Halloween is hands down one of my favorite holidays. Something about the weather in late October and enthusiasm for costumes and all things spooky takes me straight back to being a kid. When I lived outside the U.S. for a few years it was one of the weird and wonderful things about living in the North East that I missed the most.
Each year, I try to find new and fun ways to celebrate Halloween that feel age-appropriate and a little mystical. At this stage of my life, that usually means getting a bunch of friends together and having a night filled with seasonal treats, some time outside, and a few little witchy elements to take the night from just another group hang to coven-hang status. Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate:
Create DIY herb bundles
Add the magic element of fire to the night. At the beginning of the evening, create your own herb bundles for burning and cleansing. Use fresh sprigs of rosemary, thyme, lavender, or sage and tie the bundles together tightly with string, criss-crossing the string over most of the length of the herbs so they stay together tightly. You can let guests take these home to dry by hanging them upside down in a dry space and you can burn some fresh herbs right then, to cleanse the space for your party.
Light the end of the bundle and let the flame die down until it’s a smoldering, smoking burn. Trace the perimeter of the room or space you’re in, making sure to cover the corners, doors and windows. This only takes a couple of minutes and cleanses the air in your space. Put the herbs out in a heatproof bowl.
Get a tarot card reading
Modern witches are seemingly pulling tarot cards all over Instagram these days and I am admittedly one of them. I love the artwork and symbolism in tarot decks and have had so much fun learning how to read them and working with the archetypes of the deck.
If you have a friend who reads, hit her up to do some simple 3-card readings for the group. You can also hire a reader to drop by for an hour or two to give quick 15-minute readings to guests. Or buy a deck for people to check out on their own and try their hand at reading. A lot of the images are pretty intuitive and most decks come with a booklet of simple card explanations. Some simple spreads to try: Past + Present + Future, Feeling + Reality + Resolution, or Present Moment + Your Strength + Advice
Create a space for readings with a small table, covered in a cloth with a couple of lit candles to set the mood.
Use seasonal ingredients with meaning
It’s harvest season after all! One of the best parts about fall is how the foods mimic the riot of colors outside — reds, oranges, yellows, and greens. It’s fun to choose foods and ingredients that have magical properties too.
Try pumpkin for abundance, prosperity and friendship, apples for love, beauty and wisdom, and pomegranates for wealth, creativity and fertility. I love having Health Ade Pomegranate Kombucha as part of the spread — both for pomegranate’s fabled benefits and for the beautiful color and taste. Use some of those herbs that didn’t make it into those burning bundles, too — they’re all super potent!
Similar to tarot, crystals are having a moment right now. Whether you’re into them or not, they can be fun and beautiful to play with. You can often buy small pocket-sized crystals for very reasonable prices — Etsy is a great resource.
If you have a small-ish group, you can buy enough small crystals for each person to get one or two or have everyone bring two crystals of their own and you can swap. Crystals often come with little cards explaining what their magical properties are and what they help with (you can also get this info online). Put the crystals out for people to choose their own with their descriptive cards turned over so they can’t be read them yet. Once everyone’s chosen their favorites, they can read the descriptions. People are often drawn to crystals that have the properties that they need in their life at the time — spooky, no?
Going for a stroll in nature or spending some time in a backyard gazing at the trees can be super witchy if you want it to be. Nature reminds us of the balance of life, the magic in the everyday, and the inevitable changes we all face. Make your time outside mindful and experience the beauty of the colorful leaves, the fresh air, and the people you’re with.
And if all else fails, settle in for drinks and a viewing of The Craft, Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, or The Witches of Eastwick and you really can’t go wrong.
Be sure to check out another article about the health benefits of kombucha and what kombucha is actually made from.