The History of Halloween
Halloween's origins are from the pagan Celtic festival called Samhain. The purpose of this holiday was to welcome in the harvest and usher in the darker half of the year, a half way point between the autumn equinox and winter solstice. During Samhain pagans celebrated the veil being at its thinnest on October 31st making the physical world and spiritual world blur together therefore allowing communication with those on the other side to be much stronger. Halloween is technically the pagan new year. With the veil at its thinnest this is actually the ideal time to set new petitions to the universe of what you desire for your life for the next year. You can do so through incantations as the portal is open between this world and the other side. If you already have an altar set up, this is the perfect time to utilize that, but it is not required to make your requests for the pagan new year known to the universe. Intention is the most important part as it is the most potent and powerful of all. And an altar doesn't have to be anything big or complicated. It can be as simple as using a desk with a candle and a couple of crystals. The most important part is that your altar feels sacred to you.
In these times Celts believed the thinning of the veil made it easier for Celtic priests to receive prophecies about the future. Parts of the Samhain celebration involved bonfires, crop burning, animal sacrifices, and wearing costumes (made of animal heads and skins). Hearth fires would be lit at their homes to keep them safe through the long winter. Other origins for costumes was because people were afraid to leave their homes at this time in fear of encountering spirits. When people left home they would wear a disguise in hopes of not being recognized by the spirits. It's important to remember people lived in much more fear during these times, especially during the winter season. The nights were longer, making things darker, food supplies were low, so it was simply a scary time in those days. In addition to disguises, people would leave food outside their homes satisfy spirits so they would not be interested in entering their homes. There are many Halloween traditions born out of superstition.
Did you know there are some Halloween traditions even tied to romance? In colonial American days young women believed that by doing tricks with yarn and apple parings the divine would provide for them the name of or clues about who their future husband might be. It was also believed if a young woman ate a concoction of walnuts, hazelnuts, and nutmeg on the night of Halloween she would dream of her future husband. Match makers in Ireland would serve mashed potatoes with a ring buried in it for single women on Halloween night and whichever single lady happened to fall upon the ring was intended to find true love by Halloween the following year. These are some lesser known old Halloween traditions. Trick or treating actually originates from the practice of people putting on disguises the nights leading up to Samhain and going door to door singing to the dead (since the veil was already very thin). Cakes were given to those who did this as an exchange of payment. In ancient days the trick part in trick or treating were commonly blamed on fairies. Then there's also the history of the Jack-O-Lantern (more on that to come) and how this smiling pumpkin figure became the mascot of Halloween that it is today.
Halloween has quite an extensive history as it has gone through many different phases and cycles to get to the fun loving Halloween we know today. What are some of your favorite traditions? Do you enjoy trick or treating, dressing up, carving pumpkins, and going to Halloween parties? This year for Halloween I plan on hosting two separate live events simultaneously at once for readings, one on YouTube and one on TikTok. More details, such as time, to be announced. But I promise Shadow, Tinkerbell, and myself will all be dressed up and in costume for our fun day of readings!
How to Craft Your Own Spell Jar!
Spooky season is in full swing, so I thought you might enjoy a fun little crafting project that not only is fun to do for the season, but is something that may help you get in touch with your own inner witch to manifest some magic in your life. Spell jars originated around the 16th century in England and North America in places such as Salem Massachusetts. Back in those days they were usually used for protection against evil and supernatural entities. In those times bizarre ingredients like hair, fingernails, small animal bones, thorns, pins, and even urine was used! It was believed these bodily ingredients would serve as an extension of self within the spell. Today, those types of ingredients are not needed or necessary.
A 21st century spell jar can be used for other intentions besides protection. Popular uses for spell jars today are prosperity, love, healing, abundance, friendship, creativity, peace, communication, and more. The list is truly endless. It simply depends on your intention. Most popular modern day ingredients you most likely already have somewhere in your kitchen. Some popular ingredients include, but are not limited to, herbs (rosemary in particular), flowers, red wine, seawater, salt, vinegar, oil, ashes, sand, coins, wood, shells, feathers, stones, and crystals. If you're seeking the perfect bottle to put your ingredients in any arts and crafts store such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby will definitely have something suiting your needs for that. If you are seeking a specific ingredient for your bottle your local metaphysical shop might be able to hook you up. You might find something with that special extra umph you're in search of for your spell jar. If you're also seeking for a bit of guidance and extra direction in creating your own spell jar (especially if it is your first time) the store employees or any practitioners on duty that will likely be able to help you. They are super creative and crafty in helping come up with the perfect spell jar just for you!
Now that you have all your ingredients, let's get into how to actually put your spell jar together:
Energetically cleanse your jar and ingredients by smudging them with sage or a spritz of Florida Water.
Fill your bottle with your ingredients.
Once your bottle is filled, seal the bottle with a cork and wax (candle wax or sealing wax). Preferably if you can, try matching the color of the wax with intention you have set within your spell, but that is not required.
After your spell jar is complete recite your desires for the spell jar out loud. Spoken word is powerful and a tool for creation. It can be short, sweet, and to the point, or long and eloquent, there is no right or wrong way to express this. The most important part is that the words you speak are coming from the heart.
Place your spell jar on your altar or a space in your home you consider to be sacred. Continue to focus on your intention and use your own efforts to assist in bringing your desired outcome into the physical world while also releasing the parts out of your control allowing the universe to step in and do the rest.
When seeking ingredients, crystals, wax, etc for your spell jar, here are some color themes to assist in your intentions:
Red: love, passion, romance, strength.
Orange: creativity, success, fertility.
Yellow: joy, memory, wisdom.
Green: healing, nature, abundance, memory.
Blue: communication, protection, peace, healing.
Purple: psychic abilities, divination, personal power.
Pink: self love, friendship, emotions.
Brown: home, animals, healing.
Gray: intuition, the moon, manifestation.
Black: protection, cleansing negative energy.
White: protection, peace, happiness.
Recommended herbal combinations for these intention themes. Please remember that for any plant matter you use, it should be dried thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew. These combinations are simply recommended, but not set in stone by any means and are interchangeable based upon what you have available to you and what feels right.
Love: rose petals, hibiscus, orange peel, cedar needles, cinnamon, yarrow, poppy seeds, sprinkle of sugar, rose quartz.
Healing: pine or balsam fir needles, blackberry leaf, mint, thyme, allspice, clear quartz.
Happiness and Harmony: basil, garden sage, rose petals, jasper.
Protection: basil, bay leaf, red raspberry leaf, juniper berry, rosemary, cloves, black pepper, amethyst, tourmaline.
Prosperity and Abundance: mint, moss, dandelion, clover, nutmeg, jade, citrine.
I myself currently have two spell jars sitting on my altar. I made them both right before relocating to Colorado setting intentions for my new beginnings here. But I ask for big things in general, so it's all still being worked on, but it's working is the point, even if it's a slow one step in front of the other. There is no right or wrong way to make a spell jar. The most impactful spell jars are created out of what feels right, not a mathematical equation so there is really no comparison. No two are alike. Intention is more powerful than anything you put in it. Always remember, no matter how many spell jars, crystals, card pulls, etc you do, that magic always lies within you! These are all merely tools to assist you on your journey. As long as your heart is right, you will be unstoppable in the beautiful world you can create around you!
How To Host A Seance
Welcome to October! You know what that means, all things Halloween are really and truly in full swing now! With that being said, I thought I'd cover some fun things to do over the course of the month, one of which being how to host a seance this Halloween. The veil is at it's thinnest October 31st, making the window for communication with others on the other side the clearest, similar to having all your bars on your cell phone for a crystal clear signal. The trouble is most people don't really know how to go about it (at least the right way). So these tips and pointers may help, should you decide to have a seance over the Halloween holiday. Here's what you can do to prepare for a seance:
Choose a room or space to host your seance. This doesn't have to be in a haunted house, graveyard, or anywhere spooky. It's preferable you choose a place that is a peaceful sanctuary to you. It could be where you keep your altar (if you have one). It could be your she shed or man cave. Just somewhere that is special, peaceful, and comes with little distractions, such as electronics.
Create your invite list of who you would like to have join you for this event. It is preferable to invite those who are open minded to the supernatural rather than skeptics. This should not be about "proving" a point to anyone, but a time of spiritual contact. Skeptics will weaken the connection, making the spirits you desire to contact feel unwelcome to come through. It is also best not to invite those who may be a little spooked by the possibility of something outlandish happening. This will help keep the energy clear in terms of love and connection, rather than fear and doubt. If you know someone who might be interested in getting in touch with a loved one on the other side for closure, comfort, or answers, they may be the perfect guest. Once you know who will be attending ask your guests to think of a couple questions they might like to ask as it's best to be prepared. It is suggested to go with yes or no questions since they provide a clearer answer, but that is not required. Before the seance begins it is best for everyone to silence their phones for no distractions.
Prepare your altar or table space for the seance:
Smudge the altar, room, and tools you will be using during the seance to make sure everything is energetically clean, preferably with Palo Santo. Moon water can also be handy for cleansing and protection. This is the equivalent of cleaning your house when you're expecting company, but in this case the company is a spirit.
Have a photo in hand or an item that belonged to the deceased person you are trying to contact. This personal connection will assist in summoning them.
Prepare candles as they are inviting to spirits. Certain colors can assist in certain energies so you may want to consider that when setting up your candles. White is welcoming for purity, cleansing, white magic, and welcoming in all things good. Blue is helpful for communication. Purple will help enhance intuition and psychic awareness through the process, and black for protection and repelling negativity. Candles will be an important part of the seance given the room you hold it in should either be dark or in dimmed lighting.
Choose your method of communication be it a pendulum, spirit board, or bringing a medium in as a conduit. If you choose a medium they will likely have their own process in cleansing and preparing for your session. Spirit boards and mediums can usually bring in more than just yes or no answers during the seance. Pendulums generally do yes or no questions, unless you have a pendulum board.
When beginning your seance a helpful suggestion is to record your session. A lot may happen in the duration of it and you may not remember all the details of it later on, so this will be helpful to review at a later time. A recorded video may also reveal things easily missed during the seance such as sounds not audible to the ear, orbs of light, and shadows. As you begin sit in a circle with your guests. It's best to make sure everyone is relaxed. A brief time of meditation may be helpful to calm any nerves and bring everyone into a relaxed, receptive, and open space. If someone changes their mind at the last minute that is ok. No one should have to particpate if they don't want to. They can quietly excuse themselves and reconvene once the seance is over.
It's now time to officially start your seance! Close your eyes and join hands with your guests to amplify the energy. With hands joined and every eye closed each person should be focused on the same thing - the purpose of the seance. If there is a specific person you are trying to reach the focus should be on that person. At this time the medium (or volunteer speaker of the group if there is no medium) will speak an incantation to welcome the spirit to come in. If you are speaking the incantation yourself here are some suggested intentions to say:
We come in light and love as we open the vortex between Earth and the Divine Heavenly realms.
We invite Arch Angel Micheal (or whichever deity you resonate with such as spirit guides, guardian angels, ancestors, etc) for protection to assist us in facilitating our communications. No evil is welcome, but only beings who intend goodness, love, and blessings.
We invite spirits of high vibrational light and love with the intention to seek wisdom and guidance.
We are here to contact the spirit of "fill in the blank person." Please make your presence known when you are ready.
Do not be afraid to claim these statements, but speak them in confidence. If a connection doesn't occur immediately that is ok. Have patience and give it some time. If you feel the need to repeat the incantation you can as many times needed. When a connection has been made each person can take turns asking questions. This might be a slower process to give room for ebb and flow for the spirits to respond, but it Is better not rushed to recieve the most accurate responses. It's best to keep hands connected if you can rather than disturb the connection. Pay close attention to the answers coming in and use your intuition to decipher what comes through.
A seance can end when either you have run out of questions to ask or you have stopped receiving responses indicating the spirit you connected with has left. You will know when it's time to wrap things up, so follow what feels right. If a seance takes a turn to the south resulting in someone being upset and/or crying that is a signal to indefinitely end the seance. When finishing, just as you verbally expressed welcome to the spirits it is now time to verbally thank them for attending. A simple "thank you for joining us tonight. We are grateful for your guidance and love" should suffice. Following the incantation of gratitude you can blow out the candles and turn up the lights once more. It is also good to smudge the area once again after the seance to energetically cleanse. Florida Water is actually excellent for the post spiritual energetic clean up. Once again, this is the equivalent of tidying up your own house after guests have left if you had a dinner party or something of the sort. Allow everyone to adjust and adapt since there is a chance the seance could trigger some to experience a whole range of different emotions. As everyone snaps back to the regular world perhaps bring out some snacks to help ground everyone to feel connected to the Earth again and feel to free discuss your experience in sharing thoughts and feelings about the responses you received. This might also be a good time to review any recording taken of the seance.
Final Thoughts: When communicating with the other side remember to respect the spirit at hand. No different than interacting with people, treat others the way you want to be treated. Try not to overthink, overanalyze, or allow your anxieties to get the best of you through the process. Look at the seance as an enjoyable fun new experience. If you look at this as an opportunity for a blessing you will feel more calm, relaxed, and receptive, which will ultimately make for a more impactful experience. Go with the flow and you will be just fine. Then you will have some really cool and unique stories to share about how your Halloween was this year! Happy seancing!
The History of the Jack-O-Lantern
This time of year we see pumpkins everywhere, even to the point where it's invaded every food item we see. But have you ever looked at a pumpkin that's been carved with a big beaming grin, glowing at night, and wondered who came up with that idea? Who decided to put faces into pumpkins? Therefore creating the Jack-O-Lantern. Well, I wondered that myself and I thought I'd share with you the origin of the Jack-O-Lantern. Technically Jack-O-Lanterns and Leprechauns have quite a bit in common. They're both Irish in origin, being brought here to the states. Cozy up next to your Jack-O-Lantern (or even a pumpkin scented candle will do) and read on for the tale of "Stingy Jack" from Ireland. If you thought the devil was a trickster.... well, meet Jack (He may have the devil beat). Jack invited the devil out for a drink (I mean, sure, hitting up the local bar with Satan is totally normal...... We're off to a great start here). When it came time to close their tab Jack, living up to his namesake, didn't want to pay for his drink. Jack persuaded the devil to turn himself into a coin to cover their drinks. Surprisingly the devil agreed to this, but rather than Jack pay the bill he just kept the cash in his pocket next to a silver cross, preventing the devil from transforming back to his original form.
Jack finally freed the devil on the condition that the devil would not bother him for one whole year and that whenever the time came for Jack to die that the devil would not be able to claim his soul. One year later the devil reappears in Jack's life and same shady old Jack manages to convince the devil to climb a tree to retrieve a piece of fruit (we would love to know how this Jack character is able to manipulate the devil of all creatures, into doing whatever he desires). As the devil is high up in the tree, Jack carves a cross into the tree's bark (speed carving wood worker?) preventing the devil from climbing down. Again, Jack finagles the devil into leaving him alone for an additional ten years, which the devil agrees to in order to come down from the tree. Jack's day of reckoning comes and he passes. When he died God did not allow Jack entry into Heaven considering how much of a conman he turned out to be in his earthly existence. But Jack also did not go to hell due to the deal he roped the devil into. The devil at that point, sent Jack into the dark night with a single coal to light his path. Jack placed the coal in a carved turnip and is rumored to be roaming the earth ever since. The Irish referred to this ghostly figure of Jack as "Jack of the lantern" which eventually morphed into "Jack-O-Lantern."
In Ireland in those days people carved scary faces into turnips and potatoes, placing them in windows or at their front doors to ward away Stingy Jack, other evil spirits, and even vampires. This caught on in other places as well such as Scotland and England. As immigrants from these areas began coming to America they continued the tradition, but using pumpkins in America. Pumpkins were more readily available to use. And the bright, orange, glowing Jack-O-Lantern that transformed from a pumpkin that we know and love today, was born! Thanks to the tale of Stingy Jack other stories like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow featuring the infamous headless horseman and even full blown Jack-O-Lantern shows (such as the Night of 1000 Jack-O-Lanterns at the Botanic Gardens) are a huge part of Halloween festivities for all. This year, as you light your Jack-O-Lantern, now you'll know exactly what the backstory is to this fun fall tradition.