The Halloween Arcana

When I think of Halloween, I think of magic, witchcraft, spells, and all sorts of supernatural amazingness. As someone who wanted nothing more than to be a witch when he was growing up, I think this mindset is what always drew me to Halloween. 

Now that I’m older, I adore the holiday even more for it’s association with the Pagan Samhain, the thinning of the veil, and its ability to make my “woo woo” lifestyle seem mainstream, even if it’s only for a month or so. 

While there are no Tarot cards directly associated with the holiday, I went through one of my decks and found a few I thought spoke to the themes above in their own special way. 

The Universal Rider-Waite-Smith

The Universal Rider-Waite-Smith

The High Priestess
The High Priestess is the keeper of secrets; the secrets to esoteric knowledge, magic, and illusion. Halloween is a time when many believe the veils between the living and dead are thinned, and I like to think of The High Priestess as the keeper of the gates between those two worlds. She rules the Moon, and with that power comes the ability to see and understand things that aren’t always obvious by the light of day. I think Halloween does the same, brining forth a mindset of other worldly thoughts and feelings we keep dormant most of the year. She invokes a certain spirt that I think is so prevalent during the time of this autumnal holiday and asks that we honor and celebrate it while we can. 

The Moon
The power of illusion is the name of the game for this card, and under the High Priestess’s rulership, the moon carries with it a power to hide what’s in front of us in an alluring and intoxicating way. If you think about one of the most popular aspects of Halloween, dressing up, you can see how the allure of pretending and illusion are not only commonplace for this holiday, but exciting as well. Who doesn’t love to dress up, to pretend, to cast a veil over who they really are and for at least one night present to the world a version of themselves that’s a little more mischievous and magical? Like with the The Moon, the fun will end when the sun comes back around, but for one glorious night we can bask in the darkness of our shadow side and dance under the light of magic and mystery. 

With Halloween also comes the changing of the seasons, and often by the time trick-or-treating is in full swing, the leaves have all turned color, there’s a noticeable nip in the air, and it’s clear that the Winter is about to cast it’s snowy spell. All that was living and thriving in the Summer is now decaying away, and this couldn’t be more reminiscent to what the Death card speaks to. Fall is a reminder that life cycles are all around us, and death, be it physical or spiritual, symbolic or real, is simply a piece in the great puzzle of life. While there are periods of time we must remain in literal and proverbial darkness in our lives, the light will always come back, and without one there cannot be the other. If we’re able and willing to understand this, we can learn from our experiences instead of trying to fight against them and learn to appreciate the dark times and their ability to renew our love of the light. 

The Devil
With its inherent darkness and atmospheric sense of slowing down, Autumn is a fantastic time for shadow work; examining ourselves on a deep level and working to understand what unhealthy behaviors, patters, relationships, and cycles of thought we need to acknowledge and free ourselves from. The Devil will often ask us these very questions, so this card is a perfect addition to this Halloween quad of arcana. As darkness sets in, the season of Fall lends itself to self-introspection and healing, and even if you don’t agree, you’re at least bound to see a devil costume or two on Halloween night!

What cards remind you of this seasons? Let me know by leaving a comment, or shoot me an e-mail and let me know your thoughts! 

Happy Fall!


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