“Harvest moon, velvet sky, pumpkins glowing, children laughing, costumes, candy, snapping breezes…scary stories, Indian corn, haunted houses, smiling scarecrows, blowing leaves…apples, parties, spindly spiders, dancing bats, grinning ghosts, sparkling stars…hayrides, dances, screeching cats, big bonfires…just where did this autumn gaiety begin?” – Silver RavenWolf
Magical holidays arise out of the mist in October. Whether named All Hallows Eve, Samhain, Saven, or Halloween, these autumnal celebrations are often a mixture of Pagan, Christian, and American practices. Each year, Americans spend billions of dollars for Halloween festivities, including costumes, candy, and decorations.
However, what are the origins of this holiday? What is the significance of jack-o-lanterns, black cats, trick-or-treating, and masks? Via her magic broomstick, author Silver RavenWolf takes the reader on a guided tour of Halloween history, customs, symbols, and lore in her book Halloween – Customs, Recipes, and Spells. From The Druids to the Romans, Colonial Pennsylvania to Ireland, RavenWolf searches for the roots of Halloween and examines celebration rituals from around the world. Featuring superstitions, crafts, recipes and spells, Halloween – Customs, Recipes, and Spells is a phantasmagoric travelogue through foggy cornfields and gravestones laced with cobwebs. RavenWolf shows readers how to honor and contact the dead—including a pagan funeral rite—as well as how to construct divinatory tools for Guidance.
Some of the fascinating offerings you’ll find in this book include:
•Superstitions and symbols of pitchforks, scarecrows, werewolves, vampires and bats •Customs such as bonfires, Halloween processions, masks and costumes •Divination methodology and instruction for casting lots, pumpkin seed divination for solitaries and parties, making a magick mirror, and Psychometry •Tempting recipes like Green Man cake, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Easy Enchanted Punch, Frosted Grapes and Honeyed Apples, and Sugar Snakes in Graveyard Dust •Magickal charm bags, pleasant dream sachets, corn husk magick, and pumpkin abundance lights •Harvest Moon ritual, Halloween defense spell, Samhain protection powder, and Jack-o’-Lantern protection totem •Spirit rattles and bowls, solitary Samhain ritual, ancestral altars, the dumb supper, offerings to the dead, and a simple ritual to receive answers from the dead Written in an engaging, playful style, Halloween – Customs, Rituals, and Spells takes the “scare” out of this oft-misunderstood holiday, and shows how Halloween can be a time for sacred ritual, family bonding, self-discovery and FUN. I found the various mythos and customs absorbing, as well as the various symbols and superstitions. My favorite part of the book, though, was the section on Halloween divination used during this time of year; including instructions for making your own divination tools.
If you’re interested in Halloween, Samhain, Day of the Dead and other “spooky” holidays, this book is a great way to indulge your fascination and learn a few new things along the way. In addition, Pagans, Wiccans, and open-minded folks will welcome the ideas for celebration and ritual.
Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This review was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.