Pumpkin Seeds For Halloween Divination

Save those pumpkin seeds without them being roasted because pumpkin is prime for divination! You can try this crafty Samhain, or Halloween, eve activity to predict your future or answer a question! This time of year is thought to be when the veils between the worlds are most thin so that we might best communicate with our inner selves and especially the dead! Start by cleaning and air drying fresh pumpkin seeds, or those of any flat seeded gourd.

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Then write a single word and/or symbol on one side only of each seed; A regular pencil works great. The number of seeds you choose to use for your divination can vary; match the Major Arcana of the tarot, the alphabet, use a set number of symbols in a certain system such as runes, use any words that have a correlation to the query you have in mind, or even your favorite number. Once your seeds are prepared create a space that will give you a magical feeling where you can light a few candles and burn a nice incense of your choice. You'll want the seeds to be able to bounce and move freely when dropped, so a tablecloth or other fabric covering is not recommended. A kitchen table works fine, but lower the light if you can in order to enhance the mood. If you are Wiccan or practice magick in general you certainly could cast a Circle at your altar for a full ritual experience. But any time you're going to potentially reach out to The Beyond it is a good idea to put up some personal protective devices such as a Circle or a general prayer. This activity, however, is intended as a method of communication with your higher inner self and not specifically communication with the dead. It could easily be adapted for such uses, and in that case, I suggest personal protection measures be taken. That being said, back to our action!Pumpkin Carver ACEO collage by Tree Pruitt

Now the mood is set for you. Depending upon the number of seeds you're using you might choose to either hold them in your hands or place them in a cup. Next focus on a question that you want to be answered, and know that the interpretation will likely require more than a simple yes or no response. Then shake the seeds thoroughly and cast them onto your tabletop with a gentle drop from slightly above the surface. Take note of the position and order in which the seeds have landed. Look for words, phrases, or combinations of symbols that come immediately to your attention. Write them down, and better yet snap a photo of the layout in order to know where to begin interpreting an answer to your question and refer back to it later. You should do this no more than three times per query else risk taunting the Three Fates, thus inviting bad luck! When you're finished asking questions be sure to give thanks because, even if you're communicating with only your higher self, thanks is always appreciated. Then blow candles out and turn the light up so as to be able to better contemplate your results. This would be a great time to enjoy apple cider or some other seasonal treat. 

 When 3 days past October have gone by you should choose whether you want to keep the seeds for future divination use or make them an offering by burning them. You could also choose to simply toss them into a place where they might later grow. If you decide to keep your seeds be sure to use them occasionally else stagnant energy, or bad luck, may soon develop. If you find that you're not able to use your special divination seeds at least once every three months then be sure to burn them in offering and place the ashes in a nice location outdoor; You can always make more next year. On the other hand, the more that you use them the more they become imbued with your personal energy and can better communicate with you. This can potentially lead to healing and /or enlightenment. But keep the seeds or not, understand that this activity is, at least in part, intended to reflect the seasonal aspect of the gourd seeds which represent the transient nature of life as we grow we change. And, as the seasons of a year are fleeting so too are our opportunities. Use the insight that you might gain from the humble pumpkin seed to your advantage at this most special time of year!

-- Tree Pruitt, WitchWhats

Magic Altar Basics

 An altar can be as simple or as fancy as you like. It can even be an image in your mind and not a real place. But the more you create the mental picture the more real you make it. You might even have a simple altar in the real world yet go to a fancy one in your mind. That's how a travel altar operates. The small tools in a travel altar, such as a birthday candle, a tiny pentacle, a shell to hold water, etc. are just tools. But if when you use them away from your home altar you imagine your sacred space in your mind you will tap into the energy built up at home. It's like using an Internet cafe' to sign on to your account that you'd use at home. Some say an altar should not have any metal in it because it throws off the energy. But our athames, or sacred knives, are metal. And many of us have wands with stones welded on with - you guessed it - metal. So I see no problem with using an old end table with metal screws holding the legs. I think it's the connection you have that matters more than the construction materials.
 See, the very spot your altar sits on will absorb energy and begin to charge up. The longer an area is used for energy work the stronger it becomes. It can eventually become strong enough with its own energy that it acts as a doorway. That's why it's important to close down an altar sight if you move or change locations after a long time.
  An unattended energy zone can allow unwanted or negative energies to come and go as they please. Elementals, spiritual creatures created by the energy of the individual Elements can also manifest into physical form through an unclosed circle and wreak havoc! Each of the Elements has a personality type ruler, or overseer,  and also the creature associated with that individual Element. Those creatures are the elementals and they get their energy from the element that rules them.

Always remember to eat a bite of food after expending energy at your altar. You can think of it as a communion. Close your rites, kick back, and enjoy a snack. Invite the presence of the deities to remain with you. This can be as casual or as formal as you like. The Gods enjoy a good picnic as much as fine dining! Reserve a small bit of your snack as an offering. Then, when you're all cleaned up and your tools are stowed away in your magick box, take the offering outside. Find a special place to set your offerings each time and this too will store energy just like your altar spot. Remember, the Gods come to us in many forms. Don't put out birdseed as an offering and then get upset if the neighbor's cat eats one of the birds! Even the larvae of the common fly performs service to the Gods by consuming an offering. Like attracts like, right? So if you make a sacrifice, one will be made for you in turn.

©Tree Pruitt