Throughout history, Halloween has signified more than just a corporate holiday celebrated by children eating candy and adults partying in silly/slutty costumes. Across ancient cultures around the globe including Celtic, Roman, Indigenous Americans, and more, the night of October 31st into November 1st has been known as the day when it is the most possible to make contact with the spirit realm / the deceased. This idea of the “thinning of the veils” stems back thousands of years across numerous ceremonial traditions, such as All Hallows Eve, Samhain and Dia de Los Muertes.
In this week’s episode of Lucid Planet Radio, I learned all about the origins of numerous Halloween traditions (think: Jack-O-Lanterns, Costumes, Ghosts, Candy, Bobbing for Apples and more) with Judika Illes, one of the foremost authorities on witchcraft, the magical arts and the occult. We also discussed what it really means to be a ‘witch’ and practice ‘magic,’ including spell casting and divination.
Whether you believe in ‘magic’ or not, you can still create and participate in your own personal rituals to maximize the power of this very special night. According to Judika, the stroke of midnight on the night of Halloween is the “witching moment” of the year where any spell, wish, card draw, divination, or intention will be magnified.
Essentially, this is an excellent time to search for answers and spur on the transformation in your life. On this yearly night of power the phone-line to other realms, our deceased loved ones, our spiritual guides and our highest self is OPEN and taking callers! So, get all of your candy and trick-or-treating out the way before midnight and treat yourself to powerful ritual at midnight.
I’ve always wondered why Halloween can have such a mysterious, sexy vibe, why it spurs legions of people to wear provocative (aka: slutty!) costumes, myself included. I was shocked to find out from Judika that for generations, Halloween was actually considered to be a ROMANTIC holiday, akin to Valentine’s day! This was also a potent time to cast romantic spells. Old Halloween postcards like this one from the early 20th century seem to confirm this perspective on Halloween.
According to Victorian lore, to find your true love, stand naked in a dark room facing away from a mirror, holding a candle. Then, on the stroke of midnight, legend has it that when you look over your shoulder at the mirror, you will see the face of your true love reflected back at you! Note: Doing this at the club probably won’t work!
2. Meet me at the Crossroads
There is also an ancient Pagan Halloween ritual for Divination, or, finding answers to pressing questions in your life. Find a crossroads, which is a place where two streets intersect and is thought to have a concentration of power. Think about the important life question and the answer you seek- Judika explains that the most specific questions will beget the most accurate and helpful answers. At the stroke of midnight, listen to the first words or phrases that you hear, and these will be the answer to your question.
Alternatively, if you do not have access to a crossroads or prefer to stay indoors, Judika recommends using a radio (or television if you have no radio) and playing with the dial until the stroke of midnight. When midnight occurs, the first words you were on that radio will give you an answer.
Judika also wanted me to remind our listeners that nothing is ever set in stone- If you hear good news, that is great, but if you hear bad or ominous news, this does not necessarily mean that something bad will happen, but it is a warning. We always have free will and the ability to change the course of our lives.
After the new moon in Scorpio on Oct 30th, the moon on Oct 31st will be small, but it will be waxing (meaning that it is in a growth stage). During the waxing moon, it is advisable to ask the universe for things that you wish to GROW (such as money, love, hair, etc). Judika explains that simply standing under the moon at the stroke of midnight on Halloween will help raise your psychic vibration, and that this is an excellent time to empower any wish for something you hope to build or grow in the coming months.
The moonlight on Halloween also offers a wonderful opportunity to cleanse and re-charge your crystals. Judika recommends putting your crystals in a bowl of water (so long as water does not damage them- for example, do not put Selenite in water!) and leaving them outside during this time. Then you can drink the water, or anoint your body with it. You can also bottle this moon water and drink it later when you feel you need a re-charge. If you are a Tarot or Oracle card reader, pulling cars under the moonlight at the stroke of midnight will also be especially powerful.
4. A Bite of Forbidden Fruit
Given the rich symbolism of the apple (both in terms of the forbidden apple of knowledge, and the poisoned apple of snow white) it is perhaps not surprising to learn that the apple also takes roots in the ancient traditions of Halloween. In the Pagan tradition, the apple has traditionally been a symbol love and of ‘knowing.’ In Roman times, Halloween was the celebration of the goddess Pomona, the Apple Queen. This is where we derive our traditions like bobbing for apples, which was once part of an old, sacred divination ceremony.
Judika explains that we can integrate these old rituals by making a wish on Halloween night while holding an apple in our hands. Focus on what you want to transpire: Be it health, job success, clearing your debts, finding love, or bringing peace or reconciliation, and so on. Visualize this wish and allow yourself to feel happy and calm. Then at the stroke of midnight on Halloween, take a bite of the apple!
5. Spirit Whispering
If you believe in the ability to communicate with spirit guides or deceased loved ones, the ‘thinning of the veil’ on Halloween offers the perfect opportunity to do this. When asked what is necessary to reach out to the other side, Judika explains that RESPECT and GOOD MANNERS are paramount. Holding gratitude and humility in your heart is key, as well as eschewing fear. If you are holding a fearful vibration, you can attract beings that feed off of fear, rather than love. So if you are going to do this, please be sure that you are coming from a place of respect and love.
Judika explains that no special spell is necessary to do this. First, ask for the type of being you are looking to connect with (such as your deceased loved one, or a type of spirit guide). Using specific, non-general language, visualize the questions you have in your mind’s eye, or write them down. Then, create a small offering for the spirit(s) in question. Judika recommends using a bowl of water with a large surface area (this can absolutely be moon water or crystal water as discussed earlier) as well as a food offering for the spirit that you will not consume. If you knew them, then offer something they liked during life (such as a favorite candy or tobacco). If you did not know them, think of something you would appreciate as an offering of food. Crystals are appealing to spirits and can also be incorporated into this ritual.
Whatever ritual you decide to participate in, just remember to keep an open heart and to express your desires in a specific and clear way. For much more, listen to my interview with Judika and check out her numerous books on witchcraft and the occult!
And…If you see me naked at a crossroads, biting an apple with a mirror and a bowl of crystal moon water, just know I will be wishing you a very Happy Halloween!!!!
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