It’s that time of year again! I just saw yet another film where witchcraft and magick were associated with Satan, demons, and dark and evil forces. And of course, the church leaders or religious types were the good ones who saved people from it all.
Satan is their god, not mine, and evil is their invention.
Witchcraft has been caricatured by the media and demonised by religion. But it is not a Halloween parade of pointy hats, cobwebs, and sex with the devil. I reject this ridicule, vilification, and stigma, and I throw off the dark cloak of secrecy and superstition.
I hate the caricature of the ‘evil witch’ and ‘dark magick’. It is based in religious fear mongering. I hate also that people don’t take this discrimination seriously and that it continues to be allowed to happen. And I hate the fact that people still laugh at us and fear us because of this.
This propaganda against witches, magick, and women in their power has been going on for thousands of years - since monotheism took hold. But during the 15th and 18th centuries it was even more horrifying. Such terrible wrongs done to women in the name of religion.
They stole our freedom and created an environment of fear around our practice and condemned us to lives of silence, or ridicule and persecution.
It is continued religious propaganda to demonise, shame, and humiliate women who follow their own path, hold their own power, and who don’t, won’t, or can’t fall into their given docile and servile place - midwives, herbalists, landowners, seers, counsellors, celebrants, lesbians, sexual women, strong women, single women, old women, wise women, powerful women, women with disabilities, neurodivergent women, and of course magical witchy women.
The religious leaders of the witch hunt times wanted us silenced or gone. They were trying to convert everyone from their indigenous paganism and witchcraft, but women, just for being themselves, symbolised everything the church didn’t want.
So many of us were brutally tortured and murdered.
Did you know that the Halloween witch costumes are rooted in these witch hunt times? The idea of the ugly disheveled witch is actually an image derived from the way women looked after they’d been horrifically tortured to make them confess to being a witch.
Ugh! How awful that this powerful image is taken so lightly.
I will not forget our indigenous herstory or have it swept under the carpet. It’s not taught as part of the school history curriculum, but it is one of the many roots of cultural and systemic misogyny, and it needs to be remembered.
I remember our herstory every year at Halloween (or as I call it, in reference to our Celtic roots, ‘Samhain’- pronounced sa-ween).
I challenge the stereotypes and misconceptions that have plagued us for far too long.
I invite women to come together, reclaim our power, and rewrite the narrative. I want women to feel the true essence of this dark time of year and to embrace our indigenous magical heritage that was stolen from us.
Samhain is one of the festivals in the witches' Wheel of the Year. It's the one that has inspired the Halloween celebrations we see today, although it holds much deeper meanings than just trick-or-treat. It is the summer’s end, a time of transition, of letting go of what no longer serves us, and of pulling back the veils between the living and the dead. It’s important to connect with lost loved ones during this time, to grieve them, to learn from their wisdom, and to celebrate them.
As the Sun enters its waning phase, it invites us to turn inward, nurture our inner fire, and to find warmth in the company of our witch sisters. The nights grow darker, but also more magical - with ice forming on our windows and the glistening cobwebs outside. This reminds us that there can be beauty in loss.
Samhain also reminds us that darkness and death need not be feared but can be revered, as they are essential parts of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Like autumn leaves falling to the earth, we can release the old and unnecessary aspects of our lives. It's a time to sweep away the cobwebs of the past and let go of anything that no longer serves us.
Grief is an expression of love for those we've lost.
There are intimate connections between grief and gratitude, sorrow and intimacy, love and loss… but the greatest gifts are often pushed into our shadows.
Working this ritual together encourages us to seek out those shadows and to use them for transformation.
Lifting the Veil at Samhain brings the opportunity for us to find these gifts and to celebrate the cycle of life, death, and rebirth together, in a safe connected and beautiful shared space.
This only comes around once a year. Make the most of it.
With love and forbidden fruit,
Lilith is doing a free 4 day ritual to deeply connect with her soul community in this powerful and dark phase of the Wheel of the Year. You can join her HERE