"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
Romans 16:17
The Secret of Groundhog Day
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: Dec 28, 2015
Updated: Feb 6, 2016

Groundhog Day is a tradition many of us Americans have known as a silly (but for some strange reason news-worthy) event that occurs every year on February 2nd. They say if a groundhog comes up out of the ground and sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter, so for us born-again in Christ, that leaves an obvious question: Where did they get that idea from, and who started that tradition?

"The month of February brings with it the renewal of the power of the sun, of cleansing and purification, as well as an opening of the heart to those we love. With the celebration of Imbolc/Candlemass/Groundhog Day on or about February 2, the power of the rising sun is revealed and honored."
-Lotuswulf Satyrhorn, Tribes of the Moon: A Book of Otherkin Coventry, Seasonal Rituals and Lunar Magick for All 13 Moons, AuthorHouse, 2014, p. 63, ISBN: 9781496922335

As we have seen in Halloween, Christmas, and Easter, the traditions we are typically familiar with are based on sun worship. I'm sure some people out there are tired of hearing about everything being tied to sun worship, but the fact is that the holidays come out of pagan witchcraft, and pagan witchcraft centers around the position of the sun and moon in the sky.

Groundhog Day, or Imbolc, is more commonly known to Catholics as "Candlemas." (They have Lammas or "Loaf-mass" in August, "Christ-mass" in December, and then "Candle-mass" in February.) According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, it is called the "Purification of the Blessed Virgin," but it is actually the Roman Catholic version of the pagan witch's celebration of "Imbolc."
(See "Candlemas," New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, retrieved Dec 26, 2015, [newadvent.org/cathen/03245b.htm])

"In the Roman Catholic Church, Imbolc has become Candlemas, the day that candles are blessed for the coming year in Mary's honor. An old Scottish rhyme about Candlemas ties in with our Groundhog Day mythology that a sunny day will mean six more weeks of winter, while a cloudy day portends an early spring."
-Clare w. Leslie & Frank E. Gerace, The Ancient Celtic Festivals: and How We Celebrate Them Today, Inner Traditions/Bear & Co, 2008, ISBN: 9781594776045

The pagan celebration of Imbolc is exactly six weeks after the Winter Solstice (Dec 21st - Yule/Saturnalia/Christmas), which is February 1st, and of course, just like other popular pagan traditions, the Catholic Church made their celebration the day after to coincide with the pagan rituals. Catholics celebrate Candlemas on February 2nd.

Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
-Jeremiah 10:2

"Imbolc celebrates the first stirrings of life under the blanket of winter. The light begins to grow noticeably. The land is becoming fertile and ripe for new growth, and like it, we are getting ready for the coming spring and our spiritual rebirth after the inner work of winter. The Goddess gave birth to the God at the Winter Solstice, and as his strength grows at Imbolc, she prepares for the cycle of life, death, and rebirth to begin all over again."
-Wicca for Beginners, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2010, p. 157, ISBN: 9780738717753

This pagan ritual marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, and it is taken quite seriously by witches:
"The annual Imbolc festival celebrates the awakening of the land and growing power of the sun. The pagan ceremony marks the half way point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. And it certainly made for a striking spectacle as the pagan participants put on a dazzling fire show against a backdrop of a white, snowy landscape"
-Kerry McQueeney, "That's one way to keep warm! Pagan sun worshippers stage fire festival in battle against winter," DailyMail.com, Feb 6, 2012, retrieved Dec 28, 2015, [dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2096842/Imbolc-Festival-2012-Pagan-sun-worshippers-battle-winter-traditional-ceremony.html]

(Image from same source as quote.)

"In driving snow, masked pagan performers carried the torches - which represented the return of the sun - and used them in a symbolic battle against winter... The annual Imbolc festival, which is based on ancient pagan traditions, is thought to have roots going back to the Celts 2,000 years ago."
-Kerry McQueeney, "That's one way to keep warm! Pagan sun worshippers stage fire festival in battle against winter," DailyMail.com, Feb 6, 2012, retrieved Dec 28, 2015, [dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2096842/Imbolc-Festival-2012-Pagan-sun-worshippers-battle-winter-traditional-ceremony.html]

(Image from same source as quote.)

So the Catholic Church worships the sun god in the same way the pagans do, except they call their god "Jesus" (not the Christ of the Bible, but a false christ), and because of this, they also honor their sun god's returning by lighting candles on their altars.

"Many sabbats feature fire in one way or another, but at Imbolc, Wiccans speak of the 'fire within' rather than literal fire. Wiccan Imbolc ceremonies tend to include lots of candles to encourage the light and warmth to grow... Decorations for a seasonal Imbolc altar might include bulbs and seeds and lots of candles."
-Wicca for Beginners, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2010, p. 157-159, ISBN: 9780738717753

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft... they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
-Galatians 5:19-21

Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
-Galatians 4:8-11

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
-1 John 5:21

"Imbolc (Candlemas): February 2 -- This major Sabbat is associated with the Goddess Brigid (later re-iterated as Saint Brigid). Imbolc means 'in the belly'--as in the year is now quickening in the Goddess's belly. She's pregnant with the new year, buds are beginning to come up, and there are signs of oncoming spring. The days are growing longer as the young God grows stronger, and there is hope for spring. Imbolc is also called Candlemas, and it is a festival of light. Candles feature strongly in the celebrations of this Sabbat... Groundhog Day is also related to Imbolc (in other countries it is sometimes a different animal), which is about being patient for spring to come. It's unlucky to be impatient, which is why winter will last longer if it is sunny and the animal sees its shadow."
-Aurora Greenbough & Cathy S. Jewell, The Complete Idiots's Guide to Spells and Spellcraft, Penguin, 2004, p. 120-121, ISBN: 9781592572427; Greenbough is a 30-year veteran witch and popular Wiccan teacher.

The word "Imbolc" has been associated with two meanings that I have found in researching this subject; one being what we just read, meaning "in the belly," which is a representation of the goddess's giving birth to the renewal of nature in spring, or even of cattle and sheep being pregnant with new livestock. The other meaning Imbolc has is "to wash," as in to cleanse: "Imbolc... has also been connected with a word meaning 'to wash,' presumably referring to ritual purification."
-Patricia Monaghan, The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore, Infobase Publishing, 2009, p. 256, ISBN: 9781438110370; Monaghan was a celebrated author and earth spiritualist who claimed she had visions from 'Gaia'.

Most witches have entire spells they cast that are centered around "spring cleaning" which are done as a cleansing ritual, and that is where the Roman Catholic Church connected the pagan rituals to a "purification" ceremony to their moon goddess they call "Mary."
(Read "Corruptions of Christianity: Catholicism - Idolatry & Mary here at creationliberty.com for more details on "Mary" being the pagan moon goddess of the Catholic Church.)

The exact connection between Groundhog Day and Imbolc/Candlemas is not well-documented, and because of that, it is really left up to speculation at how the Groundhog became the symbol of tradition for most people. Some say it was through traditions of gathering wood, others say it was a tradition created for drunkards to have a good time. Despite how the groundhog became the animal of tradition, what is known is the connection between the sunny day vs cloudy day with the animal seeing its shadow (i.e. it can only see its shadow if the sun is out).

"Yet although it was described as spring's awakening, the weather at this time was generally more wintry than not. Thus weather MAGIC and DIVINATION were common to the day... In Ireland the day was dedicated to St. BRIGIT, the Christianized [i.e. Catholic] version of the Celtic goddess of the same name, whose feast day this became;"
-Patricia Monaghan, The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore, Infobase Publishing, 2009, p. 256, ISBN: 9781438110370; Monaghan was a celebrated author and earth spiritualist who claimed she had visions from 'Gaia'.

Whether people want to believe it or not, Groundhog Day is a form of divination.

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
-Deuteronomy 18:10-13

This is precisely what the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is doing (i.e. divination) when they bring out their idol, Punxsutawney Phil. This is the Groundhog Day event that was featured in the movie "Groundhog Day." (Although the movie was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois.)

The heathen don't care about the evil abomination the Lord God has declared these practices to be, as you can see from this Associated Press video showing the huge crowd of dedicated fans of the "seer" Phil during this Feb 2nd ceremony:
ANNOUNCER: "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator [reads signs and tells future events] of Prognosticators, was awakened from his winter nap by a huge crowd of his faithful followers."

"Imbolc, which is also called Candlemas, is the time when Wiccans celebrate the renewing fertility of the earth... Many people celebrate Groundhog Day on this date. And what is Groundhog Day but a way to let Nature reassure us that spring really will come? Sometimes, even though it is still cold, you can see early buds on trees on this date. This is another way that Nature reminds us to hang on; life is getting ready to burst forth."
-Denise Zimmerman & Katherine Gleason, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft, 3rd Edition, Penguin, 2006, p. 179, ISBN: 9781101097496; Zimmerman owns a Wiccan store in Maryland and has been featured as a Wiccan author in newspapers and magazines.

It's still divination; it's still witchcraft. It doesn't matter what someone wants to believe about it, this is what it all comes from.

What's really sad about all this is how many church-goers will have no problem with exposing Groundhog Day, and will be perfectly fine with accepting it as idolatry and witchcraft because after all, they don't have a warm, gooey feeling inside from Groundhog Day. Yet, those same church-goers will reject the teachings on things like Christmas, Halloween, and Easter, because they have an emotional investment into those specific witchcraft traditions.

If we claim to be of Christ, then we need to be of Christ and do the things which He commands us to do; pleasing Him instead of ourselves. In addition to the sin of divination, the groundhog has turned out to only have a 39% accuracy rating. (Flipping a coin would typically give better results than that!)
(See Remy Melina, "How Accurate Are Punxsutawney Phil's Groundhog Day Forecasts?" Live Science, Feb 1, 2011, retrieved Dec 28, 2015, [livescience.com/32974-punxsutawney-phil-weather-prediction-accuracy.html])

The main reason people get involved in this tradition is exactly that: because it's tradition. There are gatherings and revelings, and the world would not think to sanctify themselves from the festivities for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ because they don't have a love of the truth.

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
-2 Thessalonians 2:10

They love themselves and their traditions more than they love God. This is why it is so important for born-again Christians to sanctify themselves; because we are the representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, and any tradition that encourages the practices of the heathen is not of the Christian God of the Bible.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
-2 Timothy 3:4

No one goes to hell because they celebrated Groundhog Day/Candlemas/Imbolc. We're not saved by works, but our works are a result of our faith founded in Christ, and if so many are professing to be of Christ, why do they not do the things which He says to do?

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
-Luke 6:46

For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
-1 Thessalonians 1:9

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
-2 Corinthians 6:14-18

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