Samhain - 5 Ways to Celebrate Halloween like a Witch

Samhain - 5 Ways to Celebrate Halloween like a Witch

Halloween. All Hallow's Eve. All Soul's Day. Día de los Muertos. Whatever the name, it's commonly agreed upon that something supernatural goes on between the the dates of October 31st and November 2nd. Our ancestors once again walk the earth in their ghostly form or are able to better communicate with us due to the thinning of the veil between the living and the spirit world. It's a time for honoring the dead, harvesting the last of our crops, and preparing for the dark winter mother. It's a time of metaphorical death - letting go of all that does not serve you and burning bridges of the past. Halloween, or Samhain has it's commonly referred to by Celtics and witches alike, is also chance for us to all honor the Shadow Self and walk into the new year with acceptance of one's self as a whole. Darkness and light. 

This year, the moon will be in it's last quarter phase. This is a great time to release of any negativity and things you no longer need or are things that are no longer working. 

Here are 5 ways to Celebrate Samhain

1. Honor those who have moved on into the spirit world.

It's common place during this time of year to pay tribute to your loved ones who have passed away. Something as simple as lighting a candle next to a picture of them will suffice. But, if you have a little extra time, leaving our ancestors or loved ones offerings from their earthly life is a great way to reconnect with their spirit. for example: A glass of wine, their favorite food, and pieces of their jewelry you may own. To learn more about building an alter for the dead, you can read our previous blog post exactly on the subject by clicking here. Another way to honor those who have passed this year is by creating a ritual or say a prayer for their soul to make sure they're ushered into the next part of their existence with peace and contentment.

2. Soul Cakes!

The origins of Trick o' Treating are rooted in these semisweet spiced saffron cakes! Resembling a scone or a biscuit, the exact history of soul cakes is a little murky. In their beginnings, some believe they were made to decide the human sacrifice that would be made that year to ensure healthy crops from the next growing season. Pick the burnt cake and be burned by the Samhain fire. Whatever the exact origins, the use of these cakes changed from soul selecting to soul saving. By the 8th century, Soul Cakes became a tradition more closely to what we know as Trick or Treating. Beggers would come door to door on All Soul's Day would say a prayer for the soul of the families dearly departed in exchange for one cake. One cake per soul saved. Door-to-door entertainers, known as "mummers" would be rewarded for their "tricks" with "treats". 

Soul Cakes

Makes 12 to 15 2-inch soul cakes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground fresh if possible

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground fresh if possible

1/2 teaspoon salt

Generous pinch of saffron

1/2 cup milk

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the flour, the nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Mix well with a fork.

Crumble the saffron threads into a small saucepan and heat over low heat just until they become aromatic, taking care not to burn them. Add the milk and heat just until hot to the touch. The milk will have turned a bright yellow. Remove from heat.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon (or use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment). Add the egg yolks and blend in thoroughly with the back of the spoon. Add the spiced flour and combine as thoroughly as possible; the mixture will be dry and crumbly.

One tablespoon at a time, begin adding in the warm saffron milk, blending vigorously with the spoon. When you have a soft dough, stop adding milk; you probably won't need the entire half-cup.

Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead gently, with floured hands, until the dough is uniform. Roll out gently to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Using a floured 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can and set on an ungreased baking sheet. You can gather and re-roll the scraps, gently. Bake for 15 minutes.

3. Cleanse yourself of "dead" aspects of your life.

Samhain is a time to release the parts of your life that are no longer serving you. This can mean a job, a relationship, or even just a feeling. Relieve yourself of the mental abuse that comes with holding onto things that are no longer meant for you. Ritual baths or showers prove time and time again to be the perfect way to get this process started. A simple bath of salt, rosemary, lemongrass, and sage should do the trick. Most of which y can find in your herb cabinet! For a shower, make a strong tea out of the herbs. Once cooled, pour the tea over your head in the shower. Another powerful way to remove unwanted parts of your life is through fire ritual. Write down all the things you wish to let go of, as you enter into this new turning of the wheel, onto a pieces of paper. Burn these things one at a time in your Samhain bonfire or small firesafe dish and say your last farewells to them. Honoring them for the purpose that they served in your life and knowing that it's time to say goodbye.

4. A Silent Supper

Traditionally called a "Dumb" Supper. but I'm not too keen on that term with today's modern implications. A Silent Supper is essentially a feast you have to honor the dead. During this dinner, there is no speaking and a place is set at the table for those visiting us from the other side. This means no phones, no tv's, and no children who can't resist the urge to talk. You may write a note for the visiting spirits and place it beside their plate, which is served food along with everyone else. Before your supper, It would be wise to cast a circle of protection and smudge the house of any unwelcome spirits.

5. Communicate with the dead

With the thinning of the veil, it's easier than ever to commune with those who have passed. Movies make this idea quite terrifying, but it can actually be a fulfilling experience if you or your medium know what they're doing. Visit a trusted local medium if you fear that you don't have the knowledge to keep yourself protected for this ritual. I find tarot cards to be a great way to communicate with the dead as they don't give them as much freedom as say...a spirit board. With tarot cards, you still remain very much in control. So, if you want the spirits to know who's boss, I don't recommend a spirit board. If you do decide to try this on your own with your tarot cards, make sure to cleanse and protect both you and the space. Also, make sure that you're clear to whom you're trying to contact and make it known that you will accept communication from none other than that specific spirit. Try conjuring your spirit with either something they owned or loved in their earthy life.

 

While there are many ways to celebrate Samhain, these will certainly have you feeling in the witchy Halloween spirit. I wish all of you a very blessed Samhain. May you find the closure you need. May you rid yourself of things no longer meant for you. May you honor all those who have died and been forgotten. May you honor all those who have died and remain in your heart.

 

Blessed Be,

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