The Witchiest Day of the Year


Samhain, All Hallow's Eve, Hallowe'en 

All Hallow's Eve. Dia de los Muertos, Dia de los Brujos, All Saint's Day,

All Soul's Day, Hallowe'en, All Soul's Night, Feast of the Dead

Mexico, artist unknown 

Hallowe’en is originally a pagan holy day.

It has long been observed, celebrated and marked by ritual,

as well as a little bit of fear. 

Boo!

 artist unknown 

“Where there’s fear, there is power.”

Starhawk

Art by foundfables on ig

The observed patterns of light and dark, day vs night, as found around

the wheel of the year, are infused with great meaning.

Cross quarter days and their preceding nights

have long been observed and felt

by humans to be gateways, portals calling for ritual and celebration.

Each one tells the story of that annual time and place of the year, through an archetypal and mythological lens. They can also be used for the psychological understanding of life.

Hallowe’en is one of them, and arguably the most intense.

Its Celtic name is Samhain (sow-when)

and it's the gateway into winter in the north.

It is the time where the veils between the worlds are the thinnest and we can communicate with our ancestors, who come and walk among us.

"The veil between the seen

world of matter

and the unseen world

of spirit becomes thin,

especially at dawn and dusk,

a crack in the fabric of space time.

It is a time for divination, omens,

and seeking the mysteries.

It is a time for inner journeys

and connecting to the wisdom

inside of yourself."

Glennie Kindred

 Mexico, artist unknown

The original reason to dress up in costume

was to allow the ancestor spirits to feel free and protected

because who could tell who was costumed and who was spirit?

The pumpkins we now carve are a tradition that heralds

from before the time of Jesus.

In Ireland, where Halloween originated,

any root vegetable such as a turnip was carved

and lit on this night, as protection against

the darkness and the spirits running free.

The big orange gourds are what the Celtic people found growing

 in the New World,  to continue their Old World traditions.

La Soffitta delle Streghe  

An ancestral survival fear comes up

in our bones at this time of the year.  

The forces of life and death are a part of everyone’s journey

here on Earth but we can distance ourselves from that fact

while the great goddess

Demeter holds sway and everything is growing

and flowering, while the life force is so strong.

But once her daughter Persephone makes her descent,

and the light begins to wane,

we recall our ancestors

and those who walked this land before us. 

We reach out to them in remembrance,

as well as in a plea to help us survive the coming winter.

When everything that was growing either dies or goes dormant,

including the Sun,

it takes some work to keep the faith.

That’s the origin of many of the rituals performed at this time.  

La Soffitta delle Streghe  

"In Mexico, Latin America and Spain,

in the villages, parades are held.

People dress as skeletons and dance in the streets.

Often, a live person is placed inside a coffin

which is then paraded through the streets while vendors

toss fruit, flowers and candies into the casket.

The whole celebration is about life

from beginning to end."

pumpkinpatchesandmore.org

Dia de los Muertos dress made from recycled cups, plates and utensils, artist unknown

Our earliest ancestors

had to reckon with this massive, annual,

dip of vitality and energy in a way that we do not,

with our luxurious electricity

and incandescent lights.

But their experience of this part of the journey

that we still share in common,

is still passed down through myth and tradition.

The veil between the worlds becomes very thin at this time,

and we can still feel it.

 La Soffitte delle Streghe

Life, death and rebirth

are the territory of Scorpio/Pluto

and that is indeed who holds court at this time.

Sex, death, our shadow, difficult and dark events,

power and powerlessness, jealousy and control issues

are all governed by Scorpio.

As you can see, some of the toughest, inevitable material

that we tangle with is found here.

Yet Scorpio, more than any other sign,

also contains the potential for complete redemption and rebirth,

a phoenix rising from its ash.

artist unknown

"Most of us are looking for ourselves in the light. You won't find what you're looking for. You need to get on all fours. (Where sometimes there's a scary darkness), And discover wonderful things about yourself." -Leo Buscaglia

la soffitta delle streghe

photo by fowijoerg on ig 

To honor this holy day and night, build an ancestors altar.

artist unknown

Use whatever dark and spooky things,

mixed with brightly colored seasonal

things that inspire you.

Add all your favorite photos of your

loved ones who have passed.

Family, pets, friends, rock stars

who have crossed over…

Then feed them. 

If you know of their favorite foods and drink,

offer them those,

and if not, then everyone always likes