Baal's Cedar: Natib Qadish, Canaanite Religion
Natib Qadish, a polytheistic religion which reveres the Canaanite deities, is based on ancient culture and the cuneiform texts found at the city of Ugarit. The Canaanites lived 3200 years ago in the areas of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Palestine.
I share articles and commentary rooted in polytheistic, Near Eastern, Levantine, Middle Eastern, Anatolian, and Natib Qadish perspectives. I teach about the deities, festivals, cultures, divination, magic, divination, and beliefs.
The Great Annual Candy Curse
Allow me to begin with a large caveat: I am not a Pagan, or a Wiccan, and I am certainly not a witch. I do not celebrate Samhain; it’s not a part of my holiday calendar.
However, I will party down with my bad self on Halloween. I love the parade of large-eyed pudgy-fisted candy-craving pint-sized goblins who come to my door each year. I eagerly await that little brother in tow, wearing the obligatory lion, tiger, or bear costume, with whiskers and nose painted on his face: you know the kind of kiddo—so young he can’t even say “trick or treat” yet. And sometimes mom or dad comes, too, carrying a little gurgling pumpkin-baby in arms. This traditional tableau is so disgustingly adorable I nearly lose my mind. It really is my favorite American tradition.
I give all of the football players, rock stars, vampires, mad scientists, cartoon characters, and the like, lots and lots of chocolaty candy. I refuse to hand out hard candies or taffies or cheap hard pink bubblegum. I know what I wanted as a kid: forget the crud and hand over the good stuff!
However, trick-or-treater beware: I curse my candy.
Yep. You read that right. Every year, my family opens large packages of individually wrapped chocolate candy bars, dumps them into the large plastic candy cauldron, and then we chant curses over them. Allow yourself a moment for the initial shock to pass. There now. Still breathing?
What are some of the worst things that kids generally detest? Cleaning. Eating vegetables. Letting grandma pinch a cheek. Listening to mom and dad. Doing homework. Leaving the computer to go out and play. Going to school. These form the basic principles of the curses. We curse the candy with thoughts like, “Eat your broccoli,” “Grow strong and exercise,” “Hug your mom and dad,” “Play tea party with your little sister,” “Do your homework well and quickly,” “Enjoy school,” “Call your grandma,” “Play outside,” “Clean your room,” “Say please and thank you,” “Put away your clothes,” and so on. You get the idea.
One year, it backfired on my family. We had some fierce weather and no ghoulies came to our door. We and our friends had to eat the candy. I don’t know whether or not I kept the house cleaner after that, but the candy still tasted as good.
I figure if I’m going to be one of the many accused of evil activities listed in those dreadful little “Chick sheets” (religious tracts) going around this time of the year, I might as well have a little bit of fun with it.
So with that, I shall leave you with a little trick-or-treat by Sugar Ray: “New Direction.”
2 Magmaru (month), Shanatu 85 (year)
This date reflects a date in the Canaanite calendar according to Ugaritic texts from 1200 BCE. It is the 2nd day from the previous new moon. The Canaanites made greater offerings to the deities during each chudthu (new moon) and malatu (full moon). Chudthu (new moon) marks the beginning of the lunar month.
Jack O’ Lantern made for Holywell Manor Halloween Celebrations in 2003. Photograph by Toby Ord, 2003. Used and credited under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jack-o%27-Lantern_2003-10-31.jpg
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