23 1 min 10 yrs

I had a go earlier with the shotgun. Strange to say mine turned out slightly different, but it took me less time to finish.

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23 thoughts on “HOW TO CARVE A PUMPKIN

  1. Hallowqueen is an American sop to the various CULTURAL and RELIGIOUS groups that make up modern America.
    Any of you Yankees want to provide evidence that Halloween was practiced by the (Christian) Founding Fathers??
    You can’t because they never did.
    It’s a Hollywood invention.
    Here in England we celebrated Guy Fawkes night on the 5th of November, when Guy Fawkes led a (Catholic) plot yo blow up the Houses of Parliament. Although his parents were Protestants, Guy was sympathetic to the Catholic cause.
    So right there, we Brits have a historical basis to Guy Fawkes Night.
    The modern celebration of Halloween is a bunch of nonsense. Even the Roman Catholic Church has no time for it….


  2. Agit8ed –

    Not so fast.

    “Halloween” is “All Hallows Eve” and has its roots far back in our pagan heritage, in the Celtic Samhain and in folk harvest festivals.

    The ancient Roman festival of Lemuria was similar to Samhain, and (IIRC) a Pope Boniface consecrated All Saints Day as Lemuria’s Christian successor in the early medieval period.

    A later Pope (or Pontifex Maximus, as the ancient Roman Chief Priest was known and which is still the title of Popes) moved it to 1st November – All Hallows.

    There’s a very good reason for Christians to observe Halloween/All Hallows Eve, and I don’t mean in a garish way with costumes, but we should also hold a reverence for the way in which we reach far back into our pagan heritage when we do so.

  3. Interesting, I think, that the early Christians in England, instead of completely ignoring the pagan festivals, chose instead to sort of “Christianise” them, keeping the same dates, but surplanting Christian theology onto them.
    “All Hallows Eve” – In Pagan terms, isn’t this a time when communication with the deceased is rendered more possible, due to (say) the alignment of the stars? Perhaps the early Christians were trying to say “we don’t disregard the essence of that festival; we just want to impart a new understanding of the direction of it”, or something along such lines?
    All very interesting.

  4. Tom Tyler –

    Stars don’t come into it, but yes, Samhain was the beginning of winter, a time to gather supplies, welcome the dark, cold spirits and greet the souls from the “Otherworld” which entered the human world at this time.

    A few years ago I was driving through Sweden on Halloween. I drove past a cemetery which was lit up by thousands of candles, spread out on every grave. It was an unbelievable, spectacular sight which I saw also in Poland a few years ago. The parallels with the pagan tradition (and the horribly commercialised Halloween) are clear.

    Across much of Europe tomorrow, cemeteries will be lit up because of All Souls/All Hallows, and that’s a Christian thing, but the roots are explicitly pagan.

  5. Tom,
    Off the wall!
    The NT church would have no time for the modern version of All Hallows E’en.
    It has more in common with South American folklore than Biblical Christianity.
    Ask yourself, does Halloween draw you closer to the worship of Christ or Satan??

  6. Not wanting to be nosy, Pete, but, (no, hold on a second – that’s a meaningless statement which we say when we ARE meaning to be nosy, so…) Being completely nosy, Pete, so feel free to tell me to mind my own, if you simply don’t want to answer (there, that’s more honest!) – What’s your own religious/spiritual feeling on this? Are you exploring paganism, for example? If so, what does it offer you, which Christianity “leaves you cold” about?
    I know that sounds like a loaded question, but I’m not wanting to get into a fundamentalist “I’m right, you’re wrong, boo raspberry” argument here, I just would like to know if you are leaning towards any religious or spiritual belief…if you want to answer.
    As for myself, I would call myself a Christian, born and brought up in the RC variety, and although I acknowledge, and am sickened by, the recent uncoverings of child abuse in that religion, I still pretty much hold fast to the teachings of that Church (if not some of the teachers). So that’s where my dog is in the race. I just wondered where you see yourself, in spiritual terms? Just a question, and as I say, if you don’t want to answer, no problem.

  7. Agit8ed, yes, I am aware that many branches of the Christian Church absolutely refute and denounce ‘Halloween’ as satanic in nature. It’s a complex issue, and speaking personally, I don’t like Halloween, and I don’t take part in any aspect of it.
    On the surface, “ghouls, witches and goblins” is all just a bit of harmless fun for children. But of course, I have heard many Christian preachers say that, if one takes it seriously, there is the possibility of being drawn into occult worship. I don’t want to be drawn into any such thing, so I don’t participate in Halloween, except to give “trick or treaters” a bit of loose change. I think the subject must be approached sensibly, on the one hand not wishing to deny children a bit of “ghostly” fun, but on the other hand, recognising the seriousness of the issue.

  8. One of the greatest Christian paradoxes for me is if Christians are supposed to love and / or pray for the sinner, where does that leave them with Satan, the greatest sinner of all?

  9. Tom Tyler –

    No worries, ask away.

    I’m extremely interested in paganism as a historical fact of my country and people. It lives on and comes through to us in many ways. It lives on in ceremonies and place names and rituals and the landscape. Our country was shaped by our pagan forebears who bequeathed practices and rituals which our Christian forebears were happy to adopt, although Christians today seem strangely averse to admitting it.

    To close ourselves off to paganism is to close ourselves off to our own history and heritage, one that lived in an unbroken line of folk memory and rituals until deep into the 20th Century. Those who would dismiss and ignore it might as well dismiss and ignore Stonehenge, not to mention our thousands of other pre-Christian sites.

    No, I’m not a pagan. I’m a Christian with a junkie-like addiction to history and landscape. Even so, I’ll be out greeting the spirits tomorrow … 😉

  10. Thanks, Pete. Life’s a great puzzle, spiritual/physical and all sorts of ways. Wishing you all the best in every aspect of it, please wish me the same in mine!

  11. Mahons; “Satan wept.”
    Oh yes mate. It’s like a madhouse of nutty theories here. I love it.

  12. After seeing the digger and the ice cream truck that two sets of parents built round their respective kids wheelchairs as their Halloween costume, I think I love Halloween 🙂

  13. I found Mahons’ 00:18 and Dave Alton’s 11:38 reply quite interesting, in a certain way: It’s odd that, with Christianity, lots of people think of it as a religion which is all about “a very nice guy with a beard and sandles, telling us all to be very nice to each other” (which is certainly PART of it), but once us Christians discuss “spiritual” or “supernatural” aspects to it, such as “satan”, as if he were a real being, then we kind of get laughed at. Yes, of course, I do see the funny side, it IS rather barmy, but, my point is, when we come to discuss other religions such as paganism, or things like (for example) Reiki, people seem to take it for granted that there is a “supernatural” aspect in play, they don’t get worked up about it or laugh about it, in quite the same way they do with Christianity. I find that odd. Do you see what I mean?
    Another example is, there are South American communities who use the root of the Iboga tree as a drug, and they value this plant very highly, they say that its ingestion gives them very deep spiritual experiences. I don’t doubt their sincerity in this belief, and I don’t doubt that this plant may well be able to help them. When the BBC screens a documentary about (say) Iboga, our reaction is “hey, this sounds interesting, it might well be something we could use to gain enlightenment”. Yet, we seem to have this cultural block when it comes to describing Christianity as a “spiritual” religion. People instead might describe Christianity as “organised religion / rules and regulations / enforced guilt”, you know, all that sort of thing.
    Mahons/Dave A, I’m not rubbishing your comments, and I do see the funny/barmy side! But please be aware that, to Christians, our religion does contain references to the supernatural, just like any other religion! I don’t mind you laughing at it, and I don’t demand that you respect it either, but I would like you to be aware, at least, that Christianity is just as much a “supernatural” belief system as, say, paganism, and as such, is worth exploring on the same terms (if you are inclined to explore anything on such terms!)

  14. Paul McMahon said,

    One of the greatest Christian paradoxes for me is if Christians are supposed to love and / or pray for the sinner, where does that leave them with Satan, the greatest sinner of all?

    Hi Paul, well here’s a subject which will get laughed at, but OK, I’ll attempt to explain it in terms of Catholic theology (Agit8ed might well have a different point of view as a Protestant Christian):
    ‘Satan’ is supposed to be an angel, a supernatural being created by God. According to Catholic theology, this being grew proud, and said to himself “I could be just as mighty as God”, and thus, in that very thought, he “fell from grace”, choosing to worship himself rather than his creator. There is supposedly no good in “praying for satan” because, unlike a human being, who can choose to do good or evil, satan has willingly and knowingly chosen to depart from the good that comes from God, and instead, being fully cognisant of the implications in a way that no man could be, he has chosen to “do evil” by worshiping himself, if that makes any sense.
    In Christian theology, it was his (satan’s) influence which caused mankind to first sin (“sin” basically meaning to do one’s own will, independent of what God wills). And as a result, here we all are, a race of wonderful, intelligent, creative beings, yet marred by this thing called “sin”, which means that we see ourselves as our own god, each of us serving our own self-interest rather than God’s interests.

    I’m just trying to explain Christian theology here, I’m not trying to convert anyone, or even expecting anyone to agree with me. A lot of people will find this theology very offensive, an affront to the essential dignity of mankind. I understand that.

  15. Thank you for having the good grace to Answer Tom.

    I can’t understand the difference in man having free will to follow God’s will or not and, in choosing not to, commits ‘sin’ we are told to love the sinner and hate the sin yet when Satan supposedly follows the same path the love the sinner, hate the sin principle isn’t applied.

    Another thing which leaves me perplexed is that we are told God is omnipresent, infinitely wise, able to know everything that will happen until judgement day and compassion incarnate why is his love dependent on us worshipping him. This also seems to be directly contradictory to the Cardinal Sin of pride which, according to my Catholic upbringing, was supposedly the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins?

    For me it just seems so blatantly contradictory.

  16. Paul, I would say, never mind about ‘Satan’ or ‘the devil’. That stuff is beyond our understanding. Leave him to God, for the time being let’s just concentrate on us humans.

    God’s love for us is NOT dependant upon us worshipping him. He loves you, and me, and He loves the most holy-joe monk, and the “vilest” prostitute/politician/drug dealer etc, he loves every one of us equally. Whether you feel that God is a hypocritical piece of shit, or if you feel that he is wonderful, he loves you just the same. He understands where each of us is at. We are all equally sinners and wrongdoers in his eyes, yet he loves us all.
    The Old Testament Bible book named “Isaiah” said of Christ, “he took our infirmities and bore our illnesses (upon the crucifix, where he died). Upon him was laid the price which makes us whole again, and by his stripes (meaning the lashes which he took when he was flogged), we are healed”. Basically, this means that God, the “supreme spirit” if you like, demanded that a price must be paid for all of our wrongdoings. Christ paid that price. He took you and me, he comprehended all of our wrongness and self-centredness, and he willingly gave himself up to be put to death as punishment for all that. And God, the supreme spirit, looked on his death and somehow (in a way that is a bit beyond our understanding) said “OK, I accept that death as the punishment for all the wrongdoings of the human race”.

    Now, I often used to think of this whole scenario as very unfair. Firstly, surely I am responsible for my own bad deeds in my life. I could not accept the theology which said that “original sin” had been passed down onto me by “Adam”. Surely Adam’s sin was Adam’s sin, but not mine! Why should my faults have anything to do with his (if he even existed)? It seemed so unfair!
    Yet, the Christian remedy comes to us in very much the same way: One man (Christ) dies for me, or “in my place”, in order to cancel out these faults of mine. Again, it seems rather unfair: My faults ought to be MINE, not anyone else’s. Yet God’s way is not our way, in these matters.

    I have had a lot of struggles with Catholicism too, Paul, and I don’t think that the Catholic church knows it all, and I also think that the Protestant churches have a lot of truth to offer. Christianity is a work in progress.
    I don’t know it all, but throughout my own life, I have seen my prayers answered, and I have seen God’s loving hand at work in my own life, and in the lives of my close relatives, that I feel confident in saying to anyone, “put your trust in the Lord, the God of Israel”.

  17. Way too complex….Halloween is children, costumes and candy. A commercialized, friendly neighborhood venture with zero religious content.

    I do wish you luck though, sorting out complex biblical mysteries and defining the great enigma of God’s unknowable will.

  18. Theocrats need to scare the shit out of their followers to insure compliance with their precise communal mindset. Creating a secular, devil boogie man serves quite well.

    As a former Catholic, I sit in amazed wonder at the streams of pure bullshit that pour forth from the Vatican. A corrupt agency of vast riches that Jesus would no doubt damn to eternal depths of Hell.

    Paul, I have no use for any church these days. God’s easier found in the face of my children or cascading down the limestone hills and clear water creeks surrounding my home.

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