Christianity and witchcraft

As you know, the Christian tradition in the making and took assimilated many pagan holidays. Days dedicated to the ancient deities, became holy days, the ancient celebration gets a new meaning and significance. Gradually, the old rituals and symbols have been lost, replaced the traditional Christian, and only one old holiday was not to dissolve completely in the new faith …

Fun, as much horror!

Halloween (in the Christian tradition — Halloween — the most controversial holiday. Still — only this day good parishioners allowed to dress up as witches, warlocks, dead, devils and other evil spirits, to walk in this way through the streets, set fires and feast on cemeteries, collect "tribute" to the neighbors and scare passers-by … Someone resent such "obscenity", someone — on the contrary. However, Halloween has been one of the most celebrated holiday of the Western world. This day is celebrated as the adherents of the Christian faith (This tradition is particularly strong among Catholics and Protestants, USA), and followers of various pagan religions and magical traditions. recent years, it has become "fashionable" and the celebration of our young people — the end of October, there are dozens of theme parties and concerts in almost all entertainment venues Russia.

With Halloween presents some traditional characters, which many seem to be funny, but pious and superstitious people is scary. Glowing pumpkins, black cats, skeletons, witches on broomsticks: a "set" scares many, especially the deeply religious people. What else, then? Witches, devilry, sin … In fact, there is nothing negative — otherwise they would not have survived to the present day under the strict Christian tradition.
Such a "scary" pumpkin

Meet — the main symbol of Halloween! The British call it «Smiling Jack» (Smiling Jack) with a carved grinning mug and a burning candle inside, it is not really a messenger of hell, and the ancient prototype home keeper! Which, incidentally, could be anyone, from homes to an angel — in line with the belief hosts.

As you know, All Saints Day — a time when the line between the worlds is almost invisible, and many inhabitants of the world are sent to the underworld to the ground "for a visit." Naturally, no one wants to take these people — hence the custom arose to put on the threshold of such a "keeper." Evil is afraid of the sun, fire and iron, and the yellow round pumpkin (sun symbol), carved iron knife with a candle inside (fire) was, according to our ancestors, to frighten off intruders and to deter them any interest in visiting the house.

This character survived the ages and is now among the most popular folk Obereg in the U.S. and the British Isles. Today, such a pumpkin (or its stylized image) placed near the entrance to the house, or, for example, in the hallway of a city apartment, can also be used as a symbol of guardian and protector of the house. It does not matter who it is for you personally — homes, ancestral spirit or angel — "Smiling Jack" will faithfully serve: he simply refers to the presence of the guards, without mentioning his name! If "Jack" decorates your bag or purse — the thieves will be less likely to get acquainted with their contents …

Kitty, kitty, kitty, my luck!

The black cat is also a symbol, talisman — because contrary to popular superstition among the people she "takes good luck", and vice versa — draws trouble clearing the way for marching! It is believed that a black cat with a little white spot — the best companion for the magician, and in general for people sensitive to manifestations of the other world.

As you know, cats are the first to respond to the presence in the house of negative energy or uninvited "guests" — hiss, arch the back, throw on an "empty" (at first glance) the place … On the night of Halloween black cats to pay a special tribute — for their efforts the family for a year protected from the evil eye and such "gifts".

Today decided to give Halloween cats (not just black) gifts — bells around his neck. They say that a cat with bells — it's like a warrior with a magic sword: all evil scattered! Figurine of a black cat with bells also considered a good home talisman. But do not make it over the threshold of the house: cat "run away", and with it, leave the house calm and serenity.

Cherepushechki and skeletons

Once in the night on Halloween parade, you can not escape the thought that came to the light: skeletons, skulls, coffins and other paraphernalia cemetery is an integral part of Halloween. This custom goes back to ancient pagan rituals of remembrance, some of which, by the way, are still alive and still have — for example, in Latin America. On the one hand Grave Aesthetics aims to remind the living of the fact that the line between the worlds is thin, and those who today are "here", tomorrow will of God may well be "there." On the other hand, serve as a sham dead original scare. It is believed that if the dead man, who got up out of time from the grave, decided that night to visit his old house and sees in the yard or in the house of a coffin, a skeleton or skull — he thinks that this house is back from the dead a former tenant and that he was the wrong address …

In South America (eg, in the same Mexico, which, as you know, is a Catholic country), amulets in the form of skeletons commonly used not only for Halloween, but also in everyday life. Typically, they are hung on the cradle of the newborn, the bed or the workplace older child. It is believed that this amulet protects child from Restless Dead — Mexicans believe that the afterlife "visitors" are able to steal the souls of children.
Kasatochka my witch-beauty!

Another classic character this Halloween — witch on a broomstick image. She, the Witch, also serves as a symbol of guard, but do not protect from the undead, and from witchcraft. Even in ancient times, people noticed that the witches and wizards usually live alone and very strictly adhere to the unwritten rules, trying not to break the boundaries of the "territory" of his colleagues in the profession. Hence the custom and went to hang out at the door or chimney figure witch on a broomstick to say: See everything in this house already has a witch — so someone else is there to do nothing! And in rural Romania, for example, are still made at the Halloween "baptize witch" — spending on home-made doll easy baptism. Then the witch doll dress up and hang over the entrance. It is believed that the baptism of the witch will not only avert evil, but to do good to those who have it "God."

Michael STERN

Category: Mystery and Mysticism

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