The waning year is in full swing and Halloween is just around the corner. Halloween is a tradition that I grew up with here in the heartland of America. When I got older, I understood this time of year was important to people by various names and from different cultures/spiritual faiths: All Hallows evening, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, Hallowe’en and Hallowtide. Many witches, Wiccans celebrate it as Samhain (Soween) today. For myself, Halloween was just fine but I integrated personal practices into the celebration into the “tide” that last from about October 31 through November 7th. Celebrating as a child meant enjoying the cooler weather. It meant preparing to make a costume and go trick or treating. I have fond memories of popcorn balls, candied apples, and even an orange kitty cat dropped right into my Halloween sack as a treat (since she ran out of candy.)
By fifteen, I’d developed a deeper sense of the season. I had always associated it with spirits and even monsters. But I’d begun to observe nature and relate to it symbolically and emotionally. Leaves falling from the trees were a symbol of letting things go. The season blew in melancholy feelings and I’d sit in the garden to pay attention to the blooming mums, enjoy the cool wind that played in my hair. I drew a strength from the season that couldn’t be verbalized. I observed farmers burning off their fields for the season and animals preparing for the winter and felt that I too was withdrawing to my own internal world.
As a Wiccan hedge witch, I see Halloween with awakened eyes. I see the children as visiting spirits and acknowledge the treats as representative of the little offerings given to spirits in the past (so they don’t cause harm or mischief.) I smile when I see the porch-lights. I realize that they have become the modern candles burning in the night; to guide friendly spirits home. The wicked smiles of the pumpkins -once guardians to ward off wicked spirits have become a fantastic symbol for the season. There is deep magic at this time of year -the kind that is felt deep in the bones. This time of year is special for most witches -and each has their own way of honoring the season. Here are some of the ways that I celebrate this wonderful time of year. I hope you have a great one!
Choosing a costume to represent the energy of something you desire. Dressing up in the costume becomes an act of empowerment and it allows you to connect with or represent what you’d like to bring with you into the new season to come. This year, I’ve chosen the mermaid. She is a symbolic balance between the earth and the land, animal and human and she can swim to the inner depths and discover treasures she didn’t know was there.
Transitional Rituals: Coming of age ceremonies, departed loved one ritual and honoring, Rituals that release unwanted/harmful life patterns.
Cook a meal and set a place for the ancestors, honor them during a ritual, set up a small table with those who have passed away and leave them small gifts or treats which will later be buried or placed in compost. Visit the graves of loved ones and offer protection, clean up their space, leave flowers or other trinkets.
Blessing the treats:
Oh, those sweet, plump little hands grabbing for tasty treats from the Halloween bowl. A good luck prayer is perfect over the candy *make your life a little sweeter*
Halloween gift cards:
Reach out to your witchy friends and send them a postcard or homemade card with a season’s greeting. It is so special to get mail to open, read and touch!
Decorate for the Season:
Decorate with intention. Create a pumpkin with a scary face to guard the home and bless the candle as it’s soul light.
Divine: Pull out your personal divination tools for a reading
Table/Altar set up: Black or maroon cloth, pine cones or other natural items I’ve picked up on walks, small pumpkins or ears of dried corn, offering bowl, divination tool, apples, pomegranates, Buckeye, ancestor candle, black fireproof bowl and other tools (this may depend upon your personal practice or tradition).