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I have heard it said that Halloween or All Saints Day is a conversion of a Druidic festival held at the same time. I guess this pagan festival's theme would have been similar, sprits, spooks and weirdness, witches, potions, etc..
Im not sure about that. Since druidism as we understand it was practised only by the celts in the english and irish isles, and mainland european celts were converted to the various religions of the invading teutonic tribes in europe from around 1the time of christ. These tribes nearly all had religious practises similar to the norse peoples - similar gods and beliefes (valhalla, Woten instead of Odin, etc). When arius converted his germanic tribe to christianity he refered to other tribes as being pagans - and most of these pagans didnt worship bearded goats and all the other crap Wican/pagan religious movements will now tell you - they all worshiped gods nearly identical to those of the Normans/Norce and eventually the Vikings. Many of our modern festivals have roots in european festivals - christmas as an example. Halloween is another, but its important to realise that the use of the world pagan is misleading. True pagans wouldnt have bonfires and mushroom orgies,they would be worshiping the god of war, etc. Modern movements in europe do use panaeolus species in wican festivals especially.
Bleameanie paganism/wicca is a very free form relgion, its up to the individual. I think its very very odd that you can't have nativity plays and shit in america cos its against the constitution, but they celebrate a fucking pagan festival all too eagerly. Especially as paganism/wicca is considered evil by most people, maybe one day people won't listen to any old bullshit fed to them.
I agree entirely. The use of the word paganism to describe current wican religious movements nowdays is strange. Paganism literally translated means the same thing as 'heathen' or 'saracen' and was coined by teutonic orders to describe which ever Latvian or Estonian culture they felt like haranguing. Using the word paganism suggests a link to pre-existing religious movements in europe - and sadly none of these were 'free form religions.'