Halloween is just around the corner. Today, I wanted to share the origins of Halloween, the symbolism of this important holiday as well as how to celebrate Halloween, with 7 rituals for Samhain.
To watch / listen to the recorded version of this article, make sure to check out this video on my YouTube channel:
Origins of Halloween
Halloween, short for All Hallow’s Eve, also called Samhain, is usually celebrated from October 31 to November 1st to celebrate the harvest in the Northern hemisphere.
I do want to make it clear that although Samhain and Halloween stem from the same end-of-harvest celebrations, these two holidays are not the same. To make it less confusing, I will speak of Samhain and Halloween interchangeably.
Originally celebrated in ancient European traditions, Samhain was especially important for Celts of Ireland, Scotland and Wales who held a major fire festival around this time of the year to celebrate the midpoint between the Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice.
This is the seasonal tipping point that indicates the end of the harvest, the beginning of the dark half of the year.
Based on the geography, the era we’re speaking about, the spiritual beliefs and the traditions, the celebrations around Samhain differ. But what is certain is that the druids used to hold big bonfires to celebrate the Sun, dress as monsters to repel the spirits and ancestors that may be lurking and gather with the entire village to celebrate and feast.
Honoring the cycles of life and death
Halloween is also known as the festival of the dead. During this time, the barriers and veil between the physical and spirit world is thinner, allowing interactions, mingling and energy to be amplified highly.
With the expansion and spread of Christianity, this holiday had to get Christianised. From Samhain, we began speaking of All Hallows to commemorate Christian saints and martyrs who died while protecting their faith, and all those who were persecuted.
It is especially interesting to note the influence Christian Spaniards had when they came to Mexico, mixing their traditions with the indegenous customs of honoring the dead around this time of the year as well. This gave birth to Dia de los Muertos, in early November, that we all heard of at least once.
In our day and age, Halloween and other sabatts still perpetuates the ancient rituals, but in modern, disguised and oftentime unaware ways. There’s both positive and less positive sides to how Halloween is used and celebrated nowadays.
Around Halloween time as an example, there’s an almost commercial emphasis on wearing spooky costumes, going trick or treating for children in certain Northern countries, buying pumpkin spice lattes, redecorating shops and houses, going pumpkin picking with the family and, of course, watching movies and doing all things scary.
All of the modern celebrations I just mentioned are amazing. But the more intention, mindfulness and energy you bring to your actions, especially during this period of the year, the more fulfilled you will be and the more chances you have of actually using the tides correctly.
Astrology of Halloween: Scorpio energy
As you can imagine, Samhain is very important to witches, pagans and all sorts of people, cultures and traditions in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.
As a matter of fact, the veil between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead is believed to be the thinnest during the 31st of October, and that’s also related to one of my favorite topics: astrology.
Each year, from approximately October 22 and November 21st, the Sun moves through the eighth sign of the zodiac, Scorpio. This is a fixed water sign that ushers us to enter the depth of our emotions, and to cultivate a deeper sense of power, control, magnetism and intimacy.
As a professional holistic astrologer, I do love Scorpio season because it is that time of the year where transformation is literally the biggest flex and theme for us on a collective and individual level.
Indeed, Scorpio season is all about the Phoenix energy: the ability of life, the cosmos, nature and ourselves, to die before being reborn again. To transform, to transmute, to shift: these are the energies of this mid-Autumn period. Because of this, it’s important to celebrate the cycles of life and death during Halloween.
Just like the trees that let the old leaves fall off in order to be lighter in Winter, us, too, need to shed layers, behaviors, memories, relationships and patterns in order to endure the cold that is mirrored within us and thrive.
Numerology of Halloween
A fun fact to remember about Halloween night as well is also that it happens on November the 1st, which translates in numerology to 1/11. This number, 111, is a highly charged and potent angel number that connects us to our guides, intuition and higher timelines.
Think of this day as a portal, a gate through which energy can be sent back and forth. For many rituals, spells and spiritual doings, this is an excellent timeframe and energy to use.
Many people fear Scorpio season and Halloween’s energies because knowing that the veil is thinner and that spirits can easily get in contact with us is something that scares them. In fact, for many years, I used to live in this fear of the unknown as well, thinking it was something to be protected from and that needed banishing rituals and whatnot in order to operate smoothly.
Want to know the truth? The more you seek protection against something, the stronger this thing will become. It’s a vicious cycle with only one way out: courage, acceptance and love.
By this, I don’t mean being reckless, doing some heavy spiritual bypassing, gaslighting yourself or suppressing your fear. I simply mean that smudging your entire place out of fear of demons and negative entities lurking in the shadows is definitely not the best way to go.
Instead, I invite you to try smudging in HONOR of these entities who do exist… With your words, intentions and actions, let these things that scare you know that you respect them and honor the interconnectedness of the cosmos.
Feel free to perform rituals that seek to empower you. It is indeed important to be protected, but the stronger you get, the less you will need protection. That’s what I’m getting at, and this doesn’t apply to just this one holiday.
7 Rituals for Samhain
Anyways, let’s now take a look at the 7 rituals for Samhain you can try in order to celebrate this year’s Halloween.
1. Clean your house
Samhain is a time of release. It invites us to let go of what is no longer serving us, to follow the footsteps of nature and to allow death and cold to do its work.
As part of the natural process, getting rid of things that may slow our progress and cloud our mind is important. Think about having a seasonal house cleanse, donating old clothes and items, getting rid of unnecessary people or situations…
Make sure to also have a special Halloween bath to cleanse your body and feel the energies you gathered all year round leave you for good.
2. Preparing a dinner to celebrate the harvest
Since Samhain represents the abundance of the last harvest of the year, this is a great time to prepare a feast and enjoy it with your loved ones. I recommend this inspiring article: How to host an autumnal feast.
Gathering around meals has some of the strongest energies, no matter your spiritual level, this is probably the easiest thing you can do, even if you are in the broom closet.
Make sure to pick seasonal fruits, vegetables and goods such as apples, pumpkins, carrots and seeds. All of these come abundant in nature and represent the ability of the world to provide for you.
Make sure to give some of that food to those in need, and do not waste any of it. Cook in large amounts, but also think of how you can preserve it.
3. Dive into ancestor work
As the veil grows thinner, working with dead relatives and ancestors is a great thing to do during Halloween. If you have elders around you that you can have access to, make sure to spend time with them, listen to the wisdom of their experiences and stories.
If there’s dead people that you know of, spare a few hours on Halloween to recite a prayer for them, or even better, visit them in the cemetery. These positive thoughts for the deceased will definitely reach them ten folds, leaving you feeling grounded and connected to your roots.
If you don’t know anyone who passed, you can also go to the nearby cemetery and pray for the wellbeing of strangers who may not have anyone to look after them or send them thoughts.
It’s important to give thanks to these people that came before you and allowed you to be the person you are today. It is very powerful and transformative to enter this state of gratitude.
A great way to mix having a feast / cooking with ancestor work is to ask your mom or grandmother for ancient family recipes that you can try. I’ve never tried this before but I am super excited to give it a try this year in honor of my deceased grandmother who passed this year.
Speaking of gratitude. Halloween is a great time to feel grateful for the abundance around you.
Having a ritual to truly thank the Universe (God or whatever entities you work with) for the blessings you have accumulated throughout the past year is essential.
Since the veil is thinner, you can also focus on deconstructing limiting beliefs, generational curses and blockages that hinder your growth and prosperity. This can be achieved through meditation, channeling, divination of all sorts as well as specific release rituals. Feel free to google these for more details and information.
5. Fire Magic
For centuries, humans have used Halloween as a perfect time of the year to light a fire, gather around it and celebrate. This is why the celts used to have fire festivals, with a major bonfire that must stay lit during the entire period of the festival.
One way you can celebrate Halloween is to use this tradition, in a modern way of course. Light a scented candle and meditate in front of the flame in order to invite into your life what we call Sol Invictus, or the Undefeated summer, represented by the fire.
While Winter approaches, lighting such a fire reminds you of the burning flame within you and how eternal and ever-lasting it is. You could also use this fire to gather with loved ones, burn marshmallows and swap horror stories.
This is a perfect time to use tarot, runes, scrying or any other methods of divination to seek messages and guidance. Since the veil is thinner, you can have easier access to a pool of information.
Meditating, having your birth chart reading done, channeling… make sure to tap into your inner mystic with more conviction and intention during this season, and you will definitely feel the shift in the responses you get.
7. Spend time in nature
Spending time in nature is something we must all do to refill our batteries and reconnect with the Source. By being close to mother earth, we can begin witnessing the cycles of life and death.
For Halloween, this is especially important, so remind yourself to look outside your window or take a stroll in the closest park. Consider the change of the season, in the weather and in the colors of the trees is the reflection of the internal process we are going through as well.
Find beauty in this process of regeneration and metamorphosis, for Halloween is here to transform you from the inside out.
Wishing you a merry Halloween. May all this transformation allow you to reach new heights, and uncover beautiful gems and hidden treasures.
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