As Halloween is fast approaching and we are looking for the hottest wonder women costume or long white Klaise wig, we have seemed to lose sight in this ancient holiday’s traditional roots and rituals. Popularly celebrated as Halloween, October 31st is the pagan holiday of Samhain (pronounced SOW-un).
In addition to its role as a harvest festival, this is traditionally seen as a time when the veil between the worlds of form and spirit is exceptionally thin. In tradition, celebrators bravely gaze beyond this veil - into our shadows, our fears, and our darkest depths. It’s also a time when we’re especially empowered to make contact with our ancestors and beloved dead with real, spooky magic.
If you are looking for new ways to get back into your witchy-selves or ways to spook your soul through this ancient holiday then here are some rituals and celebration ideas to connect with the underworld.
Create an Altar for the dead
In Samhain tradition, it is a time to honor those who have passed on from family to friends. Place candles around a picture of a loved one to light up their memories of their last existence on this earthly plane. You can leave an offering, such as incense, their favorite flower, food, or even a small material possession they loved.
The Magic of Marigolds
One of my favorite authors, Tess Whitehurst wrote in her book The Magic of Flowers, that marigolds “open the door between the worlds and facilitates a sense of connection between the living and the dead.” She also said, “It’s associated with death and rebirth in both India and South America, and is frequently featured on altars to deceased loved ones in Dia de Los Muertos celebration.” As a feng shui tip, it is best to place marigolds in the kitchen where abundance is celebrated or by your front door to honor the death and rebirth of the season and spirits. Do not place them in your bedroom to keep the spirits out or you could get some spooky dreams.
For those who want to dress up, why not dress up as the Greek goddess Hecate? She is the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts, and necromancy. In current times she is usually depicted as a ‘hag’ or old witch, but nothing could be further from the once widely revered and influential goddess. A beautiful and powerful goddess, Hecate was the only one of the ancient Titans who Zeus allowed to retain their authority once the Olympians seized control. Zeus shared with Hecate, and only her, the awesome power of giving humanity anything she wished. She walks in the moonlight lighting up the night with her troches, familiar with the process of death and new birth, Hecate was wise in all of the earth’s mysteries.
Writing Out Your Fears
Three days after Halloween is a full moon, and moon energy can bloom three days before or after. Full moons are great for releasing, so then what a better way to cultivate this energy and take the time to write out your fears. Take a look at each fear you have written, and instead of playing out the worst case scenario, imagine a more positive outlook. If you had the magic of Hecate how would you make your fears go away through a healthier mindset? If you like, share your fears with your friends and ask for their advice or to be extra witchy, write your fears out on a piece of paper and burn them in a safe clay pot to release them from your worries. You can take the ashes and bury them outside in the dirt. Maybe place dried flowers on top as a ritual for a RIP.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!