The crisp autumn air, the crunching of leaves underfoot, the smell of wood-burning fireplaces…to me, these things bring such happiness. And Samhain! That most magical of holidays, when the veil between the worlds is thinnest, when we celebrate the turning of a new year, when “kids” of all ages have reason to celebrate. And it's never too early to begin your Halloween holiday preparations!
As we near this magical time, it can be hard to reconcile plans (both personal and business) between the sacred and the secular, as well as between the spendy and the thrifty. That said, there are many ways to make Samhain more than just pointed hats and candy –without breaking the bank—at both your home and your store.
For me, decorations are always a great way to set the mood for any holiday season, Samhain included.
- Pumpkins. A great way to spend time with family, friends, and associates is always at the pumpkin patch, finding that perfect gourd to display, carve, or both. While pumpkins can be found in many places (grocery stores and supermarkets included), I always favor the pumpkin patch because it is generally cheaper, the selection is wider, and it makes for a great activity for everyone.
- Incense. Smell is one of the first things we notice when we enter a building or home; why not use some that celebrates the season? For a magical, uplifting, and thrifty option, try making your own incense or potpourri.
- Colors. Colors are a huge part of décor, and I like to use those that are not only traditionally seasonal but also magically appropriate. Silver is great for making connections and bridging the gap (such as with Samhain spirit communications); yellow and gold symbolize the Sun and a fruitful harvest (whether literally or metaphorically).
- An Altar. Perfect for store or home, a Wheel of the Year altar can be suited to any Sabbat, including Samhain.
Another strong way to connect to the season, to our friends and family, and to our ancestors is through rituals. These make great activities to do alone, to do with friends or family members, or to host as a store activity.
- Candle Rituals. To me, candles seem to be perfect to use any time there happens to be a chill in the air, but they also can be used for powerful candle magic.
- Pick a special candle for Nights of Halloween Magic: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1625
- Perform a Ritual for Candlelit Autumn Evenings: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1409
- Invite prosperity with a Full Moon Candle Ritual: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1700
- Worried about (or prevented from) using candles around children, pets, or particular building codes? Flameless candles can be just as magical as the regular ones. The Magic of Using Flameless Candles in Ritual: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/2184
- Abundance Ritual. If you ask me, any time of year is the right time for abundance, but abundance has been traditionally associated with the Harvest Sabbats. Try a Halloween Cauldron of Abundance Ritual: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1773
- Spirit Communication Rituals. During this time when the veil is thinnest, it is easiest to connect with and communicate with our ancestors and other spirits. Why not host a group ritual to communicate with spirits?
- Ancestor Circle for Samhain: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1771
- A Samhain Visitation: Connecting with our Ancestors: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1730
- Table Tilting is another form of spirit communication method great for a group: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/2038
- You may wish to use fragrance to heighten your intuition and spirit perception (Fragrances to Assist Spirit Perception: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1970) or do some energy work to aid in the process (Chakra-Cleansing Meditation to Prepare for Mediumship: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1595).
- If using a Ouija Board, be sure that it is fully understood by all using it. Here are some Facts (and Fiction!) About the Ouija Board: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1729.
- If you are not comfortable performing such rituals in the company of others, try doing your own spirit communication (Solitary Séance: On Your Own with the Spirits: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/2187.
- You may wish to ground and center or do a simple banishing prior to starting any ritual: Making Your Own Ritual (Some Fast Guidelines): http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/2063
Activities and Parties
There is something about Samhain that just seems to warrant having a party or other event. Looking for ideas? Look no further!
- Crafts. Crafts always make a great activity, as long as they are well-planned out (especially when large numbers of participants are concerned).
- Try one of these two magical crafts from HedgeWitch Silver RavenWolf, a Harvest Wish Jar and Vintage Magic Blocks: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1734
- Have knitters or crocheters in your audience? Try crocheted bookshelf organizers (http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1194), a crocheted tarot box (http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1328), or a Dream Pillow (http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1342).
- If you have access to a kitchen (or other large, open workspace), try having participants make their own Plant Spirit Essence (http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1972) or other tinctures and infusions, such as a Magical Stress Eraser Mist (http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/2218.
- Divinations. Everyone loves having a peek into their lives and their future, whether by palm, tarot card, or pendulum.
- Looking to do some divination yourself? Why not try tassomancy with your guests? Here are 10 Tips for Giving Dynamite Tea Leaf Readings: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/2181
- Having someone read the Tarot? Any gathering will likely have people of all ages, some you may know, and some you may not. Keep in mind 12 Tips for Reading Tarot for Children (http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1927) and tips for reading Tarot for your friends (http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1928)