The Evil of Halloween

The Evil of Halloween

At the present time, Americans reckon Christmas is the foremost important holiday, whereas Halloween ranks second.[i] According to conservative estimation in 2007, Americans spent more than $5 billion on costumes, decorations and props celebrating Halloween.[ii] In terms of spending, Halloween is the 6th ranked annual holiday.[iii] As to Canadians, Halloween is also an important holiday. For the celebration of Halloween, Canadians spent 1.1 billion dollars in 2005.[iv]

Great Britain, the place of origin of Halloween, within five short years from 2001 to 2006, the spending of this festival has already increased 10 times, reaching 120 million pounds. Except Christmas and Easter, Halloween is the third holiday that makes supermarkets profit. Just before Halloween, supermarkets of large and small will be filled up with pumpkins, costumes, witches hats and the like commodities.[v] Also, more countries around the world participate in celebrating Halloween. For example, a few decades ago, this festival is unfamiliar to the people in Mexico and Caribbean; it is getting more popular nowadays.

From the surface of things, Halloween gives merchants unending opportunities to make money and provides a joyous festival to the children; however, there is a 20% increase in nuisance crime around this time of the year in United Kingdom.[vi] “Trick or Treat” is a children’s Halloween practice of asking for treats from door to door under threat of playing tricks on those who decline. When house owners refused to give money or gifts, many older youths threw eggs at their residences. Many houses and cars were damaged, some people were being treated violently or being threatened; the victims filed complaints to the police as a result.[vii]

So what kind of festival is Halloween?

The Meaning of Halloween

The people who practiced witchcraft in the old days, called October 31 as “Samhain”,[viii] whereas people call “Halloween” nowadays,[ix] meaning “All Hallows Eve” or “The Eve of All Saints’ Day” or “Hallow’s e’en”.[x]

The Origin of Halloween

The New Year’s Day of Celts

The Celts belong to a linguistic group who speak Indo-European languages.[xi] They celebrated their New Year’s Day on November 1 by offering humans and animals to Saman (the Lord of the dead) and the Sun god.[xii] November 1 is New Year’s Day to ancient and modern wizards, that they regard it as a great day.[xiii]

The Celts practiced caste system and druids were their sage or priests.[xiv] It is believed that Halloween is originated from the Druids, that they reckon Saman, the Lord of the Dead, released the dead to roam by opening the gates of death that night, thus the priests lit great fires to ward off all these dead spirits. These pagan priests also offered animal sacrifices to their gods; moreover, there is ample evidence to suggest among the commodities sacrificed were human beings.[xv]

The ancient Celts regarded Halloween was the last evening of the year and reckoned that it was also an evening to consider about the future. The Celts asserted that the dead spirits revisited their earthly homes on that night. After the Romans conquered Britain, they added to Halloween elements of the Roman harvest festival held on November 1 in tribute of Pomona, goddess of the fruits of trees.[xvi]

Catholicism and Halloween

In The 7th Century

In the very beginning, the Roman Catholics celebrated All Saints Day in May. In A.D. 608, for the sake of pleasing the newly conquered pagans, the Roman emperor allowed them to combine and celebrate Samhain and Halloween together. Rome’s Pantheon was converted into a church building, celebrating the death of departed saints, and in the same place, pagans devoted to their Lord of the Dead on Halloween.[xvii]

In The 8th Century

    In the 8th Century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as the feast of departed saints, and as a result, people called October 31 as the eve of all Hallows Day, or simply Halloween.[xviii]

        North America and Halloween

In the Colonial days, Americans were already familiar with Halloween. Not until in 1840s, Irish brought their Halloween customs to America. By the middle of twentieth century, Halloween had already become mostly a children’s holiday. In the past ten years, it has become as a highly commercialized and national holiday.[xix]

Halloween Customs

“Trick or Treat”

The ancients believed the departed dead souls would roam around on October 31, and they would return to their former homes, gathering around the fire for warmth. As their family members prepared offerings of food and drink as “the treat” for these dead spirits, they would come to receive it. The ancients regarded demons, homoglobins, and witches on broomstick, would haunt the night with acts of mischief (the Trick).[xx] Nowadays children who go around knocking doors, asking for candies, are in fact a symbol of the dead souls roaming around for food. As for the masquerading with demonic masks and clothes, as means to scare people, is actually the representation of the evil spirits tricking the living people.[xxi]

Halloween Decorations

On the evening of October 31, ancient Druids offered animal, crop and occasionally human sacrifices to the sun god Muck Olla, and to Samhain, the god of death. During the ritual they wore costumes made of animal heads and skins as ways to frighten evil spirits away.[xxii] At the present time, perhaps people do not really know these significances, but these customs are superstitious in nature and truly linked with the pagan religion.


Based on a legend, the ancient Druids used turnips to ward off evil spirits, and North Americans replaced the turnip by the pumpkin at the present time.[xxiii]

Satanism and Witchcraft

Witchcraft is called Wicca (wise ones),[xxiv] the old religion, woman spirit, goddess worship, the craft. Witches or wizards are also called Druids, the Gaelic word for wiseman or sorcerer. The term witch is generic, referring to both men and women.[xxv]

Since the early 1970s, a resurgence of Witchcraft appeared around the world, and New York City became the Mecca of witches.[xxvi] The spokesmen of “the Covenant of the Goddess” talked about the rapid growth of their organization. It grew from 20,000 in 1986 to 350,000 in 1993.[xxvii] There are covens (13 witches assembling together) everywhere in America nowadays, and their names are even listed in many city telephone directories.[xxviii] In large and small bookstores in North America, we can find books on how to practice witchcraft, and the offering of courses on witchcraft at the University of Alabama, New York University and some other schools as well. Moreover, self-claimed witches are interviewed in radio and television alike, and articles in large circulation are published in daily newspapers, offering tips on how to cast curses or spells.[xxix]

Witchcraft is comprised of two strains, that is, black and white witchcraft. White witchcraft is originated from the Celts; they are the last group of immigrants to England. Broadly speaking, the Celts are the Irish, the Welsh, the Gaelic and the Breton nowadays. [xxx]Furthermore, white witchcraft is originated from Dianic and other pagan fertility beliefs.[xxxi] Black witchcraft involves devil worship; they are sexually perverted in nature, and human sacrifices are offered in their worship rites.[xxxii]

Traditionally, covens of witches were made up of 13 members of both sexes. These men and women gathered together to preserve and pass on the knowledge and rituals gained by centuries of practice. They were called Wicca or Wicce, from the Anglo-Saxon root word meaning “to bend or shape”. As they could shape the subtle forces of nature to their will, they were called the teachers, healers and midwives in their community. Although they had leaders, they did not have hierarchy and governing body. They gathered to exchange information and spells in the old days.

Two influential wizards appeared in the last century in the Western World. The first one was Aleister Crowley. He was called “the wickedest man in the world,” a magician and a charlatan. He himself preferred the name “the Great Beast”. He practiced a selection of magic which he called sexual magic. For the quest of evil power, he offered human and animal sacrifices in his orgies.[xxxiii] The other person was Anton La Vey. He founded the Church of Satan in San Francisco in 1966.[xxxiv] Almost two decades ago, it was sold over 250,000 copies.[xxxv]

Someone pointed out Satanism became active again in 1960s owing to a film called “Rosemary’s Baby” which was a box office smash at that time.[xxxvi]

Charles Manson imitated Anton La Vey’s way of devil worship and occultism, and also murdered the film star Sharon Tate.[xxxvii]

The author of “Escape from Witchcraft” spoke of two female Satanists who wrote to her about their initiation ritual. The Satanists had to go to a graveyard in the dead of night, walking across a manmade cross and denouncing any belief in Christ. Subsequently, they had to drink the blood of animals that had been skinned alive.[xxxviii]

Through black magical powers, witches are able to bring upon others oppression, disease, harassment, and even death. And by means of white magic, people could be healed and protected, the harvest of crops could be improved; many missionaries could even witness about these supernatural encounters.[xxxix] In a nutshell, we should pay attention to the beliefs, the rising and the advancing of witchcraft.

Harry Potter and Witchcraft

        Harry Potter is the main character of the world-renowned fantasized fiction, which was created by the author J. K. Rowling. In 1994, she was still a single mom who relied on welfare for her living; since the first publication of “Harry Potter” in 1997, she transformed into a well-loved author by millions of readers. The whole series of “Harry Potter” consists of 7 books, which has been translated into more than 60 different languages. In 2007, its sales reach 400 million. Henceforth, Rowling became one of the billionaires in the world.

        Although the content of “Harry Potter” is just fiction, the witchcraft that is described in the book is real. There was evidence that Rowling infused this content into the book after thorough investigation of the witchcraft.[xl]According to some survey, 12% of the teenagers became interested in witchcraft practices after reading “Harry Potter”.[xli] This phenomenon should not be ignored by the adults. As a conclusion, it’s an undeniable fact that “Harry Potter” indirectly as well as directly promotes the development of witchcraft!

Halloween And the Festival of the Witches

The calendar of witches has been widely adopted by Satanism, and some of it has been changed. The eight major festivals were collectively known as “sabbats”. During “sabbats”, the witches gathered together to celebrate and show their allegiance to the Devil by casting spells, plotting evil, feasting, drinking, and dancing and having orgiastic sex.[xlii] While comparing different sources, the dates varied a bit.[xliii] Nowadays the witches meet monthly in covens, when the moon is full. A coven is made up of six males called warlocks, six females, and a high priest or a priestess. During these meetings, they cast spells for the benefit (white magic) or for the harm (black magic) of others. Among these eight festivals per year, the most significant one is the Halloween.[xliv]

February 1 or 2

 “Candlemas”, also known as “Oimelc”, is a cleansing festival in winter, as well as a time to celebrate the coming of spring. This festival is related to the goddess “Brigit”, she is a goddess of fertility, learning and healing.[xlv]

March 21

It is about the time of vernal equinox,[xlvi] the duration of day and night is the same at that time, and the length of daytime will gradually increase.

April 30 or May 1

“Bethane” or “Walpurgis Night” is about the same time as crop growing. The “Celts” offer sacrifice at the time. This is a fertility festival. This festival is associated with “Belenus”, which is the Celtic god of fire.[xlvii]

June 21 or 22

“St. John’s Eve” or “St. John’s wort”,[xlviii] that is “summer solstice”, is the day with the longest daylight of the whole year.

July 31 or August 1

“Lammas” of “Lughnasadh”, is the festival of the first fruits. Those who practice witchcraft believe the festival of Lugnasad is presided over by the god “Lugh”.[xlix]

September 21 or 23

“Michaelmas”, that is the autumnal equinox or fall equinox. The duration of day and night is the same at that time, and the length of daylight will gradually decrease.

October 31

Halloween (Samhain) marks the ending of the old year and the beginning of the new of the witches. It is related to winter because this represents destruction and death. Compare with the other 7 festivals, the “Wiccans” (witches) consider “Samhain” as the most important festival.[l] During this time, the door of Hades is opened, and the spirits of the death could wander freely throughout the earth. It is considered as the best time to connect with these spirits.[li] The myth describes the male god “Dagda” and the female goddess “Morrigan” have intercourse on this day and through their act brings well-being to their tribe and ensures their fertility. All the communal activities, meetings and sacrifices happened during this time.[lii]

December 21

Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. It was celebrated as “Yule” in ancient days.[liii] In the Roman Catholic calendar, during the spring season, they replace spring equinox by “Easter” and “Walpurgis Night”. In summertime, “St. John’s Eve” and “Lammas” are replaced by “The Assumption” and “Purification Sunday”. In fall/autumn, “Samhain” is replaced by “Halloween”. In winter, Christmas is used to replaced “Yule” and “Candlemas”.[liv]

The Proper Responses of Nonbelievers

        In general, people have the concepts of right and wrong, good and evil, light and darkness.[lv] The Bible reveals that God is the source of righteousness, integrity and light; on the other hand, Satan is the source of faults, evil and darkness.

        Owing to his disobedience to God’s Word, Satan and all rebellious angels became the fallen angels; since he is the head of all evil spirits, Satan is called “prince of demons” (Matt. 9:34), “prince of the powers of the air” and “prince of darkness” (Eph. 6:12).[lvi] In the New Testament, Satan or the devil is also known as “the tempter” (Matt. 4:3), “who leads the whole world astray” (Rev. 12:9), “the murderer”, “the father of lies” (John 8:44), “prince of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) and “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The scariest is that Satan knows the weakness of human beings and lures them with materials, lusts, wealth, power, status and deceiving beliefs; so that man will be drowned under the sea of evilness and ultimately buried with Satan, became Satan’s “booty” and “grave goods” (1 Peter 5:8; Revelations 20:10).

        It’s the fact that all human beings were overcome by sin and bound by “the prince of this world”, God knows this by heart. Since God knows that humankind is powerless over sins and its consequences, thus He prepares the only salvation for humankind: through the birth, work, sacrifice, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, so that human beings will know that He is God’s one and only Son as well as Saviour of the world (John 1:18; 3:16). This is the purpose of the first coming of Jesus Christ, and also the reason for the celebration of Christmas worldwide.

The “Must-knows” of Christians

        Detested by the LORD

        “You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshipping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:31) God reminds His people through Moses that sacrificing human being to false gods is abominable in the eyes of God. “Samhain” is the precursor of Halloween, during which the pagans offer human sacrifices to their false gods, this is extremely hateful by God.

Forbid Sorcery and Witchcraft

        “Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.” “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.”(Lev. 19:26; 31)

        God strongly forbids believers practicing psychic and witchcraft, the Halloween “TREAT” is an action of offering sacrifice to the evil spirits. The children of God should not be related to any of these evil customs and practices, lest they be defiled.

        Uproot the Evil Power

        “Do not allow a sorceress to live.” (Exodus 22:18)

        In the Old Testament times, the Israelites did not let the sorcerers live. This does not mean that the believers should kill all who practice witchcraft and sorcery. However, we should try to get rid of these evil practices in our communities peacefully. The pity is, North American churches are backsliding and lose their spiritual influences, in turn, they are poisoned by the perverted thoughts of the cults and the occults.

        Do Not Imitate the Gentiles

        “They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.” (2 Kings 17:17) God made it very clear to His people that they should not imitate the sacrificial ceremonies of the Gentiles.

        The Way to National Revival

        “Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD.” (2 Kings 23:24)

        King Josiah led the people on the way of revival by demolishing all evil customs and acts that were hated by God. The North American churches become more and more worldly; this pierces and breaks the heart of God. The North Americans consider Halloween as an important festive event; they are willing to spend money and energy to celebrate it. An evil festival to begin with turns out to be embraced and rejoiced by many! May the Lord have mercy on us; open the eyes of the church leaders, so that they could lead the congregation onto the way of revival.

        Connect with Evil Spirits Is Penalized

        “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.” (1 Chronicles 10:13-14)

        When Saul was really desperate, he did not turn to God for help, instead, he sought help from a medium, which enraged the Lord and cost Saul’s kingship. Brothers and sisters, don’t we fear the punishment from God?

        One of the Acts of the Sinful Nature

        “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

        The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

        But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16-25)

        The apostle Paul lists the acts of living by the Spirit and those by the sinful nature, and one of the behaviour of the sinful nature is practicing witchcraft. Those who practice witchcraft are mostly for personal benefits, and this is one of the sinful desires. During Halloween, the children go all over the place to ask for candies, and the old and young folks alike play tricks on everybody in order to feel good. This reflects our sinful nature. All Christians’ descendants, please do not follow and imitate.

        Avoid Evil Things

        “Avoid every kind of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22) Paul reminds believers to avoid all evil; this is the basic life principle of Christians. The origin of Halloween are both superstitious and evil, as children of God, we should not celebrate with the crowd!

The Responses of Christians

Although the origin of Halloween is evil, Christians could grab this opportunity and outreach to our community, including children and family.

For example, during the Children Sunday Worship prior to the Halloween, we could explain to the children about the origin of Halloween and the real meaning of gospel, at the same time, encourage the children to invite their non-believing friends to our gospel events. This act will not only give the “unchurched” kids a chance to listen to the gospel, but also allow the Christian minors to learn to care about their friends and classmates.

In addition, the church could organize “Family Carnival” on the night of Halloween and invite Christian and non-Christian families to attend, as a way to let the parents communicate and bond with their kids, and also to outreach to our community.

Even if the church has not organized any activities, we could take the initiative to evangelize to our friends and neighbours. To Christians, giving out candies does not mean we are celebrating Halloween. On the other hand, we could prepare mini gospel packages and give away candies and gospel tracts or pamphlets at the same time.

If it’s possible, the whole church could have some outreach preparation before Halloween, distributing invitation cards for the family carnival and other gospel literatures in our neighbourhood. As Paul’s exhortation to us, “I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:23) May all Christians joint force together in this evil occasion and turn the tables on Halloween in order to win more souls for the Lord and advance the gospel in unity!

[i] It is an extreme example of how Halloween has become the second biggest holiday for decorating, just behind Christmas.

The National Retail Federation says Americans will shell out more than $5 billion on candy, costumes and decorations this year…a record amount of money all in the name of fun.

Halloween Spending Comes In Second Behind Christmas, NBC, 2007 October 26. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.

[ii] There’s a lot more to the business of Halloween than just Snickers, Twizzlers and Milky Ways, as consumers are expected to spend more than $5 billion this year on costumes, decorations and props to celebrate the haunted holiday. 

“Halloween is becoming as big as Christmas, especially in this area,” said Joseph Driscoll, store manager of Spirit Halloween in Glen Burnie.

Halloween spending is no trick,, 2007 October 26. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.

[iii] Overall, Halloween is the 6th ranked annual holiday in terms of spending. It trails the winter holidays, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.

Halloween Spending On The Rise, RTT News, Global Financial Newswires, 2007 October 26. Retrieved on 2007 November 14, 2007

Halloween remains the sixth-largest spending holiday after: Winter Holidays ($435.3 billion estimated), Valentine’s Day ($13.19 billion), Easter ($9.6 billion), Mother’s Day ($11.43 billion), and Father’s Day ($8.23 billion). Because it is not a gift-giving holiday or an apparel holiday, it ranks lower than other annual holidays in terms of spending.

Consumers Proving They Aren’t Spooked as Halloween Spending Continues to Grow, National Retail Federation. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.

[iv] Toronto, ON – According to a new Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of the Retail Council of Canada, eight in ten (81%) Canadians will be spending some money on Halloween this year. And among this group, they expect to spend an average of $57.04 each. This amounts to a total of approximately $1, 108, 857, 600 to be spent on Halloween this year.

Halloween Spending Outlook, Ipsos News Center, 2005 October 24. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.

[v] UK spending on Halloween will top £120m this year, says Bryan Roberts from industry analysts Planet Retail. This compares with £12m five years ago. The pumpkin market alone is worth £25m. It is the third most profitable seasonal push in supermarkets after Christmas and Easter, with whole aisles turned over to pumpkin costumes, witches hats and the like.

Heald, Claire. Boo! Is Halloween too scary? BBC News Magazine, 2006 October 31. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.

[vi] Teenagers who cause trouble while out trick-or-treating face fines of £80 by some police forces this Halloween. 

Police are preparing for a sharp rise in anti-social behaviour to coincide with the annual festival. 

Statistics suggest there is a 20% increase in nuisance crime around this time of the year.

Fines for Halloween troublemakers, BBC News, 2006 November 28. Retrieved on 2007 November 14, 2007.

[vii] Last year, the majority of calls complained of damage to property, rowdy behaviour and intimidation.

Fines for Halloween troublemakers, BBC News, 2006 November 28. Retrieved on 2007 November 14, 2007.

[viii] Grimassi, Raven. Hereditary Witchcraft, Secrets of the Old Religion (Llewellyn) 20.

[ix] All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween, originated in the 7th century AD. It was celebrated on 13 May and was a night to remember deseased saints and martyrs. The date was later changed to November 1 in order to Christianize the pagan holidays Bethane and Samhain-festivals of summer, winter, fire and of the powers of darkness.

The Halloween Goddess, Christian News at Worthy News Spiritual Warefare Feature

[x] Tuleja, Tad. Curious Customs (New York, New York: Harmony Books, c1987), 170.

[xi] Ellis, Peter Berresford. The Druids (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, c1994), 23.

[xii] Tuleja, Tad. Curious Customs (New York, New York: Harmony Books, c1987), 170.

[xiii] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 10.

[xiv] Ellis, Peter Berresford. The Druids (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, c1994), 43.

[xv] One of the fuctions of the Druids was to officiate during sacrifices to the gods, and there is ample evidence to suggest among the commodities sacrificed were human beings.

Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts (Penguin Books) 191. 

[xvi] Halloween, name applied to the evening of October 31, preceding the Christian feast of Hallowmas, Allhallows, or All Saints’ Day. The observances connected with Halloween are thought to have originated among the ancient Druids, who believed that on that evening, Saman, the lord of the dead, called forth hosts of evil spirits. The Druids customarily lit great fires on Halloween, apparently for the purpose of warding off all these spirits. Among the ancient Celts, Halloween was the last evening of the year and was regarded as a propitious time for examining the portents of the future. The Celts also believed that the spirits of the dead revisited their earthly homes on that evening. After the Romans conquered Britain, they added to Halloween features of the Roman harvest festival held on November 1 in honor of Pomona, goddess of the fruits of trees.

The Celtic tradition of lighting fires on Halloween survived until modern times in Scotland and Wales, and the concept of ghosts and witches is still common to all Halloween observances. Traces of the Roman harvest festival survive in the custom, prevalent in both the United States and Great Britain, of playing games involving fruit, such as ducking for apples in a tub of water. Of similar origin is the use of hollowed-out pumpkins carved to resemble grotesque faces and lit by candles placed inside.

Halloween, Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia (Microsoft Corporation, c1993-1996).

[xvii] Larson, Bob. Satanism, The Seduction of America’s Youth (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, c1989), 40-41.

[xviii] Tuleja, Tad. Curious Customs (New York, New York: Harmony Books, c1987), 170.

[xix] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 13.

[xx] Such ghosts walked the countryside retrieving offerings of food and drink(the treat) supplied by living family members. Other darker forces roamed the night as well. Demons, homoglobins, and witches on broomstick, haunted the night with acts of mischief (the Trick).

The Halloween Goddess, Christian News at Worthy News Spiritual Warefare Feature

[xxi] The Halloween Goddess, Christian News at Worthy News Spiritual Warefare Feature

[xxii] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 19.

[xxiii] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 20-22.

[xxiv] In the second half of the 20th century, a self-conscious revival of pre-Christian paganism occurred in the United States and Europe. The foundation of this revival was witchcraft, or wicca (said to be an early Anglo-Saxon word for witchcraft). Wicca is interpreted simply as the nature and fertility religion of pre-Christian Europe and is based on books such as Charles Leland’s Aradia: The Gospel of the Witches (1899), Margaret Murray’s The Witch-Cult in Western Europe (1921), and Robert Graves’s The White Goddess (1948). Although they are now considered unreliable by scholars, such books gave inspiration to some people seeking spiritual alternatives. The writings of Englishman Gerald Gardner, who in his book Witchcraft Today (1954) claimed that he was a witch initiated by a surviving coven, imparted much of the alleged lore and rituals of English witches. Although his claims have been questioned, covens of modern witches sprang up under Gardner’s inspiration and spread to the United States in the 1960s. This form of witchcraft—with its feeling for nature, its colorful rituals, its love of fantasy, and its challenge of conventional religion and society—harmonized well with the countercultural mood of the 1960s and grew rapidly during that decade.

Modern witchcraft continued to prosper during the subsequent decades. Many followers of the ecological and feminist movements found in wicca a religion with congenial themes. Wiccans emphasized the sacred meaning of nature and its cycles and the coequal role of gods and goddesses and of priests and priestesses. Some wiccan groups, called Dianic (after the goddess Diana), include only women and worship the goddess exclusively. Closely related “neopagan” religions have also appeared in revivals of ancient Egyptian, Celtic, Greek, and Nordic religions.

Wicca perceives itself as a modern religion based on the broad themes of ancient pre-Christian paganism, although it is not drawn directly from paganism—for example, wicca eschews some features of the old paganism, such as animal sacrifice. Increasingly, wicca draws from many pagan traditions, with the result that the distinctions between witchcraft, occultism, neopaganism, and various strands thereof have become blurred. Modern witchcraft is entirely different from Satanism or the diabolical witchcraft imagined by the persecutors of past centuries. Major wiccan themes include love of nature, equality of male and female, appreciation of the ceremonial, a sense of wonder and belief in magic, and appreciation of the symbolism and psychological realities behind the gods and goddesses of antiquity. Contributed by: Robert S. Ellwood

Halloween, Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia (Microsoft Corporation, c1993-1996).

[xxv] Witchraft is known by several names, including wicca (wise ones), the old religion, womanspirit, goddess worship, or simply the craft. Witches may also be called Druids, the Gaelic word for wiseman or socerer: The term witch is generic, referring to both men and women. Though the ord warlock generally is applied to male witches, adherents of the craft deny this distinction. 

Larson, Bob. Satanism, The Seduction of America’s Youth (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, c1989), 161-162.

[xxvi] In the early 1970s, during a resurgence of Witchcraft around the world, New York City became something of a Mecca for emerging public figures associated … 

Grimassi, Raven. Encyclopedia of Wicca and Witchcraft, (Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2000), 313.

[xxvii] The reality of the resurgence of witchcraft in modern times so often ridiculed and dismissed as sheer fantasy, can no longer be ignored.  It has become the pagan expression of choice to many; the darling of the feminist, the haven for the rebel, and most troubling, the object of fascination among many teenagers.   There are many forms of this type of belief. Called Wicca, neo-paganism, goddess worship, or simply the craft, it may be practiced openly or held in secret. Centered on the divine nature of all things, this movement is coming out of the “broom closet”, and it is quite vocal as to who is to blame for its problems and for those of the world. 

Two years ago, the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago brought together a collection of religious leaders and laypeople from all around the world.  One of the most popular groups at the Parliament was the Wiccans.  Phyllis Curolt, head of one group called “the Covenant of the Goddess”, talked about the rapid growth of their organization, (from 20,000 in 1986 to 350,000 in 1993!) and about how witches and pagans of all sorts have been the victims of Christian prejudice and violence for generations. 

She branded Christianity as immoral, based on two charges which have been echoed by many Wiccans that I have spoken with.  Her first charge is that Christianity is immoral because of its claim to be the only truth, the only way to know God.  She did not attempt to establish the truth or falsity of Christianity’s truth claims. Rather, she was insulted at what she considered the arrogance and prejudice of making such a claim.  Secondly, she charges that Christians killed nine million witches during the medieval ages.  Her conclusion was that Wicca was a far better option because it is loving and benign, while Christianity, of course, is cruel and bloodthirsty.

Honsberger, Bill. Why not Burn Witches? ﹙Evangelical Ministries to New Religions On-line: Birmingham, AL), Retrieved on November 21, 2007.

[xxviii] 3993 Witch-Hunting To Telephone Directories

In the 14th century, persecution of witches was common. In the 200 years between 1450 and 1650, thousands of witches were put to death. 

Salem, Mass., was the center of a famous witch hunt in 1692. The last execution for witchcraft was in Scotland in 1772. Because of this, up to 20 years ago and for centuries before, no one would admit that he was a witch. 

In 1962, witches began to pop up everywhere, and now covens are being formed all over the country. Their names are even listed in many city telephone directories.

Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers (Garland TX: Bible Communications, 1996, c1979).

[xxix] In recent years, witchcraft—the alleged power to cast spells of influence on people or events—has become almost commonplace in America. The publishing of books on how to practice witchcraft1; the offering of courses on witchcraft at the University of Alabama, New York University, and other schools; the scheduling of radio and television interviews with self-claimed witches; the publishing of articles in large circulation daily newspapers-all these offer tips on how to cast curses or spells.

1 Books in Print 1970 (New York, 1970) II, 1757. Almost 100 titles of books on witchcraft are listed.

Zuck, Roy B. The Practice of Witchcraft in the Scriptures, V128, #512,October 1971Bibliotheca Sacra ., electronic edition. (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, 1998).

[xxx] 牛津現代高級英漢雙解辭典,(香港:啟思),第184頁。

[xxxi] Griffon, T. Wynne. History of the Occult, (Mallard Press), 12.

[xxxii] Griffon, T. Wynne. History of the Occult, (Mallard Press), 12.

[xxxiii] Griffon, T. Wynne. History of the Occult, (Mallard Press), 26.

[xxxiv] Griffon, T. Wynne. History of the Occult, (Mallard Press), 26; McDowell, Josh & Stewart, Don. Concise Guide to Today’s Religions, (Here’s Life Publishers), 192.

[xxxv] McDowell, Josh & Stewart, Don. Concise Guide to Today’s Religions, (Here’s Life Publishers), 194.

[xxxvi] McDowell, Josh & Stewart, Don. Concise Guide to Today’s Religions, (Here’s Life Publishers), 192.

[xxxvii] McDowell, Josh & Stewart, Don. Concise Guide to Today’s Religions, (Here’s Life Publishers), 192.

[xxxviii] McDowell, Josh & Stewart, Don. Concise Guide to Today’s Religions, (Here’s Life Publishers), 191.

[xxxix] Dr. Kurt Koch, noted German theologian and pastor, has counseled thousands of persons entangled in various forms of occultism. He reports that through black magical powers, witches are able to bring upon others oppression, disease, harassment, and even death. Through white magic, persons have been healed, crops have improved, protection from harm has been maintained, and so forth.5 Many missionaries report having witnessed evidences of the supranatural power of witchcraft in foreign lands. But the American public at large has only recently been confronted directly with the open display of these powers on a wide scale.

Zuck, Roy B. The Practice of Witchcraft in the Scriptures, V128, #512,October 1971Bibliotheca Sacra ., electronic edition. (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, 1998).

[xl] Yes, the Harry Potter books are written as fantasy. BUT, first of all, J. K. Rowling did a lot of research into actual witchcraft beliefs and practices, and she put a lot of that into these books. These articles give a brief overview of the plot of the books and point out some places where you can find practices or philosophies related to witchcraft and the occult.

[xli] Teen-agers who have read Harry Potter books or have seen the Harry Potter movie were more likely to have experimented with psychic or occult activities than those teens who had not, a recent study found.

Results from a survey given in late March on teens and the supernatural are still being released by WisdomWorks Ministries, an organization that holds nationwide conferences for teen-agers and parents on “how to view life from God’s perspective.” WisdomWorks is calling the results that have been determined thus far “significant.”

The study revealed that 41 percent of teens have either seen the Potter film or have read one or more of the Potter books. As a result of watching the movie or reading the books, 12 percent said they were more interested in witchcraft.

Steele, Mandi. Just Wild About Harry,, Posted: June 30, 2002, 1:00 a.m. Eastern

[xlii] A gathering of witches for the purposes of celebrating allegiance to the Devil, casting spells, plotting evil and indulging in the abandoned pursuit of feasting, drinking, dancing and orgiastic sex. The notion of the witches’ sabbat (or sabbath, in imitation of Jewish custom) was central to the mythology of witchcraft, and a simple uncorroborated allegation that a suspect had been seen at a sabbat was too often sufficient to send that person to the gallows or to the stake. The sabbat was first mentioned in the course of a witch trial at Toulouse in 1335, which ended with some eight people burned.

Pickering, David. Dictionary of Witchcraft (London: Cassell, c1996), 224.

[xliii] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 128.

[xliv] Some present-day witches meet monthly in covens, usually when the moon is full. A coven consists of six males called warlocks, six females, and a high priest or priestess. They also hold eight festivals a year, with the most significant one being on Halloween. In these meetings spells of influence are conjured either for the benefit of others (to heal physically or to help in numerous other ways), or for the harm (physical or otherwise) of others. The former is commonly known as white magic and the latter as black magic.

Zuck, Roy B. The Practice of Witchcraft in the Scriptures, V128, #512,October 1971Bibliotheca Sacra ., electronic edition. (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, 1998).

[xlv] It was associated with the goddess Brigit, a goddess of fertility, learning and healing.

Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts (Penguin Books) 189.

[xlvi] Ecliptic, in astronomy, the apparent great-circle annual path of the sun in the celestial sphere, as seen from the earth. It is so named because eclipses occur only when the moon is on or near this path. The plane of this path, called the plane of the ecliptic, intersects the celestial equator (the projection of the earth’s equator on the celestial sphere) at an angle of about 23°27’. This angle is known as the obliquity of the ecliptic and is approximately constant over a period of millions of years, although at present it is decreasing at the rate of 48 seconds of arc in each century and will decrease for several millenniums until it reaches 22°54’, after which it will again increase.

The two points at which the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator are called nodes or equinoxes. The sun is at the vernal equinox about March 21 and at the autumnal equinox about September 23. Halfway on the ecliptic between the equinoxes are the summer and winter solstices. The sun arrives at these points about June 21 and December 22, respectively. The names of the four points correspond to the seasons beginning in the northern hemisphere on these dates. The equinoxes do not occur at the same points of the ecliptic every year, for the plane of the ecliptic and the plane of the equator revolve in opposite directions. The two planes make a complete revolution with respect to each other once every 25,868 years. The movement of the equinoxes along the ecliptic is called the precession of the equinoxes. A correction for precession must be applied to celestial charts to find the true position of the stars at any given time.

The ecliptic is also used in astronomy as the fundamental circle for a system of coordinates called the ecliptic system. Celestial latitude is measured north and south of the ecliptic; celestial longitude is measured east and west of the vernal equinox.

In astrology, the ecliptic is divided into 12 arcs of 30° each, called the signs of the Zodiac. These signs, or “houses of heaven,” are named after the constellations through which the ecliptic passes.

Ecliptic, Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia (Microsoft Corporation, c1993-1996).

[xlvii] A ceremony is associated with the Celtic god of fire, Belenus.

Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts (Penguin Books) 189.

[xlviii] Pickering, David. Dictionary of Witchcraft (London: Cassell, c1996), 186.

[xlix] The festival of Lugnasad, presided over by the god Lugh. 

Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts (Penguin Books) 189.

[l] Grist, Tony and Allen. The Illustrated Guide to Wicca, (A Godsfield Book) 52.

[li] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 127.

[lii] The Irish literatures provides the most detailed insight into the divisions of the year into seasons. The end of the old year and the beginnings of the new was marked by the greatest of the ceremonies, Samhain, which took place on 1 November. It was on the occasion that the male god Dagda and the female goddess, ususally Morrigan, came together, and through their intercourse the well-being of the tribe and fertility of all their enterprises were assured. In some versions of the myth the goddess, now an old hag, was revitalized by the union and became young and beautiful once more. Samhain was the time when all the important communal acts, meetings, and sacrifices took place. The strength of tradition which lay behind the festival has ensured its survival as Hallowe’en and its Christianized version, the festival of All Souls.

Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts (Penguin Books) 189.

[liii] February 1 or February 2: Oimelc-also called Cadelmas (Santanism holiday) (festival of winter purification and the approach of spring) 

March 21: Spring Equinox

May 1: Beltane (fertility festival)

June 21 or 22: Summer solstice (longest day of the day)

July 31 or August 1: Lammas or Luhnasadh (festival of first fruits)

September 21 or 23: Fall equinox

October 31: Samhain or Halloween (Celtic new year)

December 21: Winter solstice (Yule-shortest day of the year) 

Larson, Bob. Satanism, The Seduction of America’s Youth (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, c1989), 209.

Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 127-128.

[liv] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 128.

[lv] In most ancient cultures, certain gods or spirits stand over against other gods and thus also over against human beings (e.g., Pali Māra, → “death” — allegorically, the worldly sensuality that seeks to thwart the enlightening → meditation of Buddha; → Buddhism), though without → dualism characterizing the worldview as a whole. These divine enemies always include various wild → animals that are hostile to us.

Erwin Fahlbusch and Geoffrey William Bromiley, The Encyclopedia of Christianity (Grand Rapids, Mich.; Leiden, Netherlands: Wm. B. Eerdmans; Brill, 1999-<2003), 1:822. “The Encyclopedia of Christianity is the first of a five-volume English translation of the third revised edition of Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon. Its German articles have been tailored to suit an English readership, and articles of special interest to English readers have been added. The encyclopedia describes Christianity through its 2000-year history within a global context, taking into account other religions and philosophies. A special feature is the statistical information dispersed throughout the articles on the continents and over 170 countries. Social and cultural coverage is given to such issues as racism, genocide, and armaments, while historical content shows the development of biblical and apostolic traditions. This comprehensive work, while scholarly, is intended for a wide audience and will set the standard for reference works on Christianity.”—“Outstanding reference sources 2000”, American Libraries, May 2000. Comp. by the Reference Sources Committee, RUSA, ALA.

[lvi] The fall of a number of angels may have occurred soon after the angels were created. Scripture depicts Satan as an apostate angel exalted above other evil angels as ruler of the kingdom of darkness. As mastermind of the fallen spirit world Satan is called “prince of demons” (Matt. 9:34), “prince of the powers of the air” and “prince of darkness” (Eph. 6:12). The other evil spirits are called Satan’s angels (Matt. 25:41).

Carl Ferdinand Howard Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority, Originally Published: Waco, Tex. : Word Books, c1976-c1983. (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1999), 6:237.

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