We feel magic all around us as Halloween, Witches’ New Year, Samhain (pronounced Sow-en), or All Hallows Eve is celebrated October 31st. This holiday steeped in lore begins the onset of winter and “the end of summer” as the earth moves towards darkness marking another turn on the Wheel of Life.
The Festival of Samhain is based in Celtic tradition as a celebration of the harvest honoring the natural cycle of life and death. This powerful time in the seasons also marks a period of letting go of old ways as we are called to go inward and become introspective and intuitive. Samhain calls on us to reflect on the past year and release any weaknesses in habit and reset.The ancient rituals of Halloween or this “Night of the Dead” remembers our ancestors and those who have gone before us, as the veil between worlds is thin. It is said that this time is best for communicating with loved ones from beyond. It is custom to leave festival treats and sweet cakes out for those who have departed.
Samhain celebrates and honors the summer and fall bounty while we put away food in storage. Delight in the colors and tastes of pumpkins, squashes, dried fruits and nuts in all their bounty.
As we masquerade and parade in the streets in frightful and fanciful costumes, enjoy the chocolates but always remember the traditions that came before.
- Create and decorate a sacred alter space, with autumn leaves, apples, pomegranates, orange, white, and black candles, gourds, nuts especially acorns and of course include a cauldron….
- Make a mask of your shadow self
- Drink Mulled Apple Cider to honor the dead
- Carve jack-o-lantern faces into pumpkins, gourds, squashes, and put candles in them
- Write on a piece of paper any habit, weakness, or negative thinking or anything that that you do not want to take into the New Year and toss it into a fire (use caution)
- Dress in costume something you wish to bring in to your life
- Make a Magickal Witches Broom or Besom- visualize it sweeping away negativity and leave in the hearth of the home for protection
- Have children leave honey and milk out for the Faerie folk
witch art by Sherry Byrum