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Celebrating A Witch’s Halloween

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!

Costume Magic:
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.

Ancestor/land Offerings:
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).

Creating A Magic Home (Cleared and Shielded)

Home is the place we laugh, love, gather, a place of security and an essential sanctuary -or it should be.  A wise witch maintains his/her home and space.  Our environment impacts us -that much is sure.  I giggled the first time I saw Howl’s moving castle.  Granny Sophie told a curious patron that she was the scariest witch -the kind that cleans.

Cleaning is an act of magic and it is a good place to start. Before you begin, consider what you have in your home and how it is arranged.  Does it make you feel good?  Does it remind you of old memories you’d rather forget? Get rid of what you do not need and tidy up as much as possible.     A home should first be properly cleared.  The clearing should be expanded to the property if possible.  If you do not own your home this may not be applicable.  After the home and property are cleared, a blessing is done.  Following the blessing are seals and barrier work. It is important to note that these spells build over time; also consider carefully what you are keeping in and out of your space.

The checklist is complete, the house is cleaned and the old rubbish is out.  Now it is time for a good clearing!   What do I mean by that?  Clearing is essentially resetting the energy in your space -it neutralizes the field so to speak.   At least, that is the way that I think about it. Clearing the home can be done in a multitude of ways (keep that in mind as I describe my own method.)  Clearing should be extended to the property but if you do not own your property (or require a certain level of discretion this may not be possible.) The good news?  There are ways around it!

After the clearing, it is important to apply seals and erect barriers. It is important to note that these spells are built and maintained over time.  Also, consider carefully what you are keeping in and out of your space.  That will be addressed a little later.  What follows is my personal house clearing.

  • Herbs:  Rosemary and white sage bundle (these herbs are high vibration and excellent for clearing work.)  If you do not have them; mugwort, basil, frankincense also work well.  If you are very sensitive to smoke I discourage burning them.
  • A white pillar candle that has been anointed with olive oil and blessed for the working.
  • Blessed  water (sea salt, rosemary, basil, and elderberry) I brew this up ahead of time and let it cool (infusion).
  • Tokens for the front and back doors, and the four corners of the property.  (The tokens I typically use are dimes, iron bits, wood with rune work…)  These items are later used to seal the house and property and in my personal opinion, this is a very important step.
  • Bell

I set my items up in the central part of the home. I ring the bell three times and light the candle. I say a personal prayer to begin the house blessing.  I open the doors and windows if possible (at least one should be open) and I prefer this to be the back door.  I light the herbal bundle and I begin chanting:  Cleaned, Clear, Cleansed away. Here harm  cannot stay, out the door away from me, away from home and family -Cleared are the windows, closets, and doors, cleared are the ceilings the walls and the floors.  Clean and clear is this space, my home is a blessing, a sacred space.”  This chant is repeated as you walk the home from the front to the back, top to bottom and back to the central space of the home.  After the entire home is cleared I perform a blessing.  The blessing begins with water and earth and is completed with air and fire.  I ask for the blessing of guardians, guides, and other energies. Blessings are very personal for me, I encourage everyone to write their own but if you have trouble with words, consider these:  I complete the work by sealing my doors and windows with the infusion.  I use an equaled armed cross on every door (internal and external; locks included) and windows of the home.

“May this home be blessed with the sacred gifts of the Fire; may it warm the hearth and hearts of those who live here and serve us.  Let this home be blessed with the prosperity and abundance of the earth -may our bellies be full and our life and works prosperous. When we most need stillness let it be found within this sanctuary.  By water, this home is blessed,  by the gifts of love, joy and connection.  By the air this home is blessed, here is clear communication, inspiration, and beginnings that help us thrive.”

I complete the work by sealing my doors and windows with the infusion.  I use an equaled armed cross on every door (internal and external; locks included) and windows of the home. Finally, I bury the tokens at the four corners of my property while envisioning a barrier akin to the image of the magic circle (or sphere).  Extra tokens are placed inside the home such as above the doors or hidden in the walls, vents etc. Make sure the clearing has been performed prior to placing these or you might inadvertently trap energies that you do not desire in your space.

It takes energy -hence the work.  However, it is important to care for your space, it is the epitome of the labor of love.  You can build on the protections and blessings as the moon waxes.  If you do not own your property, you can erect the barrier on the walls inside of an apartment to keep energies from above or beside you from leaking through.  A protective stone planted inside of a pot with a plant (such as cactus plants, or holly for example) will aid in shielding your space.  If it suddenly starts to die even though you are taking care of it correctly, consider another clearing.