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For growing ranks of pagans, October 31 means a lot more than Halloween
A pagan altar constructed for Samhain, the pagan new year, which is October 31.
October 31st, 2011
09:54 AM ET

For growing ranks of pagans, October 31 means a lot more than Halloween

By Susanne Gargiulo, Special to CNN

As pumpkins, witches and faux cobwebs have taken over much of North America for Halloween, Clare Slaney-Davis is preparing an October 31 feast that some would consider much spookier, with table settings for her grandparents, a great-aunt and other relatives who have passed away.

As she and her living guests eat, they'll share stories and memories of loved ones they've lost.

The Christian debate over Halloween

Slaney-Davis, who is based in London, isn't preparing the feast for Halloween. Instead, she and pagans around the world are celebrating Samhain, the beginning of the pagan new year, a night when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is believed to be the thinnest of any time during the year.

That's why it's a night devoted to ancestors. "We honor them, and we recognize that we don't live in a world of people who are merely dead or alive," says Slaney-Davis, 46. "Ancestors are central to us."

Along with the Catholic holiday All Saints' Day, Samhain is considered an ancient forerunner of Halloween. Samhain began as a Celtic celebration marking the end of harvest and the beginning of winter's hardship.

Today, pagans play down the Halloween-Samhain connection. But the growing popularity of the pagan new year in Europe and North America is part of what many experts say is a global revival of paganism.

Slaney-Davis, who trained as a witch and a druid, says her religion has nothing to do with ghosts and ghouls. "To me, being a pagan means being in divine balance with nature and being responsible for my actions," she says. "I understand that my behavior has an effect on people I don't even know exist. It is not a theology of perfection but one of belonging."

Over-the-top jack-o'-lanterns

But it is a theology that's gaining ground. According to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, the number of members of "other religions" or "new religious movements," categories that include pagans, more than doubled between 1990 and 2008, to 2.8 million.

The survey, conducted byTrinity College in Connecticut, reported that the numbers of Wiccans and neo-pagans had also doubled in that time.

Contemporary pagan religions like Wicca and druidism are considered neo-pagan movements.

"(Paganism) is one of the fastest growing religions in the world," says Michael York, a retired religious scholar from Bath Spa University in the UK. "True numbers are impossible to come by because many people are wary to admit they are pagan, and reliable statistics just don't exist."

Movies that scare the people who scare us

While paganism covers a range of individual religious groups, including Wicca, druidism, and shamanism, they're bound by some common denominators, such as roots in ancient, pre-Christian beliefs, and their view of nature and the whole physical world as sacred.

"In traditional religions you have a conflict between God and nature," says York. "But for pagans, nature becomes the truest expression of the divine."

That, he says, is a big reason why paganism is seeing a revival: "If nothing else, because of the impending destruction of our environment, and our focus on finding a way to live in balance with nature."

Another key pagan belief is the freedom for each person to determine his or her own way to and view of the divine. "Paganism doesn't put restrictions on what you can and cannot believe," says Jason Pitzl-Waters, co-founder of the Pagan Newswire Collective and the pagan blog The Wild Hunt. "It grows out of an ethos that there isn't just one sacred way to understand the world."

But that lack of dogma has become something of a stumbling block for the movement. "Because paganism is very individual, it creates the problem of not having a unified voice, because nobody speaks for the movement as a whole," says York.

Another problem pagans face is one of image: For centuries, including during the Roman Catholic inquisition, pagans were denounced as heretics and devil-worshippers.

"One of our greatest challenges is to overcome the hostility of groups that still see us as evil," says Pitzl-Waters. "To some conservative Christian groups, we are an early warning sign of societal collapse."

Just last week, an opinion column in The Christian Post, an online newspaper, warned that the "dark festival" of Samhain is an invitation to the devil. The column said that "even though you don't consciously call upon Satan, his demons are nevertheless present any time a Wiccan goes through a spiritual door by using magic." It calls on Wiccans to ask forgiveness for their sins and to turn to Jesus.

"Part of what is scary for conservative religions is that as a pagan, I consider myself part of the divine," says Holli S. Emore, executive director at South Carolina's Cherry Hill Seminary, which has one of the world's first graduate-level programs for pagan ministry. "That means God lives in me, and that is blasphemous to some. To me, it's a big responsibility to do good and act right."

Scholars say that the neo-pagan view of God being everywhere and in everything is not a foreign idea on the global religious stage. "Much of modern paganism looks to older religions like Shinto, Hinduism and indigenous religions, which see spirit in everything," says Jenny Blain, senior lecturer in sociology at Sheffield Hallam University in England and author of several books on paganism.

"If you add all those to modern paganism, that is a considerable part of the world that does not live with traditional Abrahamic views," she says.

There are signs that paganism is gaining some acceptance in the nonpagan world. For the first time last year, the government of Britain recognized druidism, an ancient pagan belief system, as a religion.

"People either see paganism as dangerous or as a joke," says Pitzl-Waters. "But it is a serious global movement. Paganism has arrived as a world religion. It's not just a bunch of counterculture types playing witchcraft games."

That said, traditional witchcraft rituals, like gathering in circles and uttering spells, have an important place in modern paganism, which further unsettles more traditional religious believers.

"Because Christianity is more conservative, anything seen as supernatural or magic automatically becomes of the devil," says York. "Because of that dichotomy, paganism is automatically seen as satanic."

"People fear what they don't understand," says Emore. "But spells are basically prayers with props. What we call magic is the intentional use of power to achieve change, and just like with prayer, what you are doing is tapping into an inner resource. Gathering in a circle and acknowledging the four elements is nothing new - this is something Native Americans and many ancient nature-based religious people did as well."

For neo-pagans, the four elements - earth, air, water and fire - are closely linked to their view of a sacred planet. "The attributes associated with each element become tools in our meditation and in practices such as spells," says Emore. "Water is associated with emotions and intuition, air with intellect and communications, earth with foundation and stability, and fire with passion and action."

To York, paganism's ancient rituals also help bring a sense of enchantment back into life.

"The ancients had a sense of the magical, but with Christianity came a diminishment," he says. "The magical was denied, everything became inanimate, and from a pagan perspective we lost our connection with the sacred. I think we are rediscovering that now."

"Pagans understand there comes a winter, which is a time to ready for rebirth," York says. "For us, the last 2000 years has been the pagan winter."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Halloween • Paganism • Uncategorized

soundoff (1,367 Responses)
  1. Dennis

    There ARE no pagans left on Earth. These are poseurs of the worst kind.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • CRed

      Actually by definition, all Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc... are pagans so I'd say pagans may actually out number people like yourself.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Les

      I am a pagan and I live on earth., Did you get your degree in igmorance or does it come naturally? Earth-oriented, Hindu, Shinto, Native American are all pagans on earth today. They comprise the largest segment of earth's population,

      October 31, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Mel

      Me too Les, lol, I guess we must be aliens 🙂

      October 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  2. Matthew

    Some of us know our faith and it is beyond religion and this earth. Our faith comes from a higher source-named Jesus Christ!!! God will not mercy on you paegans. But I will pray for all your souls in the name of Jesus Christ. May YOU find him now. Amen

    October 31, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Spiffy

      Cool. You talk to a zombie who lives in a place full of dead people.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Matthew

      Amen

      October 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Matthew

      amen!!!

      October 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • LadyLina

      No offense, but many of us Pagans are happy in our faith and have come from Christian backgrounds. While your prayers are welcome, we are not seeking your Jesus. To us, he was a great Magician, and a prophet and teacher, but we follow our Gods and Goddesses, not man. Our faith, too, comes from a higher place, and needs no man to tell us what we are to do to be our very best in this life.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Yo

      Dude. That's not helping our cause. God may be wrath, but He is also love. I'd start with the latter.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Truth

      It's also beyond thought or reason. Jesus Christ as depicted in the Bible was a smart and compassionate man, but many of those who claim to follow him are far from it.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      @Matthew
      Jesus is dead. That is just gross talking to dead people like that. Now let's get serious, do you like chicks who wear the slu-tty nun, maid, school girl, cheerleader or nurse costumes the best?

      October 31, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Tewks44

      yeah, I can't believe there's a sect of people who believe in a religion with no empirical backing. What's worse, they think you can just simply communicate with beings that have not even been proven to exist just by doing some ritual. I bet these pagans would even go so far as to dismiss scientific fact if it went against their heathen religion. The nerve of some people.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Dave

      Suff it you know where, idiot.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Matthew

      Some of us know our faith and it is beyond religion and this earth. Our faith comes from a higher source-named Jesus Christ!!! God will not have mercy on you paegans. But I will pray for all your souls in the name of Jesus Christ. May YOU find him now. Amen

      October 31, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  3. TLH

    When Jason says this: "Paganism has arrived as a world religion." I'm not so sure that's the best way to put it. The word "paganism" better describes a catergory of religions, not one single monolithic religion where everyone believes the same thing as each other. It's not like Christianity in that respect.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Spiffy

      Yeah because all Christians believe the same thing.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • JMissal

      480-some different demominations, not including all the backwoods churches, would tend to indicate that "christianity" as a general term also represents a category of religions.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Jason Pitzl-Waters

      I actually referred to modern Paganism as a "movement" throughout my interview. I apologize if I gave the impression that I think Paganism is a unified "religion" in any sense of the term. All I was trying to convey is that modern Pagan faiths are now a global phenomenon, not one isolated to the UK or America.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  4. Satan

    I am communicating with Lindsay Lohan's career.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Entil'za

      Must be a short talk.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Hugo

      You do commedy?

      October 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  5. Wally624

    And here we go again folks. Another world famous "Us vs Them" CNN article that's not really meant to educate or enlighten anyone, just another article meant stir people up and get them bickering back and forth like so many little college kids. Like it's been said so many times before, journalism is truly dead. Pagan or not.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Yo

      Atta boy. 🙂

      October 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  6. Rose

    Well, its simple. When someone dies, they fall asleep... no more anything under the sun... Read ecclesiates. There are no spirits of loved ones passed away walking among us.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • LadyLina

      What a very close-minded way to look at the world! If that's the case, I guess the second coming of Jesus that Christians are looking forward to is going to be more like a zombie apocalypse.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Zombie 1

      YES!!! ZOMBIE APOCOLYPSE...THRILLER 24/7!!!!

      October 31, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  7. phil

    It's a shame some people want to take hoildays or other things from the rest of us. Grow up and get a life. Quit trying to run the rest of us lifes. Everybody us have a safe and fun halloween. 🙂

    October 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  8. Father O'blivion

    Ah me favorite time of the year when all the young lassies be wearin' their slu-tty nun costumes! God Bless ya then!

    October 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • hippypoet

      at least they can feel the warmth of the ALMIGHTY SUN by drinking glenfiddich before going to get candy!

      October 31, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      So true my tan hippy friend. And with any luck, they will get naked and dance about after lathering generous portions of SPF 50 on each other!

      October 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  9. Heart of Simplicity

    We are so apt about keeping the tradition going, but where is the tradition first established by God, the Almight God, the God that created all things, the God that sent his son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for us and our sins, the God who took pity on us even though he knew that some of us would not believe, and would hate him, and would fail to acknowledge him...see we don't want to follow that tradition...we better get it together people and get our priorities straight!!!

    October 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      Well, you got one thing right. You ARE simple.

      I do not believe in him so it is not possible to hate him. that doesn't make any sense.

      Jesus is dead (and Elvis too in case you weren't sure) if he even existed (Jesus I mean, we have proof the Elvis existed).

      Now, where are the chicks in the slu-tty costumes??

      October 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • LadyLina

      Um...the FIRST tradition was that of Samhain, brought by the Celtics. Hence the holiday that was stolen by the Christians... Did you read the article?

      October 31, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Matthew

      Amen.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  10. pmn

    I am Christain. However, I view this holiday as just dressing up and having fun. Some people take a little far. I am in the real and now not some trumpt up fantasy world.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • unbeliever

      or so you think...

      October 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  11. R

    Christian laughing at pagans is like one f00l!sh laughing at other.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  12. BoldGeorge

    The best definition for Paganism is all religions that are not in the Abrahamic order; within this category there can be found agnostic, atheistic, pantheistic and polytheistic religious movements which are unconnected to the Judaism and true Christianity. That being said, there are Christian movements that have incorporated paganism into Christianity, as well as in Judaism. Pagans place emphasis on polytheism, the acceptance and/or veneration of multiple deities and can believe in many forms of an afterlife. Most Pagan beliefs are based from what its believers experience during religious ecstasy, most notably with s e x ual rituals.

    It's no wonder in the Bible that God warned his people to stay away from paganism and anyone involved in it.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Huh

      "That being said, there are Christian movements that have incorporated paganism into Christianity"

      LMAO! – you're clueless dude. Your religion is based on older pagan beliefs that made up the bible. Wow the arrogance of christians is why our society is going to shit.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • allanhowls

      Calling atheism a religion, much less calling it pagan?

      Let me guess...clear is a color, too?
      Is bald a hair color?
      Is Zero a positive or negative number?

      You fail at logic and reason. Read more than one book and you might just learn something, OK?

      October 31, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Entil'za

      "Your religion is based on older pagan beliefs that made up the bible."

      Evidence?
      Though of course the religion is older than the Bible. The "Bible" wasn't even put together till many many years after the faith began.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Yo

      re·li·gion   /rɪˈlɪdʒən/ Show Spelled[ri-lij-uhn] Show IPAnoun 1.a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

      I don't know about you, but it sounds to me that the belief in nothing is still kind of a religion. It's nothing to be ashamed of.

      Also, I'd be careful calling other people arrogant when you laugh in the face of their opinions and beliefs. It might be called hypocritical.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      @Bold
      And miss out on the s e x u a l rituals? You are crazy man!

      October 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      allanhowls...it's not that I fail at logic and reason, because I most definitely don't. It's just that the bible can only be understood with a meek and humble heart and through spirituality. If you lack all of these, hence the reason why it sounds illogical and unreasonable. 1 Corinthians 2:14 – "But the worldly man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

      And yes, Atheism is definitely a religion. Religion is based on a belief system, whether it upholds spirituality or lacking it, where morality and behavioral standards are developed. If you believe there isn't a God or a Creator, but that there is only "self", that's your religion right there. You believe in yourself and you obviously uphold to common moral standards and live with your own personal purpose of life.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Huh

      "Evidence?"

      Many of the pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained as being worthy of belief.
      Mithra was a Persian/Indian god of the 6th century BC. Apparently, he was born of a virgin on December 25th (as were the gods Osiris, Horus, Marduk, Sol, Saturn, and Apollo), a birth witnessed by shepherds, and by gift-bearing Magi who had followed a falling star. He became known as the Light / Good Shepherd / Son of God, and was said to be able to raise the dead, cast out devils, and cure the blind, lame, and sick. Like the god Attis, Mithra was sacrificed at the spring equinox (Easter, or 'Eostre', being the ancient goddess of spring), rose up after three days, and ascended to paradise (a Persian word). Prior to this, Mithra celebrated a Last Supper with his 12 disciples (representing the 12 signs of the zodiac). In memory of this, his followers would 'eat' their god in the form of wafers and bread (like the followers of Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus) – bread marked with the cross, a symbol borrowed from another god, Tammuz. Mithra's worshippers also believed there would be a 'day of judgment' when sinners and the 'unbaptised' would be dragged down to darkness

      Take for example, the simple wedding ring. This has profound Pagan origins yet is considered an essential part of the wedding ceremony by many Christians.

      Holiness
      The word 'holy' may have been derived from the Old English hālig, which means 'wholeness', or the Old High German hulis, meaning 'holly', which was considered a sacred plant to Pagans.

      Blessings
      From the sprinkling of blood on the altar.

      Fish symbol
      Sometimes called the 'Jesus Fish' because of its link to the ancient Greek Ichthys. The fish is an ancient symbol used by other religions, such as Buddhism and Paganism.

      Pagan clothing
      Vestments and fancy garb do not make the wearer a priest.

      Church buildings and Pagan temples
      Of course it's symbolic, but the symbolism reflects the Pagan belief that heaven is physically up there where it's light. Once again we find Christians following the ancients by looking up at the Sun god16, yet they will tell you that heaven is in a completely different dimension and that the design of a church building is wholly incidental.

      Vow of Silence
      Trappist Monks, famous for their contemplative silence, follow the Scriptures12 so that the voice of the world might be shut out and the voice of God might be heard. But Christian monks didn't invent the idea.
      Pythagoreans from around 530 B.C. took the practice of silence seriously; breaking the vow of silence carried the death penalty. And the priestess-guardians of the sacred Roman fire, the Vestal Virgins, lived in silence for years at a time.

      Chants
      One particular type of Christian hymn is called a carol, which is sung at Christmas time; another custom with Pagan roots:

      October 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • LadyLina

      BoldGeorge: You talk as if you know anything about the myriad of Pagan believes, yet you state, "Most Pagan beliefs are based from what its believers experience during religious ecstasy, most notably with s e x ual rituals." That is the most blatant lie I've read in a long time, and one that has been passed from one Christian to another without any research or knowledge. Most Pagans believe in the power of their deities through nature. We have no single God, but we recognize both male and female aspects in our higher power, and see them through many Gods and Goddesses. Is there such a thing as s e x ual magick? Yes. Is that where we take our beliefs from? No. Very few Pagans practice that form of magick. Please do some research before you respond.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Yo
      Atheism is a negative statement that says only what one does NOT believe.
      It does not imply any behaviours, beliefs, morals, or characteristics whatsoever.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      LadyLina...(nice moniker by the way)...I have done plenty of research on paganism. The term is very broad. It does not disclose any one form of practice or belief, but many. What you as a pagan personally believe, another pagan may believe something totally different. There is one commonality between all pagans though. And it's in the belief of not just one god and mostly notably a god (or gods) being symbolized in nature. From what I've gathered, most paganism stems from the adoration of nature. I can admit that I don't know all, but I do know some. But please take no offense. I do not mean to offend you.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • matt

      lets all just get mad at people for doing something thats not hurting anyone... just because we can... LETS ALL JUST GET MAD!!

      November 10, 2011 at 8:42 am |
  13. Stan

    Where are all the atheist haters??? Has to be a friggin Christian article first, eg, bigots?

    October 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      No, I think these people are looney toons too.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Hours too late, Stan.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Thomas

      When was the last time you had paganism shoved down your throat forcably?

      October 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Stan

      Thomas, the last time i was forced into a christian church....like you...never.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • bob

      Happy to oblige: Pagans vs christians–no significant difference. Just another branch of people who believe in a bunch of silly magic so they don't have to acknowledge the fact that they're going to die someday.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  14. TLH

    Oh, and not all pagans incoporate the four elements (earth, air, fire, water) into their walk. Celtic pagans, for example, have three: land, sea and sky. Again, there seems to be too much cookie-cutter treatment of paganism going on here.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      So...more different stuff.

      I believe stuff too.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  15. R

    Festival is all about, enjoy and be happy. I don't like to remember anyone on those days. If I get day off, thanks to the person who invented the holiday. I am from India and I came to know about halloween around 2 to 3 years back. All I know is fun. Please do not ruin my fun by writing these cr@p.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • TLH

      Tell you what – why don't I denigrate YOUR holy tides by saying someone made it up, it's just about going out and getting drunk and raising nine kinds of hell and being destructive and committing petty crimes, etc, and see how YOU like it.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Goatesss

      So, knowledge ruins your fun. . . .interesting. . . .

      October 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • R

      Dear TLH, are you saying, people who do not agree with you are getting drunk and nine kind of hell ? Your definition of being happy is, getting drunk and nine kind of hell ?

      October 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  16. TLH

    Great article but Samhain is actually the CELTIC New Year, not the universal pagan new year. Some pagans (who follow a more Germanic path) observe Yuletide, at the Winter Solstice, as the New Year. Some who follow an Egyptian pagan path observe early August (the flooding of the Nile) as the New Year. Let's not cookie-cutter paganism, shall we?

    October 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      So why have a name for it at all? Instead of paganism, just call it "stuff."

      October 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  17. FajitaBob

    i'm a loser baby, so why don't ya kill me!

    October 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • waawaa

      What, are you in first grade? What a loser! These boards are for people like you, so enjoy.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • hippypoet

      wow, if these boards are for people like him and you are here posting like that ar you just not seeing yourself in the mirror or something? i was going to no post anything on fajitaf@gs name but you made it so it was fun again... thank you all for being this dumb! you make my day at work fly bye.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  18. Heart of Simplicity

    As I sit here, and read many of these remarks posted, I find myself in utter sorrowfulness as I pity those that do not know the Almighty God. I also see the Book of Revelation fulfilling itself as people have turned away from the True and Living God and choose to worship themselves and believe in something that is clearly against the will of Almighty God. I recommend that after seeking the answer to the question, Does God really exist, from scientific theory or where ever one searches, one needs to seek it in the only place you will EVER find it, the Holy Bible and your heart because only through your true heart will you find God. You cannot find him in science, you cannot find him in someone's opinion, nor can you find him by lighting candles and worshipping stones. You must search your heart and the Holy Bible to find him. See, we as mindful individuals, many of us cannot fathom the thought of a God that is not present to us physically or visually. This is a mistake many of us make because to know God is to feel him; to feel his presence and to trust that he is. We must grasp God with our heart. We must see him with our hearts, not our eyes, and not our minds. To search for him with your mind causes complexity but to search with your heart is simplicity.
    I also get the impression that many of the commenters do not know the Almighty God but I pray that they find him because he will return and the truth will be revealed to the unbelievers but it'll be too late for those that chose any other path but God's path.
    I hope this message delivers, set free, and sanctify someone today. May the Almighty God Be Exalted!

    October 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Matt

      Sorry... I do not believe in fairy tales...

      October 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • jim

      Why is your god any more real than the other 2500 people have or do, believe in?

      October 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Heart of Simplicity, one find anything but simplicity.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Huh

      "the Holy Bible "

      Was written by men for men – no god needed. It's all in your head. There is NO proof your living god exists. The feelings that you feel is your brain sending chemical signals into your body, nothing more. The god in the bible is a tyrant, believe in me or else, there is no love in that.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • dewrober

      Your bible and the representatives of your faith are responsible for some of the most evil acts to have happened on this earth. All in the name of a story, make-believe. Forget your heart, when will you open up your eyes!

      October 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Entil'za

      @Huh- no more real than the fact that no one loves you

      October 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • awasis

      yawn

      October 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Jose M

      I agreed with your post, awesome what you said. I too feel so sorry for all those that are blinded by this suppose holiday or whatever they called. The salvation is a personal thing to each one of us, but is sad to see how many people in the world are showing us sign of what our beautiful has predicted. God bless you too.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Goatesss

      Your Biblican myths are no more valid than any other myth.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • John

      Heart of Simplicity: Is it possible that you have simply have a different name for your god? The things you describe as happening within your heart are VERY similar to the way many pagans feel about our connection to a spiritual sense about the earth and nature. As described by the article, many other faiths not normally called pagan accept that god is a part of all men. Even the bible describes the jews (who happen to be the origon of your faith) had more than one god before their exit from Egypt. Perhaps you have become more rigid in your interpretation of god than your supreme being wanted. Remember that your faith EVOLVED for more than a thousand years before the Cathloic church more or less solified it, and is still evolving to this day. Belief is not cast in stone and never was, whatever you believe. If you think you believe just like the men who new your Christ and those who later wrote the gospels, you are sadly misinformed.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • shocked and dismayed

      And what is the Almighty God's name? Why do you choose not to use it? The Bible contains the name Jehovah in over 7000 places in the original language. Some say it's because we can't know the exact proper way to say it but they do not have the same difficulty with saying Jesus even though the exact same problem exists. So why do you choose not to acknowledge who the Almighty God is?

      October 31, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • someone with a brain

      I have a idea, how about you just pray to your god for yourself, and leave my beliefs out of it. What I choose to believe is my business and no one elses. I don't tell you how to think so please have the courtsey to not to think you have the right to shove your religious bs down my throat.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • LadyLina

      Heart, as I read your post, I was saddened by the close-minded way you think. I can only attribute this to your faith, as that is all you spoke of. How can you see your God in a book and not in a stone that She created? How can words written by men, transcribed and translated by more men, then rewritten by Constantine hold your God, but the trees and animals I see in nature have nothing to do with God? Why can you not see that God has a counterpart, and had a Goddess in Christian traditions until Constantine removed her? You put so much faith in something, your bible, that you have lost the ability to think for yourself and allow God to speak directly to you. Your faith has you blind and deaf. I am Wiccan. I am Pagan. I listen to my God and Goddess. I don't need a book to tell me what they are saying. They send their blessings and hope that one day, you understand.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • crow_raine

      Please do not feel sorry fo me that I do not believe in your god. I love my life and am happy with the choices I made. Additionally, I understand your a Christian and think your right and that you should follow the "Holy Bible", but could you do me a favor and follow it if you believe it. Could you remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy? Thats Saturday if I remember correctly....not Sunday that you worship on now and changed to help convince the Sun Worshipping Romans to convert to Christianity! Could you do me a favor and decide what you believe for Easter? Are you reconizing the day that Christ "rose from the dead"? If so what the hell does the bunny have anything to do with it (thats a Pagan thing too just so you know). As for Halloween....yes that was a Pagan holiday for so long and the Irish are the ones that brought it to this country and spread that tradition. Oh and one last favor....could you tell the Pope that he needs to follow the ten commandments too. Yeah sure this pope hasn't really done anything wrong that I can tell but the ones in the past have had people killed in your gods name (they were called the crusades) and I am sure thats a commandment....thou shall not kill....or something like that. And whatever happened to Thou shall not judge lest ye be judged.....last I checked you....nor anyone else alive have been judged so how can you judge me? Just curious.....thanks and may Thor Bless You.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  19. jim

    Pagans are cool, they have druids. All the Catholics have are pedophiles and 1 Zombie.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Fenris

      Ok, that was mean, but funny. I'm a Catholic, and don't agree with you, but it was still funny.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  20. lunacy

    its everywhere!

    October 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.