Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Witches' Caldron *

The Witches' Caldron *


"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog"
"Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing"
"For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and babble"
"Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn, and caldron bubble"
William Shakespeare


Witches and Warlocks have had a long history with Halloween. Legends tell of witches gathering twice a year when the seasons changed, on April 30 - the eve of May Day and the other was on the eve of October 31 - All Hallow's Eve.


The witches would gather on these nights, arriving on broomsticks, to celebrate a party hosted by the devil. Superstitions told of witches casting spells on unsuspecting people, transform themselves into different forms and causing other magical mischief.


It was said that to meet a witch you had to put your clothes on wrong side out and you had to walk backwards on Halloween night. Then at midnight you would see a witch.
When the early settlers came to America, they brought along their belief in witches. In American the legends of witches spread and mixed with the beliefs of others, the Native Americans - who also believed in witches, and then later with the black magic beliefs of the African slaves.


The black cat has long been associated with witches. Many superstitions have evolved about cats. It was believed that witches could change into cats. Some people also believed that cats were the spirits of the dead.


One of the best known superstitions is that of the black cat. If a black cat was to cross your path you would have to turn around and go back because many people believe if you continued bad luck would strike you.
*Holidays on the Net has received numerous objections about our presentation of Halloween folklore involving witches. In fairness we present this letter from one of our visitors wishing to address this stereotyping. "Letter to the Webmaster:"
Letter to the Webmaster


Please Note: We at Holidays on the Net work hard to present factual holiday information. We have received numerous objections about our presentation of Halloween folklore involving witches. In fairness we present this letter from one of our visitors wishing to address this stereotyping. This letter is unedited (aside from spelling corrections).
Holidays on the Net is great! There is only one really big problem that I see here.
You see there is this religion that IS recognized by the United States of America as an actual religion. We hold the SAME religious freedoms that you hold. It is called Wicca, for short we are witches.


Yes it's true that we do gather on Halloween and May first. Actually their names would be Samhain, pronounced Sow-wan, Oct. 31.Yule, Dec. 21, Imbolc, Feb 2nd, Ostara, March 20, Beltane, May 1st, Summer Solstice, June 21, Lammas, Aug 1, Mabon Sept 22, and then back to Samhain again.


We, however, do not worship the devil as your story put it. In fact we have no deity that we call the devil, Lucifer, Satan, or whatever. We believe is a balance of both male and female. Thus we worship the God and the Goddess. We honor Mother Earth, and hold all of nature with great respect.


Also we do not harm anyone. The Wiccan Reed states that, AN IT HARM NONE, DO WHAT YE WILL. This one line encompasses all of the Ten Commandments the Moses supposedly brought down off of Sanai. We do not seek to destroy nor harm others for their beliefs. And we always try to understand everyone for their own system of beliefs. We do not believe that Wicca is the only true religion, and that we are all heading in the same direction after life, but we all get there on different paths.


If you were to sit down and actually study the Christian holidays you would see that many of our traditions were taken by them. Many of the rites that Christians perform were here long before there was a Christian church, or Jewish for that matter. These are rites and ceremonies that were and still are practiced by Wiccans.


Just to name a few, Yule is on December 21. That is when we celebrate the birth of our Lord. Ostara is right before Easter. This holiday, or sabbat as we call them, is a fertility rite. Hence that is why there are bunnies and eggs. We believe that on Samhain the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. So this is when we gather to honor our past on ancestors. To tell them that we love them, that we miss them, and ask for help if needed. It's our memorial day. Not a day that we gather to fly out on "brooms" and bring harm and evil upon the world. To be quite honest, the Samhain ritual is very emotional and touching. There are lots of tears and hugging.


We also do a little ritual at our sabbats called cakes and wine. This is when we break bread and offer it to the God and the Goddess. Then in turn we each partake of the bread. After this we do the wine. It is offered to the God and the Goddess, and then we each partake of this. It seems strange how a pagan ritual has been put into a Christian ritual, communion.
On Yule we celebrate the birth of the Lord. This falls on December 21st. We decorate our homes with Yule logs and holly. Funny how Christmas songs still sung by Christians today talk of "pagan" rites for the sabbat. The holly is placed to honor the Holly King. The Yule log is set with three candles. They honor the maiden, mother and crone. The three forms of the Goddess. The Christians use the three as well, as the father, son and Holy Ghost.
Also we DO NOT use the term "warlock". This word means oath breaker. A male witch is called a witch, not a warlock. Many witches will take offense to this. Myself being a "male witch", and High priest and ordained minister of the Wiccan faith, I am not very fond of people calling me a "warlock".


The myth that people formed about us flying on brooms is a very old crop fertility rite. The people would gather together at their fields with brooms and pitch forks. They would jump over the brooms and such as a gesture of showing how high the crops should grow that year. The higher they would jump, the higher they believed their crops would grow. We did not fly through the air on the full moon wreaking havoc.
This is just a very small portion of our belief system.


And as usual, people have misconstrued us out to be some evil beings trying to bring harm to the world. It's sad that people can't understand who we really are. Even the Hebrews worshipped the Goddess for a time.


If you don't think so look in Jeremiah chapter 7:8. Everything was fine until good old Jehovah got mad. In all actuality, he didn't get mad. It was more likely that the male governing body couldn't keep control if the woman were not brought down. Probably where they got the saying of let your women be silent in church.


Understand that I am not trying to bash you for your story. But it would be nice and VERY appreciated if after the stories you could put the actual truth. It may have been just a Halloween tale, but people read this stuff and believe it all to be true.


There may be no more witch burnings in America, but we still lose our jobs, homes, families, and children because of belief. Because we are not following the "one true god" as the Christians would put it. That is why there are organizations like the Witches League for Religious Discrimination. We are still here, and growing in numbers. Our belief will never die out, no more than the Christians. But we do hold the same religious freedoms that they hold.


When you do your holiday net stories and such perhaps you should add people of other faiths as well. Not just the Christians and Jews. Maybe then the world would be more at peace and people could understand one another better.
Thank you,
Rev. (Name Withheld)*


* Holidays on the Net has chosen to leave the writer anonymous because we have not been able to contact the writer to get permission to publish his name.

Carl Ray Louk

Not racist, not violent, just not silent anymore

Fighting for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.

I am Carl Ray Louk and unlike the President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, I stand with Israel

We are a community of over 2 million grassroots activists We recruit, educate & mobilize across the country Fighting for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.

"Friendship Never Ends" SG-1996

"Let Love Lead The Way" SG-2000

"The Phoenix Shall Rise" Count Carl Ray Louk 2003

"Even A Man Who Is Pure In Heart And Says His Prayer By Nigh, May Become A Wolf When the Wolf bane Blooms And The Autumn Moon Is Bright." LT-1941

"Flesh of my flesh; blood of my blood; kin of my kin when I say come to you, you shall cross land or sea to do my bidding!" CVTD-1895

"From Hell's Heart I stab at thee, for hate sake I spit my last breath at thee" CA-1895

"I have been, and always shall be your friend" Spock

"Trick or Treat, Trick or Treat candy is dandy but murder, oh murder, is so sweet" Count Carl Ray Louk-2003

"Eye of newt, and toe of frog, wool of bat, and tongue of dog adder's fork, blind worm's sting, lizard's leg, and owlet's wing. For a charm of powerful trouble, like Hell broth boils and babble. Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn, and caldron bubble"




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