Ten Things to do on Samhain
A collection of divinations, rituals and customs you might like to try out this year.
Take an apple, and peel it. Try and peel it in one go, so it is just one long piece of apple peel and throw it over your left shoulder. If you can’t, take the longest piece.
The letter it forms will be the initial of your next love.
A Dumb Supper is a meal shared with your Dead Ancestors or relatives. Cook a meal, leaving a portion and a chair for each of the Dead that you wish to join you. However, you must cook and eat the meal in total silence, or they’ll vanish. Make sure not to season the food with salt either – it may keep them away!
Samhain is the end of the year, so it is perfect for Tarot readings or other divination. The results are usually the most accurate on this day about all others. Provided, of course, you use the ancient calendar – each day actually starts on sundown, not sunup. So, Samhain starts at sundown on the 31st. So you have a pretty decent excuse to break out the pumpkin spice candles.
The original purpose of costumes on Samhain is to fool the wandering Dead that you’re one of them. So, if you’re planning to be out and about, dressing up as a Sexy Cupcake
is probably not your best option.
Although if any dish had a soul, it would probably be cupcakes.
Burn it Down
Building bonfires on Samhain, Hallowe’en and other similar days is something that crosses many cultures.
The two most common uses are to either dispel bad luck, or bring in good luck. I usually make my Black Salt from the ashes of either a Samhain or a May Day fire.
Leave a Light On
Again, there are two reasons to leave a candle, light, or Jack O’ Lantern in your window.
The Jack O’ Lantern is built to ward away evil spirits, again by fooling them into thinking you’re one of them – specifically the titular Jack, cursed to wander the earth with nothing but a turnip for a lantern.
The other reason is to actually signal spirits to you – usually your Dead relatives, to either welcome them into the house or give them a light to move into the proverbial Light.
You … probably can’t do both at once, so I’d choose how haunted you want your house to get – you don’t want some randos crashing the party. As we all know, the Spirits are strongest this time of year.
Another romance divination you can do, this is best done in a group, in the dark, and scare each other senseless.
If you’re unmarried, you can look into a mirror after midnight, and over your shoulder will be the face of the one you will marry. But beware – if they will die soon, you’ll be face to face with a skeleton instead.
If you choose to do this in a group, only one person should be reflected in the mirror at a time.
Spiders can be great allies if you treat them right. When bad witches are near, they are said to fall into candles and burn to death. If one is scuttling around on Samhain, a Dead relative is watching over you.
And, at Samhain or any point in the year, if you catch a spider in your house and refrain from killing Her, you can ask her a question.
Take her outside, and before you set her free, remind her you had every right to destroy her since she was trespassing. Ask her to answer your question as payment, then ask the question. Look for your answer in the next three days.
(Don’t kill spiders though. That’s rude and unneeded.)
Another love divination! This one is useful if you are having trouble deciding between lovers. For each suitor you have, set a hazelnut beside a fire. Chant ‘ f you love me, pop and fly. If you hate me, burn and die!’
Trick or Treating
If you are going to be giving out sweets/candy for the Trick or Treaters this year, can I ask you to do one thing?
Keep a few sweets or chocolate behind suitable for kids with allergies or intolerances, not only to nuts but to things like gluten or lactose.
It doesn’t have to cost you any more – it’s getting much easier to find these things now, and a lot of popular, cheap sweets are fine as well.
Your whole stash doesn’t have to be Free From, but if you can keep a few back for anyone that asks.
I’ve heard of some kids who never got to go Trick or Treating because there were very few sweets they could eat without ending up in the hospital, and that broke my heart.
(I also knew an old lady who would give out little bags of about 50p’s worth of 2ps, and some people give out inexpensive small toys or stickers too. Or fruit, but I don’t see an eight year old being too grateful for that one.)
It’s a small kindness that will make someone’s day!