We all know what Halloween is, and we’ve all heard about the pagan rituals that it derived from. Have you heard where those rituals came from? In my research on the history of Halloween I learned about Samhain, where druids would go on a hill that was named Tlachtga (Gaelic for Earth-Spear, also now known as Ward Hill) and light a fire signaling the end of summer and the beginning of the new Celtic year.
Why that particular hill you might ask? It’s supposedly the spot where the daughter of the Druid Mogh Ruith, a blind magician who was not liked by the church of that time and taught his daughter everything he knew. They traveled all over trying to learn from other great druids.
This lead them to Samaria, where they met a wizard named Simon Magnus (from the New Testament), who had the villagers thinking he was a god. Irish writers of the time found the similarities between Simon and Mogh’s magic. It’s been told that the three of them constructed a flying “wheel” named Roath Ramach, a vehicle to fly in the air demonstrating that they have more power than the apostles.
According to Irish lore, Tlachgta brought the flying wheel with her to Ireland and it was said to be made from two pillars of stone. She made the Rolling Wheel for Trian, the Stone in Forcathu and the Pillar in Cnamchaill (Cnamchaill means bone damage). These devices were dreaded by all and stories were told for generations that anyone who touched them died, any who saw them were blinded, and any who heard them were deafened. Some speculate that these stones were lightning rods and the dread associated with them a result of bolts of lightning conducted upon them. Sounds a little like radiation poisoning.
Tlachtga died on Samhain giving birth to Triplets fathered by Simon’s sons. Yes sons, three of them who raped her. When the Roman Catholics caught wind of this, they attempted to overshadow it with All Saints Day or All Hallowmas. The day before it was called All Hallows Eve. Eventually it came to be known as Halloween. In the 19th century it started to become less secular and more kid friendly.
Today the ritual of Samhain is still happening, kids still get their treats, teens still have their tricks, and adults benefit from the candy that looks “suspicious”. I think it’s a win all around.