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Celebrate Halloween Like A Witch: There are many ways to celebrate October 31st, including dressing up, carving pumpkin, eating candy, watching horror flicks, etc. October 31st is Halloween, and it’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate the ancient pagan holiday. Known as Samhain by many pagans, this festival represents the close of one year and the start of another.
It’s also seen as a time when the veil between our world and other worlds is thinnest, allowing those with intuitive gifts such as clairvoyance or tarot reading to access deeper realms.
Witches are often associated with Halloween because it is one of the most popular holidays among witches and pagans. But there are many different types of witches, including those who follow Wicca, a polytheistic religion.
Contemporary paganism is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of modern religions. Some people practice Wicca, while others follow Druidry, Heathenry, Norse polytheism, Celtic spirituality, or even neo-pagan movements such as eclectic witchcraft. Many of these movements worship nature deities like the Earth goddess, the Moon goddess, and the Sun god.
The word “Samhain” comes from the Gaelic language and refers to the beginning of winter. As one of the four great festivals of the year, it marks the end of the old year and the beginning of the new.
How you celebrate Halloween is up to you, though it’s customary to dress in costumes that reflect your inner self or scare off demons and evil spirits. This is also a harvest season, so look back at the spells you performed this year. Have they been completed? Do they need to be redone?
Honor The Dead
While most westerners associate Halloween with trick-or-treating, some people prefer to spend the night celebrating the dead.
Some pagans believe that the dead join us on Halloween, so they will engage in rituals honoring their ancestors. Rituals can take many forms, but they are often performed outdoors in a sacred space.
Often the sacred space is marked with sacred symbols to represent the elements of nature, such as a pentagram for earth, a candle for fire, salt for water and so on.
In this political world, this is also the right time to honor and fight for justice for those who have been killed for expressing their opinions or even just for living in the “wrong” skin color. My family prays for those who have died at the hand of police brutality and other systemic abuses throughout the world during Samhain.
Yet for pagans, Halloween is a time to celebrate the cycles of life, death and rebirth through rituals to honor the dead. Samhain is even considered by many witches to be the start of the new year.
Some perform divination that day or even ritual magic, while others might celebrate by sitting around a bonfire with friends and family talking about the year just passed and looking forward to the coming year.
The point of Samhain is to take stock of where you are in your life over past months and note ways you can improve yourself moving forward into next year. It’s also a time when you can pay tribute to those who have passed on before.
Some traditions are closely tied to the foods that are served. For example, some pagans will leave treats on or near their doorsteps for trick-or-treaters, while others will place them on graves of loved ones.
It’s also traditional to serve dishes made with apples. Many believe this tradition stems from pagan times when various seeds were baked in apples in order to store them for the winter months when food was scarce. It was also believed that by consuming this food, you could gain immortality in some way.
In many places, it’s also common practice for participants to carve Jack-O-Lanterns from pumpkins. In ancient times, Jack was a practitioner of black magic who turned people into animals and made them suffer until he was tricked by a man into going to England where he became lost in a dark forest called “haunted” because it was filled with spirits of the dead.
Making Jack-O-Lanterns gives you lots of yummy pumpkin seeds to roast and eat, too! Pumpkin seeds represent fertility and prosperity, so they are often eaten during Samhain.
Why I Celebrate Samhain
When I celebrate Samhain, I see myself as an agent of change. I believe that we should celebrate our ancestors’ sacrifices and work towards building better futures together.
I am particularly interested in my legacy and how I want to impact others. My hope is that I do something meaningful, even though I know that I won’t always be around to see it happen. We don’t live forever. So while I’m here, I’ll make sure that I do everything possible to help those who come after me.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the future. What does the next decade look like? How do I want to change the world? And most importantly, how do I want to be remembered?
My answer is simple: I want to be known as someone who did good things, and who helped people along the way. I want to be remembered as someone who cared deeply about the well being of others.
I want to be known as a person who changed lives.
Halloween Is For Everyone
So while many pagans celebrate Samhain, Christians and others do it too. While the traditions may vary a bit from group to group, it’s safe to say that all religions celebrate a variety of holidays.
This is not a case of “you do it my way, or you don’t do it at all” but rather a matter of how each person chooses to interpret their religion and what kinds of activities they engage in on holidays.
Hopefully this article has helped you learn more about how pagans celebrate Halloween and will allow you to honor your own ancestors and your pagan practices by doing so.
During the full moon, we call upon Hekate to assist us in clearing our past, releasing our fears, and opening ourselves to new possibilities. We ask her to help us gain clarity in our lives, to help us transform our inner worlds, and to allow us to move forward with courage and confidence.
It is said that Hekate helps us to overcome obstacles and challenges that stand in our way, and to achieve our goals. In addition to being a benevolent Goddess, she is also a fierce warrior. When we summon her, we invite her to help us take charge of our lives, to lead us into battle, and to fight for justice.
I am an eclectic witch - I've been practicing since 1974. As a student of the occult, working with astrology, tarot cards, runes, and numerology, I found that this was a very comprehensive and well written text on working with Hekate during the full moon. Highly recommended. - Gail Sager
Great read - a must have for anyone interested in working with the Goddess during the full moon! Highly recommended! - Luis Meyer