I love the month of October. Perhaps it's because there's just so much to see and do. Squirrels store nuts for the winter. The fall foliage reaches its color peak. And if that weren't enough, Oktoberfests are in full swing everywhere you look. Add the dancing flame of a hearth fire, the smell of fresh apple cider, and the newfound crispness of the Autumn air, and you can have a party on your hands in nothing flat. Without a doubt, it's my favorite time of the year.
For magical practitioners, though, this month has meaning beyond all that. Some of us celebrate Samhain, and help those who have gone before cross safely into the Summerland. Others celebrate the New Year and embrace a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. For all magical practitioners, though - regardless of religion, belief system, or sense of personal values - it marks the time of the year when the veil between the world thins to near non-existence. And that makes it an excellent time for magical workings.
Since magical success rates tend to skyrocket now - and most children have very little patience - October is also a good month to introduce your children to spell-casting. When explaining the magical basics, though - the Law of Three, focus and concentration factors, and so forth - do yourself a favor. Keep it simple. Just remember that no one really needs to know the history of the clock in order to tell time. And the same is true of magic.
With the basics out of the way, involve the whole family in some of the mini-rituals below. Performing them together will not only add to your child's success, but will actually go far in bringing your family together. And that sort of bond is a magic so strong, so potent, and so unyielding, that no other magic on the planet comes close!
ACORN STRENGTH CIRCLE
Early in October, pack a picnic lunch and take a family trip to the nearest oak tree. Tell your children about its magical properties, how it was revered by the Druids as sacred, and how humankind the world over considers it to be the strongest member of the tree family. Answer any questions your children might have.
Then ask each person to select an acorn from the ground to use as a personal strength amulet. Allow some time for this. Children instinctively search for the largest seed they can find, and may change their minds several times.
Once everyone is satisfied with their choice, ask each person to hold the acorn in their right hand, then join hands to form a circle around the tree. (If you have a small family, ask each member to hug the tree instead.) Say:
We honor you, oh Mighty Oak
Grant your strength unto these folks
Let it surge throughout these seeds
And make us strong in thought and deed
Explain that the oak has blessed the acorns and they are now strength charms to be carried at all times.
Eat your lunch under the tree. Save a bit of food and beverage, and bury it close to the tree roots. Thank the tree for its gifts and leave.
ANIMAL THANKSGIVING MEAL
Because October heralds the hunting season in most areas, it's a good time to thank the animals for providing us with food and honor them in a special way. Prepare a meal of vegetables only. Don't use any meat, fish, poultry, or animal products (milk, eggs, butter, cheese, etc.).
Have everyone gather at the table and explain how heavily we depend on animals for our existence. Have each person share a way that animals help us and bring joy to our lives. Prompt younger children if necessary. When the discussion wanes, thank the animals by saying something like:
Animal friends, we thank you now
For your gifts day in and out
For bringing us joy and good health
Thank you, friends - we wish you well
Eat the meal.
APPLE CIDER HEALING SPELL
Simmer apple cider on the stove. There's nothing like its aroma to bring children running to the kitchen. Once everyone's together, discuss the magical healing properties of apples. Fill a mug for each family member, then give everyone a cinnamon stick to use as a healing wand.
Explain that the "wand" is a tool that can be used to heal any sort of personal problem, whether it be an illness or an emotional hurt. Ask each person to decide what they'd like to be healed of, then silently tell the wand. Have them stir the cider clockwise with the wand and say:
Apple and cinnamon, use your power
Heal me now - this very hour
Have them drink the cider. (On a mundane level, this also teaches children that medicine doesn't have to taste bad to work well!)
JACK-O-LANTERN EVIL SPIRIT SPELL
There's little more magical to a child than a jack-o-lantern - especially once he or she realizes that it can be used to chase away evil spirits. For this spell, each family member needs their own pumpkin, so make a family outing to the nearest pumpkin farm or nursery. Then allow each person to choose their own fruit.
Cut the tops off the pumpkins and show children how to hollow them out. If necessary, help them draw jack-o-lantern faces on the pumpkins. Carve out the faces for young children. Then have each child enchant their jack-o-lantern by saying something like:
Away from me all bad stuff chase
Scare it with your lighted face
Let each child choose a spot for their jack-o-lantern, then situate a candle inside each one and light it.
Copyright 2001 Dorothy Morrison and TWPT