwawl; and that many other events of a dramatic or prophetic nature in Celtic myth happened. Many of these events had to do with the temporary victory of the forces of darkness over those of light, signaling the beginning of the cold and dark half of the year.

There is some evidence to indicate that three days were spent celebrating this festival. Philip Carr-Gomm, Chosen Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, speaking of both Paleopagan and Mesopagan Druids in England, had this to say about it in his Elements of the Druid Tradition:

Samhuinn, from 31 October to 2 November was a time of no-time. Celtic society, like all early societies, was highly structured and organised, everyone knew their place. But to allow that order to be psychologically comfortable, the Celts knew that there had to be a time when order and structure were abolished, when chaos could reign. And Samhuinn, was such a time. Time was abolished for the three days of this festival and people did crazy things, men dressed as women and women as men. Farmers' gates were unhinged and left in ditches, peoples' horses were moved to different fields, and children would knock on neighbours' doors for food and treats in a way that we still find today, in a watered-down way, in the custom of trick-or-treating on Hallowe'en.

But behind this apparent lunacy, lay a deeper meaning. The Druids knew that these three days had a special quality about them. The veil between this world and the World of the Ancestors was drawn aside on these nights, and for those who were prepared, journeys could be made in safety to the 'other side'. The Druid rites, therefore, were concerned with making contact with the spirits of the departed, who were seen as sources of guidance and inspiration rather than as sources of dread. The dark moon, the time when no moon can be seen in the sky, was the phase of the moon which ruled this time, because it represents a time in which our mortal sight needs to be obscured in order for us to see into the other worlds.

The dead are honoured and feasted, not as the dead, but as the living spirits of loved ones and of guardians who hold the root-wisdom of the tribe. With the coming of Christianity, this festival was turned into Hallowe'en (31 October), All Hallows [All Saints Day] (1 November), and [All Souls Day] (2 November). Here we can see most clearly the way in which Christianity built on the Pagan foundations it found rooted in these isles. Not only does the purpose of the festival match with the earlier one, but even the unusual length of the festival is the same.

The Christian Church was unable to get the people to stop celebrating this holiday, so they simply sprinkled a little holy water on it and gave it new names, as they did with other Paleopagan holidays and customs. So when Satanic Panic-ers come to your local school board and try to get Halloween removed from the public schools because "it's a Pagan holiday," they are perfectly correct. Of course, Valentine's Day/Lupercalia, Easter/Eostre, and Christmas/Yule also have many Paleopagan elements associated with their dating and/or symbols, as the Jehovah's Witnesses and others have pointed out for decades. So if we decide to rid the public schools of all holidays that have Pagan aspects to them, there won't be many left for the kids to enjoy.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

from a page entitled "The Real Origins of Halloween"
http://www.witchvox.com/holidays/samhain/1031_realorigins.html


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 5:18 am 
Don't believe everything you read Lori! This guy sitting next to me is a full blown Wiccan dude and he and his wife are celebrating Samhain in 7 days.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 5:21 am 
He said there has to be a full moon to do whatever it is they do.

Really... when you think about it, what is halloween without a full moon?, it just doesn't make sense.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 5:36 am 
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Hey - I'm not arguing! It's all a matter of time reckoning - which is purely by perspective anyway. Some people celebrate every full moon - for their own reasons. Probably there are all kinds of versions/interpretations of samhain or any of the other high holy days of any religion. Look at Christmas! Some historians hold that Jesus was born in the middle of summer! What's up with December then? And the Catholic church has the feast of the Immaculate Conception at a totally inhuman timeframe from the date of the natiity... it's all in interpretation. No matter who you are. And I'm not saying anyone is more right than anyone else. In fact, I don't like it much when anyone starts saying anything is the "only one and true way" of anything... like karate.

I'm no expert on this holiday at all - I just welcome the chance to point out that there is a lot more to the day/date/time of year than a bunch of candy and costumes and house decorations of cats and spiders and skeletons.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 5:53 am 
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Ya' know - the more I read about it - seems to be a serious new year kind of celebration - and if you look at the other major religions' observance of the new year - it's all on the lunar cycle too - I believe the Chinese New Year is one example - isn't it determined by the moon? And also the Jewish New Year? Or is there a different way of figuring it? Then there is the Islamic calendar - another one based on a more lunar type calendar I think... (These are only guesses - I didn't look them all up - I just know that each has it's own new year ...) Each one has their own calendar which is different from what we use in daily business life so it stands to reason that the actual dates of the high holy days will vary.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 5:58 am 
New Year's day really screwed the Americans up in Vietnam, didn't it!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 5:59 am 
heh...

Before I left work I asked him why the moon had to be full (assuming I would get something akin to peak power on a bell curve or something) he simply said "so we don't trip on branches" and laughed at me, hah hah! I suddenly had this morbid vision of him running naked in the woods! Image

I have a model in my mind that I use. It's quite simply a pie with 12 pieces. Picture a circle with an x in it. Now just think of each quater as a season. The season begins at each line going clockwise (as does a new moon). now picture each quater having three pieces of pie. these are the moons for each quater. this is how the pagans used to do it before calendars hit the scene. they just counted moons.

Last year the moon and halloween was right on the mark (almost, I think it was a day early actually). I remember because susie took my picture with it in the background and I had my Goatie. This year the 31st is a week early with respect to the moon. You answered that with a descrepancy between the celestial cycles and the human calendar. Anyway, you'll see on the 10th when the moon is full.... you'll feel it in you. it'll be halloween and you'll know it! Image

Tony


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 2:14 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tony-San:

I have a model in my mind that I use. It's quite simply a pie with 12 pieces. Picture a circle with an x in it. Now just think of each quater as a season. The season begins at each line going clockwise (as does a new moon). now picture each quater having three pieces of pie. these are the moons for each quater. this is how the pagans used to do it before calendars hit the scene. they just counted moons.

... Anyway, you'll see on the 10th when the moon is full.... you'll feel it in you. it'll be halloween and you'll know it! Image
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, I agree with you Tony-san... with one little nit to pick... Those of us who've done things on a lunar calendar before should remember that there are 13 cycles in the lunar year... Bwa-hahahahaha! Image


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 6:04 pm 
True Panther but that is the year with respect to the calendar. That is the reason why everything gets screwey.

back in the day, there was no need to rely on the ground hog to tell if it was gonna be an early spring because you already knew!

Tony


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 8:43 pm 
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Shoot...

Tony-san,

I kinda liked the sinister little idea of a 13 month year... then you go and make it make sense again... Image Image


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2000 11:44 pm 
Somehow leap year fits into the picture and brings things back into perspective. I'm not too keen on the math though. How does that work?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2000 7:14 pm 
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beats me! I was just trying to be creepy for halloween... Image


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2000 1:58 am 
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Thanks Lori we were trying to remember were Halloween came from the other night and you posted it all here.

thank you


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2000 1:36 pm 
All the lunar-ticks will be out en-masse as abnormal tides surge around the world a few minutes after midnight in the 14th in Boston peaking to its abnormallest height of 11.67 feet, whereas the 13th will display the record lows.

Big moon, big tide. That's what drives 'em out.


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