Origin of Trick or Treating

Discussions about festivals

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Postby iWitch » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:30 pm

Ebany wrote:IYou are also undoubtably right about what has been achieved by the PF and Pebble - I've obviously mis read something in Pagan Dawn or suchlike. I may well even be confusing things with the way it is over here - these days I frequently forget which language I'm using, so confusion is never far away!!!


I think they thought they had made progress, and I, too, remember reading that article (I think it was a letter to editor, but don't quote me :lol: ). I'm hoping they achieve the goal, but I think its dependent on the next UK census thingy going right. Still, fingers crossed, eh? :D

Ebany wrote:As you say, the dates are adhered to mostly by the wiccan groups - and those of course are the ones that I've always had the most contact with....


As it is for most people. :( Its a shame, really, because the rest of us often get forgotten and "the general public" (as it were) assume we are all the same, when we very diverse really. :D

Ebany wrote:I do stand corrected and will read your posts much more carefully before replying next time!!!!


Hey, no worries mate and no need to apologise. :D I often misread things myself :oops: and I'm notorious for getting stumped by a single word, which can throw me off for weeks. As an example, I once borrowed a book from the school library and while I was waiting for my classmates to find their books, I sat down to read mine. My teacher came along and said, "If you start reading it now, it will be all red by the time you get home". Well, this confused me, why would my book turn the colour of red if I didn't wait until I got home? :? Of course, she meant "Read", but I heard "red" and it was literally weeks before I understood what she had meant. Can you imagine, I spent weeks thinking my teacher was a nutter. :lol: :lol: And, that's not the only instance, either. :oops: My brain is rather kooky. :lol:
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Postby iWitch » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:33 pm

kit wrote:I certainly don't understand the finer details of what different groups believe in or follow, and I perhaps speak for the majority here. And of course many people in our Stonewylde community wouldn't even describe themselves as pagan or whatever. As we've said before, this place is all about doing what feels right and natural. I'm sure we'd all subscribe to that! :)


Sorry Kit. :oops: I didn't realise the "Festivals and Pagan Stuff" board was for the discussion of Stonewylde's paganism only. I thought that as there were post for Witchfest, etc. that all aspects of paganism could be discussed. :oops:
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Postby kit » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:57 pm

You're right of course, iWitch - it is for discussion of anything pagan. I just don't want people to worry about treading on toes at all, or being wary of saying something about one tradition or another when for most of us, we live in blissful ignorance of the finer points. But of course I'm really happy for everyone to discuss all pagan things, just so long as nobody gets upset or feels they're maybe saying the wrong thing.

I loved what you said about "red" and "read" - children so often do take things literally or misunderstand things. I know when I was teaching I often used to confuse my poor pupils with my silly jokes and wordplays and had to keep reminding myself not to take for granted that they'd understand me.

Re the pagan thing - I'm sure I put in the last census that I was pagan! I was a bit nervous as I was teaching in a Church of England school at the time and was terrified I'd be reported and sacked! And I was sent a link this week about a Times Online feature that stated that HM Prisons have now acknowledged paganism (of whatever path) as an official religion! That's a huge step forward, isn't it? Here's the link:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 051479.ece and I hope it works. Now who's going off topic??? :oops: :oops: :oops:
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Postby iWitch » Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:01 am

kit wrote:I loved what you said about "red" and "read" - children so often do take things literally or misunderstand things. I know when I was teaching I often used to confuse my poor pupils with my silly jokes and wordplays and had to keep reminding myself not to take for granted that they'd understand me.


No!!!! That's so cruel. If you were my teacher, you would have had me confuddled for my entire school life. :lol:

Honestly, it still happens. :oops: I really do get stuck on the odd word here and there and its embarrassing. My sister gets annoyed with me because I constantly ask her to repeat herself and she often figures out she needs to use a different word becuase I'm not getting the meaning of the one she's using. :oops:
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Postby Greymalkin » Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:02 am

iWitch wrote:Paganism is not a recognised religion in the UK. [/color]


And it never will be if we keep "nit-picking" over insignificant things like the pagan new year started in the 19th century.
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Postby Beantighe » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:55 am

I've just been trawling through my library to see if I can find any reference to Soul-Caking having Pagan origins. Unfortunately, I'm unable to find any, but the very fact that it's an old ritual which involves going from house to house asking for a cake in return for prayers and blessings for the dear departed, suggests that as a custom it is very old and may date from a time when Christianity hadn't yet got such a grip on the population, and people still needed and enjoyed rituals to mark the passage of their year. It does seem to have been one practise which hadn't been orchestrated or taken over by the Church. I think it was more of a folk custom (ie the people's) than a religious one dictated by the Church and clergy. For instance, I can't find one mention that the procession was headed by a priest. (Probably because it didn't involve money!!! :twisted: )

I have, however, turned up a version of a Soul Caking song:

Soul-Day, Soul-Day,
We've been praying for the soul departed;
So pray, good people, give us a cake,
For we are all poor people, well-known to you before;
So give us a cake for charity's sake,
And our blessing we'll leave at your door.

BB

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Postby kit » Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:17 pm

I really think you're right, Beantighe, in that the soul-cake custom had its roots in pre-Christian tradition. Sometimes it's really difficult researching such things because they were never recorded. So many folk customs were just handed down verbally or by example, rather than being written about. The whole idea of visiting houses and asking for food or whatever on this particular night is fascinating.

Don't know if it's really relevant here and I haven't checked these facts - simply remember something someone once said:

The words "ghost" and "guest" are linked etymologically and traditionally an empty place was left at celebrations for any "guest" who might want to join the party with their presence. This has links with the idea of Banquo's ghost appearing in Macbeth at the table (a scene that I always loved!) as a guest, albeit invisible to everyone other than Macbeth. Can't remember where or from whom I heard this - probably a lecture in English or something, but maybe if it's all true, the idea of visitors appearing on the night when the dead are honoured has similar sorts of origins? A knock on the door from someone wanting hospitality by the hearth? Guest and ghost - the whole thing makes me quite shivery!

Do keep digging - it's fascinating! :D
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Postby sea sprite » Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:55 pm

All these different traditions are going way over my head :oops: Of course I've heard of them, but being so new to all this I find it all very confusing. Now I know what paganism is, I believe I've been one all my life, but it's only in the past couple of years that I've felt comfortable calling myself that. I'm still a complete 'novice' and would love to devote more time to reading up on different pagan paths, etc, but at the moment I'm not able to as Robin is so demanding of most of my time.

I know that there are a few people here who are new to the pagan path, so I think it might be a good idea if we started a thread for people like us that are so new to it and a bit bewildered. I find that if I look on a lot of the websites I end up even more confused :? :lol:

At the moment I just mark each festival in a way that feels appropriate to me, which is what paganism is about, but I would like to delve much deeper into it too.

Sorry, I'm carrying on the off topic discussion! :oops:
Apologies Kit!
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Postby kit » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:02 pm

No, you're absolutely right, SS - we do need a separate thread about different paths for those interested in such things. IWitch and I were discussing just that last night. I know many people are new to all this and would be interested in learning about the different traditions. I know too that many of us just like to follow our own paths and do what feels right rather than follow any set guidelines. I'm off now to start a new thread, and hope that those in the know may like to contribute! :D
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Postby sea sprite » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:32 pm

Great! Thanks Kit :D

I like paganism because you can do what you want to do, which has only become apparent to me since I've been a member of the Stonewylde community. I have a few books (just basic ones) but I always felt that they were too prescriptive. It would be good to know about different paths, just to see if anything appealed or felt 'familiar' to me.

I feel like I need to know some basics so I have a starting point and then I can practice how I would like to. I think I'm more comfortable on my own than working in a big group, but it would be nice to meet others with the same interest. Of course, this forum is great for that, but it would be nice to meet people in my local area too.
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Postby Ebany » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:49 pm

Of course, this forum is great for that, but it would be nice to meet people in my local area too.

Take a look at the Pagan Federation site - they have a list of the local groups and "moots" , I'm pretty sure there's a few listed in Cornwall - yes, just checked it, try this link: http://www.paganfed.org/distr-h.php

good luck!!!
Last edited by Ebany on Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Greymalkin » Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:20 pm

I think a thread where we can learn/teach about our own experiences and beliefs of paganism would be good.
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Postby Milly » Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:46 pm

Love the song Beantighe :D
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Postby Kas » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:25 pm

Wow, I'm with you Sea Sprite, way over my head :? It's been very fascinating reading these posts on this thread, and I'm glad everybody's still friends. I'm an non pagan, but do have an inerest and this place opens my eyes wide. I have the book Ebany recommended by Pete Jennings, so I have a basic idea of other paths, but not enough to comment on any of them. But I'm learning from all of you. :D
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Postby Midori » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:44 pm

The origins of Trick or Treat go way back into the Iron Age, although they were not formalised or called by that name, Soul Caking or anything else.

Samhain, 'Summer's End' in the Irish, Nos Galan Gaeof 'Nights of Winter's Beginning' in the Welsh, though what it was called back then is unknown. It was the time when the Iron Age Folk gathered up their flocks and herds to bring them into the villages for winter protection from predators.

As there were more animals than food for them, there would be a cull, male animals, barren females, old and injured ones would be slaughtered. and the meat preserved by salting, smoking and drying.

As the adults were busy, the children naturally found their own amusement, and we all know what scrapes unsupervised littluns can get into! They would go for food to anyone who was cooking, and would often play tricks on each other, and on any unsuspecting adult they could find. Feeding them would usually put a stop to the tricks, if they wanted to be fed at a certain hearth again!

Over the centuries the customs became more formalised and eventually became the norm, with names and traditions.

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