5 Samhain Rituals You Can Perform For Halloween

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October 31 is best known nowadays as Halloween. It's an event where people dress up in costumes, solicit candy from their neighbors, and Hocus Pocus memes dominate the internet.
But, this widely secular holiday actually has its roots in the Pagan and Wiccan festival of Samhain, which marks the time of year when it's believed that the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest.
Sure, that may sound pretty macabre compared to trick-or-treating, but Samhain isn't just about gloom and doom. Samhain is usually celebrated by a group of Pagan practitioners or Wiccans (sometimes known as a coven) or by a solitary practitioner of these faiths — but this doesn't mean that you can't get in on some of these rituals if you're interested in thinking beyond your Halloween costume. Traditionally, these rituals often center around an altar featuring seasonal items from nature, personal mementos, candles, crystals, and other spiritual objects. A coven of Wiccans may hold a collective reflection or prayer around the altar then share a meal. They may even perform a seance as part of their observance.
The beautiful thing about holidays grounded in nature-based faiths like Paganism and Wicca is that the details of how they're celebrated vary between communities and even individuals. Overall, Samhain is a celebration of nature's seasonal cycle and the opportunities for new beginnings it so often offers us. It's a chance for people to come together and reflect on what they've lost and gained over the last year. Pagan or not, you may come to learn something powerful about yourself by celebrating Samhain.
We therefore spoke with Mickie Mueller, author of The Witch's Mirror and Llewellyn's Little Book of Halloween, about how modern-day witches observe Samhain and how you can, too.

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