A high day is a holy day, a day hallowed unto your deity of choice. It is traditionally a feast or celebration to the said deity. Another way you could describe these festive days is to say they are consecrated or sanctified—set aside—for a specific purpose. Yet an interesting fact is that these days often see a heightened level of spiritual activity from the exalted deity on or around the celebration. Ancient Israel is a perfect example of this.
Passover, Purim & Pentecost
“For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. It will come to pass when you come to the land which the Lord will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. (Exodus 12:23-28)
Passover is a big day for the Jews and even Christians. It wasn’t just on the original Passover the miracles took place, but on many others as well.
1. Jesus fed 5,000 men and their families with only five loaves of bread and two fish (John 6:4-14). 2. Jesus raised His friend, Lazarus, from the dead (John 11). 3. Jesus Himself was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead (Matt. 26-28).
But Passover isn’t the only supernatural high day found in Scripture. The Feast of Purim was instituted when the Jews throughout the Medo-Persian Empire were saved by God from the deadly plot of Haman (Esther 8:1, 9:18). And the Day of Pentecost is one of the most famous because the Promise of the Holy Spirit of God was made manifest when the 120 in the upper room had the fire of God hovering over their respective heads and began speaking in various unknown languages (Acts 2:1-4).
Yes, Jewish history is positively chocked full of miracles that occurred on or near the Feasts of the Lord. And I believe similarly, many religious and spiritual beliefs around the world experience a heightened level of supernatural activity on or near their own annual celebrations. Samhain is such a day.
The Celebration of Samhain and the Veil
Samhain is one of the high days of Celtic (neo)paganry. Those such as the Druids and Wiccans hallow it as holy. It is celebrated along with the seven other pagan high days of Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnassad, Mabon and Yule. Samhain, pronounced “sow-in” or “sah-win” is described as follows:
Samhain is known by most folks as Halloween, but for many modern Pagans it’s considered a Sabbat to honour the ancestors who came before us, marking the dark time of the year. It’s a good time to contact the spirit world with a séance, because it’s the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest. (PaganWiccan.About.com)
Wicca.com also defines Samhain as such:
It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerland’s. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honour the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort. (Wicca.com)
Both of these make reference to a veil being thinned or lifted at this time. This is a very interesting reference. In Scripture, the veil in the Temple is the representation of a separation between God and man and from the time of the Law to Jesus’s death, it was a protection to the people, to very literally preserve their lives from being destroyed by the raw presence of God (glory). The destruction being caused by approaching God in an unclean manner (Exo. 26:31-35, Levi. 16:1-19). However, at the very moment Christ breathed His last breath, the veil in the Temple was torn signifying that humanity need no longer go through another man (priest) to get to God; they only need go through Christ.
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split… (Matthew 27:50-51)
But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. (II Corinthians 3:14)
In short, the veil in Scripture is somewhat like the veil spoken of by the pagans in that it separates life from death and when it is lifted, those on one side can pass over to the other.
The Lifting of Veils and the Opening of Portals
Another way to describe the term veil in this context is to call it a portal. Judeo-Christian thought would call it an open heaven in reference to supernatural acts issued forth by God Almighty. The word portal may be defined as follows: door, entrance; especially: a grand or imposing one; the approach or entrance to a bridge or tunnel… (Merriam-Webster).
The word is derived from the Latin word porta meaning gate. There are three types of portals: a literal object, a location, or a time. It may even be a combination.
Examples of a portal in the form of an object are C.S. Lewis’ wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or the stargate on the show of the same name. Through both of these objects, individuals were able to cross from our world into another.
Examples of a portal in the form of a location are Jacob’s Ladder which was a portal to located in Bethel (Hebrew for “House of God”) Heaven (Gen. 28:10-22), Babel which means “gate of God” or “gate of the Gods” by which Nimrod sought to reach the heavens and Jewish Tradition teaches that this is where the fallen angels came down to walk among men (Gen. 11:1-9, 6:1-4), or the Gates of Hell Jesus referred to in Matthew 16:18 which is a literal place that is presumed to be a portal to—you guessed it!—Hell.
And finally, examples of portals associated with a time may be seen in the Feasts of the Lord as described in the opening of this article. God moved miraculously on behalf of His people more than usual. Similarly, Samhain is one of the identified “time between the times” being midway between summer and winter and is celebrated at the “time between the times,” in the the evening, when ungodly supernatural activity begins to increase.
Halloween: A Portal to Hell
Offerings and sacrifices are made, the particular type depending on the particular belief one holds ranging from a prayer to food to a literal animal or human sacrifice, again, depending on one’s particular belief system.
In the American celebrations of Halloween, there was a time when Halloween equalled hellions. As humorously displayed in one of my favourite musicals Meet Me in St. Louis, the children would dress up in ghoulish costumes (no surprise there) and play violent pranks on their neighbours. Many were harassed or even harmed through these violent festivities. This was largely due to the influx of Irish who emigrated to the United States in the 1800s and brought their Samhain festivities with them. It wasn’t until one bright woman decided to test out throwing a Halloween party for the local kids in hopes that they wouldn’t vandalize her home that mainstream Halloween took a somewhat safer turn. Even so, there is a definite bent toward violence and horror from costumes to movies to haunted houses on this dark day. (For more on this, see The Truth about Halloween.)
Doreen Irvine, a former black witch and Bride of Satan over all Europe, has much to say on the subject of Halloween and its festivities.
“They call up spirits to go through the earth and have their revenge on their enemies. And there’s a lot of secret activity in the demonic realm going on at Halloween. And Christians, instead of celebrating Halloween, you should be praising the Lord and warning people about the dangers of Halloween. It’s a witches’ celebration, not a Christian celebration, so I warn about that.” (See short video here.)
Now there are conflicting reports on whether or not crime and violence increases on or around Halloween nowadays, yet we can rest assure that dark spiritual activity certainly increases. Here is what takes place in heightened levels on Samhain:
They sacrificed to demons, not to God; to gods they did not know, to new gods, new arrivals that your fathers did not fear. Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten the God who fathered you. (Deuteronomy 32:17-18)
The veil that is thinned is one that is best left undisturbed. This is not the veil torn in the Temple on the day of Jesus’ death. It does not bring you closer to God; it takes you further from Him. If you are one who performs the ritual to guide the dead home on this day, it is not your dearly departed loved ones that you are welcoming into your home with a candle or Westward opened day, but an evil spirit impersonating them. Impersonating your loved one and deceiving you. And you are welcoming these deceivers into your home and life. If you are one who sets out offerings and gives sacrifices to your ancestors, the spirits, or the goddess and her consort, you are doing precisely what the Canaanites did in Deuteronomy 32. And if you should perform ritualistic acts of abuse and murder as some do, then you are possessed by the evil one.
While the goddess will be pleased by your sacrifices and offerings, she will be even more pleased that you are in the palm of her hand. Most unknowingly or in a way they never intended. As you open portals on this upcoming Samhain, if you still choose to open a portal, you will not be under an open heaven, at least not the one you intended. The heaven opened over and to you will be the second heaven, where Satan and his fellow fallen angels reign. (The first being the skies and atmosphere and the third are the place where God lives.) When witches hop on their metaphorical brooms and astral project, they are travelling through this realm.
When you call up “the dead” and call up spirits, you are dabbling in this realm. And the danger is greatest to those, not who practice overt black magik, but who’s who practice white. Those who merely wish to commune with nature and benevolent spirits. Those who seek to do no wrong and simply keep the old ways. Your ways may be old, but they are not what you were made for. You were made for higher heights and greater things. You may choose to enter into this time between times and continue you the path your feet are on now or you can enter through the veil that was lifted for you 2,000 years ago with the only Sacrifice God Almighty would ever need.
This Samhain, which veil wills you choose?
Snap-Apple Night, painted by Irish artist Daniel Maclise in 1833. It was inspired by a Halloween party he attended in Blarney, Ireland, in 1832. The caption in the first exhibit catalogue: There Peggy was dancing with Dan While Maureen the lead was melting, To prove how their fortunes ran With the Cards could Nancy dealt in; There was Kate, and her sweet-heart Will, In nuts their true-love burning, And poor Norah, though smiling still She’d missed the snap-apple turning. On the Festival of Hallow Eve.
Oweynagat (‘cave of the cats’), one of the many ‘gateways to the Otherword’ from whence beings and spirits were said to have emerged on Samhain. “Owenagcat” by Davsca at English Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons