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A hallowed day for real witches

By Colleen O’Connor

The moon, nearly full, rises over the black silhouette of trees on Lafayette Street, where a line of witches spills out the door of the First Unitarian Church of Denver, ready for ritual. On the steps, a silver-haired Denver witch, the Rev. M. Alia Denny, chats with a young woman about Celtic . . . → Read More: A hallowed day for real witches

Halloween Boycott

By Isaac Tripp

Halloween has its origins in an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain, a druidic celebration of the day when the barriers between the natural and the supernatural, or the living and the dead, are temporarily removed. The ghoul and ghost costumes schoolchildren (and college students) love to wear today are a throwback to . . . → Read More: Halloween Boycott

Samhain: All fired up for our celebration of life

By Sandy Christie, a Wiccan priestess and elder who lives in Edinburgh

Do you believe the original meanings of many festivals have been lost?

The wheel of the year constantly turning has brought us once more to Hallowe’en, or Samhain (pronounced sow-in), as our Celtic ancestors would have known it. In this, the season of . . . → Read More: Samhain: All fired up for our celebration of life

Sex and the supernatural

By Xan Brooks

Halloween would seem the perfect date to visit an exhibition of dark art from the leading lights of the Gothic movement. Yet, in a case of the trick preceding the treat, audiences will have to wait until February to see Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination at Tate Britain in . . . → Read More: Sex and the supernatural

The Dark Side of Chocolate

By Kate McMahon

This Halloween, know where your chocolate comes from. Here’s your guide to ensuring that your treats weren’t produced by enslaved children. “” On Halloween night, kids across the neighborhood can be heard howling with delight. Veins spiked with sugar and goody bags overflowing with Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey’s bars propel tiny . . . → Read More: The Dark Side of Chocolate

Halloween: Roman holiday, pagan tradition

By Laura Selmek

Halloween is the holiday that most associate with witches and pagans, but it’s actually one of eight sabbats – or holidays – that pagans celebrate. While some may prefer the term Wiccan instead of witch, Wicca itself is only a small aspect of paganism. “[The word] pagan is more inclusive,” said Colleen . . . → Read More: Halloween: Roman holiday, pagan tradition

Six of Swords

By June Kaminski

The Six of Swords, points to the stored-up emotional, mental and spiritual baggage that we often carry with us: embedded energy from the past that no longer serves us. It points to the need to wake up, become self-aware, and work through this accumulated load that chisels away at our self esteem, . . . → Read More: Six of Swords

Wiccans mark Halloween as start of new year

Halloween is an important time for Wiccans, practitioners of a fast-growing polytheistic religion who celebrate the holiday as New Year’s Day. Followers say the holiday that they call Samhain is when the veil between the living and dead is the thinnest.

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Vampire spider craves your blood

by Jennifer Viegas

Like Count Dracula and his real-life vampire bat counterparts, a small jumping spider has a taste for blood. The East African spider Evarcha culicivora cannot pierce skin and sip blood, so instead it feeds indirectly on blood.

It prefers to eat female mosquitoes that have just engorged themselves with a victim’s blood. . . . → Read More: Vampire spider craves your blood

Pacific cemetery shows ancestors revered

by Anna Salleh

The first people to settle Polynesia went to surprisingly lengths to honour their dead, archaeologists show. Remains from the oldest cemetery in the Pacific suggest the Lapita people buried their dead in many different ways, some in “weird yoga positions”, and removed their skulls for ceremonial purposes.

Dr Stuart Bedford and Professor . . . → Read More: Pacific cemetery shows ancestors revered