by Claire DuNord
Blessed Samhain, and Happy New Year, Broom Closet Witches!
For Witches, the New Year begins with the celebration of the Wheel of the Year Sabbat known as Samhain, which loosely corresponds to the well-known Halloween. Claire du Nord here, a High Priestess in the Temple of Witchcraft tradition, with the thirteenth article in our “For Broom Closet Witches” column.
As Samhain is the time when our ancestors are most able to pay us a visit and us to contact them, (what with the veil between the worlds being its thinnest), I like to prepare for their visit with a good house cleaning – both mundane and magickal! I also like to do a Rune-casting for a quick peak at what the new year might have in store for me with respect to personal growth and learning, as well as if there might be any pitfalls that I need to look out for and navigate around.
I doubt that anyone would object to the mundane, physical house cleaning. As for the magickal/energetic cleaning, my most trusty tools for that are just your ordinary feather duster, whisk broom and wind chimes. No one needs to know that none of these tools has ever been used to remove actual dust and dirt or that I ring the wind chimes inside the house myself! I also give every corner of every room in my apartment, the windows and windowsills, as well as the front door’s threshold a good “spritzing” with Rosewater, which is kept in a little blue glass spray bottle:
To give the whisk broom a bit more of a “witchy” look, I put a sort of little “cape” around it – just a triangular piece of fabric with a cord or ribbon sewn on one side. This “cape” is then tied around the whisk broom like so:
Whisk Broom, Front
Whisk Broom, Back
Here are the wind chimes, hanging inside my apartment:
For Samhain, I also like to burn a scented candle, to give the atmosphere a nice, welcoming smell. This would be anything that suits my fancy at the time, but especially the “pumpkin pie spice” type of scents. And, speaking of pumpkin pie…
I like to decorate the dining room table with little pumpkins and gourds, and I do like to bake pumpkin pie – (preferably from the pulp of a carved pumpkin) – but I don’t always manage to get a pumpkin of carving size, in which case canned pumpkin works too.
I like the practice of leaving a candle or lantern burning on the windowsill to light the way for the spirits. (AKA leaving the porch light on for “Trick-or-Treaters”). However, I’ve had the shocking experience of a glass-enclosed candle holder that shattered from the heat of the candle, so a safer option to a burning candle could be an LED light in a lantern:
At Samhain, I do a three-fold Rune-casting for the year ahead: What to Focus on, What to Watch out for, and What to Learn from. I have three small bowls labeled with “Focus”, “Watch”, and “Learn”, to hold my Rune-casting throughout the Samhain season, which I will keep on my working altar. I keep my Runes in a drawstring bag:
Of course, this isn’t your customary “Past, Present and Future” Rune-casting, which I do as well, using another set of Runes.
As I have both Celtic and Norse ancestries, the Wheel of the Year as a whole, in and of itself, helps me to connect with my ancestors, simply by observing and celebrating each of the Sabbats.
I hope this article has been helpful, and until next time…
Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet again!
Claire du Nord