Christian Holidays Taken from Wiccan/Pagan Sabbats

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Christian Holidays Taken From Wiccan/Pagan Sabbats
Melissa Ezzell
COM 220
July 4, 2010
Titilayo Evans

Christianity and Wicca (Paganism/Neo-Paganism), what do you know about these two religions? When I was growing up I believed in the Christian beliefs; however I now practice Wicca. Look closely at the Christian religion and notice how similar it is to Wicca. Although denied by most Christians the similarities are there because “Christianity began in the middle of Pagan culture” (Kane, p. 12). Is the origin of Christianity based on ancient Pagan beliefs or is it wholly original?

Christianity started around four BC (History of Christianity, 2004; Anonymous, Timeline of Christianity, 2006) yet Wicca was said to have started around 2000 BC (Anonymous, Timeline of Neopaganism, Wicca, and Witchcraft, 2005). However, most of Wiccans practice what is now known as “modern” Wicca, which was founded approximately in 1949 with the first Wiccan publication, by a man named Gardner (History of Paganism, 2004).

In the time of Christ, paganism was known as the mystery religion. Paganism was called as such because of the secretive nature and lack of writings associated with them. “A variety of mystery religions were practiced throughout the empire, but most of them held in common a heavy element of secrecy, the use of syncretism in their belief and practice, and a focus on the death and resurrection of a savior-god” (Anonymous, Timeline of Neopaganism, Wicca, and Witchcraft, 2005, p. 15). However, witches no longer have to be secretive and practice in the dark, but some witches will still practice in secret because of the fear that has been “burned” into their hearts. Most of the knowledge of these pagan religions dates from the second century (Anonymous, The Historical Context of Christianity, 2004).

Around four BC when Jesus was born is about the time Christianity was believed to begin. Before Jesus went on his ministry, approximately 28 Common Era (CE), John the Baptist began spreading the word of the Christian God and the coming of his kingdom (History of Christianity, 2004). “The precise duration of Jesus’s ministry is unknown, but many estimates suggest that his public work lasted between one and three years” (History of Christianity, 2004, p. 4). The life of Jesus was cut short when the Romans executed him (History of Christianity, 2004). After Jesus died he was said to rise again, and the “rebirth” is celebrated on Easter.

Ostara is one example of pagan influence on Christianity. Other examples include the sites of where Catholics built their churches, their saints who were, in fact, Goddesses and Gods, their holy days, and cultural celebrations. Most of the Christian holidays have been taken from pagan holidays and beliefs (Anonymous, The Historical Context of Christianity, 2004). For example: * Groundhog Day is Imbolc (Robinson, 2002), * Easter is Ostara aka Spring Equinox (Anonymous, Easter; Its Pagan Origins, 2009) * Christmas, which is Yule (Robinson, 2002) * May Day, which is Beltane (Robinson, 2002) * Halloween, which is Samhain (Robinson, 2002) * the names for days, weeks, and months, common sayings, and numerous other traditions associated with holidays (Robinson, 2002)

According to the website Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth (POCM), “Mediterranean cultures in the ancient world ‘shared standard ideas about Gods and their powers and place in the universe [and] Christianity simply adopted those ideas and applied them to Jesus’” (Kane)

Here is a look at which Christian holidays were taken from Wiccan Sabbats
(Anonymous, A Comparative Look at Catholicism and Wicca, 2000)
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