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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in halloween
Day of the Dead, Samhain, and Halloween: cultural appropriation or something wonderful?


Taos, where I recently moved, is famous for its celebration of Day of the Dead.  Not surprisingly Day of the Dead themes have been integrated in to Halloween celebrations here in Taos.  Day of the Dead also shares many points of overlap with Samhain.   For the previous two years I worked with Mexican friends to organize a joint celebration of Samhain and Day of the Dead in Sebastopol, California. We had side by side altars and people were encouraged to light votives honoring their deceased loved one, and to place them on the altars of their choice.  My Wiccan altar had marigolds on it, and the skull was a colorful one in keeping with Day of the Dead symbolism. Otherwise it was very traditional.

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Halloween Oracle Review

“Halloween (or All Hallows’ Eve) was traditionally a Celtic winter festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-en) which marked the beginning of the colder season and the process whereby the earth begins to retreat and "die". That’s why the central theme of this ‘holiday’ is essentially death, but looked at from a more positive perspective, it can also be seen as the quiet beginning of life”. – Stacey Demarco


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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    Thanks, I hope so too. I've already had some good conversation with it.
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Ohhhh, good to hear!
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for reviewing this oracle! It's beautiful and haunting. I ordered it, following the link you gave. It arrived ye
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    My pleasure, Dragon Dancer! So happy to hear that my review helped you discover this oracle. Thank you for taking the time to comm

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Love Letter

I love October.

I mean, I really, really love it.  Do you know that fluttery, warm, sparkling feeling you get when you hold hands with your beloved, when you catch the eyes of your crush, when you see a message or note with that special name on it?

Well, my calendar is showing that special name.  October’s eyes are bright.  October’s hands are cool.  October’s name is like sweet honey on my tongue.

Ah, October.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    beautiful! thank you!


Title: Once Upon a Haunted Moor (Tyack and Frayne Book One)

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, November 18

This week for Watery Wednesday we take a look at Japanese Halloween, Wiccan "churches," and beginner Pagan's book lists.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Halloween. First part sounds like hallow, which preserves the original sense of the festival, derived from Old English hælig, “holy thing or person, saint.”

This is how I grew up pronouncing the word in Western Pennsylvania, and how I still pronounce it.

Which means, of course, that this is the correct pronunciation.

Helloween. Feast of the Goddess of Death and the Underworld (= Hell), observed only by the bluest of British blue-bloods. Raw-tha.

Hilloween. Southern hemisphere festival observed in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Named for the Hill o' Ween, where Australia's first Bealtaine bonfire was lighted in 1794.

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Sweet Skeletons

For those who wish to extend their Halloween/Samhain party celebrations, here's another notion for you:

Mexican Day of the Dead Party
The artwork and decoration for Dia de los Muertos (traditionally Nov. 1st and 2nd) has always been naturally festive. This sacred practice has more to do with customs and community rather than a particular organized religion. It is the answer to the Celtic origins of Halloween, but more so: The Mexican festival is truly a public celebration, not just a private affair. The Catholics may have All  Saint's Day, but this Mexican custom, like many native cultures, is a blending of ancient pagan practice intermeshed with the adoption of Christian symbolism and saints. In many of the whimsical and often beautiful altars on display, there are images of the Virgin Mary or Jesus interspersed amongst the whimsical sugar skulls.

I have one word for you here: skeletons, skeletons, skeletons! You could even recycle some Cinco de Mayo wall hangings if you like, to mix in with the bones. Decorate little sugar skulls and add to your altar/treat table. Have each guest bring a memento from a recently departed loved one to add to the altar space. Light a candle for each, and offer a favorite treat to all of them.

Speaking of treats, whip up some Mexican Hot Chocolate, and have a salsa bar with several degrees of hot to sample with some spicy tacos, nachos, and tortilla chips. Let Mariachi music ring out over your speakers. If that gets too scary for some after a spell, switch over to the Gypsy Kings. Share some tarot readings and ask for advice from a departed loved one. Keep it in the tradition of this honored day. Remember that Halloween can be sweet in more than one way.
(from Rachel Ray)
4 cups whole milk
1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) chocolate chips
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and 1 cup of water over a medium heat. Whisk constantly but do not boil- about 8 minutes. This makes 4 mugs, so double or quadruple recipe accordingly. To spice things up, add a shot of rum to each mug!

Sugar Skulls
For more Dia de los Muertos ideas and sugar skull instructions, visit:


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