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The Origins of Allhallowtide

Halloween is a party that is celebrated in much of the western world on the night of October 31, the eve of All Saints’ Day (November 1). Its origins date back to the Celts, and the party was exported to the United States by Irish emigrants in the 19th century, more or less by 1846.

Due to the recent influence of business marketing, Halloween has also become popular in other countries despite the fact that many people still consider it an American holiday especially where there are more entrenched customs for this on the same day.

The word Halloween has its origins in the Catholic Church. It is a taken from the prayer of All Hallows Eve which means “All Saints’ Day” and is a Catholic religious holiday celebrated on November 1.

The Eve of November, All Saints’ Day, the Gaelic festival of the fire of Samhain or Samhuin, sounds more ominous than other festivals. It’s the end of the summer, when the powers of the underworld are making themselves felt more and more, with their doors wide open and all their troops released, both good and bad. Non-wizards are used to barring their doors and windows to Hallowe’en and using candles placed in pumpkins to scare evil spirits, a custom that continues today.

Witches had a less defensive attitude; they were actively facing the season by calling friendly spirits. Modern witches do the same, deliberately trying to contact deceased friends and relatives. The ritual begins with a walk or a slow dance – the coven carries torches and candles, led by the High Priest and High Priestess who hold the chopsticks. They play or sing an appropriate song at a slow tempo.

When finished, the High Priest and High Priestess trace the Pentagram of Invocation with their athames, while the High Priestess recites a prayer.

Each woman then gives the Fivefold Kiss to the High Priest, as a personification of God.

No precise method is fixed to induce the visualization of deceased friends. The choice depends on the individual coven, who may have found this or that other system more effective according to their own experience.

The cakes and the wine, the dances and the games follow, and if one is in the right state of mind, then one might be able to feel another presence.

Of the eight feasts, it is the one for which the Book of Shadows insists most vigorously on the Great Rite. If that is not possible at this time, the Book says that the High Priest and the High Priestess will have to celebrate it as soon as possible. Since Hallowe’en’s ritual is intimately connected with Death and the Dead, it should probably end in an intense and solemn reaffirmation of life.

THE FESTIVAL OF THE DEAD

The Festival of the Dead tradition comes from the colonial religious syncretism. It is observed in different parts and cultures around the world.

Festival of the Dead is a centuries-old tradition that could not be forgotten. The history of the holiday goes back to the Mayans and the Aztecs. Their faith was closely associated with the rituals of death and resurrection. Locals often kept real skulls of the dead in their homes as potent symbols.

Spectacular street processions, noisy carnivals, improvised exhibitions and fairs are organized in large cities, while cemetery picnics are arranged in small ones. “Festival of the Dead” carnivals have repeatedly been played in Hollywood films. One of the most famous is the opening scene in the latest James Bond film Spectre – it’s full of exotic surroundings and spectacular staging. A colourful animated cartoon by Pixar Studio “Coco”, in which such an unusual holiday is played out, was released in the cinemas in 2017. “Festival of the Dead” is an integral part of the life of many people and cultures around the world. Everyone goes crazy in their own way.

WHAT IS AN ALTAR OF DEAD?

An altar of the dead is made up of a wide variety of objects, some traditional and some personal, for the deceased. Among the necessary elements are candles, incense, salt, sugar skulls, dead bread, confetti and flowers. In addition, personal items are placed, food is enjoyed to the fullest, some liquor or cigars and photographs are arranged and even some toys or candies are provided if children are involved.

WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE OF THE FESTIVAL?

The Festival seeks to keep the diverse ancestral traditions of the dead in force, as well as being a window to show the world the vast culture of the country. This tradition is preserved through the customs of yesteryear and different contemporary artistic expressions.

Origin of the Festival of the Dead

The Festival of the Dead has pagan origins like most religious festivals celebrated today. One of the oldest pagan rituals related to the Festival of the Dead is a custom of Celtic origin named Samain. This rite began with prayers honoring the memory of the lost souls taken by God. The deluge set the date for this event – it began on the 17th day of the second month, which is the beginning of November in our current calendar and is celebrated all over the world.

The Festival of the Dead and All Saints

The Festival of the Dead is often confused with All Saints’ Day, which is celebrated on November 1st.

The Festival of the Dead is a Christian holiday celebrating the memory of the dead of the family. On the calendar, it is about the feast. In the Catholic tradition, it is an opportunity to go to the cemetery to clean the graves and honor the memory of the deceased.

 

What is a Dream?

A dream is a repeated series of images, actions, feelings and emotions that involuntarily occur in the mind usually while asleep. The interpretation of dreams is not completely understood and has been a topic of scientific, philosophical, religious and psychological interest throughout the history of mankind.

In the ancient times, dreams were believed to be used for communication with Gods and receiving signs from them. In certain tribes, spiritual activities were carried out to receive certain dreams which were taken as guidance for the tribe. It was also believed that the interpretation of dreams was dependent on the time of the day and state of mind of the dreamer. In Islamic culture, dreams were used for a connection with God and exchanging messages, known as Divine Dreams. During the beginning of the 19th century, the interpretation of dreams was taken to the next level. Two psychiatrists Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud concluded in their research that dreams were an interaction between the unconscious and the conscious mind. This understanding changed in the late 19th and 20th century, that the unconscious mind was the main part responsible for dreaming. Jung and Freud forwarded different views in terms of the understanding and meanings of dreams. Jung believed that every person in a dream was a representation of different characteristics of the dreamer.

It was also argued that dreams are rejected and supported parts of the self projection. Fritz Perl stated that lifeless dreams serve to show traits and features of the dreamers. Hence, in order to understand the context of the dream the dreamer must imagine the objects in the dream as relating to the person’s individuality. This shows that the meaning of the dream is totally dependent on the individual dreamer. While analysing your dream, it is important to symbolise your mood, feelings, memories from your sub consciousness.

Dreams have a highly deceptive appearance in nature which means that images in dreams are a combination and mixture of different places, people and things. There is a subconscious part of our brain which holds information and makes our dreams. However, this does not mean that dreams are never real. Some of our dreams are believed to be visions of the future.

Interpretation of Dreams

Have you ever woken up confused and in a rush from a baffling dream that you just cannot get out of your head? Well, you are not alone. Dreaming is a mysterious natural reflex of our unconscious mind. And while nobody really knows why we dream or interpret what our dreams mean accurately, the dreams we have follow a standard pattern which when studied can reveal the dreamer’s psychological profile. There has been huge debate in the past whether dreams have actual meaning or if it is a trick played by our brain. While some believe it is our mind tricking us, other experts view dreams as our subconscious communicating with us. 

While experts are unsure whether dreaming incorporates an actual meaning or not, the matter of interpreting dreams has gained huge popularity. It wasn’t until the late 1900s that people started acknowledging that dreams may have something to do with our psyche and conscious actions. Since then, a number of studies and books have been published highlighting the topic. One such book called “The Dream Game” by Ann Friday, breaks down dreaming patterns and provides insights to readers on how to interpret their dreams. 

According to research conducted by Carey Morewedge and Michael Norton, dreamers tend to remember details about their dreams that best satisfy their biases. Meaning, you are more prone to remembering a dream that either involves someone you dislike or someone you like. Similarly, in their research, they found that most individuals they studied believed that dreams were nothing but a simulated product of the conscious actions and happenings around them, having no real meaning or value. At night, our logical and critical zones in the brain are suppressed by the emotions and thoughts collected over the daytime. Our brain processes these emotions from our subconscious and develops a random simulation. Whether dreams are pure imagination or an expression of unfilled urges as mentioned by Sigmund Freud, the study found that dreamers are nonetheless heavily influenced by their dreams even though these dreams do not serve a concrete purpose. People are prone to believing their dreams and acting on them. For example, if you dreamt of being very successful one day, chances are your mind will accept it as a reality and build a mental atmosphere so as to encourage you to accomplish that. Similarly, having a sad dream may result in a bad mood in the morning and ultimately the whole day is ruined.

Whether dreams have a meaning or not, we will never find out. It is one of those things that is dominated by personal beliefs and understanding but it is fair to say that by interpreting dreams, we can understand a person’s mental and psychological state.

Chinese Astrology

Back in the time when early humans could not keep time and had no absolute knowledge of seasons, they would refer to the bright constellations at night to predict what the future holds for them. By studying the stars and their movement, humans could suggest when the new season was about to begin. Based on this study, they would hunt and sow vegetables at a particular time. The lifestyle of early humans was heavily reliant on the study of stars, it is fair to say that astrology decided their fate. Today, the human race has modernized, we are now aware of our surroundings and know which seasons come when and we prepare and act accordingly. To put it into perspective, we would not have had information about the seasons and their timing if it were not for our ancestors that studied it.

Even today, Astrology plays an important role in predicting one’s future and knowing what one’s fate holds for them. Astrology today however may not be as popular as it was before and some cultures still follow centuries old traditions. Similarly, the Chinese are avid followers of Astrology. So much so, they have their own unique charts that are much different from what is followed elsewhere. In their version of astrology, dating back to the Han Dynasty in 200 BC, it consists of unique elements such as the ten celestial ordinals and a combined calendar that gives information about both the sun and the moon, amongst many other unique elements. The building block of the Chinese astrology lies in the historic and traditional Chinese culture such as the five-element theory and the famous Yin Yang concept of philosophy.

The concept of the Chinese version of astrology is based on knowing the position of the important planets as well as the position of the sun and the moon in addition to the zodiac sign according to the individual’s birth month. An individual’s destiny can be predicted. Similarly, in the case of zodiac signs, they too are very different to the Western signs. The Chinese zodiac consists of 12 animals in comparison to the Western zodiac signs that include animals and other symbols. Moreover, the Chinese zodiac signs are a result of the study of the star Jupiter, whose movement around the sun was divided by the Chinese into 12 sections. 

One famous concept in the Chinese astrology is the concept of four pillars with the help of which an individual’s destiny can be known. These four pillars refer to the year of birth, the month of birth, the day of birth and finally the hour of birth. The pillar of year provides information regarding a person’s relationships and family while the month provides information about their childhood. Similarly, the day and the hour provide crucial information that can be studied by the astrologer in addition to other information provided by your birth and zodiac to predict your destiny.

Human Sacrifices Today

In India, people tend to believe in different rituals and traditions, including human sacrifices. Due to advancement in technology and awareness of morality, most people condone such practices, but they still exist in remote areas.

Recently, a heat wave took place in the country, which was known as the deadliest heat wave in the past 100 years. It killed around 2500 people as the temperatures raised so much that the streets began to melt. The average temperature during the heat wave was around 50 degrees Celsius.

The death that seems to stand out the most is the murder of a man named Thepa Kahria. He was a 55-year-old laborer who was found in a pool of his own blood by neighbors in a small village. However, only the man’s body was found and his head was not. The head had been buried in a farm nearby as a ritual to summon rain and decrease the heat which had taken over the country.

The murder was committed by a group of people known as the Orkas. They were the ones who sacrificed the laborer and buried his head in the farmer’s field in exchange for good weather and to save their crops from the heat.

In the West, the practice of human sacrifice is very rare, yet it still does exist. A boy was found in the river Thames in London with his limbs and head dismembered and only his torso appeared to be floating through the river. Poison was found in his intestine which linked it to old African witchcraft.

Most people use human sacrifice in Asian countries as a way to increase the intensity of sexual pleasure. However in the Hindu faith animal sacrifice, and in extreme times, human sacrifice, can be a way to make their lives better.

People that preach this practice, tend to get into the minds of those who are uneducated and gullible. It is so common that around 128 cases of human sacrifice were reported in just Uttar Pradesh, a state within India in just 4 months.

An example of this is that of a couple who desperately wanted to have a son. They consulted local preachers who suggested this barbaric act to them. They then kidnapped a 5-year-old boy and took him to a river. The priest chanted over the body, while they mutilated his body. They then killed the child and washed themselves in his blood to increase fertility and the chances of having their own child.

Modern-day human sacrifice is only prevalent due to lack of education and due to people’s gullibility as they are not aware of the rules of human civilization and do not know better. Evil preachers tend to manipulate them into such acts and people being like sheep tend to follow them blindly.