Synyster Graves

Solstices, Saturnalia and Samhain

by on Nov.07, 2011, under Angry Rants

Hallowe’en has been and gone for another year and I’m honestly disappointed that I didn’t get a single trick or treater come to my door. Ok that was a lie, I’ve been in bed with a severe cold so I’m grateful to have zero interruptions during my period of convalescence . But anyways, my point for this rant is directed at some people who recently have verbally condemned my enthusiasm with regards to my zealous appreciation of Hallowe’en. Apparently it means I’m a “satanist”, which personally is vexing as I don’t really subscribe to any religion whatsoever, so the implication that I’m a “satanist” would infer that I believe in Satan, of which I do not.

Considering the notion that celebrating Hallowe’en makes you a “satanist” because you are celebrating a Pagan festival is totally absurd, fundamentally down to the fact that “pagans” for a better name, are not the same as satanists. Just because there is a general display of skulls, skeletons and dare I say witches, doesn’t make it entrinsically linked to any form of “devil worshipping”. Hallowe’en in its essence is more of an American celebration which happens to fall in line with Celtic harvest festival of Samhain, the Gaelic new year which celebrated moving into the moving into the “darker” part of the year, and this was celebrated over several days and had similar traits to the Festival of The Dead, which celebrated the deceased members of the community in their harvest festival. That’s the origins of Hallowe’en, it’s a harvest festival. No satan. No devils. Nothing. Just an old world traditional festival celebrating the bounty of crops brought in before the Winter.

But if celebrating pagan festivals is such a taboo, then surely celebrating Christmas is just as condemnable by the people who have criticised me for embracing Hallowe’en? December 25th is actually the pagan festival of Saturnalia, first devised by the Romans for the titan Saturn, god of Agriculture, having a week long celebration, coinciding with the Winter Solstice, otherwise known as the shortest day of the year. This in common culture has put these celebrations together as the public holiday and seems to have adopted the birth of Christ as the reason for celebration.

Plus the ambiguity of Jesus Christ’s birthday has led many researchers to believe that the actual date of birth was June 17th, coinciding with the astrophysical event of an alignment of Venus and Jupiter, 2,000 years ago.

Using the St Matthew’s Gospel as a reference point, Mr Reneke pinpointed the planetary conjunction, which appeared in the constellation of Leo, to the exact date of June 17 in the year 2BC.

The astronomy lecturer, who is also news editor of Sky and Space magazine, said: “We have software that can recreate exactly the night sky as it was at any point in the last several thousand years.

“We used it to go back to the time when Jesus was born, according to the Bible.

“Venus and Jupiter became very close in the the year 2BC and they would have appeared to be one bright beacon of light.

“We are not saying this was definitely the Christmas star – but it is the strongest explanation for it of any I have seen so far.

“There’s no other explanation that so closely matches the facts we have from the time.

“Astronomy is such a precise science, we can plot exactly where the planets were, and it certainly seems this is the fabled Christmas star.”

I’m not saying that this is exact, I’m just trying to say that celebrating Hallowe’en does not make me a satanist. Merry Saturnalia everyone!

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