Named for: “Octo”, meaning ‘eight’
Birthstone: opal, tourmaline
October Moon Magick:
Herbs: ginger, myrrh, allspice, basil, clove
Stones: alexandrite, citrine, lilac kunzite
Scents: pine, patchouli
Colors: dark green, brown, gold
Trees: yew, cypress, maple, oak
Deities: Astarte, Horned God, Lakshmi, Ishtar
Astrological Influences for October:
Libra: ruled by Venus, projective/masculine, cardinal, air
Scorpio: ruled by Mars, receptive/feminine, fixed/water
Samhain (pronounced ‘Sou-wen’) is a celebration that has a more somber side than the revelry of modern Halloween. It is a day of remembrance of your ancestors and for those family members who have passed over.
Pagan families may set an extra place at the supper table on this evening, to honor those loved ones who are no longer with them. The veil between the world of the living and the dead is thinnest on this eve, and this night is an excellent time to perform divination, or try to connect with those from the other side.
Herbs: patchouli, sage, heather
Altar Flowers/Herbs: acorns, apples, pumpkins/gourds, dittany, autumn leaves
Feast Foods: pumpkin, squash, nut breads, sweet potatoes, milled drinks (cider, wine), roast meat, root vegetables
Animals: bats, cats, crows, ravens, owls
Incense: cinnamon, cloves, myrrh, patchouli, pine, mugwort, nutmeg
Rituals/Spells: making besoms, divination, spirit contact, crone magick, working with dark energy, spells for new beginnings
Crafting Your Magic
Ancestral magic is cast with the Blood Moon. Do magic now to communicate with family members who have passed, to connect with your ancestors and your heritage. Magic surrounding divination is relevant, it’s the perfect time. Cast spells for justice and balance, and to overthrow anything oppressive which may be blocking your path to success. Ambition is highlighted, use magic to increase the potency of your own, or cast magic to contain ambition that may have run amok. This is also the perfect time to step into the dark shadows and take advantage of the vibrations found there. The gray witch revels in the magic of the Blood Moon and in this season.
In the tradition of Samhain, we’re going to look at herbs used to call up spirits.
To bring forth protective & benevolent spirits, Mugwort is burned on charcoal with star anise, althea, and resin incenses like frankincense, myrrh, copal, or benzoin.
Powers: strength, psychic powers, protection, prophetic dreams, healing, astral projection
The root, when dried, roasted, and ground like coffee, is used to make a tea. This infusion will promote psychic powers. This same tea, steaming and placed beside the bed, will call spirits.
Powers: divination, wishes, calling spirits
To call Spirits, place some thistle in boiling water. Remove from heat and lie or sit beside it. As the steam rises call the spirits and listen carefully; they may answer your questions.
Powers: strength, protection, healing, exorcism, hex-breaking
Wormwood is burned to summon spirits. It is sometimes mixed with sandalwood for this purpose. If burned in graveyards the spirits of the dead will rise and speak, according to old grimoires.
Powers: psychic powers, protection, love, calling spirits
Burn sweetgrass to attract good spirits, or beings, before performing spells.
(Strangely enough, I couldn’t find any correspondences listed for sweetgrass, other than it’s power to call in spirits.)
Disclaimer: Never ingest any herbs, or feed them to someone else,
if you are not absolutely sure they are safe!
As the Kitchen Witch knows, natural magick can be found in certain foods, recipes, as well as herbs. In this section we’re going to put this knowledge to work.
We celebrate Samhain at our house big time. I’m going to include in this newsletter my own recipe for pumpkin pie & my ‘secret’ recipe for the large pot of hot apple cider that is a tradition at our house. The photos included are family photos of Samhains past.
My Pumpkin Pie:
1 16 oz. can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
1 13 oz. can evaporated milk (but sometimes I use sweetened condensed milk– it makes it more ‘chiffony’…is that a word?)
2 eggs 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 sugar
Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and a dash of salt. Most recipes call for 1/2 teaspoon each, but I’m much more generous with my spices!
I tried for years to learn to make a good pie crust, and I almost gave up out of frustration– then I found this recipe. It’s almost foolproof, no kidding.
2 and 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup shortening 1 beaten egg 1 tablespoon vinegar 1/4 cup water
Mix the dry ingredients together and cut in the shortening, as usual. Then combine the egg and vinegar, stirring it up a bit, and add this to your dry ingredients. Add the water a dash at a time as you work it in, you’ll be able to tell when you get a good texture.
Edit: I bake this pie at 425 degrees for the first 15 minutes; then I turn the oven down to 400 degrees for the next 30-45 minutes, until it’s cooked enough to thicken the filling. I check this by sticking a clean butter knife in the center– when the knife comes out “clean”, I know the pie is done.
Hot Apple Cider
I have a *Huge*– did I say huge?– kettle that I use to mix up my cider. This sits and simmers all afternoon on the backburner of my stove, wafting a wonderful aroma throughout the house.
5-7 large jugs of applejuice 8-10 bags of peach tea a handful of cinnamon sticks and a large metal tea ball filled with whole cloves and allspice.
You can leave a shaker of nutmeg sit on the counter & anyone who wants to add a dash of this spice to their mug of apple cider can do so. If you don’t like this cider full force, you can dilute it some with water to suit your own taste.
Our kitchen isn’t as organized as Rachel Ray’s or Martha Stewart’s, but we get the job done. Above are kettles of cider brewing in preparation for a Samhain evening.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients we just used from a magickal perspective:
Nutmeg— one of the most popular uses for nutmeg is to assure fidelity. It’s also used for spells centered around luck, money, and health.
Cinnamon— spirituality, success, healing, power, psychic powers, lust, protection, love
Allspice— money, luck, healing
Cloves— protection, exorcism, love, money
Apple— love, healing, garden magic, immortality
The information for this blog post has been taken from: