Halloween and the Real Witch

By Melanie Marquis, a real witch

Halloween is the only night of the year in America when religious persecution is not only sanctioned, but is boldly paraded in the streets, as well. To a Witch, and I mean a real witch, Halloween, called Samhain, is a sacred night, one of the most important religious festivals of the year. It’s a time when we honor the dead and celebrate the final harvest and gathering of energy before winter sets in. Seeing all the little “witches” running around trick-or-treating in their costumes, complete with a rubbery nose, warts, and green face paint, is decidedly bizarre. We witches wouldn’t dream of dressing up in clergy robes and grotesque make-up on Christmas—so why is it so acceptable for mainstream America to take a similar line in portraying witches on our holy day? 

Luckily, most witches are open-minded, tolerant people—we’re generally hard to offend, and most of us don’t get too bent out of shape about the popular misrepresentation of witchcraft. Our ways have always been misunderstood, and we will always inspire fear in the hearts and minds of those that squirm at anything that threatens to shake up mundane reality. 

Yet we can’t help but try to clear up this misunderstanding and share the truth about real witches. We’re really not out to wither anyone’s crops or strike anyone’s livestock barren—well, in all fairness, some of us might be, but every society has its deviants, after all. The vast majority of witches are helpful, peace-loving people who strongly abhor the practice of hurting others with magick. 

So just what does a real witch believe? You’ll get a different answer from every single one of us, but here are the most common basics. We see nature as a living manifestation of the Goddess and God, a force to be respected and adored. We believe in harming no one, with a few of us willing to make exceptions in certain extreme situations where serious danger must be averted. We believe in taking personal responsibility for one’s actions, not fearing a hell or hoping for a heaven, but understanding that we wield the reigns of our own karma right here, right now. And we believe in magick, that innate ability lying in each and every individual soul, waiting to be awoken and utilized, transforming and directing the energies underlying reality in order to manifest desired, positive change.

We don’t so much mind the face paint. But the fear we could do without. 

Here’s wishing you a Happy Halloween, from your friendly neighborhood witch!   

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2009

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