Happy Samhain. As I write this post in mid-October, as opposed to the two months prior I had aimed for, I am surrounded. My house is chock full of ghosts, and of course, now that I shacked up with a real-as-it-gets shaman, what once made for a crowded house is now absolutely packed. Where once the constant ghost exposure would have induced fear, these days, it is a mix of compassion for the wandering spirits that deserve compassion and mild to severe annoyance at the rest.
Can’t you bastards see I have things to do?
While far from my most generous take, it’s honest, and that honesty has a way of clearing the constant inner conflicts that haunt me. I know I’m not the only one who has those conflicts, and I strive for them to stop being conflicts. My current dichotomies struggle with my stigmatization while serving communities with added labels that worsen those issues. Science versus spooky, and getting them to meet in a healthy, critical-thought-centered way. The relentless politics of my offline life and my refusal to have more than “I have a right to exist!” are part of my online expressions.
While we love to talk about the veil thinning between the worlds we perceive as external to ourselves; we also have the veils of the inner self to navigate. We talk about ancestral healing and spooky confrontations, but how often do we verbalize what happens within ourselves? Witches are people of rich imaginations and inner lives that drive our magick for good or ill. We can’t even begin to validate, test, and rule out our psychic perceptions without some outside practice. We also can’t share when we’re not okay, when we need help, or when other people experience those feelings, too, and in truth, we’re not alone. With the help of a good meal, a comfortable atmosphere, and an understanding that it’s good to share (with consent) and rude to trauma-dump, these seasonal meals can go a long way into strengthening family and community.
Even better? Your guests need not be only human.
Thus, I bring you to the Witch’s Table at Golden Apple for Samhain. As those of you who know Nikki and I are fully aware, we are the Breakfast Club of witches. We offer these as suggestions for you to give a try or not. If you have brain freeze or decision fatigue, these posts are intended to help. Among Nikki’s and my other modalities, we are both kitchen witches. A good deal of our friendship and spiritual lives are built around good food, good conversation, and taking joy in being just that little bit extra when we have the energy to do so.
Mulled Cider, Pumpkin Lager, Samhain Tea
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Cornbread and Apple Butter
Butternut squash and Apple Soup
Roasted Green Beans with pomegranate
Garlic Roasted Chicken Breast
If you have kids, you’ve already gotten into their candy
If you are child-free, baked apples are nice, but let’s be real, you’re waiting until trick-or-treating hours are over to grab your own giant bags of candy
The Table Decor
A single carved pumpkin with a black candle inside. LED candles (tea lights are great) surround the room and all the areas people walk through.
I have come to think of these passages as my “neurodivergent” stop. My autistic child will sometimes ask me what’s appropriate to talk about, and occasionally, my friends do as well when they’re struggling with social anxiety. I don’t always employ my social skills. Still, I have them, and sometimes, having starter topics can help ease into real enjoyment of your company.
Wonderful conversations for the season include good and bad divination experiences you have had, “Day of the Dead” encounters with departed loved ones and sharing your inner discomforts reconciling your woo worldview with more socially acceptable worldviews. What comforting perspectives are challenged because you have veered into the broomstick paths?
Pass a cauldron or a glass of dark red wine or grape juice around the table. Do not drink from it! Whisper into the liquid or the dark the changes you want to see in society. When done, the host can drop an LED candle in (a floating candle is best for the wine) and leave it to illuminate these calls for a d
eep change overnight. To see real results, pick something small and subtle that’s oft-overlooked as we look at more sweeping issues stemming from capitalism, patriarchy, misogyny, and stigma. Perhaps call for kindness in specific places, such as the DMV and grocery lines.
For those of you struggling to plan a more personalized, friends-and-family-centered Samhain practice, I hope the menu helps. I wish you a happy Samhain, and I welcome the recipes and menus you love and wish to share - go ahead and leave them in the comments!
Want to join our Island of Misfit toys? Come hang out with us in our Facebook group Under the Golden Apple Tree. Ask questions, share what you’ve learned, have folks group fact-check, and have a good time!
Also, we have a Patreon - help us step towards opening a brick-and-mortar shop in or near San Francisco!
The best track to get us to a store and community center in the City? Shop Golden Apple! Check out a few of our growing range of handmade goodies below!