Celebrating Halloween is something that has been done for ages. Sure, it has changed a bit since it’s original purpose, but the fact that it still remains a favorite holiday to many, year after year, speaks volumes to it’s popularity and importance. Even traditional Halloween has costumes and candy. Those houses who did not have treats got tricked, these days with toilet paper and eggs. But there are other images to come to mind when we think of Halloween. Some are just decor, some serve a purpose. Do you incorporate all of them into your Halloween?
Got bats in the belfry? These winged creatures strike fear into the hearts of children and make great decoration when made of plastic or cloth. Most of us picture Count Dracula morphing into one when we think of bats.
We go to the pumpkin patch, pick out the perfect one and take it home to carve. Usually just a funny or scary face is carved into this orange gourd, but these days you find even more intricate carving. Put in a candle and the jack-o-lantern lights the path to your front porch where children can get their treats. In old days they used turnips!
Halloween is the one night when the dead can walk the Earth again. Maybe this is why Halloween brings pictures of ghosts and skeletons into our minds. I think I’d much rather they walk around as ghosts though, a skeleton might actually scare me! We dress in costumes so that the dead will mistake us for other dead and leave us alone. Spooky!
Black cats are a traditional Halloween sight. They were the witches familiars, the ones that kept them company and helped them with their spell work. Black cats are very superstition filled creatures. But I bet if you pet one all he’ll do is purr!
We bob for apples. It’s a fun game, and apples were classically used in love divination spells. Apples are popular this time of year because of the fact that it is harvest time- this is when the apples are ready to be picked.
The witch’s broom and cauldron decorate our homes and yards. The cauldron conjures (pun intended) up magical images, while the witches broom was used to sweep away negativity. Now they are merely decorations for Halloween festivities in most homes.
Owls are a lesser used Halloween image. Though we may hear their eerie calls late at night. Generally they have a darker Halloween image, but I think that is just because of their mysterious nocturnal habits.
Creepy spiders crawl along our tables and walls, luckily they aren’t real. How exactly these creepy crawlies became associated with witches and Halloween is really a mystery, but who isn’t frightened by a black widow diving from the ceiling, or a big harry tarantula crawling on their arm?
The moon is a symbol of witches. It is the feminine aspect and has everything to do with the maiden, mother and crone. The moon is a beautiful thing to view and has found roots in Halloween. We see her beauty in the artwork for this holiday all over the place.
And, when it is time to decorate with streamers and plates, pick black and orange. These are the traditional colors of Halloween (they were also my school colors, ironically). Black cats and orange pumpkins, what can you say. So don your house with black and orange streamers and have a Halloween ball!
A Witch’s Halloween by Gerina Dunwich