History of "The Jack-o-Lantern"

Jack, the Irish say, grew up in a simple village where he earned a
reputation for cleverness as well as laziness. He applied his fine
intelligence to wiggling out of any work that was asked of him, preferring
to lie under a solitary oak endlessly whittling. In order to earn money to
spend at the local pub, he looked for an "easy shilling" from gambling, a
pastime at which he excelled. In his whole life he never made a single
enemy, never made a single friend and never performed a selfless act for

One Halloween, as it happened, the time came for him to die. When the
devil arrived to take his soul, Jack was lazily drinking at the pub and
asked permission to finish his ale. The devil agreed, and Jack thought fast.
"If you really have any power," he said slyly, "you could transform yourself
into a shilling."

The devil snorted at such child’s play and instantly changed himself
into a shilling. Jack grabbed the coin. He held it tight in his hand, which
bore a cross-shaped scar. The power of the cross kept the devil
imprisoned there, for everyone knows the devil is powerless when faced
with the cross. Jack would not let the devil free until he granted him
another year of life. Jack figured that would be plenty of time to repent.
The devil left Jack at the pub.

The year rolled around to the next Halloween, but Jack never got around
to repenting. Again the devil appeared to claim his soul, and again Jack
bargained, this time challenging him to a game of dice, an offer Satan
could never resist, but a game that Jack excelled at. The devil threw
snake eyes—two ones—and was about to haul him off, but Jack used a
pair of dice he himself had whittled. When they landed as two threes,
forming the T-shape of a cross, once again the devil was powerless. Jack
bargained for more time to repent.

He kept thinking he’d get around to repentance later, at the last
possible minute. But the agreed-upon day arrived and death took him by
surprise. The devil hadn’t showed up and Jack soon found out why not.
Before he knew it Jack was in front of the pearly gates. St. Peter shook
his head sadly and could not admit him, because in his whole life Jack had
never performed a single selfless act. Then Jack presented himself
before the gates of hell, but the devil was still seething. Satan refused to
have anything to do with him.

         "Where can I go?" cried Jack. "How can I see in the darkness?"

The devil tossed a burning coal into a hollow pumpkin and ordered him to
wander forever with only the pumpkin to light his path. From that day to
this he has been called "Jack o’ the Lantern." Sometimes he appears
on Halloween!
Next to Christmas, Halloween is the most commercialized celebration in the
United States and Canada. This ancient festival originated far from North America
however, and centuries before the first European set foot on the continent. The
ancient Druids who inhabited what we now call Great Britain placed great
importance on the passing of one season to the next, holding "Fire Festivals" which
were celebrated for three days (two days on either side of the day itself).

One of these festivals was called Samhain is pronounced "sow-en" and is the Wiccan
New Year, both a beginning and an ending point of the ever turning wheel . At this
time the third and final harvest of the year is celebrated, a yeild that ensures
that life witll continue throughout the harsh winter ahead. But as life is
celebrated, so is death.  Witches traditionally believe Samhain to be a time when
the viel seperating the world of the living  from that of the dead  ( the otherworld
) is parted, and ancestors may join in the festivities.  Popular activities include
communication with the dead. divinations to see what the New Year holds and the
hosting of the "dumb supper" , a feast for both the living and the spirits of the
dead that is held in complete silence.  The modern festival of Halloween has its
roots in Samhain. The popular childrens custom of Trick -or-Treating stems from
an Old English practice in which children went door to door begging "soul cakes " to
feed the wandering spirits.  Many Wiccans also mark the symbolic death of the
Horned God on this day.

In order to make themselves and their homes less inviting to these wayward
spirits, the ancient Celts would douse all their fires. There was also a secondary
purpose to this, after extinguishing all their fires, they would re-light them from a
common source, the Druidic fire that was kept burning at Usinach, in the Middle of

Samhain was considered to be a gateway not only from the land of the dead to the
land of the living, but also between Summer and Fall/Winter. For the Druids, this
was the last gasp of summer (it was also the Celtic New Year), so therefore they
made sure it went out with a bang before they had to button down for the winter

They would dress up in bizarre costumes and parade through their villages causing
destruction in order to scare off any recently departed souls who might be
prowling for bodies to inhabit, in addition to burning animals and other offerings to
the Druidic deities. It is also a popular belief that they would burn people who they
believed to be possessed, but this has largely been debunked as myth.

This yearly festival was adopted by the Roman invaders, who helped to propagate it
throughout the rest of the world (and at that time, the Roman Empire was the
world). The word "Halloween" itself actually comes from a contraction of All
Hallows Eve, or All Saint's Day (November 1), which is a Catholic day of observance
in honour of saints.

This tradition was later brought to the North American continent by Irish
immigrants who were escaping the Potato Famine in their homeland. In addition to
the festival itself, the immigrants brought several customs with them, including
one of the symbols most commonly associated with Halloween -- the Jack 'O
My Mama is having a GREAT party
Come on over and "Trick~or~Treat"
at her house as well  ~~~~~~~~~~~~>
Samhain Incense:

1 TBSP Nettle                1 TBSP Calendula
1 TBSP Bay Leaf             1 lil bit of Oak Leaf
1 TBSP Tarragon             2 drops Frankencinse
1 TBSP Sage                    2 drops Myrrh

Place all ingredients in a bowl
to be used for magical purposes.
The Frankincense and myrrh are resins
used to bind the ingredients and retain scent.
Burn on an instant-light charcoal in a screened incense burn
Thanks Pat !!!!
Well, since its naughty be be giving out tricks
I decided to give you all the treat  ...
a "sweet" piece of pixie  ~~~~~~>