Mystic Magic: 6 Things to do for Samhain

Samhain
Photo retrieved from Pinterest.

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Copy Editor

     There is only one more week before Halloween! Samhain is the original Celtic festival that was turned into Halloween, starting with Pope Gregory III, who created All Saints Day, according to history.com. The article continued that Samhain became Halloween because it was the eve before All Saints Day, or All Hallows Eve, and then morphed into Halloween. 

     What all of this means is that Samhain = Halloween, but now less pagan. However, there still exist rituals for people who would like to celebrate Samhain, and chow down on some discounted chocolate.

  1. Bake some Samhain bread. With 45 minutes and some flour, salt, baking soda, and seeds, you can have some delicious Samhain bread. There is a recipe on vice.com that you can try out here: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wnbek9/samhain-bread.
  2. Set up some altars. The ancient Celts believed that the veil between this world and the afterlife was thinnest during Samhain, so offerings were left out for any spirits that wandered their way. There is also a “ritual to guide the dead home,” according to a huffpost.com article. A candle in a window or door facing west can light the way for a spirit. Add some little treats by the candle for the ghost, and voila.
  3. Carve a pumpkin. Like a lot of Christianized pagan holidays, lots of traditions from Samhain translated over into Halloween, such as carving pumpkins. You can even combine this with the second option and carve a pumpkin and then display it in a west-facing window with a candle!
  4. Take a nature walk. Lynchburg is a great place to walk around, especially with this weather and the trees changing color. You can think about what the year has been like so far, and what there is to come. You can also soak in some vitamin D and enjoy the nice weather.
  5. Make a Samhain meal. There are lots of herbs and spices tied to harvest-time and Samhain. You can look up some delicious recipes and make dinner for your housemates or friends. You can even combine it with the first suggestion and serve some Samhain bread with your Samhain meal.
  6. Divination guidance. Since Samhain is considered the ‘witch’s new year’, reading Tarot cards, Runes, or Scrying can help you look into what it to come. Of course, I am partial to Tarot cards, but I know other people that prefer Runes and Scrying. Write down what your divination tells you, and then use it in the next year as you go about your life.

      With only a few days left until Halloween, I personally plan on doing more than a couple of these. Happy Halloween, and if you do anything or have any suggestions, let me know by shooting me an email at cavanaugh_g@lynchburg.edu.