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Seasonal Power

Halloween falls on October 31st every year, and is the evening before Hallowmass (Hallow’s Eve). Samhain, or true Halloween, however, falls on November 7th this year (and a different day every year; check a good Witch’s calendar or astrological calendar), the Saturday following the secular Halloween. How does true Halloween (which I will call Samhain through this article, for the sake of clarity) differ from the secular holiday?

The first answer depends upon your current religion, and your religious background. For most adult Americans, Halloween is just a way to indulge in the “dark and spooky” without social stigma, and for children to indulge their sweet teeth during the increasingly cold and dark half of the year.

For those who practice magic, divination, ancestor veneration, or anything similar, Halloween is an effective time for all of the above due to its cultural associations. The actual tides themselves have not changed to suit modern proclivities, but enough cultural energy has built up around the night of October 31st (and the day of November 1st for Roman Catholics) that it serves as a particularly effective time for all of those aforementioned activities. It is also close enough to the actual date of Samhain (which, again, changes yearly, but which is never far off of Halloween) that it naturally partakes of some of the Samhaintide energy.

Samhain itself is, of course, an even better time for magic and all things “dark and spooky” (as defined by modern Western culture). The natural tides are in motion at this time of the yearly cycle, when the Sun enters 15 degrees Scorpio, in such a way as to very literally thin the veil between the planes. The planes, it must be remembered, are not separate in the same way that one room is separated from another by a solid wall. Instead, they are segments of a continuum which runs from the physical to the spiritual. The segments are useful for defining the areas of the continuum which tend to interact more directly with one another, but are not absolute. For instance, the “lower astral” and “higher astral” are just the more and less dense sections of the astral plane; as different as they can be, they are still just “the astral plane” because they have more direct interplay with one another than either of them has with, say, the spiritual plane. Ultimately, though, everything is made out of the same “mind-stuff”, so neither the physical plane nor the spiritual plane, nor anything between, is firmly separated off from the rest.

I will be honest in saying that I don’t really understand the mechanism by which the planes “become closer”. Maybe the lower planes become less dense, or maybe the higher planes become more dense, or maybe something totally different happens; I don’t know. Experience shows, though, that this is what happens, and because of it many different metaphysical operations become a bit easier to perform.

Divination is the traditional activity for this time of year. Tarot readings, scrying, rune-casting, whatever it is that you do (or whatever you can have done for you) should bring you clearer answers with less effort this time of year. Take advantage! Samhain is not the only good time for divination, of course. Any time of year will do, with waning moons typically best. Still, Samhain, Yuletide, and Beltain are typically the best times for it. Along with divination, astral projection should also be easiest at Samhain, and easier throughout the dark half of the year than the light half.

General spellcasting can also be done to better effect at this time of year. The energy is flowing more freely all around, and messages get here and back with less resistance, so go ahead and do some magic (or have your friendly neighborhood spiritual worker do it for you).

Of particular interest on and around Samhain, too, is evocation. Because the planes are in closer communion, it is far easier to evoke a being to either astral presence or physical appearance. The higher beings, such as archangels, angels, and the greater spirits of the elements and of nature, are generally not too difficult to a well-trained summoner at any time of year. Samhain, then, is best for the evocation of “lower” elemental entities and demons, as well as for necromancy (the evocation of the dead). Now is a great time to set up a shrine to your ancestors, or to begin to befriend the spirit(s) of your home and the surrounding land.

The created gods, especially the earthy variety, are also much closer to us at this time. Cernunnos, Herne, Herodias, Habondia, Aradia, Osiris, Hermes Cthonos, Hel, Hades, Pluto, and so on are much easier to contact around Samhain, and throughout the dark half of the year. Light candles to one or two of them to whom you seem to be drawn in particular and ask them for their presence in your life. Don’t ask for anything until you have a real relationship with them; just talk to them and try to become friends. Friendship is its own reward, apart from any favors you may do one another.

I’m sure that other people have a lot of different ways of taking advantage of the season, things that I’ve never thought of. The above should give the interested some ideas, though.

Happy Halloween!

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