excerpted from an article by Cate Cavanaugh
Did you ever think of how far back our Halloween celebration goes or why you give treats to avoid a trick, or how wearing masks and costumes got started? As a student of history I have always found the origins of traditions very interesting. Many of our current practices are sourced from the Celtic belief system known today as Wicca.
Halloween falls on the Wiccan New Year called Samhaim (called So-wen) which in essence observes the end of summer and the oncoming winter as integral to life regenerating in the spring. As a celebration of nature’s never ending renewal of the life that feeds and supports people and the earth, Samhaim celebrated impending darkness after the light and harvest of summer, after which life would reemerge again in the spring. With this in mind, Samhaim was a religious time of fasting, reflection, meditation and prayer as well as a time for casting spells to end hardship, pain, illness and hunger. It was believed the worlds of the living and the dead merged on this day and it was in order to maintain peace between the two worlds that most of our Halloween traditions evolved such as trick or treat.
Costumes and masks were used for protection against spirit. Despite conversion to Christianity, people remained afraid of All Hallows Eve, the one day it was believed spirits were allowed to freely walk the earth. In order to not be recognized by these spirits, people would leave their homes at night incognito in masks and misleading regalia.
Some Halloween magic for you…
Are you going or throwing a Halloween party? Enjoy your party and festivities safely and remember no party should go without a cake magic recipe.
Make any kind of cake. Put a ring, thimble, a very tiny figurine and a coin inside the cooked cake in different locations. Some people will get one of these items in their slice.
The ring means they will be married within a year, the thimble means you will never marry. The doll means lots of children and the coin means prosperity.
While you are at it, you might want to try this popular ‘spell’ for money that is best done around Halloween. You need a gold coin and a pair of old shoes. Holding up the coin in daylight and say “what I see, may it increase, so I may have financial peace.” Place the gold coin in the old left shoe, then put both shoes on. Walk clockwise in a circle three times. Take the shoes off and place them in a T shape where they can’t be disturbed. Do the same thing for three days. On the third day take out the gold coin from the left shoe and tape the coin in the most worn pair of shoes. Do not spend the coin as it will bring you luck!! ONLY DO THIS SPELL IF MONEY IS NEEDED NOT OUT OF GREED!
If you are single, put a glass of water by your bed. It said the person you dream of on All Hallow’s Eve is the person you will marry.
Warning: since the dead roam this night, you might want to consider sleeping with a mask on!