With Halloween around the corner, people are getting into a spooky mood. Many will celebrate by wearing costumes, eating candy or going out for drinks. Others, however, have more mindful nights planned.
Many people who practice witchcraft will mark Witches’ New Year, also known as Samhain, on Oct. 31.
Samhain (pronounced sah-win) is an ancient Gaelic holiday that marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It’s also a time to reflect over the past year and reminisce over loved ones who have passed on. Celebrations start on Oct. 31 and last until the sun sets on Nov. 1.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, I felt like I was slowly losing control of everything.
I wasn’t able to see my friends for months, my university classes were cancelled, then put online, and work had started to make me feel burnt out.
It was during this time that I discovered witchcraft.
Witchcraft isn’t all about casting curses and flying on brooms. It’s a practice that follows Wiccan religious beliefs of respecting nature, as well as following and worshipping many gods and goddesses.
Practicing witchcraft can actually help people become more grounded and mindful.
There are many different kinds of practices of witchcraft, such as green witchcraft that focuses on the magickal properties of plants, or kitchen witchcraft, which involves casting spells through making food.
Crystals, making manifestation jars and tarot-card readings are other common practices.
During my research and practicing, most spells I’ve used instruct the caster to focus their intentions onto the spell they’re casting. Practicing witchcraft has made me more aware of what I put my energy into.
And people don’t have to do super “witchy” activities to start practicing being more mindful.
Samhain has a ton of activities that can help someone be more mindful this spooky season and ease into witchcraft!
Here are just a few examples:
1. Take a meditative nature walk. During the walk, take in the smells, the feeling of the wind and the different colours found in nature.
2. Reflect on the past year. Remember the ups and the downs, what worked well and what didn’t this year. Look over old photographs and re-read old journals. Notice the growth that has occurred over the past year.
3. Make a meaningful feast with friends or family. Spending time with loved ones is important during a period of reflection, especially because everyone can remember good memories of loved ones who have passed on.
Becoming a witch has helped me be more aware of what is happening around me and what I put my energy into. It feels like I’m back in control of my life.
So on Oct. 31, whether it’s celebrating Halloween or Samhain, have fun, stay safe and remember there might be some magick in the air!
Kim Uduman is finishing up her bachelor’s degree in rhetoric, writing and communications at the University of Winnipeg. In her downtime, she loves caring for her plants, cuddling her orange tabby cat and attempting latte art.
Published in Volume 76, Number 07 of The Uniter (October 28, 2021)